Sunday, 7 December 2014

Egrets , Sawbills & Shrikes at Dungeness & Chilham

One of two Cattle Egrets at Dungeness.

I took advantage of the fine sunny weather yesterday and made a long overdue visit to Dungeness , i first headed to Walland marsh where i located the Mute Swan herd and counted 21 Bewick's Swans among them which was a welcome year tick.

I then drove down Denge marsh road and parked up by Wraxalls and had very close views of the two Cattle Egrets which were walking around among the cattle.

Faint buff feathering on forehead.

Best foot forward.

Often spooked by cars.

Both birds together.

From here i headed of to check out the New Diggins along the main drag and instantly saw 3 Great White Egrets on the far side of the pit , here is a record shot of one from a previous visit.

Great White Egret.

My main target birds here were Goosander and sure enough i picked out 3 birds , 2 females and a single male which were also quite distant.

Record shot of 3 Goosander's.

I then called into the RSPB reserve and had a look from 3 of the hides and added several wildfowl species , Shoveler , Gadwall , Teal , Wigeon all in good numbers plus a single female Goldeneye , i also saw Marsh Harrier , Kestrel and Sparrowhawk on the reserve , i then went for a warm up and coffee in my car near the bird feeders in the car park and had some great views of the birds busy feeding on and underneath the feeders.



Tree Sparrow

Lovely chestnut head on this Tree Sparrow.

I popped over the road to have a look over the ARC pit from the screen hide and it was fairly quite over than another female Goldeneye and a single distant Redhead Smew which was to far for a photo so here's one from a previous visit.

Redhead Smew.

With the light being so good today i decided to call into Chilham on way home for another look at the wintering Great Grey Shrike and although it was quite distant for photos i had some excellent scope views , here are a couple of Digi scope photos i took .

Great Grey Shrike.

It's larder is in this bush.

And that concludes a really enjoyable winters days birding , thanks for reading .