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Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Purple Morning

What a difference a day makes. Sunday morning (15th) was still sunny but there was a brisk and cold wind blowing as we arrived at the seafront in Hythe. The target bird was Purple Sandpiper and we were not disappointed, seeing at least three birds on the rocky sea defences below Stade Court. They were amongst c20 Turnstones.

We then made our way back to Dungeness, seeing the Long-tailed Duck on the ARC pit from the Hanson hide along with 3 Smew (including my first drake of the winter), several Goldeneye and a Snipe. A visit to Lydd airport revealed a female/immature Black Redstart, obviously wintering around the hangar and port-a-cabins, as we saw this individual here on the last day of 2011. The surrounding sheep fields held many Golden Plover.

Across Walland Marsh we had 2 Common Buzzards, Tree Sparrows and the Bewick's Swan flock, now numbering 48 birds including 5 juveniles. A Little Egret was seen along the RM Canal at Hamstreet.

In the afternoon the parents headed to Park & Denge Woods where they had a couple of Jays, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk & G-S Woodpecker. I met up with Angela and between us we saw Little Egret, Mistle Thrush, 2 G-S Woodpeckers and the flock of Mute Swans behind Conningbrook Lakes and along Blackwall Road.

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