DUNGENESS : 8th & 11th January
1st winter Caspian Gull
Winter birding is probably my favourite time of year (Autumn a very close second) , winter wildfowl & birds of prey , white winged gulls and scarce Buntings are all on offer if you are lucky enough to see them.
I have had a busy birding week with 2 visits to Dungeness , on the 8th i saw 28 Bewick's Swans on the Arc pits early morning and heard a Firecrest in the Willow trail.
At Lade i managed to finally see the Slavonian Grebe which was keeping company with the Long Tailed Duck both on the North Pit.
Long Tailed Duck with a Pochard.
By the fishing boats 1st winter Caspian Gull & 2 Med Gulls were seen along with hundreds of Guillemots , Razorbills & Red Throated Divers plus several Gannets and a Fulmar were all seen well.
1st winter Caspian Gull.
Back on the Rspb reserve Great White Egret & Tree Sparrow were seen well.
On the 11th i called back into Dungeness and had great views of the Long Eared Owl in the bushes at the back of the dipping pond.
Long Eared Owl.
A brisk walk around to the Christmas Dell hide to see both ♂ & ♀ Smew.
I also added 5 White Fronted Geese near Denge Marsh hide, the 1st winter Glaucous Gull also showed well from the Firth hide, another look over Lade produced a smart Dartford Warbler in the gorse by the South Pit.
CAPEL FLEET : 12th January
On the 12th i went to Capel Fleet on Isle of Sheppy , i spent a bit of time on the raptor watch point an added lots of Marsh Harrier & Common Buzzard and eventually saw a ' Ringtail' Hen Harrier.
I then popped over to Leysdown and added several wader species to my Year list plus there were at least 6 Red Throated Divers on the sea .
Whooper Swan Photo taken in 2017.
On the way back to Capel i stopped at the top of the hill by the farm and managed to see 2ad & 1 juv Whooper Swans plus 120+ White Fronted Geese & 8 Barnacle Geese.
I then drove around towards the church and on route there were good numbers of Linnets & Chaffinch feeding in the road and luckily enough i managed to see 3 Brambling in with the Chaffinch.
I spent the last hour of my visit back at the Raptor watch point and saw another Hen Harrier plus a distant Barn Owl and the Hooded Crow flew in and disappeared behind the mound.