Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Penduline Tit

Another early start, picking Dave up at 06.00 and heading out to Kent. Our first destination was Stodmarsh NNR to see if we could locate the Penduline Tit. The weather on the way down was not promising. There was dense fog in places with cloud cover above but we arrived with the sun breaking through and were able to quickly locate the bird.


Penduline Tit on Reedmace

Our last encounter with a Penduline Tit had involved distant views through moving reeds and whilst we had left happy to have seen the bird the pictures were not very good. This time we were more lucky, the bird came close and at times was perched out in the open.

Colours blend in well in the reed bed.

The thin mask and lack of red spotting on the breast suggest this is a female

As there had been various reports of between twenty and thirty Water Pipits at the Marsh Hide we felt obliged to struggle through the mud to have a look. There were only two visible in the distance when we arrived so no picture opportunities but still worth seeing. We also had views of two or three Marsh Harriers circling over the reserve.


Our next destination was the ARC Pit at Dungeness with the target bird being the Smew. We did locate the female (redhead) in the distance but there was no sign of the drake. However, there was a bonus sightings of a Great White Egret and there were also Marsh Harriers flying over the area.

Poor shot but an unusual bird - Redhead Smew

Great White Egret

Spring was in the air and the Goldeneye were getting amorous.

Goldeneye displaying


Making sure she doesn't escape

Either mating or attempted drowning

Still looking good



The one disappointment was that the Tree Sparrows at  Boulderwall Farm were not very visible. We still had three of our target birds for the day to look for so could not afford the time to wait.

Scotney Pit found us just inside the Sussex border when Dave located the drake and female Scaup through his scope. No chance of a picture using the camera or with the phone camera through the scope when I gave it a try. I will have to read up on how to do this. Next stop was Pett Level where we were hoping to see White-fronted and Pink-footed Geese. Dave found the Pink-footed but we had to get the Collins guide out so that he could convince me of what we were looking at. Good to have him along as I would not have spotted the Scaup or Pink-footed without his help.

Pink-footed Goose

We did not get to see the White-fronted Geese but whose complaining. We had five of our six target birds for the day and a few other good sightings as well with 50 different species seen. Its always worth leaving something for another day.


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