Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Feb 21st, a day out in North Kent.

I didn't know where to go today but definitely felt like heading 'off patch'. I started at Oare Marshes where the tide was coming in, a few BLACK TAILED GODWITS were feeding near the road and there were good
Black Tailed Godwit

 numbers of ducks mainly PINTAIL, SHOVELER, TEAL, a few WIGEON and TUFTED DUCK where also around. In the car park I heard a CETTI'S WARBLER, the only one today. I decided to walk to Dan's Dock a place I'd heard of but didn't know exactly where it was. Luckily I met a chap who knew the area and he pointed me in the right direction, small world syndrome set in, when amazingly he used to be the local village bobby in Sissinghurst just before I moved to the village. 40 years ago!
From the seawall a look across to Sheppey and Mocketts Hill in particular, produced 2 COMMON BUZZARDS and the ROUGH LEGGED BUZZARD, which is where it stayed for most of the morning. The walk along to Dan's Dock was very pleasant with the odd LITTLE EGRET and many waders commuting up and down the Swale. The highlights here were, HEN HARRIER (1 ring tail) and GREAT NORTHERN DIVER also a PEREGRINE was just across the Swale.
Reed Bunting, female.

Curlew

 Back on the flood a few waders had come to roost, mainly DUNLIN, GOLDEN PLOVER, BLACK TAILED GODWIT and REDSHANK, there were also a few RINGED PLOVER, GREY PLOVER and 3 AVOCET.
After Oare, my next stop was the beach at Leysdown to watch the waders feeding as the tide receded, I added KNOT, SANDERLING and TURNSTONE to the day list.I then drove to Shellness, 8 CORN BUNTING were in the bushes by the car park, I started walking along the seawall, then had a sudden change of heart and thought I would go the raptor viewpoint and watch from there for an hour or so before going home.
Oystercatcher

Sanderling, Knot and Turnstone

Knot

 On the way I came across a would be 'footballing' SHORT EARED OWL as it inspected the pitch!!
I stopped again at Capel Corner where over 100 WHITE FRONTED GEESE were grazing, the most I've seen in Kent for sometime. At the raptor viewpoint I picked out another Short Eared Owl and 2 ring tail, HEN HARRIERS. Only a couple of MARSH HARRIERS were seen all day, which was surprising. 63 species for the day didn't seem too bad considering I was wandering fairly aimlessly as usual!!


Mainly it was checking the goal area!!

32 comments:

Christian said...

What a goal hanger!

Can't believe you saw the SEO over a football pitch Alan! Are there nearby rougher patches of grass? Cracking shots too.

I really like the Reed Bunting shot too mate.

Dean said...

Cracking set of shots as always, Alan.

Lasse said...

These are great photos !!

Fernando Santos (Chana) said...

Excelente trabalho....
Cumprimentos

Phil said...

Strange place to see the Owl Alan, looks off side to me though!

heyBJK said...

Love the Bunting and the owl shots are great, Alan! How cool!

Martyn Wilson said...

A very nice blog you have here Alan. With great accounts and some excellent photos.

Helma said...

Hello Alan,

really beautiful photo shoot and I am envious of your flying owl what a beautiful beast that yet. Nice sharp images really enjoy here.

Greetings, Helma

Rohrerbot said...

Nice shots of the owl!!! I also like your oystercatcher. I saw one for the first time this past summer and I thought they were cool looking birds. I find going "off patch" to be very rewarding because you see different groupings of birds.

ShySongbird said...

Well, you certainly scored some good goals there Alan! Well done, an excellent day out and beautiful photos, my favourite has to be the Reed Bunting but I loved seeing the Owl.

Warren Baker said...

well as everyone else has made a pun Alan so will I......I reckon that owl should of been out on the wing :-)

Great set of species seen today though mate, done well with the camera too :-)

Marc Heath said...

Love the Owl shots Alan, lovely poses.

Island Rambles Blog said...

What a great birding post...and to get the short eared owl flying, that was a good capture. What a day!

Mike Attwood said...

Great set of pics.

Rachel J said...

Oooh lovely SEO owls, my favourite. Good job I didn’t know you were going Shellness way today, you would have had company and obviously you would have had to explain the offside rule :)

Ramón Suárez said...

WOWWWW Alan!! que maravilla de fotos. Me gustan todas.
Saludos!!

elcamperoinquieto.com said...

I have always dreamed of those seo,leo and barn owl pics in day light there in UK, here is imposible to se one at day time.....and now I see an owl flying over a football field..What else??.....incredible!
Saludos.

Mike H said...

Great account of your wanderings today Alan, love those Owl shots(not sure if he scored or not)!

Tammy said...

Great photos Alan! The Short eared owl is outstanding! Congrats!

Greenie said...

Alan ,
Looks like you did well with the weather as well as the birds .
With a reach like that SEO , I'd play him in goal too .

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Christian, thanks, there is some rough ground nearby :-)

Hi Dean, thank you.

Hi Lasse, thank you.

Hi Fernando, thank you.

Hi Phil, I think you are right, he made his swoop too early!

Hi Brian, thanks, the light was nice just as it posed.

Hi Martyn, thank you and thanks for visiting my blog :-)

Hi Helma, thank you, that's very kind of you to say and I'm pleased you like the photos.

Hi Rohrerbot, thank you, it was nice to go off patch, I'm glad you saw Oystercatcher they are very striking!

Hi ShySongbird, thank you, it was a nice day with no particular plan which I enjoyed.

Hi Warren, thanks, the owl flew within about 15ft at one stage but it was too fast for me catch up with!

Hi Marc, thank you.

Hi Island Rambler, thank you, it was a very enjoyable day.

Hi Mike, thank you.

Hi Rach, thanks, I didn't think I would see any as they have been getting harder to find, see you soon :-)

Hi Ramon ,thank you, saludos!

Hi El Campero, thank you, it is a real treat to watch owls in the daylight.

Hi Mike, thanks, I think it might have got a couple!!

Hi Tammy, thank you, it was nice to get a couple of shots almost in focus :-)

Hi Greenie, thanks, it was sunny for long periods of the day and the wind wasn't too strong, which was a bonus!

Jeremy said...

Lovely selection of shots, Alan. Strange to see that owl quartering the football pitch. We've had an influx here, too, but I still haven't managed any decent shots of them!

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Jeremy, thanks, they are one of my favourites, the football pitch is near to lots of rough ground.

Steve Tomlinson said...

Great pictures Alan well done, the Short-eared Owl is a classic.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Steve, thanks, I always love watching he owls!

Monica said...

these birds are gorgeous!

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Monica, thank you.

Tomás Crespo said...

63 species, without planning the route? that's great, Great pictures, congratulations incredible the Short-eared Owl

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Tomas, thank you, it was a great day and nice to have a couple of pics to show for it :-)

Jerry said...

That's just my kinda day Alan - very enjoyable reading too.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Jerry, thanks, it was great to be out and about :-)

Joop Zand said...

Great shots Alan....good work.