Saturday, 28 February 2009

To Sussex and back. A birders tale

For several weeks I'd been pondering as to whether a drake King Eider first seen in Sussex off Pett would return to Kentish waters having been seen off Dunge and nearby at Galloways. Fortunately a weekend was free and the King Eider, only the second Kent record and first for Sussex had once again been seen gracing Kentish waters. JT and myself headed off to the area known as Galloways, the Brooks, Midrips, closed for shooting again, and luckily the red flags weren't flying and we could access the area along the military road where at the end a collection of cars belied it's presence. We started walking West towards Sussex and potentially to Hants as we appeared to walk for ever and the small assembled crowd seemed further away each time as the bird drifted West with the tide. Eventually just short of Hayling Island or so it seemed the bird was seen, enjoyed in all it's finery as well as large numbers of Scoter, a few Velvets and a Long-tailed Duck. Team Hunter were out in force complete with overnight bag, New Forest guidebook and worn out buggy wheels from the punishing walk cross county borders. The remainder of the day produced Med Gull, Barn Owl, Slav Grebes and a brief Bittern but despite all efforts team Ryan and Burton couldn't produce the holy grail of Red-crested Pochard from Christmas Dell hide. Defeated they retreated back to local patches starting with an S.
Stunning photos of the Eider through a toilet roll attached to a box brownie

All eyes North except Brendan looking lost and trying to locate the Stour Valley.

Another brief jaunt out in the County and these stunning Waxwings in Edenbridge again near the Sussex border, part of a group of 12 birds. Simply stunning.

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