Monday, 18 March 2019

Firecrest and Cattle Egrets at Dungeness

A few more images form the weekend trip down to Dunge.

Cattle Egret at Dungeness
Cattle Egret at Dungeness
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret at Dunge
The bikers put all four Egrets up in the air.
best mates
Strange looking Cow
Four of the little crackers....will they breed this year?
Cattle Egrets at Dungeness
Firecrest in the lighthouse garden at Dungeness
Not always easy to spot and constantly on the move
The size of a leaf...I like to call them tiny little bits of special.
The Firecrest....surely one of our most stunning birds.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Let's go to Dunge

I had arranged to meet the Jims this morning but had no plans set on where we'd go so at 5.30am we discussed a plan and with nothing really jumping out as a target I uttered the magic words "let's go to Dunge" and then we were off. 7am and we were looking over the fence at the Lighthouse garden as I fancied finding a Firecrest and within seconds we had achieved our first goal followed shortly after by a second bird. A few Ciffchaff flitted about in the garden too but the Firecrests stole the show.

Firecrest in the Lighhouse garden at Dunge
I found my first Wheatear of the year at Lade before finding another two birds around the moat area of the Observatory. A fly over Raven gave the Jims another year tick before we set off towards Gallaways.
We got distracted by the Sheep Egrets along the Lydd road before getting to Gallaways to find the red flags flying and the road closed so we turned and headed for home in the knowledge that the M2 was closed and the M20 had lengthy road works delays.

Sheep Egret

Year list now 184

House Sparrow
Grey Heron

Sunday, 10 March 2019

More images from the last visits at Elmley NNR

Rough legged Buzzard
Rough legged Buzzard
Rough legged Buzzard with Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier
Corn Bunting
Marsh Harrier
Oystercatcher swabble
Elmley remains a terrific reserve probably at it's best during the coming spring months.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Rough legged Buzzard at Elmley

After a disappointing morning at Dunge where the four Cattle Egret were the only highlight we headed off for an afternoon at Elmley and grabbed a year tick with a very distant Spoonbill before jamming onto a Rough-legged Buzzard on our way out of the reserve. We spent a couple of hours watching the bird with a supporting cast of Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzard and a Peregrine.
Another great afternoon at this wonderful reserve which I'm happy to support.

Year list now 182

Rough legged and Common Buzzard with Marsh Harrier

Distant and cropped but what a bird...bossed the place today.
Rough legged Buzzard at Elmley NNR
Rough legged Buzzard at Elmley NNR
Spoonbill...possibly the worse record shot ever 
Rough legged Buzzard at Elmley

Friday, 8 March 2019

First visit to Elmley of 2019

My first visit to Elmley this year and as an official friend of Elmley that's a little sad but the place looks good with plenty of water on the reserve and with it plenty of birds and a few Hares.

Hare at Elmley
Corn Bunting
Little Egret
Marsh Harrier



Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Green-winged Teal at Herringfleet

We drove up the A11 this morning hoping for a year tick with the Green-winged Teal at Herringfleet in Suffolk. On the way we dipped the Great Grey Shrike in Thetford but the detour did give good views of Woodlark, Skylark, Brambling, Siskin, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit and Yellowhammer. We also heard a calling Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but didn't manage to find it in the bins.

Check out those claws
On arrival at Herringfleet with easily found the estate car park and took the short walk through the woods to view the newly flooded fields where the birders on site had the bird in scopes as we arrived.
They had been searching all morning and just found it as we arrived. The bird was quite distant but gave good scope views.

As we travelled south again we decided on a stop at Cavenham to see if any Stone Curlews had returned and managed to find a single bird for a second year tick of the day.

Stone Curlew

Year list now 181

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Penduline Tit at Crossness

The Jims had dipped the Penduline Tit last week during a four hour stint so I decided to try with them this morning and after a couple of hours wait we managed to first hear then see the little gem feeding on the reed mace to the left of the viewing screen.

Distant record shot but gave good scope views
Good size comparison with the Reed Bunting
I've never visited this part of the reserve before and was quite impressed. Good views of Bearded Tit and Reed Bunting along with the odd Chiffchaff and Long-tailed Tits made for an entertaining wait but the Penduline Tit was the real target and as it flew up in a close Hawthorn I managed a quick shot in really nasty light. The bird moved around the reed bed for around twenty minutes but never came close before eventually returning to a bramble patch to rest.

Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit
I'd like to return on a brighter day and try to get some nicer images of the Bearded Tits in better light.

Year list 179