Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Great White Egrets!

Looking out at another Gloomy but windless day while eating a full English, I decided I'd have long wander around the fields at the back of Scotney GP. I even left the camera at home as the light was poor.
I checked out the main lake first which was covered in the common wildfowl but I could see nothing unusual. Checking the flood from the lay by there was no sign of yesterdays Little Stint or the Dunlin just 5 Redshank in the flood. On the turf 100s of Lapwing and Golden Plover, as well as 100s of grazing Wigeon and 2 flocks of feral Barnacle Geese.
Parking at the entrance to Scotney Farm, as I walked up the road 2 Kingfishers flashed across it and by the conveyor belt a Green Sandpiper flushed from the ditch, which also held 4 Little Egrets.
In the farmyard a mixed flock of 60+ Chaffinches and House Sparrows were feeding on spilt seed but no Bramblings. On the pit behind Scotney main pit 4 more Little Egrets, 36 Shelduck, 100+ Shoveler, 150+ Mallard which seemed strange with amount of shooting here abouts, also 2 Avocet.
In the set aside strips and fields a superb flock of 120+ Corn Buntings, c40 Skylarks and large flocks of Goldfinches and Linnets, with a few Greenfinches also 8 Egyptian Geese including the leucistic individual. As I wandered further out I saw more Corn Buntings, a flock of 100+ Tree Sparrows, also many Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings but not a single Yellowhammer. In the bushes a few Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Robins 3 Fieldfare and 6 Stonechats. Surprisingly I saw few raptors, a single Common Buzzard, 3 Marsh Harriers and a single Sparrowhawk terrorising the Pied Wagtails in the farm yard. With the amount of passerines in the fields it looks ideal for a Hen Harrier or 2, though considering the parlous state of the British breeding population its not surprising none were present. It makes me angry just thinking about the rogue game keepers and estate owners, I could go into a ranting diatribe but there are plenty more bloggers out there who can do it far more eloquently than I ever could.
This afternoon on the reserve I met DB and family who spotted an adult Caspian Gull on Burrowes also 3 Goosander. Between us we counted a minimum of 11 Great White Egrets before I checked the ARC, where from the screen there was another feeding in its usual spot making a minimum of 12 at Dungeness today. A Cattle Egret was also still present per PB and MH.

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