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Friday, 13 January 2012

Friday the 13th!

Distance shot of Great White Egret at Dungeness
  A visit to Dungeness today proved bloody hard work! John Bushell and I first went to look for the Glaucous and Caspian Gull around the fishing boats. We spent a good hour and later in the afternoon nearly two hours, looking for the damn things, but there was no sign of them. At the ARC Pit the only birds of note were a very distance Long-tailed Duck and redhead Smew. By now it was mid-day and it  was feeling like it was indeed Friday the 13th. We had not seen anything really and if we did, it was a dot. John's got a very bad leg and finds it difficult to walk. So with permission from the warden, we drove around to the hides and as we approached Dinge Marsh, I could see a Great White Egret flying over the marsh in the distance. And that's where it stayed, distant. Far away on the otherside. Things were a little better from the Christmas Hide where there were 4 redhead Smew. 2 of them showed well while the ohers were in NE corner.
  At the imformation center we were told about 40 Bewick's Swan at Walland Marsh. After driving around for ten minutes we found a total of 46 birds which included only 3 juveniles. Later we discovered that the Caspian Gull was present, but the Glaucous was not seen all day.

4 redhead Smew were seen from Christmas hide

Including a record shot of this 1st winter male Smew

Up to 46 Bewick's Swan were at nearby Walland Marsh

  Two days ago, mid-morning, I was out at the front of me girlfriends house in Dartford when I heard Ring-necked Parakeet. 7 birds flew overhead, but just above them was a Buzzard flying NW. This was followed five minutes later by a large female Sparrowhawk. At 14.00 I arrived at the stone barges on the River Thames, Rainham and scanned the gulls for the next hour and half. I met Gavan, a local birder, and he told me he was looking for Water Pipit. A few seconds of him telling me this, I could hear one and we found it on the barges. There were also 3 Rock Pipit and roosting on the barges were, 150+Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Dunlin and 75+Redshank. There were lots of gulls bathing in the river, after feeding on the tip, and one of them was an adult Mediterreanan Gull. Just above us we could hear Peregrine and looking up there were 2 males and 1 female.

The Water Pipit kept it's distance

Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Redshank roosting on the barges

Up to 3 Peregrines were in combat above the tip

This adult Mediterreanan Gull was almost on the otherside of the river

Marsmobile with 'Magnetizing' Get rid of the flute and the song comes alive. A very good song, although I think some of you will like it for other reasons. After showing the Rolling Stones video last year of naked women, I'm suprised that no ones complained about me showing porn on me blog.They also did the theme song to the FIFA World cup games in Munich


  1. A very nice read indeed. I think you will find that the Swans you have seen were Bewick's Swans, thats whats certainly in your photos. There have been a flock of Bewick's at walland. Some verynice birds seen though.

  2. Marc, we both knew that. I don't know why I put Whooper down. Thanks a lot for pointing out the mistake.