Bempton Cliffs.

Bempton Cliffs.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

* Dungeness RSPB reserve + Halling yesterday, 2nd Dec 2015 **

After reading about a Long Eared Owl at Dungeness RSPB reserve the last few days I thought I would take a trip to see if I could see it, it has been about 2 years since I last saw one. Everything was going well until Pam and I got close to junction 8 on the M20 when all 3 lanes came to a stand still. We  knew it was something serious, I think it was the police cars, ambulance, and fire engines that went speeding down the hard shoulder gave it away, this happened at 11.20am,  I said to Pam " I will see how long we sit here". I looked at the clock and it was 11.24, what bad timing. We waited for 50 minutes before the traffic started moving.
By the time we got to Dunge the weather was quite dull, it was also freezing cold, but it was worth it, I did get to see the LONG EARED OWL. in case anyone wants to see it, it is in the willows at the back of the dipping pond just through the gate from the visitors centre on the right.
It wasn't easy to see, if it wasn't for the 4 birders watching it I wouldn't have seen it, it was right up against a branch, as they do. There was no way I was going to be able to get a shot of it. but I did get great views of it through the scope.
 Due to the lack of time I had I stayed on the reserve ,an ignored the ARC pit. I started off at Scott Hide,but after after scanning all around there was nothing to write home about, just the usual birds.
From here I went back to the Firth Hide where I found some birds worth watching. There was 2 redhead SMEW a short distance out, a couple of female GOLDENEYE, and finally 1 male and 2 female GOOSANDER. Because of the bad light the male stood out well, he was looking really dapper. On the drive back to the gate I took another look at the owl but this time it was sitting further back.
So what started off as not good ended up a enjoyable day
My "Bird of the day just has to be ** LONG EARED OWL.**
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* HALLING, WEDNESDAY 2ND DECEMBER: *
This is not so much about the birds that was seen, it if mainly about a Jackdaw which is a bit of a celebrity around here. I have read and heard about it, and on this day I saw it. It is know for regularly visiting a certain house near the river where the owner feeds it, it even goes in their house. My encounter with it was when I was sitting by the river, I could hear this bird but it wasn't a Jackdaw call it was more like a small dog bark. I turned around an it was sitting on a bedroom window sill.
I then went to the other end on the road that is parallel with the river and sat down to eat a sausage roll.
After a couple of bites I saw something out of the corner of my eye, I looked around and there it was sitting on the back of the bench. I broke a few bits off held it out and the Jackdaw walked along and fed from my hand, I couldn't believe it. Now I know where to find it I will feed it again some time soon.
The only other bird that stood out was a KINGFISHER that shot across in front of me.
The birds seen while at the riverside was as follows:  G/B/B/Gull,  Herring Gull,  B/H/Gull,  Common Gull ( the most popular gull seen here),  Little Egret(3), Mallard(7), Cormorant(6) Mute Swan,  Lapwing(5),  Redshank(2),  Moorhen(3),  Kestrel,  C/Crow, Magpie,  Starling, 2 Pied Wagtails on the path.

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