Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

** Dungeness RSPB Reserve via Dymchurch.**

Now it might have been a miserable day today, but I fancied a trip to Dungeness RSPB Reserve to catch up with the species I missed last time. Instead of going straight there we went via Dymchurch as I read that there has been 5 Northern Long Tailed Tits in the vicinity of the churchThey are a species that belong in Northern Europe. So what better than to try to see these rare birds. We arrived at about 11:10am and parked in the narrow lane next to the church. Straight away I saw 3 other birders walking about looking here, looking there, not a good sight. We had a chat and it appeared that they have been here looking since 10am, that had checked the following areas: Church, graveyard, garage, but nothing, so we then went our separate ways, me to the graveyard, and them back towards the road.
I walked down the laneand back, and than I did a circular walk through the graveyard, and sat on the bench for a while checking out the nearby trees, then at about 11:30am some small birds flew in from behind me, into one of the big trees near the church. I walked towards them and scanned the trees closely looking for these small birds that just arrived, and then I found them, 4 Northern Long Tailed Tits.
They was quite flighty, in one tree, then into another, along with some of our Long Tailed Tits, but I did get some great views at times. What a cracking little bird they are, quite a contrast, that white face and front, with a tiny black bill ,and eye.
I really didn't expect to find them. I could see the other guys up near the road , so I waved my arms like mad to try to get there attention, after a while they saw me and came over. After a while they went into the trees near the road, that is where the other guys went back to, as did I. One of them was Mike Gould, I did not recognise him, sorry Mike.This is what he wrote on his flicker with his photo's.
Another trip to Dymchurch to see the Northern long-tails, the weather only getting worse than on previous "visits. It took about one and a half hours to locate them (thanks to Ken of H to give us the nod) and as usual in the churchyard, we saw 4 mixed with other long tails".
You can see Mike Goude's photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitstablewildlife/5390458109/
Then just as I was leaving they flew off into the trees in one on the nearby gardens next to the church. What a great start to the day. I did manage to fire off a few shots, but compared to Mike's there, how shall I put it, poor, but then he does have much better equipment than me. Anyway I have added them mainly to show that I was there, and I have a record of them.

Northern Long Tailed Tit

From here I went to Dungeness RSPB Reserve. I didn't spent too much time here, just long enough to check out the birds from each hide. I will list the species seen, most of the commoner ones was seen from nearly all the hides, and around the reserve, the more unusualy birds I will state where they was seen.
Herring Gull    
Common Gull    
Sinensis Cormorant    
Mute Swan
Grey Heron
Greylag Geese
Canada Geese
Goldeneye(1m,.3f Hanson Hide: 2f Scott Hide)
Smew(1m,3f Hanson Hide. 2f Scott Hide)
Tufted Duck
Ruddy Duck(1m,3f,Hanson Hide)
Great Crested Grebe
Slavonian Grebe(1,Denge Marsh Hide)
Black Necked Grebe,1,Denge Marsh Hide)
Little Grebe
Marsh Harrier(3 at Denge Marsh, 1at ARC, sitting on a post out in the water)
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Long Tailed Tit
House Sparrow
Reed Bunting
Green Woodpecker
When I was in the Hanson Hide late afternoon the guys I met earlier came in, it was nice to see them again, and Terry Laws was with them also. First time I have seen him since his birding holiday, not quite so warm here as it was where you was, heh Terry??
Anyway a short time after 2 more good birds appeared, this time small ones, a Chiffchaff  and a Goldcrest.
They appeared very close, and at one stage when the wind blew the feathers on the crown on the Goldcrest I saw the orange feathering which meant it was a male bird. At one stage they was both feeding in the reeds close to the left hand side of the hide.
By now the weather  was not good, raining, dark, so it was time to call it a day. Then when we was on the Brenzett Road one of the fields on the left was quite flooded, and we happened to see a Grey Heron feeding close to the road along side a Little Egret.
So all in all it was a great day out. As for my 'Bird Of The Day' there is only one species it can be, and the is the ** Northern Long Tailed Tits(4).**


  1. Its nice to see someone is getting birds. The weather in Horsham has been so miserable it just hasn't been worth going out

  2. I hope the weather improves enough for you Mike so that you can get out.

  3. Well done on the Northern LTTs Ken, a great find!

    You had a great list of other sightings there too, a most rewarding trip out!

  4. Ken ,
    Well done on tracking down the 'little powder puffs' , I would love to see one of them .
    Give the conditions , your list made the best of a grey day .
    Hoping to visit Dunge soon .

  5. A good day Ken, well done on the Long-tails, as usual, the weather is the let down at the moment.

  6. Great looking birds those northerners Ken.
    Looks like Dungie is still delvering the goods as usual, well done mate.

  7. Thanks to you all for your kind comments.

  8. Hi Ken,good day out,pleased you saw the Long tailed Tits,smart birds.

  9. They are very cute looking birds aren'y they Ken. You did well to get any sort of photo !

  10. Hi Ken, looks like you had another good trip to Dungeness, and to see/photograph those Northern long tails, must have been great for you.