Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

** Day one Of A New Year.**

Like many birders, I like to go out birding on the 1st day of the new year to try to get the year off to a good start. I started off with a bit of kitchen window garden watching before we went out. I managed to get15species on the list, actually in the garden, 4 over, and one in the park. They was as follows:
Robin, Magpie, Blackbird, Blackcap(m1,f1), W/Pigeon, C/Dove, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, H/Sparrow, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Starling, Great Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Herring Gull, B/H/Gull, Grey Heron( flew over the roofs, across the garden), C/Crow.
Pheasant( walking in the lower park. It comes down form the horse paddock.)
From home we went to Dungeness.We took the road  from Brooklands, Woolpack Inn to Lydd. The species seen along this road was:Moorhen, Tree Sparrow( in the usual garden with the feeders in it), Jackdaw, Yellowhammer(m), Stock Dove, Corn Bunting, Rook, Mallard, Gadwall, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush. Fieldfare, Redwing.
We took the same route home, and about half way along, looking towards the wind farm a little way off was a large gaggle of Geese, and Swans. A scope was needed to check them. I wasn't the only birder there, about 8-10 people was watching them. The light was going on the way home but it was still possible to see what was there with a bit of patience. I picked out: Bewick Swans, Barnacle Geese, White Fronted Geese, Greylag Geese.
Once at the reserve, well you can imaging how busy it was, first day birding etc, bit like me. There was good numbers of Bitterns around the reserve, there was 4 at Scott Hide, 2 at Denge Marsh, 2/3 ay ARC Pits.
I went around to Scott Hide for a look but when I got there it was standing room only, once word had got around about the Bitterns all the big lens photographers had made their way there, still I did manage to wangle a seat in the left corner. There was only one bittern showing at this point. To see it all you had to do was look out of the window without bins, it was that close, about 8-10 feet away and it wasn't too bothered about what was going on.I tried to take a few shots but from where I was I couldn't get a clear shot, still it was better than nothing, for a record shot anyway. After about 20 minutes it wandered off to the left of the hide, and it didn't reappear for the rest of the time I was there.

I will list the other species seen today, many of the regular ones was seen in various places around the reserve, the not so common ones I will state where they was seen from:
Blue Tit
Tufted Duck
Mute Swan
Herring Gull
Common Gull
Greylag Geese
Smew(Visitors Centre,1m 5f)(Scott Hide,2f) (Hanson Hide 2f)
Grey Heron
Bittern(Scott Hide,1)(Denge Marsh Hide,1)(Hanson Hide,1)
Goosander(Scott Hide,1m)
Reed Bunting(feeders)
Great Tit
Marsh Harrier(Denge Marsh Hide,2, one juvenile with wing tags)
Canada Geese
Goldeneye(Scott Hide, 2f)(Hanson Hide,1m,4f)
Little Egret(Hanson Hide)
Water Rail(Hanson Hide, in the reeds just outside the left hand side window)
Although I took my camera gear with me, today wasn't about taking photo's, it was about seeing the birds, and to see a bittern that close was the best view of one I have ever had.
My 'Bird of the day' is a bit harder today,seeing as I saw so many lovely,and unusual birds, but I am going to go for one of my favourite little birds, and that it the ** (White Nun)the male Smew.**


  1. A very impressive list for 2011 Ken,brilliant Bittern shots.
    Well done,happy birding.

  2. Blimey Ken, what a good start to a years birding mate, puts my 16 species to shame! Well done on the Bittern though, never seen or heard one. All the best Phil

  3. What a way to start the new year Ken.

  4. Hi Ken, some very nice photos of the Bittern there. Also, you made a great start to the new year too.
    I've followed your blog for awhile now(you being local to me)so thought it was about time I replied to your Blog. Cheers Paul.

  5. Nice Bittern shot Ken! On seeing your profile photo, I'm sure you came into the Scott hide whilst I was in there!! Tis a shame I didn't recognise you at the time as it would've been good to chat - if it was you, I was to your right as you walked in?! What an awesome view of the Bittern though eh!!!

  6. Great start to the new year Ken. Excellent Bittern shots and I agree with your choice of bird of the day.

  7. Ken ,
    Brilliant shots of the Bittern and a brilliant start to the year . Well done .

  8. JR,and Sue.
    Phil,and Mandy.
    What can I say except thank you all for your kind comments. I am not sure I can handle so many, might make my head swell(haha)
    Cheers all.