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.
DUNGENESS RSPB RESERVE:
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 **