1st January Oare Marshes
Long Billed Dowitcher Photo taken in 2017.
On the 1st January i headed to a very wet & rained filled session at Oare Marshes, thankfully i managed to park up in the Pull-in and scanned the East flood adding all of the regular species you would expect to see there, i was also very fortunate to see the adult Long Billed Dowitcher which showed very briefly roosting among the Black Tailed Godwits plus i also saw 6 Knot .
I also saw a very showy Cetti's Warbler which i even managed to photograph !! , i decided to have a walk around the East flood and got totally soaked in the process but added Stonechat, Bearded Tit & Turnstone to my Year list.
2nd January Ramsgate Harbour
1st winter Iceland Gull.
On the 2nd January i headed to Ramsgate Harbour with a few target species in mind , my main target bird was the 1st w Iceland Gull which fortunately i managed to see more or less straight away on top of the Museum near the clock.
I also added Kingfisher & Rock Pipit but alas i once again managed to dip the Snow Buntings .
4th January Dungeness
Drake Smew photo taken by Paul Trodd.
I headed down to Dungeness today with plenty of birds on offer , that's the great thing about the new year , pretty much every bird is a year tick, my first port of call was Lade and iwas hoping to see Long Tailed Duck , Goldeneye & Slavonian Grebe.
Well as i walking across the gravel towards the South pit news came through that there was a ♂ Smew on said pit !!(evidently this is the first Smew of the winter at Dungeness), i reached the pit and started scanning whilst facing a head on wind which made things quite tricky , i eventually located the ♂ Smew in with a small flock of Goldeneye, unfortunately they all took to flight and i couldn't relocate the Smew anywhere (late it was found again on the North Pit) , many thanks to Paul Trodd for allowing me to use his photo of the ♂ Smew.
♂ & ♀ Goldeneye.
As i was scanning the South pit the Long Tailed Duck flew in and showed well but was always distant , lots of Pochard, Tufted Duck & Gadwall were all added to my year list but i could not find the Slavonian Grebe.
News then came through that the 1st winter Glaucous Gull was on the Rspb reserve so that's where i headed next.
1st winter Glaucous Gull.
I made my way straight to the Makepeace hide and was soon having decent scope views of this superb white winger, i managed a few digi scoped photos , i didn't add much more from here so i then headed off to the Arc pits.
Huge bill on this bird.
It took some time but eventually i managed to see the Black Throated Diver but it never came close enough for a photo , i also saw ♂ & ♀ Goosander from here although they were always distant , however through the scope you could make out the pink flush on the ♂ Goosander , however i did manage to see and photograph a Great White Egret .
Great White Egret.
My final destination today was at the Fishing boats which proved to be an inspired decision with superb views of a 1st winter Little Gull , 1st winter Caspian Gull & large numbers of Kittiwake , Guillemot & Gannets.
1st winter Caspian Gull
1st winter Kittiwake.
Good size comparison .
1st winter Little Gull.
A really great birding session at Dungeness and a good start to my birding adventures in 2018.