The morning of the 12th went without incident a LITTLE OWL, once more in the car park was probably the highlight. The young SPARROWHAWKS were still begging for food and I again only found one WILLOW WARBLER. At lunchtime I headed to a local gravel pit near where I work and found 1 COMMON SANDPIPER and 2 HOBBIES, here again it was relatively quiet.
Saturday was a non event bird wise but I did find a Long horn Beetle whilst walking round the castle with my wife.
|Cormorant close to walk|
|Saturday in the garden|
I set the moth trap up at home Saturday night and had 22 species in the trap Sunday morning the highlight being a Flame Carpet which flew off before I got any photos! The rest of Sunday morning was spent at Dungeness mainly sea watching, hoping for a Shearwater or two. I didn't see any Shearwaters but was pleased with 20 ARCTIC SKUAS in little over an hour, plus a few COMMON SCOTER, 6 BLACK TERNS, 13 KITTIWAKE, 100+ GANNET a LITTLE TERN and scores of SANDWICH and COMMON TERNS all heading west. There were good numbers of Hirundines and lots of YELLOW WAGTAILS going over. I missed the Glaucous Gull, (I might be the only Kent birder not to see the bird in 2011!!) but did find good numbers of WHEATEAR round the fishing boats.
|Wheatear at Dunge|
|Little Egret at Dunge|
Later in the day news reached me, rather belatedly, of a White Rumped Sandpiper at Dungeness, I made a rare excursion but it wasn't there when I arrived, it had flown towards the south end of Arc Pits, as I didn't have a lot of time and it had been gone longer than previous times it had disappeared, I headed that way. There were 3 LITTLE GULLS there and 4 RUFF had a quick look in and then decided against it. My time was up so I headed home, just as I passed the entrance to the reserve the phone rang the bird was back in front of the hide!! a bit of manoeuvring and I was back in the hide only to find it gone again!!!! The joys of looking for rare birds, I remember now why I don't do this often :-) If only I'd stayed............!!?
|Sunday in the garden!|
|Robin in the garden|
|Elephant Hawkmoth Sunday walk with Bec|
So to this morning, Stephen arrived before me and while I was searching the car park he called to let me know he had found a Whinchat in the wheat field. I headed off noting several WILLOW WARBLERS, NUTHATCH, SPARROWHAWK, 6 HERRING GULLS, SPOT. FLY and BLACKCAP on the way.
Before I got the field in question the phone rang again and Stephen was watching a Grasshopper Warbler at the bottom of the same field!! Within a couple of minutes I was watching the GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (106), we get them almost annually now but they are difficult to find at times by their very nature, so this is always a bonus! Back to the other bird, it had moved up the field but Stephen had got it in the scope and the second year tick of the day, WHINCHAT (107) was sitting up on the wheat, excellent!! Thanks to Stephen, my mixed bag of the last few days ended on a high.
|Grasshopper Warbler this morning|
|Distant Whinchat this morning|