After reading about the escaped? Eurasian Eagle Owl that has been holidaying in Ashford I thought I would go and have a look to see if it was still around. We arrived at it's holiday address at 11.30am and without any effort we saw it, it was out on the balcony of Charter House. you can see it with binoculars, but a scope is preferable. You can imagine what the heat haze was like today, I did take a couple of iffy shots of it just for a record and to show where it is, see below.
I was expecting to see a few more birders there but I was on my jack jones. I was hoping that it might have gone for a tour of the town but no such luck. If anyone is interested in paying it a visit in the hope of seeing the bird. the post code for the shell garage, that is where it can be watched from, is TN24 8LQ (North Rd).
From there we made our way to Dungeness RSPB Reserve, but before turning into the reserve we headed to the Pilot Inn( again, there fish and chips are very good value for money...ask Phil ).Not have left early enough meant a bit of sea watching was not on the cards.
There was certain birds I was hoping to see as well as the usual. Before I continue I would just like to say that I saw the same butterfly species as Phil did the day before, but I wasn't lucky enough to get any photo's of them, now I know it is hard to believe, but they just wouldn't settle long enough for me to get any shots,still I was happy enough to see them, so the camera had a rest today.
I paid a short visit to the Denge Marsh Hide in the hope of finding what I was looking for, but with no luck I made a note of the species seen and then headed to my favourite hide, the Hanson Hide on the arc pit. Before I left I saw a very small kettle of 4 Common Buzzards riding the thermals together (a kettle is a american birding word that is used when a group of birds of prey, often various species are soaring around together)
My Denge Marsh list comprised of: Mute Swans..Grey Heron..Cormorant..Mallard..Gadwall... Coot..Pochard..Tufted Duck..Shoveler..G/C/Grebe..Marsh Harrier..Common Buzzard..C/Crow..Magpie..Golden Plover..Common Tern(nesting again, poss 2nd brood, but isn't the norm)..L/B/B/Gull..Common Gull..Herring Gull..B/H/Gull..Swallow..Linnet..
I was expecting the arc pit car park to be busy seeing as school is out, but I couldn't have been more wrong, I had it all to my self.As soon as I entered the hide there was a sudden drop in temperature.
Outside it had dropped from when we left home at 25c,and when we arrived at Dunge it was a bit cooler as you would expect, 22c not much lower, but once seated in there I actually felt cold at stage.
I started scanning around to try and find the birds I was after 2 of species was waders, and it didn't take long as they was both on the same island. The waders in question are: Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper.. In fact at one point they was joined on the island by a Dunlin, Little Ringed Plover, and a Common Sandpiper. To see a Dunlin next to a Curlew Sandpiper was a good comparison for size difference.I then started to go though the wildfowl looking for the other species I wanted to see, and it turned out not as difficult as I thought, I am talking about Garganey, 4 of them, not males though unfortunately. They happened to be all together between 2 Little Egrets.
There had been a good number of Golden Plover there, but they have dispersed and all I saw was 3.
I left for home feeling good seeing as I had found the birds i was looking for.
I could have spent more time I suppose looking for other wildlife, but today was a birding day, which is my love.
My list for here was: ..G/B/B/Gull..L/B/B/Gull..Herring Gull..Common Gull..B/H/Gull..Grey Heron(4)..Little Egret(4)..
Marsh Harrier(1 female)....Mallard..Teal..Garganey(4 female)..Shoveler.. Shelduck(juv)..Gadwall..Pochard..Tufted Duck..
Coot..G/C/Grebe..Cormorant..Lapwing..Oystercatcher..Golden Plover..Dunlin..Common Sandpiper..Curlew Sandpiper(partial breeding plumage)..Little Stint(juv,told by the white lines(braces) down it's back).. Little Ringed Plover(juv)..GreenWoodpecker..Starling..C/Crow..Magpie..Sand Martin..
So now for my Bird of The day. I is going to be one of the birds I wanted to see, so which one? I am going for the ** Little Stint** not only because it is so small but also because it is a nicely turned out bird, very smart.