Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Morris Day out at Dungeness

I thought I'd get into practice for when I take a new year's resolution to blog regularly, preferably daily. Of course the real problem is facebook, sometimes it seems difficult to do everything. It was good to get out in the sunshine yesterday. We had a Morris outing to Dungeness, with four of the Grandsons, two son's and their better halves and the old man. It was great to see six year old Eliot being helped to see a Long-eared Owl through my telescope by his 13 year old and experienced in the art of birding, Josh.
The first pool you come to when you enter the reserve is Cook's Pool. In the old days this had a few ducks on it but wasn't often a place to stop. This year it has hosted a few goos birds, and is also  good place to scan for raptors.

 Cook's Pool, Boulderwall Farm

As we were scanning for the main target here, a Ring-necked Duck, an American "Tufted Duck look-a-like, seeking refuge in the UK to get away from Trump, a Great White Egret flew in. 

 Great White Egret

It is only a few year ago that this would have been a major rarity, common in the Mediterranean region, but virtually unknown this far north. Now they are spreading through the country, a testament to the change of climate we are experiencing.

 Great White Egret
Much large than the, now familiar, Little Egret and with out the yellow feet.

  Great White Egret

The Great White Egret is a large Heron, standing almost as tall as a Grey Heron.The flock of Wigeon are behind.

 Ring-necked Duck

Fairly quickly Jack pointed out the Ring-necked Duck, quite close to us, but unfortunately with the
sun in a difficult position for decent photos.

 Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked is a strange name for this species. It does have a very indistinct mark on the neck, but it has a very distinctive ring round the base of the bill, The flanks are muck greyer than on the common Tufted Duck, but at the front of them there is a bright white triangular patch.

We moved on the the visitors centre and out to the pond. For a number of weeks a Long-eared owl has been roost in the trees behind the pond. It does try to be helpful and is sometimes mainly hidden. To day it was quite good,

Long-eared Owl.

I set my scope up and Sam, my nine year old grandson had a looking at the Owl. Using a telescope is not that easy and takes some practice, so it was good when he sorted out when and how to position his eye to see clearly. Eliot is only six, but fortunately his 13 year old cousin Josh was brilliant with him, and with a lot of kindness and patience he helped him to see the bird.

Then it was onto the Makepeace Hide and a look at the birds on the Burrows Diggings.

 It was this Big

 Burrows, with the power station in the background, The modern way to see wildlife.


 Coot, with slipstream

 Male Shoveler with pylons as a background

Lapwings and Cormorants.


Derek Faulkner said...

Daily blogs are all well and good but not only does it become difficult to find subjects to write about but they can also become boringly repetitive, better doing a couple of times a week. I used to like your mentions of village life in the area.

Tony Morris said...

Thanks Derek, I need something to motivate me, old age seems to be making me very idle.

Derek Faulkner said...

I know the feeling Tony and it's one of the many benefits of having dogs, they expect their daily walks and get you off your butt every day.

jelltex said...

Meant to tell you I saw a barn owl quartering in the field next to the Swingate Inn in the early morning of the 29th. I hope you will blog more often, always something interesting to learn.