Sunday 29 January 2012

Isle of Sheppey, Kent, 28/1/2012

Weather, cold bright start to the day, by 10.00 hours, grey cloud came over, turning into a very dull, cloudy day.

M.S., Kevin and I arrived on the Isle of Sheppey about 08.00 hours.

First stop was to look at the sailing lake in Sheerness,

Mediterranean Gull, 1 adult
Common Gull, 1
Little Grebe, 4

little else of interest, we moved to the Harty Ferry Road, from the viewing mound we saw

Red-legged Partridge, 15+,

Marsh Harrier, several
Kestrel, 2
Green Sandpiper, 1 flew over calling.

a Bearded Tit was heard 'pinging' from the reed bed, (not seen)

Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch in the hedgerows.
Green Woodpecker, 1

Red-legged Partridge

At the Harty Ferry, we walked down to the causeway,

Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, a few Bar-tailed Godwits in with Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank and Curlew.
A lot of Shellduck on the mud,
A Marsh Harrier crossed the Swale towards Oare.

Next stop was at Leysdown , the light was now very poor, tried to take a few photos of the Gulls !

Common Gull,
Black-headed Gull,
Herring Gull,

Common Gull

Common Gull

 Black-headed Gull

Herring Gull

We then continued towards Shellness, stopping at Muswell Manor, a walk out on the 'bund' to look for Lapland Bunting, Kevin was first to hear them, M.S. and Kevin saw them, this was another distance sighting of a very small bird that in the short grass, it was imposable for me to see !
I did see

Skylark, 10 +
Kestrel, 1
Golden Plover, 500 +

Golden Plover

Then on the return walk to Muswell Manor, the 'bird of the day'

Ring-tailed Hen Harrier,

A good view was had as it flew by, setting down in a grass field for 5 mins, then flew off to land again close but out of our sight.

The day finished with a walk out to Shellness, nearly high tide, and rapidly failing light

Oystercatcher, 100's
Grey Plover, c100
Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank, a raft of Mallard, many Shellduck, Brent Geese in small nos


Brent Geese

Poor light and threatening rain brought an early finish to the day.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Caspian Gull, 1st winter, Dungeness, Kent, 22/1/2012

Windy, grey broken cloud for most of a mild day.

M.S., Kevin and I arrived at Dungeness around 08.30 hours.
Crossing the causeway a

Great White Egret

was seen at the far side edge of the right hand gravel pit.
We headed straight out to the point by the fishing boats, high tide was about 10.00 hours.

First noted was the huge increase of gulls roosting in the area,

Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Black-headed Gull

1 Caspian Gull, 1st winter,

no sign of the Glaucous Gull

 Caspian Gull, 1st winter

Caspian Gull, 1st winter

then looking out at sea, lots of activity, many seabirds feeding and passing, non-stop activity !

Kittiwake, 100's
Guillimots, 100's
Cormorant, 100's

A Little Gull, 2nd winter was feeding close in patrolling back and forth along the shoreline

A very high tide

At around 13.00 hours, breakfast in New Romney, (the bikers cafe), this place is good and very cheap !
en route seeing

Marsh Harrier
Red-legged Partridge, 5
Tree Sparrow

Red-legged Partridge

Then a return to the fishing boats for another session trying to take a few photos of sea birds

 Kittiwake, adult winter

  Kittiwake, adult winter

  Kittiwake, juvenile / 1st winter

 Kittiwake, juvenile / 1st winter



 Great Black-backed Gull


The last hour before dusk, we visited the ARC Pits hoping to see a Whooper or Bittern, no luck !
We did see

Goldeneye, Gadwell, Mallard, Wigeon, Shovellor, Teal, Pochard and Tufted Duck
Water Rail, 2
Cetti's Warbler
Mute Swan, c20 flew in at dusk