Saturday, 24 January 2009


Friday 23rd January - A day out at Dungeness with Nick Ellis and the ecology team from Capita Symonds. First stop was Jury's Gap where a quick look at the sea failed to produce the King Eider or indeed anything else of note. We then headed for Dungeness and the Hanson ARC hide where the usual wildfowl (Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck) and good numbers of Lapwing were present, also 3 female Goldeneye, a female Marsh Harrier and at least 4 adult argentatus Herring Gulls. By the time we reached the Visitor Centre the rain and wind had set in making birding unpleasant though at least we had the hides to shelter in. From the Makepeace hide were 3 Goosanders (an imm male and 2 females) which showed well before flying off. Bird of the day was an excellent Bittern which flew out of the reeds near Scott hide and made laboured headway into the strong wind before dropping down out of sight. The 2 female Red-crested Pochard flew in and landed on the water in front of Christmas Dell hide and a redhead Smew was on New Excavations on the way back to the Visitor Centre.

A herd of about 80 Bewick's Swans and 10+ Corn Buntings were near Midley Cottages followed by an excellent lunch in the Woolpack. In the afternoon we went to Brede High Woods which was almost birdless except for a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Bullfinch (heard). Our final stop at the Horseshoe Inn, Windmill Hill failed to produce the Waxwings (they had been seen an hour earlier) though we did see a Great Spotted Woodpecker perched on top of a telegraph post.

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