Saturday, 28 April 2012

A day out in Kent

We meet Brian at six, and head for Dungeness. On the way we make a slight detour to visit Northward Hill RSPB reserve looking for the Turtle Dove that was reported the previous day. There's no sign of the dove, but we do add a Lesser Whitethroat to the year list and dad also adds Common Whitethroat to his list. There's also several singing Nightingales present. The rain starts to get heavier so we cut the visit short and head for the car. 
Arriving at Dungeness we make our way to the beach, but with North Easterly winds there's not much passage. With only double figures of Gannets, four Common Scoter, two Kittiwakes and four Swallows of any note. We did manage to add another year tick before leaving when four Swifts came in off the sea and headed inland. The only other notable sightings were of several Harbour Porpoises breaking the surface and then disappearing from view only to re-appear moments later only to disappear again.
The Old Lighthouse
Leaving the beach we make a brief stop and take a look over Arc Pit. A scan from the car produces four species of Wagtail, with four Pied, one Yellow, two White and a channel Wagtail (Motacilla flava flava). Also present are two Little Ringed plovers. 
It's on to Rye Harbour, We pick up a map at Lime Kiln Cottage information centre and head for the Ternery Pool hide. There's a lot of gull and tern activity out on the scrape, with Black-headed, Herring, Lesser-Black backed and Mediterranean Gulls all present along with Common and Sandwich Terns. There's no sign of any Little terns though which is disappointing. From here we take the track to Harbour Farm barns. Avocets are on  one of the pools with at least twenty present. Scanning the larger pools and the grass banks beyond Brian spots  a Whimbrel feeding in the longer grass, There are five in total and it's another year tick for the three of us. We re-trace our route back to the car and make it back just before the rain starts to get heavier again.
It's been a mixed day, with heavy rain at times, then light rain and gusting winds at other times, but it's still produced three more year ticks and not a bad day list. 

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