Sunday, 2 April 2017

Long-eared Owl still showing at Dungeness

Dungeness beach early this morning was covered in a thick blanket of fog, visibility was very poor and the new lighthouse was blasting out it's warning to passing ships.
As the sun came up, the fog cleared and my first Wheater of the year appeared among the shingle and on the concrete blocks this was quickly followed by two more. A brief seawatch from the hide in very calm conditions produced very little movement, I did, however, manage to add Sandwich Tern and a newly arrived Common Tern to the year list.
A brief search around the observatory and surrounding area failed to provide any Black Redstart sightings but we had good views of a pair of Raven over the far end of the power station.
Leaving the beach and heading back towards the reserve, we stopped to scan the water either side of the causeway. Three Black-necked Grebe and a single Slav Grebe were still present on New Diggings and a Great White Egret was found on Arc Pit.
Pulling into the reserve, we stopped at Cook's pool to find the Ring-necked Duck still present. First reported in early November it's approaching its sixth month on site.
While watching the Ring-necked Duck the first Sedge Warblers of the year were heard calling from nearby vegetation and later seen further along the track. Another two Wheatear were also seen feeding among the short grass and shingle as we approached the car park. With time short we made a quick visit to the dipping pond and found one of the Long-eared Owls showing well.

Long-eared Owl (B Anderson)

A drive along the entrance track at Elmley on route home produced the usual suspects, Redshank, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Grey Heron and Marsh Harrier but the hoped for Yellow Wagtails had not yet arrived.

Meadow Pipit

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