Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dungeness - Stejneger's Stonechat THAT WASN'T...

Another gorgeous day on the coast feeling the sun on my face while joining convivial groups out to enjoying the quality on offer.

Bird of the day went to the Siberian Stonechat of the stejnegeri form that had been present by Denge quarry for a while.  Showing really well in the low winter sun, the bird was noticeably paler with a bold supercilium and a rusty rump seen in flight.  The rest I leave to the poop and DNA.

So, the poop went back to the polling station for a re-count and this was the final unequivocal result.  What do I know!

But it was a real birding bonanza today with plenty to see and hardly enough time.  So I had to be selective.

Only my 2nd ever Ring-necked Duck drifted by a flock of Common Pochard on New Diggings.  Also there was a single Great White Egret, and plenty of Lapwing and Golden Plover.

Parking in a restricted area, I was keen to move onto the reserve where an assembled crowd with eyes on peering through the thicket managed to pin down one of the two Long-eared Owl present on site.  It was tough to prize out, but only when it peered did it become more obvious.  Still notoriously difficult.

It was also great to meet the Craig family there, my former colleague Paul James, and one-time flying buddy Phil Rhodes.

Moving around the reserve, wildlife and water birds were present in large numbers.  Three Chiffchaff were present outside of the Firth Hide and another Great White Egret seen from the Christmas Dell Hide.

On the way out of the reserve, at least two Tree Sparrow were hanging around the feeders at Boulderwall Farm.

The last stop was for a 'sitting duck' Red-necked Grebe (4th) present on a small lake just west of Camber village.

A lot of variety and a great few hours away from the big smoke.

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