Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

**Wednesday,6th Jan 2016. Scotney Pits & Dungeness RSPB Reserve.**

I needed to get my years bird list up and running, so I put my trust in the weather girl on Tuesday night who said it was going to be a nice day, how right she was.
Scotney pits was my first stop because I wanted to get the BARNACLE GEESE on the list. What I didn't know, was there was some even better bird species there, one being in my top 5 birds, and that was a male SMEW with a female in tow. 3 birders was leaving as I arrived, and they told me that there was TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE in with the Greylags which they hadn't found, then just another birder pulled up I found it. Talk about a needle in a haystack, but after a bit of scanning it was evidently clear that was it, slightly smaller darker neck and head, and the bill being smaller which is black and orange.
It didn't end there, I saw a solitary BRENT GOOSE  and about a dozen WHITE FRONTED GEESE. To round off the geese there was a good number of Canada Geese on the far bank. As I was packing up Alan Woodcock (Snodland and Surrounding Area)arrived. After a short chat I told him about the geese and off he set with his camera to see if he could get any shots of them.
The other species seen at Scotney was: Wigeon, Gadwall, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Mallard, Shoveller, Little Egret, Lapwing, Redshank, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit.
Before arriving at the reserve I already knew quite a few of the birds that I was going to see so I could write them down straight away.
The first birds seen on arrival was a GREAT WHITE EGRET and a LITTLE EGRET feeding in the shallows behind the farm house.
While in the centre I was told of some good birds that was here, so off I went to look for them, this is where fellow birders come in handy, it saves one having to spend a while looking for them. The first one is the bird that has been spending a lot of time in the same place for a few weeks now, and that is the LONG EARED OWL. From here I went to the Firth Hide, the only birds of interest seen from here was GOLDENEYE, 2m,3f (no disrespect to the other species), then while I was packing up another birder picked up on a small bird in the reeds just out in front, it was a CHIFFCHAFF.
There was 2 more surprises to come, both from the Dennis Hide. The first was a SLAVONIAN GREBE, and the second one had to be seen from outside the hide, and that was 3 SHAGS.
The other birds seen was as follows: Marsh Harrier, Greylags, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, including sinensis species, G/C/Grebe, L/B/B/Gull, G/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, B/H/Gull, Pintail, Teal, Shelduck, Shoveller, Wigeon, Pochard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrow, Robin, Blackbird, H/Sparrow, Rook, Magpie, C/Crow.

Now this is where I do my *Bird of the Day*. Where do I start?
I have made my decision, and I gone for the little  fragile looking black and white drake
** SMEW **


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  2. A great line up of birds there Ken. Might have to go and have a gander at all those geese sometime :-))
    Absolutely agree with your choice of bird of the day!

  3. Nice one Phil.If you do go you might be lucky enough to get some nice pics.

  4. Fantastic list Ken,would love good views of a Male Smew,well done.
    Wish you a very Happy New Year.
    John and Sue.

  5. A good start, Ken. Happy 2016!