Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Kingfisher and Great White Egret but little else

Once the rained cleared Ian and myself walked out to Roaring Gutter  then across the marsh to Mary Bax  but it was very quiet.
Along the Worth track we found a few reed buntings and 2 yellow hammers (birds you would have seen without leaving the obs) but most of the thrushes have cleared out as have the corn buntings.
As we started across the marsh proper a kingfisher flew past (not something seen that often on the Marsh), a Cetti’s called briefly but that was about it – on the flooded sections viewable from the track we only had a few mallard and gadwall.
At Roaring Gutter we turned east and crossed the railway and set off towards Mary Bax. Again only a few ducks were visible (teal, tufties, mallard, wigeon) but only in low numbers but the spirits were lifted when we spotted the great white egret.
Last week it was sighted several times from Foulmead but today it was on the east side of the railway tracks close to where the north stream goes under the track. For about 10 minutes it just stood there looking around and preening before vanishing from sight I assume into a ditch. Whilst we were on the RSPB section (Ian has permission to walk it) it could/should have been visible from the Ancient highway/Mary Bax.
The rest of the walk was very quiet with a lone snipe and redshank being the highlights.
Raptor wise it was very quiet too with a kestrel and peregrine being the only ones noted.
As the sun was shining I decided to have another go for the northern long-tailed tit but I couldn’t find it  (or any of it’s cousins) and gave up after an hour. Tony Morris had also been looking for them before I arrived. I’ll look again tomorrow.
Final attempt at finding something to photograph was from Deal pier though today the only birds coming remotely close were common gulls. Miles out there were auks and a pair of brents flew north. However the great thing about Deal pier is there will always be some very obliging turnstones to photograph. I sat down and this one came to me hoping for some food!.

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