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Sunday, 11 March 2012

East Kent Ramble (Part 1)

Lots of catching up to do. The parents had an enjoyable 4 day stay in Norfolk at the holiday home, notching up a lifer in the form of the Coues' Arctic Redpoll at Titchwell as well as Velvet Scoter, a drake Scaup and a redhead Smew at this top RSPB reserve. They managed to connect with a flock of c30-40 Lapland Buntings near Burnham Overy Dunes, while at Holkham and Wells they added 2 Firecrests, Snow Buntings and three forms of Brent Geese (Dark & Pale-Bellied plus a Black Brant). Roydon Common produced 2 Woodlarks, and at Holme Dunes there were 2 Barnacles, c12 Tundra Bean Geese and 1 White-fronted Goose with the Pink-footed flock.

Back in Kent/East Sussex on the Monday (5th March) they saw the 31 Snow Geese at Scotney GP's, to make up for missing the Hooded Merganser - dodgy wildfowl spotting at its best!

Saturday morning (10th) once again dawned overcast but I wanted to test out the new car, so took the folks down to Orlestone Forest in the hope of connecting with the recently seen Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. No luck sadly but we still saw a great selection of woodland birds, with a number of Song Thrushes, 3 Pairs of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Nuthatch territories, singles of Sparrowhawk and Peregrine, 4 species of Tit, Treecreeper, Jays, 5 Lesser Redpolls over and couple of Green Woodpeckers. The real stars though were a Woodcock flushed from one of the flooded woodland rides, a calling male Tawny Owl at 10:05 and a cracking Firecrest amongst several Goldcrests. Crossbills and Siskins were also calling distantly.

Back home for lunch ready for an afternoon with Angela and friends. However, while picking up dinner for the evening, my phone alerted me to the presence of a Short-toed Treecreeper at Samphire Hoe - another lifer in the making! Needless to say the parents were already on route and managed to connect with their second S-T T. Angela and myself had a lovely couple of hours with our friends and their young daughters. We did then dash down to the Hoe but no luck in the fading light. Nice to catch up with DW, GH and GB again though. Back to Ashford where I found out that the parents had seen 14 Mandarin and a Little Egret at Hothfield (waterfall lake), while Eastwell Lake held a Grey Wagtail, Green Sandpiper and an extremely pale Common Buzzard in a tree.

A few highlights from Sunday (11th):

Three of the four Garganey seen on Restharrow Scrape around midday today.

This White Wagtail also appeared while we were in hide watching the Garganey.

Back to Ashford where the female Red-crested Pochard has reappeared on Eastwell Lake - showing well today!

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