Monday, 12 December 2016

Dingy Dunge - 12th December 2016

It has been another long week culminating in our Christmas Fair in the visitors centre yesterday evening. As such I was off today and headed down to Dungeness.  It turned out to be a shorter visit than planned as the weather closed in dramatically from about 1230 with poor visibility and driving drizzle.

It was actually rather quiet and although we did see some good stuff there were no good flocks of Athyas to look through and no unusual grebes. The ARC was incredibly quiet and most of the wildfowl and gulls were on the Burrows Pit where two redhead Smew and a fine pink drake Goosander were trying to keep out of the breeze and incoming weather.


Shoveler & Gadwall - Mark Vale

The sheer number of Great Black-backed Gulls was impressive though and I reckon well over 500 were using the islands. A good scan through them revealed four adult Yellow-legged Gulls and adult, 3cy and 2cy Caspian Gulls but strangely no 1cys at all. Nice to study some different ages for a change.

Big Gulls
Over 300 Stock Doves made for a swathe of grey and lavender and the Marsh Harriers were busy quartering in search of prey. Four Great White Egrets were seen between Denge, Hookers and Boulderwall where the drake Ring-necked Duck was undoubtedly the highlight of the day.

Every trip needs an atmospheric Great White Egret shot...

drake Ring-necked Duck

drake Ring-necked Duck

We looked for the Black-throated Diver on Scotney with only the Barnacle Goose flock as compensation for no diver and the turning of the weather...

Barnies - Mark vale
There was one small consolation and I was back home (still in the gloom) in time to look for the three Waxwings that have been living at the top of my road in Strood for a week now but have previously been denied me by the pre and post daylight commute...

Thankfully they quickly appeared and I watched these lovely punks – a male and two first years- for a few minutes before retreating indoors.

They even posed for an aerial shot...

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