Sunday, 6 October 2013

Catching Up and Chasing the Imitation


There has been very little to write about of late as the Patch is proving to be somewhat birdless coupled with the fact I have been a tad busy with work and also the GT6. A Semipalmated Sandpiper had been found at Dungeness on Tuesday 10th but I could not get down and was stuck until the weekend so hoped it would stay, it was seen again on the 11th but not on the Thursday but a report of it being seen again on Friday13th!!!! Got my hopes up. I know some people called in sick from work and made the journey down (with Tweets of “it’s now on my Kent list”) but I still had to wait another day. Saturday the 14th saw me, as usual, at Grove Ferry at first light ready to hear of news of the Semi-P. Grove proved as uneventful as expected and when the first Tweet of Semi-P broke I bid farewell to Chiddy and headed for the ARC pit at Dunge. On arrival however it appeared that the mega Kent rarity awaiting me was none other than archetype, a counterfeit, this bird was in fact an adult Little Stint in winter plumage (rare in itself in that plumage in Kent) but still just a Little Stint and, as it turned out, was the very same Little Stint the slackers and skivers got to see the day before, funny thing is it didn’t even look like the photos of the Semi-P already posted on the KOS gallery. The rest of the morning was spent looking at the see by the power station after seeing 6 Little Stints (1 adult), 3 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Marsh Harrier and 6 plus Garganey on the ARC. The sea produced 1 Little Gull (2 were present), 3 Arctic Skuas, 8 Black Terns and a very nice in close juvenile Pomarine Skua the passed through the patch at 11.35am. Next day, Sunday 15th I had arranged to meet Chiddy at the fishing boats again at Dunge to do a sea watch as the weather forecast was for a good onshore blow. A call to Sue Morton that evening and all three of us meet at the boats at 7.00am although the weather man got it completely wrong as there was bright sunshine and not a breathe of wind however, we did manage to see a nice summer plumaged Red-throated Diver, 2 or 3 Arctic Skuas, 20+ Common Scoters and Several Gannets, Common and Sandwich Terns. A call from Andy Lawson led us to a smart Ortolan Bunting not far away at Denge Marsh Gully a new bird for Chiddy and a Kent tick for Sue. Back at the Patch by the power station we attempted another sea watch this time picking up 2 Balearic Shearwaters giving Sue another Kent tick. Also seen were 8+ Black Terns, 1 Little Gull, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 7+ Wheatears. Grove on the 22nd was uneventful yet again with only birds of note being 1 Green Sandpiper, 11 Pintail and 1 Kingfisher. The 28th was no better with just the eclipse drake Mandarin of note, but on the 29th a Barn Owl flew up an over the Ramp at 6.15 while Alan and I watched, we had arranged to meet here along with Steve Ashton to take a little journey to North Kent and visit the Lesser Yellowlegs at Cliffe Pools. We were watching the bird seconds after leaving the car as it roosted with several Redshanks. A new bird for both Alan and Steve we had great views close in but photographable for about 20mins before a Peregrine decided to chase every wader present for the next 10 minutes. I watched the Redshank flock as it dropped and appeared to stay on the Ski Pool and along with Rob Stokes drove around the RSPB car park and took a walk along the path beside Ski pool where I located the Redshanks but there was no sign of the ‘Legs’, Alan, Steve and I had a quick look on Flamingo pool without success and returned to Rob who had now refound the Lesser Yellowlegs in with the Redshanks. Next stop was a quick dash down to Reculver to see a Rd-breasted Flycatcher, another new bird for Alan, then on to Kings Wood where a Two-barred Crossbill had been found, sadly though, no joy here. This weekend 5th & 6th October was another damp squib at Grove with the Mandarin starting to gain some colour and a Grass Snake sunning itself on Saturday. A trip to Thanet was next to a field not 2 minutes from where I used to live (my parents still do) to see a Great-grey Shrike at Newlands Farm, the eighth lifer of the year for Alan (his target was 5???) and a good end to Saturday. This morning, Sunday, again was quiet except for a brief Great-white Egret that flew across the Reedbed at 6.40am and dropped into the unseen back pools not to be seen again, 2 Whinchats were in fields behind Harrison’s both days and an early exit saw me visiting Restharrow Scrape at Sandwich on the way home to see glimpses of a very well hidden Jack Snipe.

A few naff piccies from the last few days.

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Great-grey Shrike

Great-grey Shrike

Great-grey Shrike

Great-grey Shrike

Jack Snipe (poor shot)

Jay

Jay

Lapwing

Lapwing

Lapwing

Lapwing

Lapwing reflections

Lapwing reflections


Mandarin

1 comment:

  1. Those bearded tit photos are most definitely not naff! Wonderful lighting :)

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