Monday, 22 October 2007

Weekend sightings

A lovely Autumn weekend gave a few intermittent birdwatching opportunities, but not many photos.

Friday afternoon after work was spent at the northern part of Pegwell Bay by the hoverport, watching the few birds that had not been scared away by a roaring motorbike. The pools held Redshanks, Turnstones and a couple of Grey Plovers, while the area at the water's edge by the cliffs held three Bar-tailed Godwits, a couple of Little Egrets and about 20 Brent Geese.
An hour on Saturday morning was spent on Ash levels near Goldstone farm (as the wife had coffee with the daughter). The hedgerows attracted many Redwings that seemed to fall out of the clear blue sky to feast on the berry-laden bushes. At the first corner were a handful of Tree Sparrows - the first I've seen in East Kent.

A stroll along Deal Pier in the afternoon just provided Maria with close views of the tame Turnstones.
Sunday morning sunshine reflected a little warmth off the cliffs along the Kingsdown rifle range, relieving some of the autumnal chill. The usual residents were in attendance (Rock and Meadow Pipits, pairs of Stonechats and Kestrels, Feral Pigeons and Robins), but surprises were in the shape of a Shag (I think - it certainly had no white on it) and a lone Fulmar -the first I've seen for over a month, and not expected to return until January.

Then on to the hide at Restharrow, where there were around 100 ducks - Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Tufted, three Little Grebes and a female Goldeneye.
Two Greenshanks roosted at the far side of the scrape, and two Dunlin pottered around the banks, giving good views and proving that they were not Little Stints (easy point of reference - stints have striped heads, while Dunlin don't). Three Stonechats were showing at the tops of shrubs as I left, but I didn't see the Bluethroat that was found nearby later in the day.

A good variety then, with a final addition of a Kingfisher during a walk through Loose valley on Sunday afternoon.

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