Saturday, 2 October 2010

Scotney and Dunge

Black Redstart male.

I decided i would venture down to Scotney today and try and catch up with the 2 Buff-Breasted Sandpipers that had been residing there the last few days , i arrived on site and had the task of scanning through approx 500 Golden plovers and several Ruff and Lapwing.

 I was soon joined by another birder and we scanned the flock together then the other birder thought he had got one of the Sandpipers but all he could see was its head at first he quickly put me on to the bird and within a minute or two the Buff - Breasted Sandpiper walked out into the open , what a superb waders this is , very dainty in appearance , a clearly marked crown , buff face, chin and underparts not quite extending fully under the belly , yellow legs , well defined coverts and thin straight all dark bill , its approx same size as a Dunlin which was also seen as a good size comparison, a Little Stint was also seen here and a partial albino Lapwing was present ,  the second Buff Breasted Sandpiper was not located but was reported later on in the day.

From here i ventured down to the sea and missed a Long tailed Skua that had been lingering earlier in the morning , damn that would have been a Kent tick !! the sea was fairly quite , i added Guillemot to my year list and there were plenty of Gannets and the odd Red Throated Diver moving through but that was about it until another birder picked up a Shearwater flying west , we all got on it , quite long winged buoyant flight , dark belly , slightly paler under wings all pointed to it being a Sooty Shearwater and was gratefully added to my year list . i also saw male and female Black Redstart by the power station and Wheatear by the road .

Male Black Redstart.

From here i then went to Dungeness rspb reserve , i headed off towards denge marsh and on the way around at the back of Christmas dell hide there were quite a few small birds moving through the bushes , i saw 2 Chiichaff ,  1 male Blackcap plus a couple each of Great and Blue Tit plus Dunnock and Robin all in one small Hawthorn bush . 

I called into the Denge marsh hide and there wasn't much to be seen from here except a fly by Little Egret and Marsh Harrier , i was hoping to connect with the earlier reported Ring Ouzel which was seen in this area but had no luck with that.

I then left the hide and started on the back trail just past the hide and before the next pool of water when i encounted approx 10 to 15 phyllosc's moving through the nearby bushes, i and another birder and his partner checked through these then they moved on and i continued checking through on my own.

 I moved abit further around the track to the next bend and there was more activity plenty of chiff/willows then a female Blackcap put in an appearance , i was watching a Chiff which was out in the open atop a bare bush behind a slightly lower down gorse bush when all of a sudden this huge bulky warbler appeared on the left of the bare bush pale grayish upper parts , long grey tail with slight white edging , grey lower back and mantle , well marked fringes on the wing coverts , pale underparts , bulky bill large headed , pale grayish legs , it also cocked its tail at one point as it was feeding on some berry's . so i am very happy to say i had found a very bulky juvenile Barred Warbler , which is a site tick and my second Barred this autumn and also i am informed is only the 3rd ever record of Barred warbler for the RSPB reserve !! 

I quickly got four more birders onto it and put the news out on the pager just as quickly , we watched it on and off  from 12.45am until 1pm then it dropped out of sight , the main small movement of phyllosc 's had stopped and it most probably moved on with them.  Just wished i had not left my camera in the car !!!!

I also added a rather smart male Stonechat to my days list on the way back to the reserve car park .

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