Friday 24 January 2014

Needless to say no moths to report. Had a very good day at Dunge yesterday. Started at the ARC pit where I had a glimpse of a Bittern in flight plus the usual Egrets. Then whilst at the screen hide 2 drake Smew dropped in-my first drakes this winter. A trip to Scotney produced the 2 Bean Geese and the Long-tailed Duck before returning to the RSPB reserve in rain where we ticked off the Black-necked Grebe and 2 Black-throated Divers. After lunch the patch was busy with Little Gulls, 2 Med Gulls plus Gannets, Guillemts and Common Scoter. We then left and stopped at the fishing boats where a group had gathered to see a Glaucous Gull, which remained out of sight whilst on the ground but eventually showed when the flock flew off. Finally in the late afternoon ticked off 43 Bewick's Swans on the Walland Marsh and finished with very good views of a Barn Owl.  

Tuesday 21 January 2014

I was tempted down to Oare on Sunday by the news that the Ibis were by the road. Of course they left before I got there at about 09.25. However, a bit later, they flew back over the East Flood and looked like landing but a Herring Gull chased them off. They eventually settled in the Dan’s Dock area. Made a short visit to Stodmarsh Monday morning-very muddy with high water levels, but quite accessible-didn’t try to walk to the Marsh hide though. Very quiet-did see a couple of Treecreepers and a Great Spot-which I had previously failed to see at Bossenden Wood.


 Glossy Ibis


Friday 17 January 2014

Spent another day at Dunge yesterday and struggled to find much new. We saw 6 Great White Egrets of the 9 that have been seen recently. Also the 2 Black-throated Divers were still present with 3 smew and 2 Goosander. At the patch we watched a continous procession of Black-headed Gulls go past with about 5 Little Gulls, a Red-throated Diver and a few Common Scoter. This morning I spent an hour or so at my local (Bossenden) wood where I did eventually see 1 Lesser-spotted Woodpecker fairly briefly and a Firecrest but did NOT manage to see a Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Marsh Tit or Great-spot. Photographs also in short supply so here's one from Canada last summer.

Red-tailed Hawk

Tuesday 14 January 2014

In response to Mike's comment on my last post, I agree the bill colour is a bit problematic but the leg colour looked very different depending on the light. Bright sunlight isn't always best for assessing colour. The picture below, which has been lightened slightly, shows quite dark legs. The Collins Bird Guide does say "Best told from Yellow-browed by voice". An interesting debate.


Monday 13 January 2014

This Morning I decided to have one more try for the Hume's YB Warbler in Thanet and was successful this time almost immediately after arrival at Ramsgate Cemetery. The sun came out and the bird showed well on occasion but with it moving around at a rate of knots photography was tricky to say the least. Below was about the best I could do. It called several times and I'm happy, having listened to several recordings of Yellow-browed and Hume's, that this is a Hume's.

  Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler

Saturday 11 January 2014

Still awaiting the first moth of the year. Went to Dunge Thursday and again struggled to see any Caspian Gulls and failed again with the Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler. I did manage a brief view of a Bittern in flight from the Dengemarsh Road and 2 Black-throated Divers on the RSPB Reserve New Diggings.  The Marsh Harriers looked good in the afternoon sunshine. On Friday with the sun shining I was tempted to try for the other Hume's YB Warbler at Ramsgate Cemetery. I spent about 2 hours there in the middle of the day but failed to find it. A Firecrest and a Chiffchaff were the best I could do. It was apparently showing well again late afternoon.

Marsh Harrier at Dunge

 Rose-ringed Parakeet

Friday 3 January 2014

Went to Dunge today and wasted a lot of time looking first for Caspian Gulls and then for a Hume’s Yellow-browed Warbler in the trapping area-we did briefly hear the latter. Did see Red-throated Diver, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Water Rail, 2 Goosander, Little Gull, Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot, 2 Smew, and 2 Woodcock in the trapping area (flying).