All I need now is for it not to be overcast/raining. Anyway a scaup as the first tick of the year is ok
Steve proposed Pett Levels and seeing the list of birds seen there on New Years Day it was foolish to say no.
On the way we drove across
On the thrush front it was mainly blackbirds and mistle thrushes – very little in the way of fieldfares and redwings. After Welland we stopped off at Scotney where we had
The only interesting ducks we saw were a pair of goldeneye on the water skiing pit just along from Scotney and after that it was off to Pett.
We first stopped at the
There was no sign of any white fronted geese or the red breasted goose that had been associated with them. As the tide was high when we arrived there were a large number of waders present on the grass with the ducks and geese - dunlin, knot, grey and golden plover, lapwing, curlew.
On the shingle there were turnstones but out to sea there were literally hundreds of divers with all those close enough to id being red throated. At one point a small boat started moving across the bay way out. This caused the divers to fly east and allowed some counts to be done - over 500 flew east! Also out on the sea were hundreds of greta crested grebes.
We were told of some scoter at the west end of the prom so we went down to Toot Rock and had another scan and found 20 common scoter but no sign of the 5 velvets seen earlier.
After that we wandered inland along the canal – we had been told of a rough legged buzzard had been seen along their earlier. First up we found 2 common buzzards circling distantly and then a marsh harrier but eventually the rough leg cruised past us and landed in some trees and allowed some shots to be taken. Eventually it flew off but I managed some flight shots that show the carpel patches, the dark band/trousers and the upper wing pattern of a juvenile.
|Rough Legged Buzzard|
|Rough Legged Buzzard|
The route back to Kingsdown took in Denge wood in the hope of seeing the hawfinch. I have only ever seen one before and this was a fly-by.
We actually had spent too much time at Pett and didn’t arrive at Denge Wood until about 3.00pm but the birds were showing well (if distantly) and some record shots taken in the failing light.
I’ve not done a tally of all the common stuff we saw but black brant, rough legged buzzard and hawfinchj on waht was effectively day 1 of the year is as good as I could have hoped.