Friday, 20 March 2015


Another thoroughly dreary and cold day on the peninsular saw me at The Patch just after 07.00, where many 100s of Gulls were milling around the boil with another 1,000+ on the beach. I sat in the hide going through them but found nothing of note. (DW found a 1w Caspian Gull there late afternoon) There were at least 4 North Thames ringed Herring Gulls among them, also Great Black Backed Gull JZ202. After an hour the penetrating cold in the hide forced me to move. At the observatory 1+ Woodcock and a few thrushes were flushed from the moat just before I arrived. 
 JZ202 colour ringed Great Black Backed Gull
On the New Diggings a Black-necked Grebe was the highlight among the Coot and Tufted Duck. Over the road on the ARC 5+ Goldeneye were the pick of the bunch among the Shoveler and small number of Wigeon.
The staff have made a good job of repairing the track to the visitor centre so it was a pleasure to drive down Dennis's hide, despite the gloom and cold caused by the eclipse happening above the solid cloud cover. From the hide several 100s of Shoveler, a red head Smew, a Great White Egret and 2 Marsh Harriers were of note. Also there 100+ Gulls roosting on the submerged islands but nothing of note among them.
This afternoon on Hayfield 3 a Green Sandpiper briefly and 2 Ruff, 5 Redshank, 11 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plovers including the colour ringed individual, 2 Lapwings, a Great White Egret and a Little Egret, it surely can't be long before a Garganey drops in. On the way to Scott hide several singing Cetti'sWarblers, a Green Woodpecker and a Bearded Tit of note.
Back at Springfield Bridge 2 White Wagtails and a Rock Pipit of note among a flock of Pied Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings, while watching them a Bittern flew across Dengemarsh and a pair of Marsh Harriers grappled.
The 2 Cattle Egrets were in the fields around Brickwall Farm and a Raven fed on a dead Fox there.    
 Late afternoon at Scotney a flock of 29 White-fronted Geese flew in high from the south over the ranges, they circled the main lake for a few minutes before disappearing out towards Walland Marsh, looking at the the wing of one of them they may have run the gauntlet of the French guns. A few minutes later 4 more Whitefronts and a Barnacle Goose flew in high from the south and settled on the lake, also on there a Black-necked Grebe now reaching summer plumage.

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