Sunday, 26 November 2017

I was out of the house this morning at 6am where a few minutes later, I arrived at Nethergong where I parked up and sat in the warm car for c45 minutes hoping to hear a few Owls. It was a bit windier this morning making listening a challenge and despite a good time listening, I didn't hear any Owls. As I drove down the road just before 7am to park in Nethergong, there was 1 Little Owl sat on the sign. I spent a chilly 3 hours walking around the site a few times and managed to see or hear c12 Redwing, 2 Moorhen, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Kestrel, 11 Stock Dove, 2 Yellowhammer, 6 Fieldfare, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Ring necked Parakeet. As I neared the small dried up pool, I could see 1 Grey Wagtail walking around the edges and a Water Pipit could be seen and heard circling around the area. After seeing one yesterday here for the first time, I was hoping it would land but after a fly around, it seemed to fly off calling still towards Grove Ferry. I carried on walking and a few minutes later, decided to look at the pool from another angle and there with the Grey Wagtail, was a Water Pipit. I was too far away for any shots and so at first, just took in the distant view to confirm the identification and then started to walk around the edge of the pool using what cover I could find. I eventually ended up within a distance I could at least get a record shot and fired off a few. It walked around for a few minutes before flying off again. An excellent bird to see and photograph on the site and I would imagine, the first time one has been photographed here. Other birds noted today were 1 Grey Heron, 7 Golden Plover flew north, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Stonechat, 2 Bullfinch, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Bearded Tit, c5 Long tailed Tit, 1 Little Egret but no sign of the Great White Egret. 

Water Pipit

Bearded Tit (male)

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Before I left home this morning at 5.50am, I had to spend some time de-icing the car as it was totally frozen. I then made the short drive over to Nethergong where I parked up at the bridge and listened into the darkness for a while. It was generally quiet but a Little Owl was seen as it flew in and perched on a post not to far away. As the light picked up, I parked up in Nethergong and spent the next 3 and a half hours walking around the site in very cold conditions but later on, the sun made an appearance and it got slightly warmer. I managed to see an excellent 59 species which included a few quality birds. A new bird for the site was seen when a Water Pipit flew over calling giving its quite harsh raspy call compared to that of the Meadow Pipit, this being my 119th species I have seen at Nethergong. Other birds seen included 1 Grey Heron, 2 Yellowhammer,1 Woodcock, 3 Green Woodpecker, 1 Barn Owl was seen hunting, c40 Fieldfare, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Meadow Pipit, c10 Redwing, 2 Water Rail, 2 Reed Bunting, c27 Stock Dove, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 3 Jay and c10 Long tailed Tit. There were 4 Lapwing, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Mistle Thrush in song, 3 Little Egret, 1 Great White Egret again in ditches just west of the bridge, 2 Stonechat, 2 Skylark, 5 Greenfinch, 1 Bearded Tit, 1 Kingfisher and c800 Cormorant flying out towards Reculver. 

Great White Egret

Monday, 20 November 2017

As mentioned in yesterdays post, I made a visit to Nethergong yesterday where upon meeting the owners, they informed me that a visitor to the site had seen a large White heron sized bird with an orange bill in one of the dykes there. I informed them that this was a Great White Egret and that one was currently at Grove Ferry, a stones throw away. I had a good search of the dykes but unfortunately, I only come up with a Little Egret but the owners, Jed and Christine informed me they would let me know should the Egret turn up again. I was at home late afternoon when a message arrive from Christine alerting me that the Great White Egret had duly appeared again and was in the dyke near the bridge. I was soon on my way where a few minutes later, I pulled up and had a quick look. Initially I flushed a Little Egret from the dyke but looking further along the dyke, I could see the Great White Egret standing out like a sore thumb. I slowly made my way along the pathway until I was spotted and it flew up and gave me a lovely flyby in the late afternoon sunshine. A new bird for this site and a most welcome bonus. It didn't fly far and soon landed in the dyke further down next to a Little Egret which provided a quick photo for size comparison before flying off further down the dyke. A great bird to see on this excellent site and fingers crossed for a few more quality birds during the winter. 

Great White Egret

 Great White Egret and Little Egret

Great White Egret at Sunset