Sunday, 2 April 2017

Another day at Dungeness

We arrived at first light to find the point covered in thick fog and the fog horn blasting out it's warning to the ships that couldn't see the lighthouse. By 7:30am the fog had lifted and we quickly found a couple of Wheatear on the shingle by the fishing boats. An hours sea watch enabled us to find our first Common Tern of the year as one fished over the boil and then I managed to jam on a Black-throated Diver as it flew down the point. Lot's of harbour porpoise showed in the calm waters and a few groups of Scoters flew down before we left.

Grey Heron on the track at Elmley
Grey Heron Elmley NNR
A walk round the moat delivered little save a pair of Ravens chasing off a small BOP but a stop at the reserve proved much more fruitful. First a Slav and three Black necked Grebes on New Diggings along with a single Great white Egret. At the farm we located the Ring-necked Duck and heard our first Sedge Warblers of the year. Further along the track a couple more Wheatear before arriving at the visitor centre and taking time to enjoy good views of the Long-eared Owl roosting behind the dipping pool.

Long eared Owl at Dungeness
Marsh Harrier
Ring-necked Duck
Ring necked Duck breaking up a pair of Tufties
On the journey home we stopped at Elmley where the road in holds good numbers of Lapwing and Redshank, Mipits and Skylarks are in full song whilst Harriers and Buzzards continue to hunt the marshes.

Meadow Pipit
The lack of new migrants surprised us but it was still another good days birding on the Kent coast.

Year list now 185

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