Saturday, 18 February 2012

Black Jack


Now that the snow and ice have gone from our region it was time to get back to the Grove Ferry end of the recording area to see what the weather had left behind. Alan was already getting ready as I arrived at 6.10 this morning and we made our way to the ramp where a few Fieldfares passed overhead. From hear sheltered from the strong westerly wind we noted 250 Lapwings on the pool along with a pair of Pintail 8 Pochards and 300 odd Teal.
Soon to be gone Richborough Cooling Towers
The Cooling Towers at Richborough looked splendid in the early morning light and a flock of 45 Mute Swans flew out from a pool at the back followed by another 10 that were in the company of 8 Bewick’s Swans. The first three of only 6 Marsh Harriers were seen passing out of the reserve and when one Harrier flushed the Lapwings, a single Black-tailed Godwit took flight with them, this being a new species for the year for me. After a while we popped in to Feast hide for a quick look noting only 5 Tufted Ducks, 2 Pochards and a few more Teal then it was onwards to the Harrison’s Drove Hide. Although looking potentially good for a decent bird to turn up on the only thing there today was a single Redshank. Next stop was the Marsh Hide where amongst the gathering of Lapwings there were 5 Ruff, 7 Dunlin and another Black-tailed Godwit also, at least 16 Snipe were on the edges of the water. The unringed Glossy Ibis flew up and over the hide and dropped into the fields near Newbons Farm, 18+ Water Pipits were scattered around the wet fields in front of the hide and a couple of Marsh Harriers were patrolling the area.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis
Joined by Steve Ashton and Brendan Ryan we had a natter, breakfast and a bit of a laugh before Brendan and I carried on around the reserve putting up a Jack Snipe just after we left the hide (another new bird for me this year although Brendan has had at least four!) and we relocated the Glossy Ibis by the Caravan by Newbons Farm. From the Lampen Wall there were 6 Shelduck, 5 Tundra Bean Geese, 7 Pintail (5 drakes), 74 Wigeon and plenty of Gadwall, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck and Teal. Also 10 Canada Geese dropped in and there were 2 Great-crested Grebes and 1 Little Grebe. As we drove to Collard’s there was a Little Egret on the old turf fields opposite the Boat House whilst at Collard’s there were 8 Goldeneye (3 drakes), more Wigeon, Pochard and Tufted Duck but not in big numbers while Brendan got a year tick when 5 Linnets landed in a bush not far from where we stood. No sign of any Firecrests in the spot we’d had them a few weeks back and a final look at Cow Corner before we parted company for home in with a large flock of Greylag Geese we re-found the 5 Tundra Bean Geese. I got home just in time to see the gorgeous Jessica Ennis win the 60m hurdles and become the fastest this year with a personal best of 7.87.

Jessica Ennis


  1. Undoubtedly the best photo I've seen for a long time on a bird blog!

  2. Good selection of birds there Martyn, I managed to see the Ennis race very impressive.

  3. Am Dat my patch on Foto? Beware is huge tall idiot he cry 'copyright' when am seeing big, huge tower then chimney on my patch ... see berd on patch ... not Kumlien's berd ... no way ... just heap big lots Herring Berd and Black-headed berd with brown head ...

    When sun higher in dat sky and flower is grow am then seeing other berd ... come from place far away ... name Afrika ... him name is Man Eating Swallow ... beware of Man Eating Swallow ... he come when man on weather forecast say am 'late March' and wind come from south ... what is wind?? ... I am not see wind ever??? Help me ...

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