About Me

I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Rye Harbour and Dungeness

Five of us met on the Saturday instead of Sunday due to the poor forecast for tomorrow. Todays forecast was for sunny skies to begin and showers later, tommorrow heavy rain all day. We set off at 8.30 from the Harbour car park with already 13 species in the bag through the cararan site we gained another half a dozen or so including a female Blackcap and a singing Chiff Chaff a walk to the Parkes Hide turned up the usuall Ducks and Swans, Skylarks, Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Redshanks, Lapwings. On the Ternery Pool we were greeted by hundreds of squawking Black Headed Gulls and around a hundred Mediteranean Gulls.
Paul closely scrutinsed the gulls hoping to find a Little Gull when I was asked to take a photo of that one, I think it is a Bonaparte's he says. It turned out to be a first winter bird moulting into its first summer plumage and should be in North America or Canada. This is only the fifth time one has been seen in Sussex, others in 2002, 1951, 1948, and 1878 and it is the first time for Rye.

After that excitement we went into the opposite hide over looking the quarry and found around 100 Sandwich Terns roosting on a shingle island, Shelduck, Knot, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, half a dozen Avocet in the distance. On the way back to the car park we found 3 newly arrived male Wheatears that made 48 species so far.

From here we went on to Dungeness stopping off first at the ARC pit in search of Garganey reported to be in the small pools to the north without success but later a a couple of males flew in. We looked through the viewing screen and the pit was fairly empty but a birder told us of the Penduline Tits that were on the willow trail, we hot footed it and found quite a crowd watching them Penduline Tit

From here we went around the reserve finding three Slavonion Grebes still in winter plumage
and a couple of Black Necked Grebes coming into summer plumage, on Denge marsh pit we found the Great White Egret and a female Ruddy Duck and in the car park a couple of Tree Sparrows on the feeders. We totalled up the species to 80 including the Barnacle Goose seen at Scotney Pits. Another excellent day birding but Paul and I had to go back to the willow trail for another view of the Pendulines we were on our own this time and got even better views.
Thanks to who ever it was for taking this photo of the Penduline Tits and putting it on the DBO website.

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