Sunday, 28 September 2014

Dungeness and a surprise Nightjar at Middlesex Filter Beds

Arriving at Dungeness this morning, we decided to head for the beach and a short seawatch.
The sea was very calm and with hardly any wind there was not much movement to speak of.
Small groups of Guillemots, Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns were seen along with a single Kittiwake roosting on the beach.
A single seal appeared close to the buoy and provided the only other moment of interest before we moved on towards the observatory.
The bushes between the road and the observatory held good numbers of Chiffchaff and Blackcap along with a couple of Black Redstarts and a single Common Whitethroat.


A Sparrowhawk and Kestrel drifted across, but more of a surprise was the appearance of a Raven overhead.
More Black Redstarts were seen on and around the fences of the houses leading to the observatory, with several Meadow Pipits being caught in the traps.
Very little else of interest was seen on the walk around the moat, so we left and drove the track leading to the reserve.
The bushes held good numbers of Stonechat with smaller numbers of Whinchat and two Lesser Whitethroat.
A Marsh harrier drifted across the water in front of us and several Bearded Tits could be held "pinging". Double figures of Snipe flew overhead along with Curlew.


Having planned to return home for around one, this changed when news of a Nightjar found at the Middlesex Filter Beds was reported.
Parking in the Nature Reserve car park at the Essex Filter Beds site, we headed off along the river crossing the red bridge as we went. Entering the Middlesex Filter Beds section we found a small group of birders and were quickly put onto the bird.
Having taken the scope, it came in very useful not only to get cracking views of the bird, but to give many interested locals a view as they walked, jogged and cycled through the park.


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