Sunday, 11 January 2009

Chav Warblers in Thanet

Botany Bay reinforced its position as my favourite birding location today, as it gave up two (not one, two) Dartford Warblers - my first ever. Not only did they show, but they stayed showing for a short while, in bright winter sunshine.
I caught sight of a long tail attached to a small bird that flew past us, and sure enough it was a Chav Warbler (sorry if that's politically incorrect - coincidentally we chatted to some birders from Dartford during the morning). This bird seemed to be duller and to have a shorter tail than the second which appeared a little further on.
There was also a Stonechat.

While at Foreness it would have been remiss not to count the wintering Purple Sandpipers - 29 on the steps and another 9 roosting in the shelter of human footprints on the beach.
There was the usual split of about 100 Oystercatchers in one roost and a similar number of Sanderlings on the other (spot the odd one out).
Plenty of Grey Plovers were dotted about on the beach, and and there were 33 Golden Plovers on the clifftop grass.An earlier visit to Pegwell was pleasant, with Dunlin especially close as the tide rose, and there was an Avocet further out. I consulted the excellent Handbook of Pegwell Bay Birds to see if this was an unusually early date for an Avocet, but it appears not.

8 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Good to see the D.W. Have survived the cold steve. Nice record

Adam said...

Long time since I've seen Dartfords - so 2 in one day is excellent! Nice pics,

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Benjamin Young said...

Amazing photos Steve!

Dylan Wrathall said...

Glad that you finally caught up with the Dartfords. Steve Ray's pics are excellent - what's your excuse? Great to see you again - Dylan

Kingsdowner said...

And a Happy New Year to you too, Dylan.

More of Steve's amazing pics can be seen on http://www.flickr.com/photos/26135972@N05/

My excuse is that he's got bigger equipment than me.

me ann my camera said...

Great sightings and nice looking little warbler... it looks like its all dressed up for winter warmth. Great Sandpiper shots too, I love multiple bird pictures.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I saw my first sandpiper here on the pond last spring. The bounce they have is so funny...

Mary said...

Those are cute warblers. Very pretty color and I like the tail...very "wild". Love the Sandpipers, too! These are great shots. I love the one on the steps. You asked about the Waxwing and I really don't know why some don't show the red on the wings. The juveniles are very different in the books I looked at. Maybe they can hide the red part?