Saturday, 18 December 2010

An icy Walland Marsh

At an icy Walland this morning there were still numerous Fieldfares and Redwings. As i was counting one of the  groups Bewick Swans i heard a now familiar trill as 26 Waxwings flew over north as i struggled to get the camera on them. A Snipe was huddled on the verge and a Common Buzzard sat on a bush way out on the marsh and then the snow arrived.
They really are Waxwings

Friday, 17 December 2010

Early Morning at Castle Water

An early morning vigil in the hide at Castle Water, paid off when this Bittern walked out of the reed bed, allowing me to take some 600 photo's these are just from the first 100. There was at least 2 present whilst i was there along with 2 red head Smew, 1 Water Rail and numerous dabbling duck and a Marsh Harrier. A look at Northpoint and Scotney found little of note. On the walk from the car park at the ARC Pit to the hide a flock of 34 Waxwings flew NW. On the pit a fine drake Smew, 3 Goosander  2 drakes and 8 Goldeneye also 4+  Marsh Harriers. At Walland 2 Tree Sparrows by the feeders, large flocks of Redwing and Fieldfares (3000+) around the marsh devouring the Hawthorns. 

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sensational Eagle

A very successful twitch to Amberly Wildbrooks for the White-tailed Eagle. An incredible bird for Sussex. Pity it was always distant hence the rubbish pictures but it was good to meet some old freinds. Also there a ring tail Hen Harrier, 5 Common Buzzards and aflock of c.20 Waxwings briefly.

Saturday, 11 December 2010


 At Walland this morning there was 86 Bewick Swans in 3 herds of 45,26 and 15, 6 Tree Sparrows, 4 Corn Buntings, 10+ Yellowhammers and several large flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings with several pairs of Mistle Thrushes. Most unusually i did not see a single Marsh Harrier  there. At the ARC Pit there was 8 Goosanders including 2 fine drakes, 16 Goldeneye and 5 of our american friends and 2 flyover Bitterns. In the Willow trail 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest and 3 Cetti's Warblers.
On the main reserve there was 4+ Marsh Harriers another 3 Goosanders, 6 Smew including 2 Drakes, 2 Black-necked Grebes atleast another 4 Bitterns flying around and sitting in the reeds and bushes with one quite showy individual near Scott Hide. Also from there 2+ Water Rail and a Great-crested Grebe doing battle with a Perch. On the beach the 1W Glaucous Gull was posing well and 100+ Great-crested Grebes on the sea. 

Thursday, 9 December 2010

More Waxwings

Couldn't resist stopping to take more Waxwing pictures. These were on the A259 at Hythe. There was 45 of them and not another birder the whole time i was there.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Good day around Walland and Dungeness

 A damp dreary start at Walland found the Hawthorns full of thrushes. The vast majority Fieldfare and Redwing and Blackbirds with a few Mistle thrushes and Song Thrushes with 2+ Sparrowhawks in attendance also 3 Great spotted Woodpeckers. In the fields 20 Bewick Swans and 4 Marsh Harriers. At the ARC Pit 17 Goosander, 20+ Goldeneye. On the reserve a red head Smew, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 2 Black-Necked Grebes and a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the centre feeders. At the point the 1w Glaucous Gull still showing well and 100+ Great Crested Grebes on the sea. Back at a now sunny Walland Marsh another herd of 26 Bewick Swans flew over and 4+ Tree Sparrows posed in a Hawthorn.  

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.