RSPB Dungeness ... 11th December 2009

On arrival, in cold and very misty conditions, we headed straight for the Hanson-ARC Pit and the shelter of the hide but, apart from plenty of Shovelers, Wigeon and Teal, the only bird of note was a female Goldeneye. We left the car in the ARC car park and walked to the main reserve.
Along the access track we flushed 2 Red-legged Partridges and a female Marsh Harrier was hunting in the distance.
Burrowes Pit was rather disappointing as, apart from numerous Gadwall, Wigeon and Teal, the only noteable birds were another female Goldeneye and about 10 Pintail. We headed on to Christmas Dell hide, where there had been reports of Smew and Bittern yesterday - nothing!
Beginning to feel that we had picked the wrong day for a visit, we ventured on to Dengemarsh Hide where, fortunately, things started to look up.
Three Black-necked Grebes and the long-staying Great White Egret were showing well whilst 3 female Marsh Harriers kept the wildfowl flighty. Also, a female Sparrowhawk flew low over the reeds. One Black-necked Grebe swam close to the hide but proved very difficult to photograph as it continually dived, remaining on the surface for only seconds at a time.


GREAT WHITE EGRET
(Graham)


BLACK-NECKED GREBE (Paul)


BLACK-NECKED GREBE (Paul)


BLACK-NECKED GREBE (Graham)


BLACK-NECKED GREBE
(Graham)


MARSH HARRIER (Graham)

At the viewing ramp at Hookers Pit, 6 Bearded Tits appeared at the top of the reeds which was surprising due to the windy conditions and a male Marsh Harrier passed by. A Cetti's Warbler actually showed itself for a few seconds and several others were heard around the reserve. The two Glossy Ibises were in the fields near Boulderwall Farm and a Tree Sparrow perched briefly on a bush near to the main entrance gate to the reserve.


GLOSSY IBISES (Graham)

On our way back to the Hanson-ARC hide, 2 Peregrines put the Lapwing flock into a panic and from the hide we spotted a male Goldeneye.


GOLDENEYE (Paul)


WIGEON, TEAL & LAPWING (Paul)

A last effort from the viewing screen at the Hanson-ARC Pit produced another male Goldeneye and a strangely plumaged Lapwing.


Oddly-plumaged LAPWING (Graham)


Oddly-plumaged LAPWING (Paul)

We both added Black-necked Grebe to our year lists, so it had been worth t
he trip.

Paul & Graham

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