A very mild day again, the car registering 13degs, the tide was out and a light wind from the SW. and another visit to the patch. Nothing much to report, on the plots 15 gadwall, 13 teal plus stonechat, chaffinch cetti's etc.. Out over the mudflats, the usual dunlin, ringed plover, 2 egrets and a large flock of knot numbering c.2000.
The next few days I thought it was time to look around the county starting with an uneventful trip on the 2nd to the Reedbed hide, Stodmarsh, just distant harriers.
The next day I went to Dungeness seeing the long-eared owl tucked away in the bushes, no point in trying to photograph that one. Further on, the Scott hide was empty, lovely, nice views of kingfisher which landed on posts in front of the hide and further out large numbers of assorted duck including a pair of goosander. Best of all was a water rail walking down below past the hide giving a chance of a few close shots.
Later I was joined by a chap with a small bridge camera that sounded like a phone going off when he kept switching it on plus the beep, beep of the focus confirmation kept sounding off all the time as he seemed to be taking photos all the time of very distant duck! I suppose you have to start somewhere, should I have said something?
The next few days I didn't do much birding although on Sunday 6th after a lunch out with friends we took a quick look over Seasalter marshes finding a SE Owl and later a barn owl.
I made another visit to SS mopping up a few more species for the month. It was nice to see sanderling numbers are increasing with 14 feeding with the c.500 flock of dunlin one of which was still in breeding plumage. Also a big count of 26 great black-backed gulls.
Dunlin, still in breeding plumage!
A call from the Swalecliffe HQ announced their yellow-legged gull was on show again plus a friend. I nipped along there as Yellow legged would be new for my Whitstable WUDCA list. Sure enough, they were still on show along with 132 G.B.B gulls that Geoff had counted earlier.
Today, the late start after the rain was much the same as all week, plenty of dunlin and the sanderling numbers must be c.15-18 and G.B.B.Gulls numbered 38.
The c.2000 knot flock was still present but other waders were thinly spread. On the plots a SEO was flushed and a couple of duck shoveler were in the dyke although I think I should call it the 'river' as its bigger than the Stour in places.
PM. I went to Grove finding a couple of barn owls and harriers plus lots of fieldfares coming into roost.