Monday, 11 October 2010

Monday 11th.October 2010

With the promise of sunshine , I set off in overcast conditions for Dungeness . I decided on arrival to try the shingle beach around the lighthouse , for any migrants , coming or going . The promised sun did appear , but with it was an almost gale blowing from the NE , which kept things cool , and kept any bird sightings to a minimum . In fact if it hadn't been for a few Gulls and several flocks of Goldfinches , I would have drawn a complete blank . Coming back to the RSPB reserve , I had a look at the ARC pit first . From the hide , it looked like looking at the sea , with waves making any spotting difficult . As I walked back to the car , in a sheltered dip , I found a male Migrant Hawker , hanging on to his perch as if his life depended on it . There was also the odd Common Darter , being blown from pillar to post .
On the reserve , the track to the visitor centre was almost devoid of birds , and completely devoid of any song or call above the screaming wind . I spotted this Rabbit in the best place , in the sunshine and in the shelter of the wind .
Raptors were very few , just a couple of Kestrels and a juvenile and this female Marsh Harrier , but always at a distance , and being blown at speed across the sky .
I saw two Small Coppers blown past me , but in another sheltered spot was this Peacock , probably wishing it had stayed where it was hibernating .
Also making the most of the sunshine was this Grass Snake , mostly hidden in vegetation .
On a sleeper , a female Short Winged Conehead-Conocephalus dorsalis .
Very little colour apart from the last few flowers of Viper's Bugloss ,and the cheering yellow of Evening Primrose .
The only other birds of note were two Chetti's Warblers heard , none seen .
I decided on the way home to have a look down Denge Marsh Road , which only produced a couple more Kestrels and some Corvids , until a tall white shape , way off in the reeds caught my attention . Binoculars confirmed that it was the Great White Egret , which was the No.1. target from the hide when I popped in earlier . But , the Egret was on the far side of a large reedbed , out of view from the hide . Photography was not easy with the wind and the distance , but I managed a couple of record shots . The second shot shows the size of the Egret , with the Mute Swan in front for comparison . I did stop at Scotney Court Pit , just in case the Buff Breasted
Sandpipers were showing , but although I found a flock of Golden Plover , with whom the Sandpipers hang out , I couldn't find them .


Phil said...

Sounds like typical Dungeness conditions Greenie. It can be really hard going when it's like that. But well done with the GWE. I just missed the possibility of one near New Hythe over the weekend it seems.

Warren Baker said...

Hard conditions Greenie, but at least you saw the GWE, thats more than I did when I went there :-)

I was thinking about Grass snakes the other day, but assumed they would all be hibernating now, how wrong I was.

ShySongbird said...

Passing some Teasels yesterday, I remarked that I have never seen Goldfinches where they should be, on Teasels, I see you were much luckier and I love the photo :)

Very nice to see a couple of flowers still hanging on and a very nice photo of the snake too. I actually managed to see just one butterfly yesterday!

Well done with the Great White Egret!