Thursday, 26 April 2018

Kent - 1.1.18

So a new year and a new yearlist. So to get it under way I joined Brendon and Ricky on a day out to the garden of England. The first bird of the day was a Robin singing in the dark outside my house. Our first stop was Harty Ferry where from the raptor watch point we started adding a few birds including Barn Owl which I failed to see in 2017, Marsh Harrier, Merlin and Cetti's Warbler.

A quick visit to Shellness to look for 3 Lapland Buntings failed to produce the goods but 5 Red-throated Diver, Grey Plover and a few other species were noted.

Elmley was our next stop but seeing as you had to pay £5 to enter we didn't stop but we did add House Sparrow and Coot!

We then headed to Oare Marshes where despite being told our target bird had flown to the other side of the reserve I managed to pick it out asleep on the island tucked up with a flock of Black-tailed Godwits. Thanks to a couple of Mute Swans getting argumentative they walked through the sleeping flock and woke up my 3rd UK Long-billed Dowitcher which then took flight and disappeared. By now it was raining and so after adding Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwit and a showy Water Rail we headed off towards Dungeness.

As we drove past the ARC pit I picked out a Great White Egret but we weren't so lucky at Lade GP's where somehow the Slavonian Grebe and Long-tailed Duck managed to avoid our gaze. A look out over the sea at Dungeness added Great  Northern Diver to the list and the amazing sight of 100 Great-crested Grebe on the sea. A quick look over the ARC pit re-found the GW Egret and whilst I was watching that I noticed movement from the reeds behind it and eventually a Bittern showed fairly well! A Curlew was the final bird of the day and I finished on 84 species. One day ill break 100 for NY Day!

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