Sunday, 29 March 2015

Displaying Grebes in the Gloom.

A total weekend wash out with dull gloomy weather on the Saturday and Sunday no better with wind and rain marking the first day of British summer time. I only managed half an hour in the Reed bed hide at Stodmarsh where I saw what I expected which was nothing. My only photos were of a pair of Great Crested Grebes that were displaying out in front of the hide, the spectacle ending with the offering of a feather. It brightened the gloom for a while, just a pity there was not enough light to do the occasion justice with the camera.

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Friday, 27 March 2015

A few outings to Reculver.

I have had a few trips to Reculver during the past week, mainly in the late afternoon, hoping to catch up with any early arriving migrants. I managed a couple of Wheatears, one too scruffy to photograph and the other, seen this afternoon by the Oyster farm, a smart looking male bird. Unfortunately, it never stayed still long enough to get the camera on it, making its way east down the sea wall at a rake of knots. Shame as it was a "looker" I also caught up with the Black Redstart around the towers earlier in the week but again it was a scruffy individual, looking like it had been dunked in a puddle. (I'm getting too fussy)
The Brent flock seems to be getting larger, the birds gathering, ready for their long flight back North to their breeding grounds.

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Brent Geese

The rest of the time was spent walking along the beach where a few waders were photographed as they were pushed nearer to me by the incoming tide.

Ring Plover

Grey Plover

A couple of Short-eared Owls were seen quartering the marsh and a flock of 25+ Corn Buntings was a notable sighting, seen by Mike Gould and myself out over the Oyster farm. It is the largest flock I have seen for some time now.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Fulmar's on the East Kent coast. (06/03/15)

A few Fulmar images from the coast line of East Kent, seen last Friday (06/03/15) in the early Spring sunshine. They are paired up and back on their nest sites ready for the forth coming breeding season.

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A Common Buzzard distracted me for a few minutes on route to the Fulmar's, living up to the "Common" part of their title with over a dozen seen in various places around East Kent over the weekend.

Let's hope that the recent Spring weather stays with us for a while.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Sandwich Bay 21/02/15.

After spending the morning last Saturday on the Prince of Wales pier at Dover I moved onto the Sandwich Bay estate with the hope that a few Short-eared Owls would be out hunting over the golf courses. Tim followed suit and we spent the first hour sitting in the Restharrow scrape hide. The usual array of Winter wildfowl were on offer, the Teal, Gadwall and Shoveller, all common stuff but adding a splash of colour to proceedings.

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A pair of Little Grebe's were photographed as they swam past in front of us and I took a record shot of a very distant Goosander, one of 4 present on the scrape. Goosander is a bird I seldom get the chance to photograph.

We both soon got fed up with ducks and left the hide, parking along the Ancient Highway in the hope that we would be lucky with the Owls. After only 10 minutes, the first of three Short-eared Owls appeared and we spent a couple of hours until the light faded watching  as they quartered the golf course on the hunt for prey. Although they never came too close, (a lot of people in the area out enjoying the sunshine) it was great to see them flying around the golf course completely oblivious to the golfers on the course. (Why is it they tolerate golfers walking by them within a few metres but will not let a photographer get within 50 metres ???) It's my first encounter with these Owls for a while now and its always a good day when you can sit watching them hunting on a late sunny afternoon from the comfort of your car.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Prince of Wales Pier Dover (21/02/15)

Armed with 5 loaves of Asda smart price bread at only 40p a loaf, I turned up on the Prince of Wales pier last Saturday morning (21st) hoping to entice the Glaucous Gull into performing for the camera. Tim Gutsell arrived a few minutes after me and a little later Phil Smith who found the Gull earlier in the week came for another look. I saw it more or less straight away but being right on low tide it decided to roost up on the hover port apron and no amount of bread was enticing it from its slumber. (too much bread earlier in the week I think) We waited for a couple of hours and eventually the Glaucous Gull was tempted and gave us great views as it muscled in on the frenzy of Herring Gulls that were attracted by the easy pickings. Great Black Backed Gulls were seen as were Herring and Black Headed Gulls but noticeably absent were the presence of any Kittiwakes. Only other birds of note were a couple of Rock Pipits seen aptly enough on the rocks by the hover port apron. 

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Glaucous Gull

Black-headed Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black Backed Gull

Glaucous Gull