|Juvenile Great Black Backed Gull|
|At "The Patch" The warm water outflow from the power station|
|Mainly herring gulls roosting near The Patch Hide|
As I wandered back to the car a black redstart popped up on to the power station wall, another new for year bird.
A check around the observatory and desert gave up very little, so off to the RSPB reserve. A surprise as I checked the pool near Boulderwall Farm: a ring necked duck which I knew had been there in December but had not seen any mention of for a few months. Only my 3rd ever. Managed these rather distant shots.
|Ring necked duck: note the grey primaries and secondaries showing black tips|
|RND showing grey flanks as opposed the white of a tufted duck|
|RND showing the "double crown" and no tuft|
|RND showing diagnostic white marks on bill|
Fairly quiet here as I enjoyed a coffee before setting off around the numerous hides. An avocet, couple of ringed plovers, female goldeneye and dunlin from the Makepeace and Firth Hide and next to nothing from the Dengemarsh Hide. A walk around the heathland gave up numerous sedge warblers, cetti's warbler and a single whitethroat and reed warbler, somewhat distantly singing from the reeds.
A check for the Long Eared owls near the dipping pool that has been present the previous day, but no sign.
I then headed for Scotney Pits but nothing noteworthy here, so I cut my loses and headed to Oare Marshes in the north. Here, good numbers of black tailed godwit and a fly past of 7 noisy redshank, but basically the same problem as the ARC pit at Dungeness, too much water and not enough mud for migratory waders.
The weather looks set to change in the next couple of weeks, so I shall be returning to both Dungemess and North Norfolk to try and catch a few more unusual UK birds, plus check the local golf course for migrating wheatear and ring ouzel, the former an annual visitor, the latter a rarity only noted on 2 occasions in the last 10 years.
|Avocet from Firth Hide|
|Skulking little egret from the Hansen Hide overlooking the ARC pit|
|Black tailed godwits at Oare Marshes|
|Pair of very smart black headed gulls sharing a joke on the slipway at Oare|
|More balck tailed godwits|