Saturday, 15 May 2010

Birding with Friends (Part 2).

Continuing on from (Part 1) we decided to head over to Dungeness for the afternoon. First stop was the ARC Pit and the search for Tree Sparrows was unsuccessful. (They were probably hiding away from the cold and windy weather!) A Marsh Harrier was sighted while we searched the mixed hirrundine flocks of Swifts, Swallows, Sand and House Martins for any Red-Rumped Swallows but again no joy.
 Mute Swan.
We then moved onto the main reserve and having checked the sightings board headed straight towards Denge Marsh where a distant large white blob feeding along a water filled gully increased my heart rate.
Moving closer I was eventually able to get some reasonable cropped shots of a Spoonbill with its spatula shaped bill. (Another 2010 tick).
It eventually flew off to another feeding location but way out of sight.
 Greylag Goose.
Searching through the tussock grass on the wet meadow I located a single Wood Sandpiper and a little while later we also caught up with a half a dozen Yellow Wagtails but regretfully too far away for my lens.
Most of the small birds were hiding away but one Sedge Warbler presented a challenge as it sang heartily from a bramble bush showing off its deep red gape.

While discussing the merits or otherwise of this Oystercatcher nesting on a tern raft a Whimbrel called as it flew overhead and over to our right we heard the distinctive deep 'booming' of a Bittern. (First time I've heard this sound for some years).   
Somewhere out here is a Bittern!
A Reed Bunting balancing precariously!
Nearly the end of a perfect day in good company and around 60 species seen plus the sky eventually changing from grey to blue with the power station on the horizon. Our day together ended with us enjoying a very tasty meal at a fish resturant in Rye before we departed on the two hour drive home.  FAB.

7 comments:

  1. An excellent day Frank; especially the Spoonbill. Nice one!
    A booming Bittern too. Just gets better :)

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  2. Good job on the spoonbill. I have never had the pleasure of seeing one. I also like the "Somewhere out here is a Bittern!" shot. ;-) I have some that are similar.

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  3. Love the spoonbill shots, how cool! Neat to see the sedge warbler too, and oystercatcher,Frank. All birds I don't see.

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  4. sounds like a great day out and a great bonus in the form of the Spoonbill

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  5. Hi Frank,
    You got a nice day mate and I would love to see a spoonbill! I've seen it only once in Camargue many years ago!

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  6. Frank, each in this series shows such a great variety of nature and they are all very nice. My fav though is of the Reed Bunting, had never seen one before and your capture is truly a very remarkable and great share~

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  7. Keith. A few new ticks for the year but getting shots of the Spoonbill was a bonus.

    Wilma. The 'booming' sounded close but could have been far, far away!

    Jann. Cheers, glad you liked them.

    Matt. Weather could have been better but that's UK birding and the Spoonbill was a surprise.

    Chris. I've not had many sightings but they are being seen more regularly.

    Mary. The Reed Bunting was a shot to nothing into the sun as she didn't stop very long. Unfortunately many of the other species were just too far away for the lens but it was an enjoyable day out.

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