Saturday, 31 December 2016

31st December, 2016 Dungeness

We decided to visit Dungeness with David and Brenda in the hope of seeing the Stejneger's Stonechat as the DNA results have now confirmed the identification as a Stejneger's Stonechat.
We made our way to the area known as the Kerton Triangle and we joined a number of birders already watching the Stonechat.

It was extremely active and in association with a male Stonechat. It would often disappear for several minutes and appeared to be feeding quite a lot on the ground. It would fly considerable distances and although we obtained good telescope views it proved very difficult to photograph especially in the dull overcast conditions. My following pictures have all been very heavily cropped, and were taken on a high ISO.

Stejneger's Stonechat

In flight showing large pale rump

taken by Terry Laws on the 29th.

We then visited the Reserve where we had good views of the drake Ring-necked Duck, 2 Great-white Egrets, and the roosting Long-eared Owl. As we drove along the beach road a large flock of gulls produced a 1stW Caspian Gull and an adult Scandinavia Herring Gull.
We then moved onto Scotney where we met up with Matt and Paula where we had the usual flock of 70 Barnacles plus the usual hybrids and 2 Bewick Swans on the Sussex end which they both departed towards Dungeness. We stopped briefly at Pett Level where a Marsh Harrier drifted over..

Drake Ring-necked Duck

Long-eared Owl

Adult Scandinavia Herring Gull (argentatus)
larger size, heavier bill and darker mantle

1stW Caspian Gull

1stW Caspian Gull with Herring and G.B.B.Gull

Two Bewick Swans flying off Scotney.