Monday, 28 January 2008

Esher, Rye, Dungeness, & Sheppey

At first light at Esher Rugby Club, although we knew the main Parakeet roost had apparantly relocated, we had heard that others were still there. Well thats wrong! There was nothing except thousands of Gulls constantly passing over head, and 2 Goosanders coming form the reservoir. The only amusement came when a car pulled in racing down the bottom end of the car park, passing Dan and I at increasing speed, towards there car wash business at the end. Next thing we know the car is swirving and then crashing into signs and plant pots, throwing them into the air. 10 minutes later, their embarrassed faces appeared out of the car to pick up the wreck. However i did briefly see 2 Ring-necked Parakeet inflight on our hasty departure down to Kent.

At Rye Harbour (oh this is in East Sussex not Kent) we parked up, follwed by another woman parking up next to us, reversing slightly to far and hitting a concrete post. The loonies were out inforce this weekend. No sign of the Shorelark, but 2 Scaup on the Long Pit.

After being held at deathpoint by a volunteer worker demanding a £3 entry fee, and gripping my Dad's bollocks off for the £1 cup of coffee, she finally allowed us to see some birds. At Dungeness several Smew on Burrowes pit, a Shag, Slavonian Grebe, a female Red-crested Pochard. Several more Smew from the Christmas Dell Hide but no sign of the Red-crested Pochards. Later inspection from Scott's Hide revealed a couple amongst the bushes, allowing both Dan and I to get fairly poor but tickable views. Tree Sparrow by the reserve entrance was both our firsts for the year. And yet after walking the length of the Long Pit there, there was no sign of the Red-necked Grebe with a retarded Dog with a mental disorder....infact his owner wasn't much better.

At this point we were suppose to be travelling up to Sheppey, but the Shorelark popped up again, and decided this would be better to go for. Got there, no sign! About an hour waiting and it appeared from know where. Got it, we haired up the motorway, darkness approaching but unfortunately we arrived abit too late at Sheppey to see anything worth it. Though a Barn Owl at range, a Buzzard species, and plenty of Marsh Harriers.

Basically the only thing worth photographing and at that a record, though the Smew showed nicely, just a bugger i left my camera in the car! Everything else had a fair bit of distance between the bird and I (c) Ashley Howe

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