Sunday, 22 January 2017

Dungeness, Scotney GP and surrounding areas

A Red-necked Grebe had been present on a small lake just outside the village of Camber from the 3rd January until the 11th, it had then disappeared until news came out that it had reappeared on the 20th. 
A trip to Dungeness today gave us the opportunity to check the lake out this morning, As we left the car the temperature was -6 and it was no surprise that most of the lake had frozen over. Just a small corner at the far end was still ice-free and almost immediately the Grebe was found happily swimming and feeding along the edge of the reeds.
A short distance from here is Scotney GP, Several scans from different vantage points failed to locate the Black-necked Grebe, but I did manage to find a Redhead Smew moving along the far bank. The only geese present on Scotney were a flock of Barnacle, so we parked up and headed for the pits behind the farm buildings trying to locate the Graylag flock and hopefully the two Bean Geese. The Greylag flock was indeed present and after a short scan, the two Bean Geese (Tundra) were also found along with several Brent and a single Pink-Footed Goose. While scanning the geese a bonus year tick came when the familiar sound of a Lapland Bunting flew overhead. It flew across the path calling several times and may have landed on the path to drink from the puddles if they had not been frozen solid.
Arc Pit had nine Great White Egrets in the roost as we drove past, but we failed to find any Black Redstarts around the power station complex.
At the reserve entrance, a large flock of Tree Sparrows were present, but there was no sign of the Ring-necked Duck on Cook's Pool due to it being almost completely frozen over.

Before leaving for home we stopped off at Hythe and after checking a few spots eventually found a single Purple Sandpiper feeding among the rocks.

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