Latest Pictures

I am now trying to keep my blog updated with some of my better pictures of each trip out.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Dungeness 29th Sept

Feeling a little more human today, I decided on a short visit to Dungy. On arriving at the main car park, I was informed of a barred warbler caught in the DBO trapping area. I arrived at the DBO just as the bird arrived at the shed to be measured and ringed. On release the bird initially hid in a bush, but after a while it did give some short tantalising views. Another life tick for me! Sorry I never texted anyone, but that was a bit difficult, seeing as I left my phone at home...doh!
Numerous reports of various sea birds from the patch, but that is too far for me at the moment, so I'll have to wait a bit longer to add them to my year list.
Back to ARC Hanson hide for the usual mix, inc 2 dunlin and over 100 golden plover. The black necked grebe is also still around seen right down the far end close to the bank, making it difficult to see with bins alone, so definately no chance of any better pics yet. Over to the main reserve for my rich roast and a chat. A few wheatears were showing as well as 2 whinchats, 1 female blackcap, 2 kestrels and 2 marsh harriers, there were also a few linnets around and numerous chiffchaffs. A few shelducks are also now reappearing after being absent for a short while. A common sandpiper was also showing well on the closest bar outside the visitor centre window.
Count for the day 51

Barred Warbler
Juvenile Starling having a bath

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Dungeness 27th Sep

After a rough start to the week, and an unsuccessful attempt to return to work, I managed a short trip out today after being stuck indoors for a few days. Started at ARC where all the usual suspects were bountiful including 120 golden plover, 6 pintail, and a nice spot for the day a distant black necked grebe. 2 black terns also showed at distant. Returning to the car 3 wheatear were seen by the car park.
Over to the visitor centre and guess what...? yep a rich roast! On the way i spotted a whinchat on a fence and 2 green woodpeckers behind, I never managed a shot of the whinchat but did get the woodpeckers. Drove up to denge where 3 marsh harriers showed, 1 sparrowhawk and the great white egret was in view in front of the hide.
On returning to the visitor centre, the 2 black terns were now over burrows as were 3 dunlin, 2 common sandpipers and a redshank.
Count for the day 58

A big thank you to the RSPB staff for continuing to let me drive around the reserve, as I am still not able to walk very far.

Distant black necked grebe

Green Woodpecker

Little Egret




Distant Black Tern

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Dungeness 22nd Sep

Arrived at ARC car park about 12 ish and made my way to Hanson hide, stopping to get a picture of a migrant hawker which landed just as i reached it. Not a great variety from the hide other than the usual suspects, and 9 little egrets, the pec sand made an appearance at distance, 80 golden plover, 1 snipe and 1 marsh harrier, were other birds of note. On leaving the hide, as I came out of the tree'd part of the track, 3 pied flycatcher came round from the left which were obviously goint to fly up the track towards the hide, but all 3 saw me at the last minute and achieved a cartoonish 'stall' in mid air before landing in the tree to my right. One of the birds then gave me a severe telling off, which I confirmed on my birdmike when back at the car to be an alarm call. I don't know who was more surprised, me or the birds! 8 Curlew also flew over, as I returned to the car.
Over to the visitor centre for my usual rich roast, on the way pausing to capture an unusual shot of a wheatear trying to land on grass definately not strong enough to support he's weight. Then a drive up to Denge hide, where the great white egret was showing nicely, 1 sparrowhawk, 4 marsh harriers and 2 more curlew flying over.
Count for the day 51
Migrant Hawker



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Oare Marshes 19th Sep

Midday visit to Oare for a couple of hours, not moving from the viewing bay.
Oare always seems to come up trumps for me showing the largest collection of ringed plovers i have ever seen in 1 go, over 100. Other birds of note was 1 curlew sand, 1 little stint, plenty of dunlin, blackwits, redshank, avocet, golden plover, 2 greenshank, 1 snipe, 1 spotted redshank and at least 3 herons, one of which ate 2 good sized eels. There is a pic below of the heron with 1 of the eels, but please be aware, the heron was some way away and the sun went in as well, so not the best shot.

Distant shot of heron with eel
Little Stint

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dungeness 18th Sep

My first full day out at Dungy for a while. Generally a lot of dragonflies around all over the reserve and ARC. A look at Firth and Makepeace hides did not show anything of note. Denge showed 1 sparrowhawk, 2 marsh harriers and the great white egret was visible from the track. Back to the visitor centre for my rich roast, showed a ringed plover, and a peregrine, dring at the end of one of the shingle bars.
Over to ARC where there were 9 little egrets, 5 dunlin, approx 50 golden plover, 1 quick glimse of a peregrine, 7 pintail - I did firstly identify them as all females but have now realised some were males in eclipse plumage - 1 bar headed goose, 2 hobby, 1 common sand, 1 ringed plover and 1 redshank. The pectoral sandpiper - probably the same one staying around from the main reserve last week - was found trying to hide itself between two dunlins, showing that they are remarkably similar, main differences being leg colour and abrupt ending of breast streaks.

Count for the day 57
Pectoral Sandpiper in middle of two Dunlin


Monday, 17 September 2012

Stodmarsh 17th Sep

After spending Saturday, Sunday and over half of today in hospital again, I managed a short visit to Stoddy. Reedbed hide showed 18 teal, 1 green sand, 1 moorhen, 3 blackwits in flight over main pool and a great white flying over reeds at the back.
A drive over to Grove end showed 1 green sand, 1 redshank, 5 blackwits amongst the many greylags, mallard, teal and lapwings at the ramp, Feast hide not showing much except 1 green sand. Only 1 marsh harrier seen again a juvenile.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Stodmarsh 13 Sep

A trip to Stoddy today, managed the circuit but took me 6 1/2 hours to get round. Started at Reedbed hide, a family of Long Tailed Tits showing on the track just off the car park, very quiet at the hide except for a quick view of a Water rail.
Water Rail

From there walked round to Tower Hide, on Lampen Way spotted a Green Sandpiper, amongst the Mallard, Shoveller and Teal, and a few B H Gulls around. As i passed the hide I flushed a Peregrine out, missing me by about 5 feet. Water meadow was bone dry and devoid of activity, except for a pair of Stock Doves over the back. Sat on the bench by the ox bow and saw the only Marsh Harrier of the day, a juvenile. On the trail from the river to the ramp, I had a chance to try out some closer photography on a splendid loodking Tortoiseshell butterfly.

The ramp produced a high number of Greylags, plenty of Lapwing, Mallard, Teal, a few Widgeon, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Blacktail Godwits and 1 Ruff. David Feast hide showed amongst the Mallards, Shovellers, Teals and Lapwings, 3 Green Sands, 6 Snipe and a very nice Spotted Redshank.
Spotted Redshank

Leaving the hide, a few Bearded Tits were flitting about giving tantalising glimpes too short for photos. Marsh Hide showed just 2 Coot, 2 Grey Herons and 3 Stock Dove.
On the trails were the usual Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Cettis, and 1 Willow Warbler spotted.
Total Count for the day was 46.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Weds 12 Sept

Visit to Dungy at midday, a bit cooler and a bit cloudier, with a stronger breeze -is Autumn coming? - A short walk to Firth hide brought the highlight of the day, a Pectoral Sandpiper, close views were had by many, giving plenty of opportunities for photos. A very striking bird expecially when the sun came out and showed its plumage to its full glory.
Other birds around included a chiffchaff, 2 kestrels, 2 marsh harriers, numerous yellow wagtails, a few wheatear, 100+ sandmartins and all the usual suspects.
Over to the ARC producing 3 female pintails, only 1 golden plover, no sign of the recently showing little stints though but there was another highlight of the day, a spotted flycatcher feeding relatively close giving 20 mins of good views.
Total count for the day - a nice round 50
Spotted Flycatcher

Pectoral Sandpiper


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sunday 9th Sep

A short midday visit to Oare Marshes today on my way to mothers.
From the road, the West 'flood' showed 1 Greenshank, East flood showing good numbers of Golden Plover, Blackwits, Lapwings and Redshanks. Also noted were a few Dunlin and 2 Curlew Sandpiper. On the mud flats a few Avocets were hiding behind the steep mud bank as it was low tide, 8 Shelduck in eclipse also on the mud flats and 6 seals hauled out on Horsesands.
A Grey Heron back on the East Flood finally succeded after a good fight to devour a medium sized eel.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Wednesday 5th Sept

Managed a trip to Dungy today, nice bright day, not very hazy so a good day for photo's. Stopped by The Imperial Hotel at Hythe on the way, and spotted 2 Purple Sandpipers. Went to Hanson Hide first, to check out any waders in the area, a few but not too many, not surprising as it was time of low tide. Reasonable numbers of Golden Plover and numerous Lapwings, a large female Peregrine lifted most of the birds a few times, and 1 Sparrowhawk also flew across the lake. Over to visitor centre for my customary rich roast coffee, not forgetting to use my loyalty card to collect a point (well each point counts!). After a brief chat, drove up to the viewing mound - my favourite spot - for a bit of lunch. There I heard a few Bearded Tits but they didn't show, a Chiffchaff showed, and a very vocal but invisible Cetti's also attended. A Sparrowhawk had a continuous argument with a Crow, with a nosy Magpie even joining in! From there I went round to Denge Hide where the Great White Egret showed well for a while before flying into a channel behind a large reed bed. A Little Egret made a close flyby pass close to it's larger brother which really showed the difference in size. Noticed 3 juvenile Great Crested Grebes, 2 of which were chasing parents and calling for food, but both being ignored. Raptors showed quite well with 3 Marsh Harriers, 2 Hobby's a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk. Then back to the centre for another coffee (not forgetting another point on my loyalty card!), on the way back down the track a Kestrel posed quite nicely in a tree. A few Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears around, but no sign of the female Red-Backed Shrike spotted yesterday. A few Whinchats were reported, but I was unable to manage a full walk around the reserve today so I missed them. Dragonflys were also noticable in their high numbers everywhere.

Now feeling a little more sated, I ventured back over to ARC Hanson Hide. A few less Golden Plovers by this time, but numbers included 2 snipe, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Little Stint, 5 Common Sandpipers who became more vocal over time, 5 Little Egrets, 3 Grey Herons, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, and 1 female Pintail. A sparrowhawk made another couple of passes through, permanantly shifting the plovers and the stint.

Total count for the day was 56.

Posing Kestrel

Distant shot showing size comparison