At last on my seventh visit to try and photographs these beautiful snowballs they behaved them selves instead of whizzing through the tops of trees. With at least 4 showing well in brilliant sunlight in freezing NE wind.
At the SE end of the ARC Pit 104 Gadwall was impressive and 8 Smew(1 Drake), 3 Goldeneye and several of our American friends.
At Scotney the Pink Fott still amonst the Greylag and 4 Marsh Harriers round the wind turbines.
At Kemps Hill Lydd 45 Bewick Swans including 10 Juvs and a Barn Owl at Cockles Bridge this morning. Nearby at the ARC Pit 34 Bewick Swans with 4 Juvs, 3 Smew(1 Drake) and 3 Marsh Harriers. On the beach by the fishing boats out of the freezing wind the 1W Glaucous Gull showing well and a Raven over. At sea still many Razorbills and Guillemots on the sea and moving east along with large numbers of Great-crested Grebes and Red-throated Divers and a few Gannets and Kittiwakes. At Scotney a lone Pink-footed Goose among hundreds of Greylags, 26 Golden Plover and 2 Marsh Harriers. A walk around Northpoint G.P. was not very productive but 50+ Common Snipe on the saltmarsh made it worth braving the biting N.E. wind.
A visit to Pett this morning found the bay covered in Great-crested Grebes and Red-throated Divers the former numbering 2000 + and the latter 250+, also on the sea 500+ Wigeon, 7 Velvet Scoter, 1 Black-throated Diver flew through along with numerous Auks and a steady stream of Gannets. On the Levels 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese amongst the Greylags and 250+ Curlew.
6 Waxwings still present early this morning at Singleton despite yesterdays attentions by the ringers. At an overcast Dungeness RSPB 4+ Marsh Harriers around the reserve and 4 + Cetti's Warbler heard also good numbers of dabbling duck all round the reserve. 2 Red head Smew on Burrowes pit along with 2 red head Goosander. On the New Excavations a Slavonian Gebe showing well and a Bittern over the Christmas Dell reed bed. From the Denge Marsh Hide a Black-necked Grebe showing well and another Bittern over the reed bed. From the veiw point at Hookers another Bittern and a Water Rail but no Bearded Tits. On the ARC Pit 3 Smew (1 drake) a red head Goosander and 3 more Marsh Harriers. On Walland 79 Bewick Swans in 2 herds of 24 and 55 and the usual Tree Sparrows.
The 30+ Waxwings were still around Singleton this morning. Some ringers had set up a net infront of some favoured bushes but didn't catch any while i was there. Is it usual for ringers to leave birds in esposed positions trapped in the nets for long periods? as was the case for at least one Blue Tit, they didn't appreciate me berating them for it (I thought the birds welfare was paramount). As the weather was so bad i thought i'd try nearby Orlestone Wood. I really should not have bothered the high light being 3 Bullfinches.
A cancelled meeting allowed me to spend a short time at Dengie Wood, Chartham this afternoon allowing good albeit fairly distant veiws of 2 Hawfinches(Male & Female) in the very tops of the pines, unlike the one above at Arundel in 2009. Also seen there were a Marsh Tit and 2 flyover Brambling.
A change of scenery today with a visit to Reculver. At the car park a Rock Pipit was on the rocks. A couple beaches east of the Towers 5 Snow Buntings were showing well feeding on the high tide line. On the shore line were many Turnstone with good numbers of Sanderling, Grey Plover, Ring Plover and a few Oystercatcher. On the sea a Pale -bellied Brent Goose with 3 Dark- bellied Brents. Next to the promenade by the Oyster beds a confiding Stonechat and further along just before Cold Harbour Lagoon 3 Shorelark on the Mound but very skittish with all the cyclists whizzing past. The only way to get any sort of photograph was to wait further on for them to be flushed towards me which was ok untill
the dog walkers let there muts loose. In the fields on the way back 60+ Lapwing, 40+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese and a few Fieldfare and Skylark.
The 1W Glaucous Gull was still by the fishing boats this morning. Sea watching from the shelter of the boats there was a steady stream of Auks mainly Razorbills moving west also many Kittiwakes and a few Gannets but little else. A look at the ARC Pit from the road produced the Glossy Ibis sitting in a sheltered bush for a few minutes before it flew SE towards the observatory before settling at the eastern end of the pit out of site. Also there 3 Goosander and 4 Smew. At Dymchurch the Northern Long-tailed Tits were very elusive with one quite distant view in 2 hours .
When i arrived at the ARC Pit there was only Mark there who told me the Ibis had not been seen for one and half hours. We went into the screen hide to see a lone Little Egret, as there was a Marsh Harrier quartering the area infront of the hide i assumed the Ibis had gone but seconds later it appeared and showed well for a few minutes before flying off and disappearing towards the beach. When we walked back to the car park the Ibis flew back infront of us towards Lydd then turned and appeared to land in the fields of Boulderwall Farm. In the road side fields East of Lydd airport there was 74 Bewick Swans.
At Dymchurch this morning at least 3 Northern Long-tailed Tits were showing in the trees of private gardens when i first arrived, giving superb veiws in the bins. Unfortunately i was unable to focus the camera on them when they were in the good light so the only shots i was able to get of these really smart little birds was directly into the sun. On the beach at Dungeness the Glaucous Gull was still showing well and still plenty of Auks and Kittiwakes on the sea. At the ARC Pit from the road, 5 red head Smew, 1 Goosander and 20 Bewick Swans were resting befor flying off north. At Scotney apart from 2 Marsh Harriers and 150+ Golden Plovers there was nothing of note. On Walland still 100+ Bewicks from Hawthorn Corner and the Tree Sparrows were
sunning them selves but no Geese today. 400 yds from home 14 Waxwings were sitting in the trees and feeding on the nearby Hawthorns but being constantly disturbed by passers by.