Sunday, 25 January 2015

East of Sussex & Dungeness Area

Barnacle Goose - Scotney Court GP
A day spent in the far east of Sussex and the afternoon in the Dungeness area of Kent were very productive with some fantastic winter birds on offer. I started off at Pett Level but missed the long-staying Lesser Yellowlegs by a few minutes as it had flown to the pasture between Pett and Winchelsea. With this news I decided to head to Dunge first with stops at both North Point Gravel Pit and Scotney Court Gravel Pit.

North Point GP was very quiet with hardly any birds on it at all except a load of Shelduck. I swiftly moved on to Scotney which held some fantastic birds. The highlights listed below:

Scotney Court Gravel Pit

Scaup - 1 (drk)
Black-necked Grebe - 2
Tundra Bean Goose - 1
White-fronted Goose - 8

Since getting home though I now realised I missed another Tundra Bean Goose, a third Black-necked Grebe and a few more White-fronted Geese but hey-ho! From here I headed over to Dungeness to have a look at the Cattle Egrets and I also had the now ordinary occurrence of seeing plenty of Great White Egrets! On the New Diggings I also managed to see 4 red-head Smew which are always smart birds to see.

Great White Egret - Dungeness RSPB

 One of the Cattle Egrets was round by the chickens sheds at Brickwall Farm and was seemingly fascinated with the chickens in the sheds! It kept listening and poking its beak in any crevices it could find which was very funny to watch! The other Cattle Egret was showing much better in the usual field by Wraxall's Aggregates.

From here I headed out to Walland Marsh to look for the Bewick Swan flock but they were pretty flighty due to a Roe Deer of all things running round like a headless chicken! I counted 85 birds in total but I couldn't make out the Whooper or the neck-ringed Bewick though.

Bewick Swans (part of the herd) - Walland Marsh
Final stop of the day was to Winchelsea Beach to have a quick look at the Lesser Yellowlegs. It was on show as soon as I arrived but sadly the light levels had really dropped by the time I arrived so was difficult to be able to photograph so only a record shot was possible.

Lesser Yellowlegs - Winchelsea

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