Saturday, 2 January 2016

Day two and some good year ticks

I took an early trip down to East Sussex to connect with the Glossy Ibis and this was achieved at first light in blustery conditions. After the early (very early) success I moved on to Dunge passing Scotney Gravel Pits on the way. I checked the Grey geese but couldn't find the reported Bean Goose so settled on ticking Barnacle Geese (Feral group) Pied Wagtail and a single Goosander. No sign of the reported Black-necked Grebe but it was probably tucked up in a corner somewhere out of the wind.

On the reserve I located the roosting Long-eared Owl tucked away behind the dipping pool and then from the hides located Goldeneye and Smew whilst the drive down delivered good views of a Great White Egret. From Gallaways Road I saw a single Raven heading towards the power station.

Great White Egret at Dungeness
At the beach I quickly located the Caspian Gull with a bonus in the form of a Yellow-legged Gull too. A sea watch with 40mph head on winds produced loads of Gannet coming in to the shore line.
Passing through a group of four Pintail was a surprise and another group of four Common Scoter not so unexpected. Lot's of Cormorant moved up and down along with regular Kittiwakes and Guillemot. Dozens of Great-crested Grebe drifted along whilst Red-breasted Merganser, Great Skua and Little Gull were seen along with a few Red-throated Diver. Others reported Eider but I couldn't see it.

Caspian Gull
Gannet at Dungeness
Passing back up the M2 I stopped off at Elmley and Capel Fleet adding Merlin, Ruff, Stonechat and Corn Bunting for my trouble. Elmey was alive with waders and thousands of Starling which obviously drew the attention of the Merlin.

Ruff at Elmley

On the way down a Song Thrush sang as I pumped diesel at the services.

A bit of a dash around today but enjoyable all the same despite the poor conditions with strong winds and grey skies.

Year list now 115

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