Saturday, 13 December 2014

Harrier Day

Sat.13th Dec.

Another morning on the patch as it was a lovely day, perhaps I could get a good specie count today. Starting at Wraik Hill reservoir I picked up a dozen birds for the list which included 6-8 greenfinches, a rarity down below at Seasalter plus a marsh harrier heading for the marshes. It looked as it had come from Stodmarsh,  I have seen them before in Clowes Wood heading in the same direction.
Next stop was the 'Wraik Hill Country Park', looked as it had suffered a nuclear attack after its scrub bashing. However, c25 redwings were feeding on the berries on the remaining bushes but there was little else.  Moving down to the levels a bullfinch flew across the road near the Thanet Way flyover and at Mt Pleasant corner a cetti's burst into song. 
On the seafront by the pumping station, the usual array of waders including 52 lapwings by the outfall. On the plots c.50 teal, 3 gadwall and a dozen mallard plus several snipe jumping up from the wet grass in various places and a pair of stonechats.  Back on the beach, 5 sanderling, c.250 brents, barwits, goldies, c.1000 knot, dunlin, grey plovers etc. and in the distance on Horse Sands, 136 seals. 

Fairly happy with 52 species I left for an early lunch as I had permission to go to Stodmarsh in the afternoon!  With the intention of seeing a hen harrier I headed for the Marsh Hide arriving just before 3.00pm. Within a few minutes I a ringtail flipped over the bund and landed in front of the hide just a few feet beyond the expanse of water. It then flew another 30yds and sat in the grass for thirty minutes, finally flying off at 3.30 pm. No more 'hens' to be seen from here just a few marsh harriers plus a few more on the walk back.  Amazing numbers of fieldfares in the bushes plus a stonechat close to the hide.  Finished off by going out onto the Lampen Wall where I met Dave Brown who earlier had a very quick sighting of a male 'hen' diving into the reeds but now only 'marshes' were left so at 4.30 it was nearly dark and time to go home.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Nice Hen shots Mike. 52 Species is good going, hard to 40 here at the moment.......and now I know where the Greenfinches have gone! LoL