Thursday, 3 January 2019

Birding Dunge and Capel Fleet

With the fresh enthusiasm of the year list we headed to Dungeness this morning arriving at the boats for first light to find the shore close in alive with Auks, Gannets and Cormorants. Most of the Auks were Guillemot with a few Razorbill close in too. Red-throated Divers flew up and one settled on the sea to give good scope views. A single Kittiwake and two Great Skua added to the year list here. Despite a local throwing out a full loaf of bread to draw in the gulls we failed to bring in a Caspo but did manage to see two Skylark on the walk back to the car along with three Stock Dove which the Jims needed.

What little light we had first thing was golden
Gannets diving close in among the Cormorants
one of the hundreds of Auks on the sea today.
At the power station we found a Peregrine roosting on the pylons and a Back Redstart gave another tick.

Black Redstart
Back at ARC pit and we located a single Great White Egret before stopping at the farm to tick Tree Sparrow for the year list and jamming on a Great-spotted Woodpecker. Just down the road we found four Cattle Egrets and managed to grab a few images too. A quick drive to Galloways firing range ensured we didn't leave without Stonechat on the list and we managed a bonus bird with an unexpected Dartford Warbler that showed really well but was flighty and didn't sit still long.

Stonechat
Dartford Warbler
At Scotney we failed to locate the Little Owl but added a single tick with the feral Barnacle Geese.

We left Dunge and started the journey home stopping half way at Capel Fleet to watch the harrier roost. Around twenty Marsh Harriers came in with a single ring-tailed Hen Harrier. Lot's of Buzzard sat on the fence line with one particularly pale bird notable. A Merlin sat on a small mud mound among the Lapwing and Golden Plover flock and a Peregrine sat on a fence post watching too.
Barn Owl and Short-eared Owl added to the raptor fest here. We also added Corn Bunting and Fieldfare.

Year list now a healthy 122 after 3 days.

Dunge

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egrets
Cattle Egret
2 of the 4 Cattle Egrets at Lydd today
Cattle Egrets
Dartford Warbler
Turnstone

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