Saturday, 31 August 2013

Spotted Crake & Kingfisher at Grove ferry, Kent

With no target birds in mind today, we decided to head towards Kent and another visit to Grove Ferry.
Arriving around 7.30 we headed straight for the viewing ramp and started scanning the pool for any sign of the Crake.
The morning started with dry but overcast conditions, After a while of scanning with no sightings Brian and dad decided to move on and head towards the David Feast hide, hoping for views of Kingfisher.
I stayed at the viewing ramp and managed to get a very brief view of the Juvenile Spotted Crake roughly in the same location as last Saturday.
As more people started to arrive, the sun came out and the viewing conditions became more difficult, with heat haze being a major problem again.
I joined Brian and dad in the hide, but no Kingfisher had been seen. The only bird of any note seen was a showy Water Rail feeding in front of the reeds along the back edge.
The pager alerted us to another Spotted Crake that had been seen from Harrison's Drove hide. So a short walk further along the grass path and we start to scan the pools in front of the hide.
Again all I got from here was a very brief view of the female Crake, It was all to brief and the only view I was to get of it before deciding to make a move.
Before leaving the hide a nice fly-by Kingfisher was seen, as it flew past it seemed to be heading in the direction of David Feast hide.
On the way back towards the car we decided to try our luck for the Kingfisher again. This time the female was perched on her post as we entered.

From here we dropped in at Margate Cemetery in search of either of the two Wrynecks that had been reported the previous day. Unfortunately neither were found by us today.
One would be reported as "still by the horse paddocks" much later in the day, long after we had left for home.
While in the cemetery I did manage to see my first White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly.
The cemetery being far less busy today that on our last visit, when a certain Thrush made an appearance.

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