A whole day birding around Kent and West Sussex. A super day which began with picking up Gary and Dave at 3.30a.m. and then Graeme at 3.40. A stop on the M20 for double expresso was eventful only for the fact that a.) a dunnock was singing and b.) Graeme realised he had come without his binoculars!
We arrived at the sea watch hide at Dunge by 5.30 and soon realised there was nothing about. A putative glaucous gull was seen briefly at The Patch along with black headed, common, lesser black backed and herring gulls. Several common and sandwich terns were observed and a small passage of gannets headed down channel. Off to the trapping area and the desert: nothing!! A robin, reed warbler and sedge warbler were recorded at the Long Pits along with a coot. So far not really worth the petrol so off to the Fishing Boats. Here several wheatear were seen in an assortment of plumages and finally the first year glaucous gull was photographed.
We then headed to the RSPB reserve and arriving before opening time did the walk around anti clockwise. A booming bittern was heard but no sign of either the great white egret or squacco heron. Marsh harrier and hobby, along with numerous whitethroats and a few ringed plovers were highlights beofre a trip over the road to the ARC pit. Better fare here, with a female goosander, redshank, summer plumaged dunlin, another hobby and tree sparrow at Boulder wall farm.
We now headed off to Rye Harbour where, en route a superb summer plumaged med gull was seen from the car at Camber Sands car park. The gullery and ternery were full with common and sandwich tern, med and black headed gull as well as oystercatchers. A pint and some chips for Dave before a run across county to Cliffe. Here, we were immediately into birds with a fly over little gull, a cuckoo and kestrel feeding on a slow worm. The temperature had risen and the light improved so a few butterflies were witnessed (red admiral, comma, peacock) Late birds to the list were goldfinch with a flyover green woodpecker, pheasant and common buzzard being recorded from the car. A return time to Green Tye of gone 8.30pm meant it had been a long day, but superb to be out and about.
List in full:
little grebe, great crested grebe, gannet, cormorant, bittern (heard), little egret, grey heron, mute swan, greylag goose, canada goose (10sp) shelduck, mallard, gadwall, pochard, tufted duck, goosander, marsh harrier, common buzzard, kestrel, hobby (20sp) pheasant, moorhen, coot, oystercatcher, avocet, little ringed plover, ringed plover, lapwing, dunlin, redshank (30sp) snipe, black headed gull, common gull, mediterranean gull, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, great black backed gull, little gull, glaucous gull, little tern (40sp) sandwich tern, common tern, wood pigeon, stock dove, collared dove, cuckoo, swift, green woodpecker, skylark, sand martin (50sp) swallow, house martin, meadow pipit, pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin, wheatear, stonechat, song thrush (60sp) blackbird, blackcap, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, sedge warbler, cettis warbler, reed warbler, chiffchaff, great tit, blue tit (70sp) magpie, jackdaw, rook, carrion crow, starling, house sparrow, tree sparrow, chaffinch, linnet, goldfinch (80sp) reed bunting,
81 species in all is pleasing, especially for June.
Photos from the top show
1,2,3 and 4 glaucous gull
5. black headed gull
6. view at Rye Harbour