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Saturday, 19 May 2012

A Goose, Yellow Wags and a Bee-eater !!!

Maybe summer is finally coming as it felt much warmer today (19th) ... and the sun was out! A drive around Orlestone Forest this morning was notable for the common birds singing but the first quality sighting was a Spottted Flycatcher at the top of School Hill at Warehorne. Down to the RM Canal, there was a Grey Heron perched on one of the depth gauge posts, a Common Buzzard and a singing Lesser Whitethroat. Arrowhead Lane held 2 each of Cuckoo and Yellow Wagtail (it was to be a good day for both of these species). 
Grey Heron on the RM Canal at Warehorne.
Moving on to Walland Marsh another surprise Spotted Flycatcher was spotted by Mum near to the Woolpack Inn. Yellow Wagtails seemed to be plentiful too (5+), and we noted male Marsh Harrier, another Cuckoo and a Reed Warbler carrying nest material.

At Dungeness, the south end of ARC pit held a migrant Turnstone, female Wheatear and a pair of Common Terns. Not much noted on the sea during a brief look so off to the RSPB reserve. Many Hobbies and Marsh Harriers, 2 Ringed Plovers over the visitor centre, Tree Sparrow and Sedge Warblers were noted, while Dengemarsh, viewed from Springfield Bridge revealed a Bar-headed Goose with the Greylag flock, a flyby drake Garganey, Cuckoo, Yellow Wagtail and 2+ Common Buzzards amongst the many Hobbies and Marsh Harriers. Singles of Little Egret and Grey Heron too.
Bar-headed Goose at Dengemarsh, in fields by Springfield Bridge.
Out to the ranges where Galloways held Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Linnet and a juvenile Stonechat.

We then ventured back inland along the RM Canal, noting Common Buzzard at Stone Cliff, Yellowhammer, and 2 more Yellow Wagtails near Appledore. Plenty of birds singing in Park Wood, despite the early afternoon - 5+ Nightingales plus singing Garden Warbler and Blackcaps. It was here that I got a call from MH (many thanks) saying that a/the Bee-eater had been re/found back at Dunge. A diversion back to the coast was on, spotting a further Buzzard enoute. Joining the crowds along the road between the lifeboat station and the fishing boats the Bee-eater was soon located on the telegraph wires, catching bees and other insects. The light was tricky (glare and heat haze) but the bird was easily identifiable through a telescope. Just before 3pm the bird took off, headed south, circled high and then double-backed to the north, flying along the coastline towards Lade Sands and beyond. With smiles all round, it was nice to catch up with a few of the locals before heading back home, via a quick final stop at Lydd Airport, where a Yellow Wagtail (a good day for this species) was on telegraph wires.


  1. Nice selection of birds there Neil. Bee-eater would be nice to see, next one in the valley please.