Friday 27 August 2010

Dungeness and Grove Ferry ........ tern up the birds !!

Pied Flycatcher.

I set of for Dungeness last Saturday the 21st August at about 7am in the hope of a decent sea watch and catching up with all the Herons and Egrets that have been seen there of late , i arrived at the sea watching hide at approx 8.15 am and was soon onto a Black Tern which was a year tick for me , this was shortly followed by year tick number 2 in the form of a Fulmar , i really don't get out enough lol.

 There where plenty of terns moving along the coast mostly Common and a couple of Arctic Terns close in gave good views , but the much hoped for Skuas were non existent at this point.

After about 30 mins i picked up fairly way out  Arctic Skua, there were plenty of Gannets moving east and west all the time , its hard to give an exact count but i would estimate 100 + , i moved onto the " patch " in the hope of adding Yellow Legged Gull to my year list and after quite abit of scanning through the hundreds of gulls and terns i came across 2 juv. Yellow Legged Gulls

There was also 1 Arctic Tern and 10 more Black Terns feeding over the patch , i continued sea watching and eventually picked up a close in Great Skua which was quickly followed by a Kittiwake and these two birds were most welcome year ticks , the sea watch was fairly quite to be honest i counted 50+ Black Terns in total and had 10 Common Scoters.

On the way back to my car i saw 4 Black Redstarts along the power station wall and as i neared my car i saw 3 birders intently looking at bird that had just flown into the Lighthouse garden and was soon informed that it was yet another year tick for me in the shape of a smart Pied Flycatcher.

Pied Flycatcher.

Well with 6 year ticks in the bag i headed of to the Rspb reserve in the hope of catching up with the Cattle Egret that had been seen recently near the entrance just past Boulderwall farm , when i got there there was not another birder around and it had not been put out on the pager , but after a quick scan of the bemused cows i was soon adding the Cattle Egret to my year and Dungeness area lists .

Cattle Egret

I quickly reeled of several photos then put it on the pager then headed of to the reserve to use their facilities before heading of to Denge marsh road , and i did not have to wait to long before adding Purple Heron to my days total .

Purple Heron.

I had to wait abit longer to add Great White Egret but eventually it gave its self up , i first spotted it walking behind a reed bed then it flew up and gave a short but close view before it was lost out of sight , this was shortly followed by both Grey Heron and Little Egret in flight over the reed bed , not bad 3 Egret species and 2 Herons in Kent all on the same reserve !!!

I then decided to head off to Grove Ferry for another look at the Spotted Crake and hopefully get some photos and i was not disappointed.

Spotted Crake at Grove Ferry.

Spotted Crake

The Crake showed really well for long periods and Ok i know these are not great photos but i had superb views of this wonderful bird through my scope , the weather was quite awful most of the day , but the birding was very good , other birds seen from the hide were 2 Water rail , 7 Green sandpipers , 1 each of Greenshank and Black-Tailed Godwit , 2 Marsh Harriers and 1 vocal Cetti's Warbler.

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