Saturday, 7 January 2017

Pett, Camber, Scotney, Dungeness & Pett (7 January 2017)

Saturday 7 January. An enjoyable day out with John King. We started at Pett Pools at 08:20 but there was no sign of any wild geese although 6 Barnacles flying around just about got the nod. Two Marsh Harriers included a fine male and Garry Bagnall picked up a family party of Bearded Tits in the reedbed which provided some unexpected compensation. Continuing east we had excellent views of the Red-necked Grebe at Camber and behind the farm at Scotney we saw Black-necked Grebe, Great White Egret and Little Owl. Close inspection of Ordnance Survey maps suggests the egret was in Sussex, just. At Dungeness the Long-eared Owl was behind the dipping pool, about 8 Tree Sparrows by the feeders at Boulderwall Farm, the drake Ring-necked Duck and a female Smew on the ARC pit and a Slavonian Grebe on the new diggings. A quick look for the Stejneger's Stonechat drew a blank in the limited time we had available, Nick and Russell Gardner had seen it earlier, and there were no gulls at all by the fishing boats. Garry phoned to say he'd seen the Taiga Bean Geese at Pett so we returned via Horsebones Bridge where at least 50 Bewick's Swans were out in the middle of a large uneven field and at least 20 White-fronted Geese in amongst a very distant flock of Greylags. The flock was too distant, and visibilty not good enough to pick out the two Tundra Beans that were in the area although we had a good try. We returned to Pett and soon found the 5 Taiga Bean Geese at the back of the level with 2 White-fronts, the 6 Barnacles and a few Greylas and Canadas. Visibility wasn't great, not helped initially by light drizzle which we had to look into. With more time we could have walked along the Old Military Canal from which we would probably have had better views.
Red-necked Grebe at Camber
increasingly hard to see in Sussex and rarely anything like as well as this

Long-eared Owl behind the Dipping Pool at Dungeness
always very nice to see
especially as it hadn't been on view when we visited in late December
Taiga Bean Geese at Pett, they looked a lot better than this at the time

Friday 6 January. A Peregrine on Southwick Power Station Chimney as I cycled into Hove for a dental check-up. 

Wednesday 4 January. A morning at Old Lodge and Gylls Lap with David and John Cooper. An almost complete lack of birds was made up for by the excellent company even if most of David's stories were very gripping. We saw 5 Crossbills, 3 Goldcrests and 10 Long-tailed Tits at Old Lodge and were later disappointed to learn the Great Grey Shrike had been seen at Gylls Lap, in the area we had looked, that afternoon. 
Crossbill at Old Lodge
one of five seen, two of the others were males

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