Saturday, 29 December 2007

Friday 28th December

Off patch gain today, after an unexpected ticket out to visit Dungeness to catch up with some Smew. Travelling along the A2070 I caught a glimpse of white in one of the fields west of Snave and so made a detour towards Brenzett Green to check it out. Sure enough a scan across the fields behind Court-at-Wich farmhouse (TR005297) confirmed what I suspected, a flock of Berwick Swans, 50 in total - contaminated with 36 Mutes.

Finally arriving at Dunge I struggled, but eventually located the Red-necked Grebe on the north-east side of the northern Long Pit. It showed briefly 3 times, before diving and disappearing amonst the reeds. A quick seawatch (15 mins!) in extremely windy conditions threw up double figure Kittiwakes and Razorbill with a couple of Gannets fighting against the wind. Retiring to the relative comfort of the RSPB reserve I was pleased to see 14 Smew (inc. 3 drakes), 3 Goosander and 1 Red-crested Pochard amongst the assembled wildfowl.

The car was severly buffeted by the wind as I drove along Walland Marsh at dusk, and not suprisingly in the conditions no owls or harriers were seen, although a Peregrine glanced past just west of Old Cheyne Court.


Steve of Kingsdown said...

Being forced to travel through Brenzett regularly I've found the area great for birding - Snargate is particularly good - but being with the wife yesterday such enjoyment was not possible!
Next time I'm there I'll try for the swans by following your directions.
And one day I may get to see a smew.

Adam said...

Cheers Steve

I hear there's up to 5 Smew at Seaton Pits, Wichambreaux at the moment and there's a KOS walk there on the 6th (I think). Might be a good oppurtunity to see them there.


Steve of Kingsdown said...

Hi Adam,
We made a trip to Seaton yesterday and saw four Smew (two at either end of the lake) and a male Goldeneye on the water - looking at Dylan Wrathall's photo on PlanetThanet, I think we also saw one flying.
On the 6th I'll be down to Eastbourne again, so will check out the Brenzett area and report back.
Hope you have a good year - if you see any Lesser Peckers or Hawfinches, please let me know!