Thursday, 6 May 2010

Thursday 6th.May 2010

I had planned an 'away day' today , and as a NW wind was forecast , I decided on Dungeness rather than Elmley . With hindsight , I don't think Elmley could have been any windier than Dungeness , but even though the sun was shining , it was cold , unless you got out of it , and very few spots enabled that . On the way down , I made my wish list , Turtle Dove and Yellow Wagtail would make me happy .
I didn't make a list of species seen , but will post shots taken and add comments .
Along the track from the road , several small flocks of Linnets were seen , males in breeding colours .
As Phil said after his last visit , every bit of scrub seemed to have a Sedge Warbler singing in it . Reed and Cetti's Warblers also seen .
The sentry male Kestrel was patrolling .
Although no food was in the car park feeders , the Tree Sparrows were waiting for them to be filled .

In what felt like a gale , my first Small Copper was hanging on for dear life . A Brown Hare had the right idea , back to the wind , behind a tussock . A quick look in at the crowded Denge Marsh hide , and quickly found out that the Purple Herons hadn't been seen for ages , so I left them to it .Male Reed Bunting , enjoying a bumpy ride .If a bit of scrub didn't have a Sedge Warbler in it , then you could be sure of finding a Common Whitethroat in it .Cutting across the middle , I put up several Curlew . Another mis-ID by me , but corrected by Ken/Disabled Birder Of Halling . The birds are in fact Whimbrel . Thanks very much Ken .Several times I got sightings of a Falcon in flight .The usual shot of a Red-legged Partridge , running away .
Driving back down the track , I thought I saw the Falcon land in front of me . Camera ready , I turned the corner to find a female Kestrel perched on a fence post , and two posts away , the Falcon , a Hobby .
I had a look around the ARC pit , but apart from lots of Swallows , Swifts and Sand Martins , just a distant view of a Marsh Harrier . I headed to the lighthouses , and seeing two Ring Plovers , parked and tried for a shot . They were gone before I crossed the road , but another movement , caught my attention , a female Wheatear on the shingle .I then found a second on some old concrete .Behind the lumps of concrete , several Gulls were 'chilling out' , including this very large Greater Black-backed .Further back , a couple of last year's juveniles .
I never did see a Turtle Dove or Yellow Wagtail , nor did I hear a Marsh Frog.
On the way home , I stopped at Marden Meadow , a Kent Wildlife Trust site , renown for the Green Winged Orchids that grow there , but that will have to wait for another day . Anyone thinking of visiting , they are in full flower now .


Phil said...

Some super photo's Greenie. Particularly like the Kestrel and Hobby. I was thinking of going to Dungie tomorrow but I think it could be even more windy so i'm not sure at the moment.

Adam said...

Great shot of the Hobby on the post Greenie - and thanks for the upadte on the GWOrchids.


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie. Great day out you had along with some great photo's.
I think you will find that those Curlews are in fact Whimbrel's.
I love the shot of the Hobby on the post.

ShySongbird said...

What a special day that was, Greenie! Dungeness seems to be a great place to go, such a pity it is so far from me :(

You saw a great selection today and all of your photos are beautiful, it is difficult to pick favourites but the Kestrel on the post, the Wheatear and the pretty little Tree Sparrow are all lovely.

Greenie said...

Ken ,
Thanks for putting me right , have amended the text with your correction .

Greenie said...

ShySongbird ,
Have done some more digging re. Bacon-and-Eggs and Eggs-and-Bacon , but then posted it on yesterday's post .