Sunday, May 6, 2012

E.Sussex / Kent

Seemed a good a place as any for a short trip.  Travelled in the evening and as we were arriving at Dunge, news broke of a Red-rumped Swallow over ARC pit. Sadly though it was now dark.
The next morning there were hundreds of Swallows swarming around the pits but unfortunately no sign of the Red-rump.

Marsh Harriers always about here

News of a Kentish Plover at Rye finally put pay to the search for the Swallow. Quite a bit of wader activity here, certainly a lot more than could be hoped for at any Dorset site. Eventually located the Kentish sat down some distance away.

With the scope set up, also took the opportunity for another crap year tick photo with this Little Stint my 200th photographed bird of the year. Whilst doing my record breaking Poole Harbour year list Little Stint was also my 200th bird of the year. Spooky! Perhaps this years photographic list will prove also to be a record? Particularly as I dont think anybody has ever done a photographic year list!

Back to Dunge and a drive down Dengemarsh Lane was quite productive adding Turtle Dove and Yellow Wagtail

Also had a drive around the local lanes

Swallow a year tick

Back again to Rye to look for an elusive Temminck's Stint missed on the earlier visit with the same result

Some nice Turnstones though

Back to Dunge for the evening. Hope there are no leaks tonight.

Next morning up bright and early to have a good kick around all the usual areas. This Whitethroat in the moat was a new one for the year.

My dream house! I'm not joking!

Local Black Redstart

A quick look on the sea gave close views of this porpoise. 

With things a bit quiet, decided to head off early, leaving at around 11am. Well what a mistake that was! As I was pulling into the service station near Southampton the mega went off. Crested Lark Dungeness over trapping area! (Where I had photographed the Whitethroat a few hours earlier) and landing by Lloyds Cottage (Black Redstart photo). I seriously considered driving back but just couldnt bring myself to do it. 30 mins later and the Red-Rumped Swallow had been relocated at Greatstone. (Ending up staying there all afternoon). On the way home decided to salvage the day by detouring to Blagdon for the Squacco Heron. 

Lots of bikers at Hastings

Since doing this yearlist I have noticed that some of the pager directions leave a bit to be desired, although I suppose they are only as good as the people giving them. Anyway the Squacco Heron was one of those. Cant remember exactly how it went now but it was something like 'showing well at top end gate'. Arriving at the lake my only option was to go to the top end of the lake and hope to bump into somebody. However I was in completely the wrong place. The light was now going and it started to rain followed by updates on the Crested Lark still at Dunge things were getting a bit testing!

Then a moment of inspiration. As I was heading along side the lake I saw a small road with a sign saying strictly private so thought what the hell and headed down there. It turned out to be a good move as after a couple of miles along the southern shore I found a lone birder stood by the side of the road, looked over to where he was looking and there was the Squacco feeding right out in the open.