May 042011

Not quite but nearly.   Whilst we were at Dungeness today, the report came in that there are now two Purple Herons on the site which is great news.

Anyway, on to more normal Wednesday bird watching.   Early on we saw curlew, oystercatchers, dunlin with lovely black bellies, several full plumage red knot, redshank, cormorants sitting on their twiggy nests, ringed plover, and whitethroats galore.

Curlew at Dungeness

We had great views of sedge warblers sitting up on top of their favoured bush singing their hearts out.    We heard cuckoo early on and then as we rounded the first bend on the track one sat in a bush in front of us.   Yellow wagtail dropped down in front of us for just a few moments showing the distinctive bright yellow plumage.  

Dunnock were the real stars of the late morning show with one apparently in every bush near the Christmas Dell hide.   Lapwing were displaying and fending off crows.   Gadwall, pochard, tufted duck, mallard, shelduck, coot, moorhen and mute swan.   Whimbrel were seen flying overhead and there were also great views of hobby feeding on dragonflies over the reedbeds.  

Swift, swallow and sand martin were also there in good numbers.   A male marsh harrier was very active over the farm at Denge Marsh, with the female acting a little more shyly but showing up regularly.   Common tern were staking claims on their various perches and calling to each other vociferously.

A great day out and always the promise of another Purple Patch (or two) later in the year.