Monday, 17 February 2014

Kent and East Sussex (16 February 2014), pics added

Sunday 16 February.  A day with mixed fortunes in Kent and East Sussex.  No sign of the Chinese Pond Heron at Hythe, presumably skulking in someone's garden nearby.  The location, albeit a posh housing estate with big gardens, didn't quite gel with a very wary bird?  Nice to see some familiar faces but after a couple of hours we headed for Dungeness.  There, after a false start or two, we saw Bittern, Great White Egret, female Goosander, Marsh Harrier, Sandwich Tern (the only thing of note on the sea, not even an auk or diver), female Penduline Tit and 15+ Tree Sparrows.  At Scotney and just in Sussex the Black-necked Grebe and another Great White Egret and Marsh Harrier.  On to Camber Sands were, once we found how to get onto the beach, JK found the Snow Buntings near the sandblasted blue container despite over 100 people, 20 dogs and 10 kites walking/running/flying everywhere.  Our final stop was at Pett Pools where a good contender for a 1w Caspian Gull flew off while I was trying to get JK onto it, very frustrating.  Also 3 North Thames Herring Gulls but only one was close enough to read its ring, DZ0T.

one of the four Snow Buntings dodging the crowds on the beach at Camber Sands

sadly this one appeared to have lost its right eye
it was good at peering over its shoulder

splendid birds and a long time favourite of mine
North Thames Herring Gull DZ0T
Saturday 15 February.  Big seas around the coast at Shoreham had depositied load sof pebbles on the footpath/cycle lane at Widewater (the Mute Swan family with the adults and 4 young some distance apart, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers ansd 2 Coot) and thalf the 'new' gate on the West Arm of Shoreham Harbour gone and several sections of railings missing or badly bent.  Two Purple Sandpipers was the highlight there.

Shoreham Harbour West arm taking a battering - most of 'security gates' gone
Purple Sandpipers taking a battering too
before finding a more sheltered area

Thursday 13 February.  Local Herring Gull A4AH at the University.  One I've seen intermittently since September 2009, it was ringed as an adult here in April 2007.  Not quite the 30 years I've recently clocked up.

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