Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Wednesday 18th November 2009

With some strawberry plants to collect for work from Romney Marsh and Graveney I thought I'd make an early start and visit Dungeness and Seasalter (in my own time I might add!) to see if I couldn't pick up a couple of goodies.

The initial sighting!

Crossing Walland Marsh in the dark I was suprised at how many Fieldfares were on the road, the wind at this point was blowing very, very hard! I stopped off first at Denge Marsh and scanned the area for the Great White Egret (my third attempt) but the wind was so strong I was struggling to stay on my feet, and no sign of the bird. I moved onto the Hanson Hide, ARC pit, passing a Merlin chasing Starlings on the north side of the Lydd-Dungeness road, hoping to get a sight of at least one of the three Penduline Tits that had last been reported on Monday. Now I've not had much look with this species; 3 visits to Rainham RSPB and stopping off in Devon early at Easter had all turned up blanks. The more I read about, and looked at pictures, of these minature Red-backed Shrike look-a-likees the more I wanted to see one! Well I was in luck, at at 07:40 a Penduline Tit flew into the bottom of the reed mace. I thought that was it, but no it was joined by a second bird higher on the mace and they then fed for a good 10 minutes affording excellent views. I tried to get some photos, all a bit poor but show what needs to be shown I think! One bird had a ring. Then they were gone. Everything else on the ARC pit was huddled up at the pit edges, a female Goldeneye amongst them.

Notice ring of right tarsus

I crossed the road and checked the 1st pit off the entrance track for Glossy Ibis, no sign of any, but a Marsh Harrier put on a brave show against the wind and as it banked sharply over the far end (west) side of the pit, 2 Glossy Ibis lifted into the air! Necks stretched they made very little headway in the wind, and remained suspended for 30 secs or so before dropping back out of view. Wow! I needed to move on, but not before checking Denge Marsh again from Springfield Bridge only to dip for a fourth time!
The drive along the lanes was interesting, not least for the amount of twigs and branches littered the road, but also for some of the interesting shacks along the way!

Onto Graveney, pick up plants and then 30 minutes of my lunch hour on the beach at Seasalter where 9x Snow Buntings crept around on the beach in front of the huts by The Sportsman pub. The tide was coming in, the Brent Geese were taking to the air and it was time for me to get back to East Malling. What an excellent morning!

Inconspicous Snow Bunts!


Greenie said...

Adam ,
So that's what you call working is it ?
Great sightings and some good record shots , especially considering the wind .
Any other jobs going at your place ?

Ken Browne. said...

I envy you seeing the Penduline's. That is one bird I have never caught up with, mainly in Kent, but anywhere.You did very well getting those record shot's.
Then there's the Ibis's, another good find,and to round it off with Snow Buntings is top birding.
I hope you get to catch up with the G/W/Egret at some stage.

Warren Baker said...

good job you put '' in my own time'' Adam. You never know who's reading your blog. ;-).

Some bloody good birds seen though mate!

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