Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dungeness and a New Patch Tick for Seasalter

On Saturday I needed a change of scenery and went to Dungeness hoping to see all the goodies there. I didn't go early as it was raining at home but it was forecast to stop which it did soon after I left. First stop at the ARC where the red-necked phalarope performed nicely but always to far for any photos. A couple of garganey were in the same vicinity plus a range of ducks, waders and hundreds of sand martins. On the walk back to the car a migrant hawker was buzzing around some flowers begging me to try and get a flight shot which to which I did my best with my bridge camera.

Next quarry  was the melodious warbler in the Denge Gully. I parked at the end of the tarmac road and walked the last 1/2 km only to find loads of cars parked next to the bird almost, still the exercise did me good. The bird soon appeared for everybody plus a wryneck, I got a shot of it in a bush but left after a while as there were 'too many photographers' lol.  On the walk down two ravens flew overhead, honking away.

Today, I stayed local at Seasalter and with the tide out it gave me the opportunity to do a wader count. Unfortunately, apart from the 127 grey plovers, curlew and oystercatchers there was little else to see, I never see all the redshank and dunlin that roost at Oare and only a few blackwits, c.125 usually but not this morning, hopefully this will change. Stopping by the plots I saw a weasel cross the track and run further towards the bridge. Incidently, I saw a stoat pop his head out of a rabbit hole behind the huts the other day. I walked up to the wall seeing 3-4 wheatears but missed the whinchat further up reported by Andy Bowers. I wandered back along the track leading out to the road where I saw two male willow emerald damselflies, a new patch tick for this fairly rare odonata.

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