Monday, 29 December 2008

Dawn till Dusk

If you're going to pick a day and place for birding from dawn till dusk, you shouldn't pick late December at Dungeness. It was cold, it was bleak, but it was actually a great day in good company.
But first, a cuddly Robin, pleasingly lit and close to the path......
The rest of the day was spent assiduously birding (i.e. yomping over large distances, scanning distant flotillas of ducks, skeins of geese or flocks of swans for notable species).
On a brief respite, I was munching through some fish'n'chips in the car, parked overlooking Scotney Gravels pits. SteveR - manning the scope in the cold wind - called me out to check out a large mixed flock of Coots and Widgeon on the far bank. As I did so, the flock flew up as a male Hen Harrier swooped low over them - we watched as it glided slowly along the bank and eventually out of sight - a great experience of a lovely bird.

The sun was setting in the west (well, it was nearly 3.30) as we parked at the Woolpack Inn and walked to a convenient mound, which might with imagination be called a raptor viewpoint.
Sure enough, a Common Buzzard plonked down a few hundred yards in front of us, followed by a procession of Harriers flying in from the surrounding marshes.
A fine ringtail Hen Harrier flew close alongside the mound, while two more buzzards and at least six Marsh Harriers glided in.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Interesting dawn shot...trying to figure out why the sun has no bottom half. What a cute very fat robin! Lovely water shot....with the heron (?) on the far shore. Looks like a great place to eat lunch and watch. I've never seen a harrier and it sounds like you had a view of several! Great!