Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Chance encounters

The last weekend of August, and the chance of some good scarce passage migrants on the cards. The SE airflow across Kent boded well, but as is often the case little comes of these 'hoped for classic' winds. A quick dash over to Rainham RSPB for an Ortolan Bunting drew a blank though aided the Tunnel coffers and 2 Spot Flys, 3 Yellow Wags flying over were the only birds of note. A visit to Broadditch duck pond, 'this really is becoming a habit', I must get out more produced Ed the Falcated Duck as seen above enjoying life in the UK, but a real shock was a Shoveler also on the pond a superb find and illustrates the pulling power that this tiny farm pond has for stray quackers! At this rate, Hooded Merg must be on the cards !!
Shoveler at Southfleet
Spatule bill, and good size comparison with Mallard behind
Following the dip at Rainham Richard, JT and myself headed off towards Sandwich stopping off at Oare to enjoy the wader spectacular, with the dead Ringed Plover still in residence, Little Stint, a good number of Knot, Golden Plover, a super Hobby sitting on a post and a mass of Blackwits. With a freshening wind Richard suggested that we have a look on the Swale and within minutes we picked up 2 Arctic Skuas that headed inland over the flood followed shortly after by another 3, but incredibly minutes later at 1425 a cracking adult full hooded Sabine's Gull steamed across in front of us with a small group of Sandwich Terns and performed admirably in front of us as it flew up the Swale towards Conyer, a stunning bird and reward for our lengthy sea watch. On Sunday I briefly visited the RSPB Birdfair at Bromhey Farm and Northward Hill before heading off to Allhallows.

Martin is looking very dapper in front of the KOS stall, good to see so many people at the fair enjoying themselves most of them staying dry and out of the ditches!! see http://www.freewebs.com/jameshunter2/wildlifeblog.htm

Allhallows was incredibly quiet, this Black Tern was one of the best birds plus a Med Gull, 2 Whichat and 2 Wheatear whilst waders were virtually non existent despite it being a very high tide. September is now upon us, let's see what that brings!!

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