Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Friday, 26 April 2013

** Thursday 25th April. Dungeness RSPB Reserve.**

Well I certainly pick a wonderful day to go out after quite a few weeks. Knowing it was going to be a warm sunny day we decided to go out for a few hours to  Dunge, and now that Pam is so much better it is nice to be getting out and about again.
My first sighting was 2 Common Buzzards riding the thermals over the Lydd to Dungeness rd, the temperature at this point was14c
As we entered the entrance my first Swallow of the year was seen. There was quite a few birds heard but not showing  on the way to the centre, most of them being Whitethroats.
After calling in the centre for a chat and a catch up with Chris we then drove around to the Denge Marsh Hide. We was going to go around to the Scott Hide but it is closed as it is being painted.
Another place that is closed is the return track from the Hookers to the car park due it flooding, the same is over the road by the Hanson Hide, the willow trail. After all the years of going there I can't remember them being closed due to flooding.
I am not going to list the bird species seen on Burrows Pit as there was nothing out of the ordinary there.
On the way to denge marsh a beautiful male Wheatear was feeding in one of the fields. The other birds seen en route was Reed Bunting(m),Common Whitethroats, Marsh Harrier(m, spotted by Pam) and  a good number of vocal Sedge Warblers but I only saw 2.
We had lunch before I went into the hide and in that short period of time the temperature had risen to 17.5c, it is a long time since I have been out birding in a thin jumper and gillet.
Once in the hide there was nothing much about, the most enjoyable birds to watch was a pair of Marsh Harriers making a food pass, not something seen every day,and 3 Common Terns, at one point 1 of them was continually being mugged for the fish it was carrying. I was expecting to see the Tern  rafts out in front, but they haven't done so yet, they are late doing it this year because if they are put out to soon the B/H/Gulls move in first.
Below is a shot of the 3 Terns, the centre one has the goodies. It was a distant shot so I had to play around with it to get some sort of record photo.

The other species seen was: Mute Swan, Cormorant,Greylag and Canada Geese, Coot, Mallard, Shelduck,,Lapwing, W/Pigeon, C/Crow, Tufted Duck, Pochard G/C/Grebe.

There had been sightings of a Wood Sandpiper and a Greenshank there but they wasn't showing when I was there.
We then headed over the road to the ARC Pit, and the Hanson Hide. On arrival I was greeted by the call of a Green Woodpecker. I was expecting it to be busy but it wasn't. Again  on the way to the hide
Sedge Warblers was heard along with the odd Reed Warbler.

The first this I noticed when I opened the flaps was the height of the water, it was still high enough to cover the islands, so no waders was going to be seen. I was hoping to see a couple but no chance, so it was just a matter of sit back and enjoy. At the far end of the pit thee was 3 Little Egrets and then 2 Great White Egrets made a  fly by heading back towards the main reserve, further out than I would have liked. I tried to take a picture of them but just not good enough for these sort of shots, my one attempt is below, thank god they are distinctive jizz.

There was a good number of Tufted Duck around so I spent quite a while taking shots of those. I have also thrown is a few other pics there.



As we left the arc pit I saw my first Red Admiral butterfly in car park, and a Common Buzzard soaring well high.
I decided to check out the only place I knew of that I might find some waders, that being the far end of the arc pit from the road. It is a bay with shallows and a few islands, and I wasn't disappointed, the first wader species I found was 2 Oystercatchers, followed by 3 Whimbrel
. They was on the island furthest away but I did attempt a photo of them, but  unfortunately I was only able to get a shot of one of them because they was too far apart.
Then to round up the day I found a Spotted Redshank in partial breeding plumage feeding out in the shallows close to one of the islands.
It was now mid afternoon and as we left to come home the temperature was now up a little to 18c, when we arrived home it was 24c

My total bird species seen today was; G/B/B/Gull,   L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, B/H/Gull, Common Tern, Mute Swan, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cormorant, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Coot, Moorhen, G/C/Grebe, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Shoveler, Shelduck, Lapwing, Whimbrel, Spotted Redshank, Oystercatcher, C/Crow, Magpie, W/Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Starling Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler.

My "Bird of the Day" is not a easy choice but I am going to pick the  male   ** Wheatear.**  because he looked so dapper in his breeding colours especially with the sun on him.


  1. Good choice on the Wheatear Ken, they are special little birds I reckon :-)

  2. Warren.
    I don't see that many of them so when I do I enjoy the moment.