Saturday, 10 February 2007

Rye - Dungeness - Oare - Sheppey

Another saturday based in Kent. We started at Rye Harbour NR for roosting Long-eared Owls. With heavy rain and strong winds it was understandable why we couldn't locate any around the Narrow Pits area. We left shortly after soaking wet.

Next to Dungeness RSPB where at least 5 Smew were on show (2 drakes) amongst plenty of Ruddy Ducks. The weather was also bad here with even stronger winds. At least this place had hides which allowed Lee and I to focus abit on photographing approaching wildfowl. We left at about 11:00am.

(c) Ashley Howe. Drake Ruddy Duck approaching the hide. More photos

Oare Marshes started off very poorly, there was no sign of any Twite nor the Red-necked Grebe although both had been seen this morning. However the Great Northern Diver was present on the Swale which meant a long walk. This resulted in Merlin, Hen and Marsh Harrier. When we returned to the East Flood the Long-billed Dowitcher had returned and a single Jack Snipe was also there.

(c) Ashley Howe. Finally we have managed to see the wintering Long-billed Dowitcher. More photos

The weather was gradually getting better and by the time we arrived at Capel Fleet the sun was shining and the winds had dropped dramatically. The Rough-legged Buzzard showed well at range and about 30 Corn Bunting were in the vacinity. About 20 Marsh Harrier, a Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, 3 Bewick's Swan, Green Sandpiper and 2 Barn Owl were viewable from the raptor viewpoint throughout the late afternoon.

(c) Ashley Howe. Marsh Harrier coming into roost from the raptor viewpoint. More photos

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