Saturday, 4 December 2010

Penduline Surprise

 Owing to the rapid thaw last night i decided to go to the ARC Pit. On the walk from the car park to the hide a red head Goosander flew over a good omen? As i settled in the empty hide a small bird that looked interesting flew across the front diving deep into the reeds. After a few minutes it came back to the front. A superb Penduline Tit showed for split second and promptly disappeared, fotunately ten minutes later it a reappeared and showed on and off for about an hour allowing at leas 4 other hardy souls to see it.
Also present was a Jack Snipe very

 briefly and 2 Water Rails with at least 15 Goosander including 8 superb pink hued drakes, also 20+ Goldeneye were present but dabbling duck numbers seemed to have decreased. The 4 Egyptian Geese (1 Albino) that have been seen at several sites put in a brief appearance along with at least 4 different Marsh Harriers.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Foggy Scotney

  Dungeness and the ARC Pit were a no go area today as the causeway was treacherous due to more heavy overnight snow. The road at Scotney was not much better when i got there but it was well worth braving the freezing conditions for an hour.
As soon as i pulled on to the verge(Snow Drift) i flushed a Woodcock followed quickly by 2 more that went into the M.O.D. range. I started counting Wigeon but gave up at 800ish when 11 Bewick Swans flew in (7Ad and 4 juv). They landed in the middle  and slowly swam towards the bank, when they reached the shore they all turned and started calling there necks
all bobbing up and down. After a few minutes of calling they off again departing towards Camber.
The flock of Barnacle Geese were very flighty looking for exposed grass and being harrassed constantly by a pair of Marsh Harriers. Large numbers of Pochard, Tufties, Gadwall , Teal and Shelduck  but no Sawbills . Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were abundant and lots of Snipe were moving over.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cold Weather Influx of Dabbling Duck

On the ARC Pit and surrounding smaller pits(Those that aren't frozen) lots more Wigeon and Gadwall, Teal and Shovellor than of late also large numbers of Skylarks overhead and in the fields around Walland. Half an hour in the Hansen Hide was as much cold as i could take. The snow had even drifted through the viewing hatches,. Highlight was 3 Bewick Swans coming in and resting for a few minutes then off again but no Goosander or Smew. The albino Lapwing was with the flock at the back of the pit and the ever present Marsh Harriers. In the Willow Trail a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Woodcock flushed out.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A Short Stop at the ARC Pit

 From the Hansen hide on the ARC Pit a flock of 9 Goosander all red heads was a nice surprise. Also 12+ Goldeneye and the ever present Marsh Harriers.

Monday, 29 November 2010


A short stop in freezing Broadstairs allowed superb views of 50+ of these beauties today.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snowy Dungeness

The Visitor Centre Today
  A freezing start at Walland Marsh started with a Common Buzzard sat out in the middle of a field. Lots of Thrushes in the Hawthorns including one flock of  1000+ Fieldfare

Snipe at side of road

. With all the ditches frozen there were several Snipe feeding on the verges. At the feeders the Tree Sparrows were still gorging on Sunlower Hearts along with a Goldfinches and Chaffinches. 3+ Marsh Harriers were quartering various fields but still no Geese or Swans.
At the ARC Pit a single red head Smew and 4 more Marsh Harriers, 3 Chiffchaffs in the Willow Trail.
On the reserve from Firth hide there were at least 5 more Marsh Harriers  and 2 Ruddy Duck with good numbers of Pintail, Gadwall, Shovellor and Wigeon. On the way to Denge Marsh hide the sky seemed to be full of Marsh Harriers a count of 10 in the air together in 360
degree scan.
Not suprisingly i had the hide
to my self.
 A little Grebe gave brilliant
close views
as did another Ruddy Duck
and one of the 2 Black-necked Grebes.


Saturday, 27 November 2010

A Wintry Day

 A look around Walland Marsh in a snow storm making viewing very difficult with visability down to less than 50 yds at times. At the feeders north of the drying barn 6 Tree Sparrows amongst the House Sparrows and chaffinches.
At the barn a small flock of Yellowhammers, Chaffinches and Goldfinches feeding on the spilt grain.
No sign of any Swans or Geese but visability was poor.
At Scotney no sign of the Red Necked Grebe,  but 2 Stonechats on the perimeter fence and the Barnacle Geese seemingly enjoying the snow also at least 4 Marsh Harriers around the pit.
At Denge Marsh 2 Black-necked Grebes,  
3 Ruddy Duck, a flyover Bittern and another 3 Marsh Harriers. On the way back home over Walland Marsh 4 more different Marsh Harriers and several flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare being chased by the local  Mistle Thrushes.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Stubby Tail, Grumpy Goosander and an Aquatic Avocet

An Aquatic Avocet
 Caught up with the 1st Winter Glaucous Gull with its distinctive stubby tail again this morning but the light was still poor and the wind raw and very little else of interest on the beach. At the S.E. end of the ARC Pit  there was a very grumpy red head Goosander  (Probably a female) beating up the roosting Lapwings also there 3 fine adult Drake Goldeneye and 6 female/1W type. Nearby at Scotney an Avocet swimming in the middle of the pit for at least the 45mins i was there. There was at least 62 Barnacle Geese  there with 9 Snow Geese(Feral) 600+ Golden Plover ,2 Ruff and 3 Dunlin. On Walland Marsh there was 6 Bewick Swans with a large group of Mute Swans plus several flocks of 50+ Fieldfares.

Stubby Tail

A Grumpy Goosander

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Glaucous Gull and Yellow Browed Warbler brighten the day

A bitterly cold and dull start  at the point found the 1st Winter Glaucous Gull round the fishing boats that showed well for short time before flying off east. Off shore still mplenty of Great Crested Grebes and Gannets and 3 Red throated Divers. A Yellow Browed Warbler that had been seen in the trapping area was frustratingly mobile keeping to the inside of the Sallows and disappearing alltogether for long periods and with the appalling light hence the rubbish images . With the YBW were at least 5 Firecrests and a few Redpolls and Siskins over along with a brief appearance of a Merlin.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Wet at Pett

Spent most the morning at Pett trying to photograph the Grey Phalarope that spent most of the time in the middle of the pool. It wasn't until John King who had also been watching it for a couple of hours decided to go and look for the Velvet Scoters that it came close enough to photograph fortunately it was still quite close when he returned.  Also seen during the morning were 20+ Scoter off shore a Marsh Harrier hunting the reed beds and a couple of Cetti's Warblers singing.