An afternoon visit to Dover harbour to photograph the female red-breasted merganser that had been a few weeks I later heard.
Beautiful plumage details on the cormorant
It was a sunny morning but still a bit misty, I parked up by the plots entrance and was listening to the radio report on the Manston story. It was a phone in and quite 'to the point' so I opened the boot to continue listening, got the scope out and seawatched there for a good hour. Quite a good move as I picked up two short-eared owls coming in off the sea, one of them going over the plots. Other birds included; 2 pintails, 10 shovelers, 20 wigeon, 22 g.c.grebes, 4 gadwall and 8 gannets.
The brent flock numbered 314 in front of the plots with just 1 juvenile and further along on the LNR I found a goldcrest in the first bush growing out of the 'apron'.
I went to Sandwich Bay to try and photograph the owls but failed to connect well, they were always distant, I only got a couple of record shots.
This morning proved to be a waste of time as Seasalter was covered in thick fog however, I managed to find 36 species inc. kingfisher, snipe, 3 gadwall and 19 collared doves on wires by the Sportsman.
It was still foggy at Whitstable all morning so in the afternoon I went to Sandwich as I heard it was clear and photographed the short-eared owls. I saw 2 birds but another surprise was a covey of 26 grey partridges, the most I've seen.
Seasalter looked quiet as I tried to bump up the month list managing to add greenfinch, plus c.80 bar-tailed godwits, a flock of c.75 knot, the first I have seen since August, plus another kingfisher. However, things came to a halt when I saw two short-eared owls hunting over the field behind the LNR which was when I went back into photo mode and spent the next hour or more with them and the camera. The light was bad needing high ISOs and not much contrast for the focusing system to work well.