4 January 2009. Arrived at Pett Pools by 7.15 ,it was minus 4c, most of the pools were frozen apart from small areas of free water where the birds themselves kept the water from freezng. There was 100s of wildfowl about, mainly G.L.Geese 80/100, Canadas 150,with 20 W.F.Geese on the marsh, 20 Mute Swans on the pools along with 2/300 Wigeon, 40 Shoveler, 30 Gadwall, 150 Mallard. Two Barn Owls were hunting along the back of the marsh with one bird coming over to hunt over the pools. About 9am I left and went for a drive,and went down to Lydd and drove down Dunnes Lane,which runs from Lydd to Rye, which is a tree lined lane with views over the levels. The first birds I saw was a good sized flock of mixed Thrushes, Fieldfares, Redwing, and Mistle Thrushes, halfway along the lane there was the largest flock of 200 Stock Doves on a freshly ploughed field, also a G.S.Woodpecker and a Tree Sparrow on the bushes on the side of the road, but the best sight was watching 3 Marsh Harriers haunting together over the fields. I arrived back at Pett pools around eleven, its has been a good morning for birds of prey with 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 2 Marsh Harrier (adult pair). But the bird of the day was a Bittern which was flushed out of the reeds by a working party on the western pool. On the sea there is still around 6/700 G.C.Grebes but the Scoters have fallen right off with a group 6 just off shore, 8/10 R.T.Divers in the bay. Happy New Year and good bird watching.
Archive for January 4th, 2009
A flock of eight Waxwings in a tree in my front garden in Icklesham at 11:30 today.
Roy Gardner by e-mail
Still bitingly cold this morning (noon temperature here was only just over freezing), with many of the pools on and around the reserve frozen over. The small area of open water on Long Pit held over 250 Shoveler, 160 Pochard, around 100 Tufted Duck and four Goldeneye (including one drake), while a Bittern was present in the fringing reeds at the north-eastern corner of the pit and a male Marsh Harrier hunted along the margins. In addition, the Dartford Warbler was still present near Lime Kiln Cottage this morning.
A fine and frosty day started in magnificent style with 100+ white-fronted geese, 61 Bewick’s swans and a single whooper swan gathered on the ARC pit. All these flew off in the direction of Lydd between 8 and 8.30 am and can presumably be found feeding in the fields nearby. A bittern was seen flying into the reeds in front of the hide and amazingly another three were seen flying at the far end of the pit. Pairs of smew and goldeneye were also seen along with a single goosander. Elsewhere on the reserve both black-necked and Slavonian grebe were seen from Christmas Dell hide.
Update 14.45: There were more bittern sightings as the day progressed with one seen between Makepeace and Scott hides, two at Christmas Dell and three at Hooker’s pits giving a possible total of ten birds on site. Two male and three female smew were at Christmas Dell and at least 11 goosanders on the ARC pit. The male red-crested pochard was on New Excavations once again.
Some further photo’s showing the extent of change on the Dungeness shingle beach, this time Dungeness Point in 1946. The most obvious change is the extent of superbly vegetated ridges where the power station is now.
There is also the present-day grid of tracks to the east coast which are the “beach feeding roads”. One of the consequences Read the rest of this entry »