A morning out with the camera to Bossenden Woods where the marsh tits have been on show along with the nuthatches and coal tits.
A late start (as usual), I didn't get in until 1.00 am after 'the celebrations' but I was on the patch at 8.45 am hoping for a good start to the year. I headed for The Sportsman 'rise' as yesterday pm Mark Chidwick had seen 2 Canada geese, now a rare sighting but alas they were nowhere to be seen plus I learnt, 2 ravens and a green sandpiper were seen early earlier, so not a good start. However, I picked a lot of the commoner stuff including 3 marsh harriers, kestrel, c.600 lapwings then over to the seafront to tick off all the waders inc. bar-tailed and black-tailed godwits, knot, dunlin and grey plover etc. plus a big count of 141 seals on the Horse Sands.
Back to SS Lane finding gadwall, teal and 2 little grebes plus a sparrowhawk fly pass as I was having coffee.
Returning to the seafront and pumping station revealed kingfisher, SEO, goldcrest, a handsome male greenfinch (I don't see many on the plots), a couple of wrens, cetti's, robin, stonechat, grn wpker., and reed buntings and I noted blackbirds everywhere.
Several teal and gadwall were in the 'river' along with several coots and moorhens. Just off the outfall a red-throated diver was close inshore plus a couple of g.c.grebes and the incoming tide revealed 3 sanderling, ringed plovers and turnstones. After a short break allowing the tide to come up further, 4 brents had appeared and opposite the Sportsman a large flock of golden plover had landed.
Moving west to the sub-station 'pull in' and meeting this morning's raven finder, Julian Russell I added another 2 SEOs, total of 3 for the day, 1 pheasant, some fieldfares and just as I was about to wrap it up a small flock of wigeon rose up from one of the dykes ...........but no ravens! However, not a bad haul for 5 hours in the field, a total of 64 species including feral pigeon. No sign of linnets, jackdaw or rook, the tide was out all am. so virtually no sea-watching, might have got shoveler in the dykes, and merlin and peregrine were possible as was snipe.
Now, a few days decorating the lounge!!!!!!