Saturday, 3 December 2016

Capel Fleet Kent

We headed down to Kent this morning stopping at Capel Fleet at first light.
At least fifteen Marsh Harriers were seen mostly sitting out in the fields or on the fence posts but no Hen Harriers were encountered. A male Merlin flashed by and we saw good numbers of Buzzard and Kestrel too. A flock of around thirty Corn Bunting were happily feeding along the road edges and Starling numbers were in the hundreds.

Marsh Harrier
Corn Bunting
We drove down the track at Elmley on our way off the Island but encountered little more than Marsh Harriers and Buzzards again although numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover seem to be building well.

By lunch time we were scanning Scotney GP's and quickly found the reported Black-throated Diver which showed very well in the scope. Black-necked Grebe was seen here too before the short drive to Dunge gave good views of Ring-necked Duck, Tree Sparrow, Long-eared Owl and the usual Sea birds before we returned to Capel Fleet to end the days birding. Here we encountered well over twenty Marsh Harriers coming in to roost and a single Hen Harrier hunted low across the fields before dropping in to roost. On the drive out a Barn Owl hunted as more Marsh Harriers crossed the track towards the roost.

Black-throated Diver at Scotney GP
Barn Owl at Capel Fleet

A terrific day again in a sunny but freezing cold Kent

Barn Owl 
Marsh Harrier 
Starling at Elmley NNR

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