Friday 27 January 2017

Pine Bunting at Milton Creek......... 1st for Kent.

 Pine Bunting 1992 at Dagenhem Chase photo by R.Chitenden

News broke on Tuesday 24th January of a Pine Bunting flushed from the sea wall and flew towards the bushes at Milton creek Sittingbourne , it was again relocated on Wednesday afternoon feeding on seed in the field but was elusive and only seen every now and again and was keeping company with several Yellowhammers.

I had a dentist appointment on Wednesday so couldn't get there til Thursday the 26th January, i found a safe place to park and walked along Milton creek (which is about a 25 min walk) towards the sea wall , it was a really great walk with plenty of waders to look at  including 35 Knot .

Mixed wader flock including Knot.

I eventually reached the area where the Pine Bunting has been seen from and joined the already assembled birders looking for it , it had been seen approx 3 times by the time i got there and was told i would have to put in the time to see it , there were plenty of Reed Buntings & Yellowhammers but the Pine Bunting was playing hard to get.

Then someone got onto it briefly before it flew out of sight again and unfortunately i missed it on that occasion , after approx an hour and a half it was once again picked out on top of a bramble bush , i got onto it just as flew off , damn yes i saw it but no way could i tick it on those views !!!!!

Turnstone on the rocks.

Thankfully after another 30 mins it was picked out feeding on a grass bank and i got superb scope views  this time and was adding Pine Bunting to my Kent list  (1st record for Kent).

The Pine Bunting was on view for a good 20 to 30 seconds but unfortunately my phone was playing up so i couldn't get any digi scope photo's .

I did see a ♂ Pine Bunting at Dagenham Chase in 1992 which was alot easier to see and the above photo was taken by R.Chitenden , those were the days when only a handful of birders had cameras and readily sold prints.

If it sticks around i will go back and try and get a photo (hopefully on a warmer day to !!!)


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