Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Suddenly some activity!

With the new patch being 'unreportable', things to put on here have been a bit scarce to say the least! A couple of visits back to Sissinghurst have yielded the usual suspects which included a couple of flyover SISKIN a week or so ago, a bird that I haven't seen mentioned much this winter and a wintering BLACKCAP in the garden of our house Boughton Monchelsea has been nice.
Anyway to the activity on the 28th Dec I headed to Chilham to look for the GREAT GREY SHRIKE. It was in it's favourite bush by the  when I arrived around 8am and stayed in view moving to the hedgerow by the playing field for most of my time there, eventually I left around 11.30 having thoroughly enjoyed my few hours watching the bird. It was generally not close enough for any meaningful photos but when it was hunting it did come a little closer on one occasion.
Monday 29th, I picked up Stephen and we headed to Pett Level, the LESSER YELLOWLEGS was soon located but distant and among the Greylags there were about 7 WHITE FRONTED GEESE. A walk round Castle Water at Rye was very pleasant, at least 3 MARSH HARRIERS were very active a SMEW was in amongst good numbers duck which also included a few PINTAIL. Stephen picked out a GREAT WHITE EGRET from the viewing ramp in with some sheep and a couple of LITTLE EGRETS. Next stop was Scotney gravel pit, we couldn't find the Scaup but did find the 2 BLACK NECKED GREBES at the far side of the pit. Soon we were along the Dengemarsh Road watching the long staying CATTLE EGRETS, a few photos later and we checked in to the RSPB reserve, here we added GOOSANDER, more SMEW another GREAT WHITE EGRET and BLACK NECKED GREBE. A search across the marsh proved fruitless for Bean Geese and Bewick's Swans but it was as I always say great to be out on such crisp clear winters day.
Finally the 30th saw me on the new patch nothing out of the ordinary was noted but I had a slight mission that I wanted to get a half decent KINGFISHER pic having been watching the area nearly 6 months I had a spot in mind to set myself down for a while, the results are below. After getting a few pics news of a Little Bustard on East Guldeford levels came through and I was soon out with Stephen again searching the marshes a 6 mile walk and 3 hours or so later we admitted defeat, highlight on the walk was probably the 480 GOLDEN PLOVER near the wind farm and the odd MARSH HARRIER. Hopefully someone will have better luck in the coming days.