Friday 31 December 2010

Foggy Sheppey

We popped over to Sheppey but the fog ensured that our visit was briefer than it might have been! Starting at Capel Fleet, we managed to locate a barely visible flock of c200 White-fronted Geese through the fog. We also saw: Common Buzzard (1), Linnet (60) and Marsh Harrier (4). Driving round to Shellness, we saw: Brambling (1), Chaffinch (70), Ruff (1), Marsh Harrier (2) and Brent Geese (6).

Monday 27 December 2010

Goose Chase

Winchelsea (East Sussex): We travelled down to Winchelsea in East Sussex this morning to see the Red-breasted Goose located yesterday. After a little over an hour in very cold winds, the bird was located and we enjoyed reasonable views. Other birds enjoyed today included: Brent Goose (four Pale-bellied and c60 Dark-bellied), Barnacle Goose (c60), White-fronted Goose (c150), Barn Owl (1) and Marsh Harrier (3).

White-fronted Geese

Barnacle Geese

White-fronted, Greylag, Red-breasted & Barnacle Geese

Red-breasted Goose

Barn Owl

Trilling in Gillingham

Travelling to visit family for lunch we quite literally bumped into a Waxwing flock along the hedge at the Anchorians playing fields near 'Ito Way' in Gillingham. Stopping the car to take stock, we were surprised to count a minimum of 160, but more probably nearer 200 as small numbers were already leaving!

Saturday 11 December 2010

Trilling Waxwings and the tailess Glaucous

The dilemma today centred around the need to complete further Christmas shopping while still managing to get out in to the field; as Waxwings were in evidence at many sites throughout the county and the juvenile Glaucous Gull was still at Dungeness. We travelled to Folkestone arriving soon after 10:30 and shortly after arrival were watching some 240 Waxwings at the busy retail park. After soaking in the experience for a while, we left for Dungeness and visited the RSPB reserve to pick up a few suitable presents for family and garden birds before catching up with the 'tailess' juvenile Glaucous Gull near the fishing boats. Other species seen on the ARC included: Goosander (2 females), Ruddy Duck (6), Goldeneye (3), Yellow-legged Gull (1) and Cetti's Warbler (heard).


Saturday 4 December 2010

Thawing Snows

Ham Road Pits, Faversham (Kent): The recent snows were melting away quickly so we stayed local: Red-breasted Mergansers (2), Kingfisher (1), Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Marsh Harrier (1), Redwing (1), Green Woodpecker (1), Green Sandpiper (1) and Greenshank (1).

Red-breasted Merganser
[Aberrant] Herring Gull
[Aberrant] Herring Gull
[Aberrant] Herring Gull

Monday 29 November 2010

Sunday 28 November 2010


Ring-necked Parakeet
Carrion Crow

Thursday 25 November 2010

Peanut Surprise

Working from Faversham today, it was a lovely diversion from mundane work matters to peer out of the window and view a female Great Spotted Woodpecker availing itself of the easy pickings at the nut feeder. At lunch time, I treated myself to a four-mile run in the cold, but enjoyed the Little Egret and Fieldfares (25+) viewed on the route.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Saturday 20 November 2010

Eastern Sheppey

Reacquainted ourselves today (after picking up Bob Knight), with the Shellness and Capel Fleet area, arriving shortly before midday. It had been quite a while since we visited this area due to the usual time pressures, but what a great time we had, even though much of what we saw was fairly distant (particularly from a photographic perspective).

At Shellness, we enjoyed a flock of Common Scoter (40+), Great Crested Grebe (2), a hunting ring-tail Hen Harrier, several Marsh Harriers, Brent Geese (c10), Green Woodpecker (2), Short-eared Owl (1), Sanderlings, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Turnstones, a flock of Chaffinch (100+) concealing among them a single Brambling, though it was quite possible that we missed others as the flock was flighty and often out of sight!

Following a spot of light lunch at Leysdown we ventured on to Capel Fleet where we added Corn Bunting (40+), Common Buzzard (1), Green Sandpiper (1), Little Egret (1), Linnet (15+), Merlin (1) and further Marsh Harriers and another Short-eared Owl.

Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Marsh Harrier
Hen Harrier
Brambling (with Chaffinch)

Saturday 13 November 2010


We made our way lazily to Dungeness (Kent), this morning, driving along the coast from near Rye and bumping into Neil, Jan and Dave at the East Sussex/Kent border viewing Scotney Pit around 9:30. We'd only seen a single Green Sandpiper and two or three Marsh Harriers, but here we added Little Egret, Barnacle Goose (c55), and the nine or ten strange hybrid geese with white heads.

Exchanging some local news, we moved on to view the three Bewick's Swans visible from the roadside before the RSPB reserve entrance before enjoying a breakfast/lunch at the cafe next to the light railway. Fueled up, we then replenished our winter bird food supplies at the RSPB visitor centre enjoying a couple of Tree Sparrows along the track on route. Moving over to the ARC side of the reserve, we enjoyed watching two Bitterns flying out from the reeds across the water on three occasions. We also saw: Marsh Harrier (1), Kingfisher (1), Goldeneye (4) Ruddy Duck (6) and the three Bewick's Swans seen earlier flew in.

News on the pager then alerted us to a Grey Phalarope on a pit between Lydd and Camber Sands, so we made the effort to arrive before the light became any worse and was amazed to find on arrival both Ray Turley and Paul Trodd watching the phalarope about six feet from them! After the bird had moved away some, we joined them on the bank side and it was not long before again the phalarope entertained us almost within arms reach. Wonderful!

Grey Phalarope
Grey Phalarope
Grey Phalarope
Grey Phalarope
Grey Phalarope
Bewick's Swans

Sunday 7 November 2010

Welney Trio

Welney (Norfolk): Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Tree Sparrow (2), Green Sandpiper (1), Marsh Harrier (1), Bewick's Swan (2), Whooper Swan (30+), Redwing (4) and Black-tailed Godwit (200+)
Bewick's Swan
Bewick's Swan
Whooper Swan
Whooper Swan
Mute Swan

North Norfolk Coast

Arrived at Titchwell (Norfolk) around 08:30. Twite (30+), Velvet Scoter (1), Marsh Harrier (4), Little Egret, Arctic Skua (1), Great Skua (2), Common Scoter (100+), Goldeneye (1), Grey Phalarope (1), Siskin (10), Rock Pipit (2), Pink-footed Goose (200) and Brent Goose (100). After lunch we drove on to Cley: Green-winged Teal (1), Marsh Harrier (1), Brent Goose (400) and Little Egret (2)
Green-winged Teal
Egyptian Goose
Coal Tit
Black-headed Gull