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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Old Friends - New Memories

Yellowhammer
Amanda, Alan and Rich - Pett Level

This weekend Lori and I spent our time with our good friends Alan and Amanda in East Sussex. We departed Woking at about 06:30am and arrived just after 08:00am. We hit the road soon after and headed for Pett Level, located along the south coast; southwest of Rye. Here we checked the fields for wildfowl and waders.

Pink-footed Goose (Greylag Goose left)

Our target birds were 4 Pink-footed Geese that had been reported mixed in with some White-fronted Geese and Brent Geese. It only took about 20 minutes to locate these scarce winter visitors which was a great start to the day; being lifers for both Lori and me. Other species of note here were good numbers of Curlew (50) and Marsh Harrier (1).

Tree Sparrow

After making a few more stops, including getting my lifer Bar-tailed Godwit, and a feeder station where we got Tree Sparrow, we headed to RSPB Dungerness in Kent.


Glad to be home

Here we spent our time moving from hide to hide, scanning through the wildfowl. Birds of note was a single Long-tailed Duck, Goldeneye, Marsh Harrier, Reed Bunting and Black-tailed Godwit. Next we headed down to the power station at Dungerness (famous for breeding Black Redstart) to do a sea watch. Here we got great views of Gannet, Kittiwake and Guillemot. 


En-route home we stopped to scan through a flock of Barnacle Geese. Though there is a feral population of these geese, there is a good chance that some of these individuals are legitimate wild birds. Here we also located a group of Golden Plover, Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

Barnacle Geese

Though it was a little cold and windy today, we were very lucky that the rain didn't start until 3:30pm. The following day I got up early and sneaked out to Alan's hide where I got killer views of Yellowhammer. A great weekend with cool birds and great company.