Tufted Duck at Dungeness.
I called into Dungeness yesterday 22nd March to try out my new camera and hopefully connect with some lingering winter migrants and some newly arrived spring birds , i started off in the Hanson hide to look for the Long Tailed Duck but sadly i could not relocate it although i did hear a Chiffchaff in full voice , i also heard at least 3 Cetti's Warblers , i then decided to pop into the RSPB reserve to see what else was around , first port of call was the Dennis hide and a distant male Goldeneye was good to see plus a single Great White Egret was to far away for the camera , there were some very close Tufted Duck including the above showy male bird , a couple of Long Tailed Tits made a brief appearance and were captured by my camera.
One of two Long Tailed Tits.
I then decided to walk to the other two hides and they were pretty quite to be honest , whether its due to the water level still being very high , no islands were visible on the reserve or most of the birds were keeping out of sight of my camera i am not sure ?? i did encounter 6 Sand Martins which were my first of the spring. I also had a single White Wagtail and a fly over Grey Plover.
1 of 6 Sand Martins near the hides .
I then decided to have a drive down to the sea but had time to quickly check out the bird feeders at the start of the entrance track and was treated to these quite superb Tree Sparrows.
A regular sight on the feeders at Dungeness.
I didn't spend to long down by the sea as the wind was very cold , i know i am a wimp lol , however i did add a single Gannet to my year list , i know its all very exciting lol.
I then made my way to Sandwich and to Restharrow Scrape in the hope of seeing the reported Garganey that had been seen earlier in the day , well i duly arrived on site and there was a photographer in the hide who had no idea what a Garganey was when i asked if it was still around , so i did a quick scan with no joy but there was a very close Coot which i could not resist getting a pic of.
Coot at Restharrow.
There were good numbers of Teal , Shoveler and Gadwall plus smaller numbers of Mallard and 2 Wigeon , the water level here is also very high and the middle island is completely submerged however i did add Curlew , Lapwing , Redshank and approx 5 Common Snipe on the fringes , There were several Little Grebe in fine summer plumage .
Little Grebe in summer plumage.
After a while the photographer left and i could then check out the end of the scrape which i couldn't see before and there
it was tucked up out of the way with 2 Teal , a superb male Garganey, there were 2 reported this morning however i was happy with 1.
Male Garganey with Teal.
The Garganey was a sleep the whole time i was there however i was really pleased to see it as it looked like i had dipped at one point , this was a very welcome addition to my year list .