Saturday, 26 January 2013

Hooded Crow in Kent

Dungeness was the venue of choice today. We arrived at 7.30am and plotted up on the beach using the hide as a wind shelter. Great Crested Grebe were on the sea in large numbers, Guillemots and Razorbills (146) were both on the sea and flying back and forth in the hundreds whilst several Red Throated Diver were on the move before a large flock of 300 plus flew by with a larger unidentified bird amongst the flock which we're thinking must have been a GN Diver but we can't be sure.
A couple of single flying divers also look to be more like Black Throated Diver than Red Throated but again I leave unsure. (Note to self: must do more sea watching)

On the patch I found a Little Gull (147) in with the vast numbers of BH and Common.
Hundreds of Cormorant were moving through and a Red Breasted Merganser dropped in for a few minutes before heading west. In the distance Gannets fished and a single Bonxie (148) was seen on the horizon.

We decided to hunt down the Glaucous Gull by the fishing boats having missed it on our last trip and this time after a long walk on the shingle we located the bird (149) and had good views although it was sleeping most of the time.
Littlestone On Sea
A quick drive round the coast then followed as we'd heard of Snow Bunting at Littlestone. Pulling into the car park next to the Life boat station we walked the shingle noting Knot, Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover and Redshanks on the tide line before we were put on the buntings by "the plodding birder" Two great little birds giving it up for the camera. (150)
Snow Bunting Littlestone
Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting
From here we visited Oare Marsh and saw Avocet (151) Smew, lot's of Snipe, Grey Plover, Dunlin and on the way out I watched a Merlin hunt. The last visit of the day was Harty Ferry Lane where we hoped to connect with the reported Hooded Crow. On the way down the lane I stopped to ask a birder if he knew where the Crow was last seen and it turned out he was the guy that had found it so he recommended we try from the end of the lane near the church. We scanned the fields on the way down to reveal Hen Harrier, Buzzard, 50+ Corn Buntings and 7 Crane.
Swale NNR
Arriving at the church I scanned the salt marsh from the gate and managed to find the Hoody (152)
This was a great relief to not just me but my birding companions who also did not need to make the mile long walk to see the bird, instead we were able to return to the raptor view point to connect with another ringtail, Marsh Harrier, Merlin, Bewicks Swans and the Cranes again.

A nice day in Kent with the only disappointment being the Potato Dog I picked up for lunch...if you're thinking of trying one..DON'T!


  1. Great Snow Bunting images here - what pretty little birds they are especially on the shingle. Had to leave a comment :-)

  2. Thanks Shirley and yes they are little crackers.