A lot more comfortable today, so after a catch up with some mates at the cafe, I headed over to Dover to look around the harbour area but my car had other ideas, it wouldn't let me go to Dover it just kept on going and ended up at Oare Marshes.....well it is a nice day. It was nice to get out and finally managed a walk around the East circuit. Birds of note on the East side were 20 Ruff, green woodpecker a pair of song thrush, 8 fieldfare, snipe were eveywhere you looked, lots of redshank and dunlin, a few grey plover, turnstone, avocets and a oare marsh first for me was a red headed smew. West side held mainly teal and widgeon with 1 grey heron, little egret, kestrel an a few stock doves. Swale held plenty of shelduck on sheppy side, a few small groups of brent geese flying through and amongst the avocets and dunlin on horsesands were 11 grey seal. Mockets was quite raptor happy with up to 5 common buzzard, 2 marsh harriers and 1 roughleg buzzard. At 1 point I had marsh harrier 3 common buzzard and 1 rough legged buzzard all in the scope together.
Count for the day 56.
My first trip to Dungy this year. Spent about 1 1/2 hours in the visitor centre looking over a rather quiet Burrowes, usual coot and tufted ducks, a small flock of shoveller flew past and round towards Scott hide area, 2 great white egrets, a sparrowhawk landed on the concrete under Dennis's hide briefly, 1 drake and 2 female goldeneye, 2 marsh harriers and a goldcrest stayed a while on the gate adj entrance to centre watched at close quarters by many. A drive up to Denge added a common gull and little grebe to the day list. On my way out spotted 5 snipe near boulderwell farm. Then over to Scotney to add barnacle geese and 2 bean geese.
Considering I didn't go very far a day count of 49 wasn't too bad.
It never crosed my mind that sheep had a camouflage mode!
A new tick for my garden...a fieldfare. This now makes a garden count for 2013 on only the 20th day of the year a very surprising 26. This is more surprising when you learn that the count for the whole of last year in total was also 26.
I never managed any pictures of the fieldfare (yet!) so here is a couple of passable record shots from whitstable tesco on thursdays visit. As mentioned before, the light was terrible so the pics are a bit "blown out".
After a prompt from Pete, I am of the same conclusion that the owl from yesterday was after all a long eared owl.........life tick!
Felt a little better today so decided to have a drive to Whitstable Tesco to try and see the waxwings before they disappear. I had a look around for a while and then found a small flock of about 10 birds which showed for approx 5 mins before flying off again, weather was so dark and grey today that I couldn't get any half decent pics. Drove back through Seasalter, stopping for 2 mins near the Sportsman for a quick look over the sea wall where there were curlew, redshank, turnstone and grey plover and lapwing on the marsh.
Still stuck indoors continuing my year list from the comfort of my settee. Numbers reached 25 today with the addition of goldcrest (2 today), wren and sitting in neighbours large conifer....short eared owl!!!! Wow! A few dunnock around as are blackbirds, 6 blue tits, 8 chaffinches, the odd greenfinch and goldfinch coming through. A regular song thrush showed again today, not seen the blackcap for 6 days now.
Feeling desperate to get out now, If I feel up to it, I might try a trip to Dungy over the weekend, even if it is just to sit in visitor centre.
Spent the last 2 days ressetting my laptop back to factory settings, reloading programs etc after getting a rather nasty virus evn though I have anti virus software. I have most of it back up and running, lost some pics that I hadn't yet backed up elsewhere, lost all my emails and friends addresses, lost my 2012 year list from Sept onwards - I must back up files more often!
I hope everyone made use of the good weather yesterday to start their new year list off with a good session. I'm still recording my list today and have so far managed a mind boggling number of.....wait for it.......15! Yep that's not a typo it really is 15. I'm stuck at home being a comfy birder again, sitting on settee coffee in one hand, bins in the other. Oooh wait a minute....make that 16, a male black cap just came in by the feeders, that's the second time I've seen him in a week, he lands by the feeders but I've never seen him eat anything yet.
Last years list ended at 171, so that's already a big target to aim for but I would love to get 200. My garden list topped out at a respectable 32 beating 2011 by 4 birds.
I am due in to hospital Friday for my next operation, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can clear ths infection enough so that they do not postpone it, so I won't be posting any more on the blog until I have recovered enough to go out again. Fingers crossed, once recovered from the op I will be a bit more mobile again and so will definately be pushing to break the 200 count this year.
So the only thing left to say now is Happy New Year to you all, and I hope you all have as good a year as I want!