|Posted on December 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM|
It was good to assemble a car load for a Christmas social followed by beer and even more laughter. Mike Cottrell, John Tilbrook, James Hunter, Andy Lawson and I met in a rather frosty Petts Wood and headed south to warmer climes.
It wasn't a bad day's birding either with the weather nowhere near as bad as forecast; it barely rained and was sunny, bright and really rather still.
Our first stop was the Royal Military Canal at Hamstreet where we failed to to find any Great White Egret's but had at least 4 Little Egrets and a Kingfisher. Then it was onto Hythe and a frustrating search for the Rough-legged Buzzard which we all saw but not for long enough nor as well as we'd hoped.
Heading to Dungeness we searched St Mary's Bay en-route where Andy picked out an adult Yellow-legged Gull and we had a good number of common waders.
Lade Sands was next; several hundred Knot, small numbers of Sanderling,Ringed Plover,Bar-tailed Godwit and Curlew.
Finally we got to Dungeness and drove to the point to look for the long-staying Glaucous. We found it quite quickly and a first-winter Caspian Gull; both were subjected to long scrutiny and the light was quite good for photos.
Caspian Gull - 1st winter
Glaucous Gull - 2nd winter
Onto ARC we birded from the road and then walked to Hanson Hide where we had 2 Bewick Swans and a Great-white Egret flew across in front of us. Not much else of note from there though so we drove to Denge Marsh where we had a few Marsh Harrier and another Great-white Egret. We finished with a drive across Walland Marsh but it was nearly dark and we saw no owls.