Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Season 2012 under way.

I kicked off the New Year with a visit to Dungeness, primarily to see the Penduline Tit. The weather was set fair after some horrendous overnight rain - we must be enduring the wettest drought on record!!  Arrived at the Hanson hide at 0750 with the sun just on the way up and other birders close behind me.  Spent three and a half hours numbing my posterior on the wooden benches but managed a good start. Three Bitterns providing fly bys, great views of Marsh Harriers, Great White Egret and a distant Long-tailed Duck.  The presence of the Marsh Harrier causing temporary chaos amongs the ducks and waders, only the Great White Egret remained calm.

Marsh Harrier

Absolute chaos

Great White Egret
Full supporting cast of Ducks, Kingfisher, Water Rail, Cetti's Warbler and my favourite Tree Sparrows. By midday the hide was full so I decamped to the vistor centre - ominous sign was that the car park was full. Bank Holiday Mondays are not the optimal time for birding so I beat a hasty retreat to Scotney pits.

I parked just off the road, not sure whether I was in Sussex or Kent, and had good views of twenty plus Barnacle Geese grazing just inside the fence. Amongs them were at least 5 different looking geese which I think were either Barnacle x Greylag or Barnacle x Bar Headed crosses. Posted an ID request on Bird Forum but as yet no one is interested or has provided an answer.

Hybrids amongst Barnacle Geese

Hybrid Goose - Barnacle x Barhead ??

Definitely not one of these - Emperor Goose

Total for the day - 48 Species  - the year list now  51

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