Saturday, 8 December 2012

Grove Ferry and Stonelees



At a chilly Grove Ferry this morning Alan and I watched from the Ramp until the last of the Harriers left roost. Ten Marsh harriers left including 3 males while 26 Mute Swans also left. There were a group of 60+ Teal on the pool but they flew to the back pools before they could be checked through for Green-winged or counted and 325 Black-headed Gulls flew out to the east. We walked up to Harrison’s hide, almost out of habit, and, Stop Press, Hold the front Page, call the relevant authorities but a bird was actually on the poo. Yes, a Little Egret dropped in while we were watching a flock of 170 Teal with 12 Wigeon fly out of the back pools towards Stodmarsh. At Marsh hide there were 8 Bewick’s Swans (2 adults and 6 Juveniles) although I did initially report them as Whoopers, DOH! as well as 300 Lapwings and 5 Snipe. Brendan joined us in the hide and he’d seen a Dunlin and 4 Golden Plovers with the lapwing flock prior to our arrival and 9 Water Pipits were flitting about in front of the hide. A Sparrowhawk flushed the Lapwings and got chased of by 2 Crows and the Bewick’s flew of at 11.30. The Alder Wood was fairly quiet until we got on to the Lampen Wall where there were a dozen Chaffinches, 18 Goldfinch, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Siskin, 1 male Bullfinch several Blackbirds and a Tawny Owl. On the lake at Stodmarsh were 2500+ Teal (Brendan had done the Duck counts earlier), 7 Tufted Duck, Pochard, Shoveler, Gadwall and Mallard while the walk along the river bank revealed many Redwings and Fieldfares, 1 Kestrel and another 3 Water Pipits at the Oxbow.
Bewick's Swan family

Bewick's Swan juveniles

Bewick's Swan
After our session here Alan and I made our way to Pegwell Bay where we stopped along Ebbsfleet Lane in hope of catching up with the recent Waxwing influx (having seen only last week’s 3at Grove Ferry) and while parked up a Common Buzzard drifted over. We spotted some Waxwings in the tree tops along Ramsgate road opposite Ebbsfleet Lane and watched as they flew in to Stonelees and started to feed on the berries there. Unlike other people who have managed some stunning photos, this time the birds seemed a little skittish and wouldn’t allow close approached. Nice birds to see in great numbers (about 150 while we were there) and it was great to catch up with Pegwell stalwart, the great Phil Milton.
Ring-necked Parakeet at Stonelees