Latest Pictures

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

Sunday, 21 October 2012

21 Oct

Weather as absolutely terrible as I feel so no going out today. Instead here's a couple more kingfisher pics from last week.

Wheres my breakfast?

Here it is - yum yum!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Stodmarsh and Dungeness 20th Oct

Early start again this morning, in the dark at reed bed hide to catch the kingfisher. Waited until 9ish but no show, the light was pretty bad as well. I did see a male marsh harrier in the most amazing plumage I have seen, especially seeing as we are well out of breeding season. Plenty of teal out in front, a few great crested grebes and a pair of little grebes, 1 jay flew over and 1 green sandpiper flew low across the front of the hide.
Back to Folkestone for breakfast at the Diamond cafe. Down to Dungeness, where on arrival first birds noted were, robin, tree sparrow, wren and stonechat. Burrowes held 2 great white egrets from Makepeace hide which stayed for a while and then disappeared over the reserve out of sight, 2 snipe showing close to hide and 1 distant pintail, walked back to visitor centre to find third great white egret in view. Not much at Denge except 2 merlin, 1 flying across the top of the reeds and the other powering an aerobatic spitfire. Over to the ARC hanson hide, all the usual suspects with the male pintails now showing full plumage, 2 dunlin, 1 little stint, 1 great spotted woodpecker, 1 green woodpecker and my first goldeneye of the season a female.
Count for the day 56

2 Of the great white egrets
1 a little closer

2 Snipe

Trio of tree sparrows

Merlin powered

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Stodmarsh 14th Oct

A very early start this morning while still dark. Left the carpark on the way to reedbed hide and heard tawny owl calling in field to the left. Managed to reach hide time I'll take a small torch! Settled in to hide to await first light. By the time the sun came up there were 6 of us in the hide all waiting expectantly for the kingfisher, which did not let us down, giving excellent views. Also a back neck grebe was on the pool, which did come relatively close at one point, but was very skittish, not surprising because of the little grebe that kept chasing it. 3 Marsh harriers came though as well as a grey wagtail, there were also 2 groups of bearded tits to our right, each group reaching double figures. Plenty of teal in front colouring up quite nicely with their new winter coats.
Last night I thought, shall i charge camera batterys, nah, no need, i know there is one full battery in the sling.....wrong....the full battery had discharged itself, probably because of the length of time it was sitting there not being used. I did manage about 300 shots of the kingfisher, so got away with it. All 3 batterys now being charged!!!!

Trio of kingfisher shots

Black neck grebe

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Dungeness 13th Oct

A short afternoon visit, after 5 days away....back to work now so got withdrawal symptoms. Just a I entered the reserve, the first bird to be spotted was a very nice stonechat and then some tree sparrows. Lots of goldfinches around still, as well as chiff chaffs, a few kestrels, 5 green woodpeckers and a whinchat. A peregrine was around Denge area. ARC held increasing numbers of golden plovers and 2 little stints. There were 7 pintail which I only saw  after being shown by and chastised by Martin (rightly so) for not looking properly. Highlight of the day was undoubtedly a distant female red crested pochard. A little drive around the Dungeness Estate showed large flocks of pied wagtails and linnets.
Count for the day 50

Goldfinch trying to be a woodpecker
View across ARC from Hanson Hide
A very distant red crested pochard with 2 gadwall

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Dungeness 7th Oct

Managed about 3 hours today, able to spot whinchat and stonechats on track, tree sparrows on normal feeders. At least 4 kestrels on main reserve. Firth hide was quite busy with golden plover, 5 dunlin, 1 black tailed godwit, pied wags, black headed gulls, lapwings, 1 avocet and 2 snipe. A marsh harrier flew above the tree line on the far bank being followed by a sparrowhawk and overseen by a kestrel. Denge was relatively quiet, the great white egret flew across the reserve dropping into an unseen pond. Looking straight across from denge hide showed a buzzard perched on a post.
ARC held normal bits and pieces, 7 pintails again today, couldn't find the black necked grebe although it was reported. Golden plover numbers were up to over 400. On the track to Hanson hide was a reed warbler forgetting that it should be on its winter holidays.
Count for the day 53

Black Tailed Godwit
Probably the last reed warbler of the year!

Dungeness 6th Oct

First bird to be seen on entering reserve..stonechat at boulderwall farm, whinchat also showing on track. Firth hide showing ruff and pectoral sandpiper. Great white egret was at denge as usual, but not so usual was the fly by in front of it by a bittern. Two buzzard showed from the visitor centre being harassed by a sparrowhawk. Plenty of chiffchaffs around and lots of goldfinches in flocks all over the place.
ARC showing normal ducks and such inc 7 pintail and the black necked grebe still around. A peregrine laid in wait amongst vegetation on the far end shingle bank coming out on 3 occasions to chase after pigeons but didn't manage to catch them. 2 Jays flew through and both green and great spotted woodpeckers showed.
Count for the day 57


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Dungeness 4th Oct

Took Sue to work today in Hythe - half way to Dunge, be rude not to go all the way! Started at Arc, where there were about 250 golden plover and 1 little stint amongst usual suspects. 1 sparrowhawk flew across the back of the pool as did 1 marsh harrier. In amongst the canada geese was one white goose which seemed to have an identity crisis. Plenty of chiffchaffs around the willows and the black neck grebe was also still present.
Rich roast time led me to the firth hide which showed 2 grey plover. A drive up to denge where the great white egret was still showing, 3 marsh harriers, and 3 kestrels. Loads of yellow wags around, one report noted 200! After another rich roast I ventured back to ARC as the tide was now up, on the way saw 2 stonechat and 1 sparrowhawk. Hanson hide showed most as seen earlier except no little stint. A sparrowhawk flew past the hide 3 times so close I'm sure I could have caught it if I stuck my hand out. 2 dunlin tried to hide unsuccessfully amongst the plover and 3 garganey were noted.
An unusual trip to the beach ensued for a quick sea watch which was well worth it as on arrival there was a line of 10 spoonbills flying over. Other birds of note were gannets, common and sandwich terns, 2 skuas, common scoters, 1 unidentified auk (too far out) and at least 3 porpoises.
Count for the day 60


Grey Plover


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dungeness 2nd Oct

Decided on a visit today despite the rain showers, didn't expect to stay as long as I did, (regretting it now - over did it a bit, having to stay at home today(day after)).
Had a very interesting chat with a lady called Alison who conducts talks on the Great Crane Project, and identified the juvenile crane I saw last year as Mildred which has subsequently disappeared.
The black necked grebe is still on ARC, and a merlin was seen there also. A distinct lack of waders today, just the usual waterfowl inc 5 pintail.
Over to the main reserve - rich roast time - spotting 2 wheatear on the track, the great white egret had been spotted earlier from Dennis's hide but I couldn't locate it, but 9 knot did fly in and land on one of the bars briefly. Drove up to Denge and sat there for about 90 mins, saw the great white and 3 marsh harriers, coot numbers now exceeding 300, and a large flock of lapwings and golden plover over the back on the farmers fields. The drive back to the visitor centre showed another kestrel and a hobby.
After another rich roast, I returned to ARC to hopefully find some waders, but failed miserably. There was a small flurry of activity in the willows beside the hide with a nicely mixed group of blue, great and long tail tits with chiffchaffs and was then followed 5 mins later by cettis warbler.
Count for the day 51

Mildred - seen at Stodmarsh 19th Sep 2011

Great White Egret