Monday, 5 September 2011

Dungeness with Bedfordshire birders

I was picked up around 0630hrs by Darren Thomas and Tony Donnely then on to Stanstead Abbots to pick up Jane we arrived at Dungeness 0855hrs.
We met Paul Trodd a boyhood friend of mine from the seventies although my  junior he was my  birding
Our first port of call was the moth trap it held a variety of moths and a large beetle.
We walked the reserve proceeding to a hide where a Ruff with a gammy leg obliged.then I found a Pintail,mostly common ducks obliged.Outside the hide an influx of hirundines showed mostly house martins,a couple of common sandpipers showed in flight and at rest,while passerines were in the scattered bushes.
Walking on we noted Wheatear ,Marsh harrier in flight and the elusive Cetti's warbler.underneath a sheet of corrugated tin a grass snake was soon in our leaders hand. As we moved around the reserve a vast array of species obliged of note Great White Egret,Hobby and 3 Spotted Redshanks.
It was then back to base the car park for lunch.
We  were soon off again to the ARC pits where we were treated to a wader fest and the threatening rain arrived as we all bundled in to the hide.
Of special note Bar wit ,Little Stint a juv in belt and braces plumage noted by Darren,then a possible Merlin flushed a Cettis from  the now named stringers hide?.
The rain came down as the Golden Plovers huddled together while Curlew Sandpiper and Curlews both  species with down curved bills showed well.
The rain eased we moved off to grill Yellow wagtails and Whinchats,before making our way for a sea watch.
A Glaucous Gull obliged on the beach before the watch ensued.The sea watching was brilliant,because everything was close stunning Little Gulls,parasitic Arctic Skuas both dark and pale phases,Gannets ,Black Terns,Guillemot also a Grey seal.
Our last look at Dungeness was from the cafe where the Dymchurch railway held it's last passengers for the day,also some tired birders having tea.
Finally back to the reserve where most of us got the devishly elusive Cattle Egret,making 3 egrets in a day.
96 species seen approx some seen on route,Thanks to Paul Trodd for a great day check out.

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