Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday 17th.January 2010

After being stuck in the house all day yesterday , and with the promise of sunshine today , I left the house at 7 o'clock , with 3 sites in mind . RSPB Elmley , Capel Fleet/Harty Ferry and Oare Marsh , hopefully catching high tide there .
Rather than describing it all , I'm posting the day list , adding some information and pictures . Little Grebe , Grey Heron , Greylag Goose , Canada Goose , Mute Swan ( this one flying into the rising sun at Elmley ) , Mallard , Shoveler , Wigeon ( these two males were taking their ablutions this afternoon at Oare Marshes ) , Tufted Duck , Pintail ( female to left , male to right of Greylag Goose , neither lifted their head or moved at all ) , Teal ( female centre left , male centre right , again at Oare Marshes ) . Hen Harrier ( ring-tailed female seen at both Elmley and Capel Fleet ) . Marsh Harrier ( 2 seen at Elmley and 1 at Capel Fleet ) , Common Buzzard ( seen in orchard by side of A2 en route to Oare ) , Kestrel , Merlin ( seen at Elmley , flying low along side of ditch , then disappearing . Got first shot of this female shortly afterwards .She would not turn around , and flew of after a short while . I got this bad record shot of her in flight , she then headed across the other side of the site ) . Red Legged Partridge ( a flock of about 15/20 seen between Capel Fleet and Elmley , but always in a line , so couldn't get a shot of them all ) , Pheasant ( several seen at Elmley in the early morning sun , after not seeing any whilst the snow was down ) , Moorhen , Coot , Ringed Plover ,Lapwing ( probably the most numerous seen species today ) , Dunlin , Redshank , Curlew ( this was just part of a large flock lifting off from one area , then settling on another at Elmley ) , Common and BH Gull , Woodpigeon , Collared Dove , Great Spotted Woodpecker , Skylark , Wren , Dunnock , Robin , Blackbird , Fieldfare ( largest flock I've seen this winter at Capel Fleet , 30/40 birds ) , Redwing , Long Tailed , Blue , Great and Coal Tit ,Magpie , Jackdaw , Rook , Carrion Crow , Jay , Starling ( 1000s of them at Elmley ) , House Sparrow , Chaffinch , Goldfinch , Greenfinch and Little Egret . I make that a total of 52 bird species seen today .
Leaving the birds , as I drove along the track at Elmley , I spotted a brown patch in the longer grass , about 20 metres from the track . With binoculars , I could see that it was in fact a Brown Hare , in it's form , Looking as if he was warming up in the morning sun . It never did move , but on my return , it had gone . I saw two others bounding across the field in the distance , but by the time I got there , they had gone .
As I said earlier , I timed my visit to Oare Marshes to catch the high tide , and this picture shows that it worked out for me , but not for the driver of the car , parked on the slipway as it was so busy there .


Warren Baker said...

Kept the camera busy today i see Greenie! Good to know the Hen Harriers are still clinging on!

Phil Sharp said...

Sounds like a long day Greenie, made me tired just reading it! As for the last species, it could be Fordus Mondeii, a once common species, like kestrels, often seen motionless alongside motorways.This one I think is probably an older individual which has got lost and exhausted heading south for the winter from it's birthplace in Essex (Dagenham). Good news is it will probably survive, bad news is you can't add it to your day list:-)

Adam said...

All credit to a chap who can get a pic of a Merlin in flight! The car being submerged must have been an easier shot!


Simon said...

Congrats on seeing the Merlin and Hen Harrier and even better getting shots of both of them!

Anonymous said...

A great day then Greenie. Oh, how i long for one.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
I'm not a petrol head , but I think it is the Lesser Fordus , the Escortii .
Mind you , everything you said is true about both species .
Sure I can't add it to the list ?

ShySongbird said...

A great day out there Greenie with lots to see and very nicely illustrated, lovely to see the Hare. The birds have sounded much more cheerful the last couple of days, maybe Spring isn't too far away...well, it's nice to dream!

Kingsdowner said...

I assume that the Escortii is a wader?
A good day, by the sounds of it - I must go back to Sheppey before winter ends, as it's an evocative place (to put it politely)