Thursday, 28 March 2019

A trio of highlights

I couldn't call it a classic Spring morning as it was a curious few hours, with few birds about but plenty of high interest. A cold, grey and calm dawn was more November than March, although the first look out of the Hanson Hide (ARC Dungeness) provided us with a glorious raft of four drake Garganey and up to a dozen Sand Martins. The ducks fed constantly, took to the air several times but returned to their favoured spot. Another four appeared on Burrowes later in the day, and three flew past on the sea, part of a wide arrival in the south-east.

Across the road, on the grassy banks of Cook's Pool, were a minimum of 27 Ruff, a motley collection of birds, some of which were coming into summer plumage, patches of black, white and chestnut dandifying the winter drabness. These birds scattered and were subsequently seen widely across the peninsula. A good count for recent years.

Last but no means least was the ever expanding Water Pipit flock that haunted Hayfield One. Some individuals were in arresting plumage, all pink flushed breasts and stark white supercilliums. Four became eight, eight extrapolated into double figures (although I saw no more than eight). It will be interesting to see how many are claimed tomorrow!

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