Sunday, 24 February 2013

A full day in the field

Yesterday (23rd) I picked up Stephen at 7.15am, the wind was raw and we weren't sure how long we'd last around the Dungeness peninsular. Our first stop was to look for Snow Bunting. We found a sheltered spot to watch the beach, there were good numbers of waders that included SANDERLING, DUNLIN, KNOT, CURLEW, OYSTERCATCHER, REDSHANK and 1 BAR TAILED GODWIT.
Sanderling

Stephen spotted this Curlew with a whie underwing in among the numerous Curlews??
  We were joined by Andy A. and eventually a small bird whizzed by in the wind, it was quickly located and we enjoyed close views of a female SNOW BUNTING.
Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting
  Next stop was the sea, from the fishing boats good numbers of Auks and Divers were moving, they were joined by a few GANNET, a FULMAR and lots of KITTIWAKES. On the beach the GLAUCOUS GULL was seen briefly roosting on the beach.
Kittiwake
 The reserve was quietish but at Dungeness this meant about 10 SMEW, BITTERN, WATER RAIL and GREAT WHITE EGRET were seen, not too mention MARSH HARRIERS and GOLDENEYES. Dengemarsh and Scotney produced nothing new but a drive across the border into Sussex and Pett Level did. A nice flock of geese not far from the road held 4 PINK FOOTED GEESE, 6 WHITE FRONTS and 10 or so BRENT GEESE, also the number of CURLEW was very impressive and 2 BLACK TAILED GOWIT were seen. A drive back touched on the Rother Valley and a small flooded area, this had a good numbers of dabbling duck, TEAL, GADWALL, SHOVELER a couple of WIGEON and a PINTAIL. After dropping Stephen home I popped into Sissinghurst, the patch was quiet but the flock of Buntings and Finches included 40 YELLOWHAMMER, 30 CHAFFINCH, 3 REED BUNTING and a BRAMBLING. The only other action of note were 1 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 SPARROWHAWK, 45 SKYLARKS that put in a brief appearance before I headed home at around 5pm.

16 comments:

Pete Woodruff said...

The white under-wing on the Curlew is intriguing Alan, and for a birder from the north your comment is set to be the best of the year....'the reserve was quiet'ish but at Dungeness this meant about ten Smew'....PHEW!

Tammy said...

Love the shots of the Snow Bunting! They are pretty birds. These are very rare in my local area, but there was one here for a short time a few months back (I missed it, though!).

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Deano said...

Cracking set of shots Alan.

Jason K said...

What a great days birding...sound like a top place with a good mix of species.

Great photos btw Alan

Maria said...

The Snow Bunting is gorgeous.

Phil said...

Sounds like a good Winter's day birding Alan,but a bit cold I imagine. Dungeness seldom disappoints does it. Good to get the Snow Bunting, was it at Greatstone?

Warren Baker said...

Brave man out there in that wind, sounds worth it though, even just to get those cracking images, well done Alan :-)

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Phil, yes, the bird was the Greatstone bird.

Thank you all for all your comments they are always really welcome and I love reading them.

ShySongbird said...

The Snow Bunting photos are really nice, a great little bird.

Hope you spotted my extra comment on the previous post and that it was helpful and what you were looking for.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi ShySongbird, thank you, I did find your extra comment, I haven't had a chance to have a go at it yet but hopefully will soon, I'm such a technophobe, I'm surprised I managed to get this blog on at all :-)

Ellada said...

I love birds, but it is not always easy to photograph them. Bravo for those beautiful shot.

Helma said...

Hello Alan, a wonderful blog of these seabirds. The sanderling you look beautiful but also to allow the Snow Bunting. Great that you've managed to photograph snow bunting :-)

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