Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sheppey Produces Lifers


Football was cancelled on Sunday so Dad and I decided to make a day of it and going further afield by going to Sheppey with various birds being reported.

We went via Dartford where last time we were that way we picked up Red-Crested Pochard, but no luck this time. We then went to see if the Slavonian Grebe was still at the Littlebrook pool. As we turned up it was only a few feet into the water but wasn't brilliant for pictures as there were reeds in the way and the light was poor. We stayed until the sun came out from the early morning clouds but I realise even more now that good light doesn't mean good pictures, especially for black and white birds! The whites were coming out too much and then you get that right and then the blacks are too dark. Never mind, I got a couple of good pictures so I'm happy.

From there we moved on to Cliffe Pools where Long-Tailed Duck and Black-Necked Grebe were reported on Alpha Pool. The only problem was the only pool we knew was Radar Pool and needless to say we didn't find them. Whilst there we picked out Little and Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Wigeon, Pintail, Mallard, Goldeneye, Scaup, Shelduck, Bar and Black Tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Lapwing, Snipe, Cormorant, Crow, Great Black-Backed, Herring and Black Headed Gull, Coot, Little Egret and Blackbird.

We then moved to Capel Fleet to see if the Cranes were about and on our way we picked up Song Trush, Redwing, Bewick Swan, Mute Swan, Red-Legged Partridge and Grey Heron. From the viewing point Dad picked out 7 Cranes through the scope. This was a lifer for me so I was chuffed!

After the Cranes we moved on to Swale where after a long walk with nothing but Shelduck and an assortment of gulls we picked out new ones for the year in Skylark, Stonechat, Barnacle Geese, White-Fronted Geese and a Hooded Crow. Others there were Greylag Geese, Brent Geese and Crow. Hooded Crow and White-Fronts were lifers for me but not for Dad.

On the way home we drove along the drive at Elmley and back in the hope of Short-Eared Owl and Hen Harrier but no luck. We did see a Buzzard at close range which is always nice to add to the day list and on our way out we saw a Little Owl.

As we're neared home we saw a Barn Owl fly over the motorway at the Share & Coulter Pub which also happens to be in my 1 Mile Radius! What a bird to get. It's always possible, I've seen them before (before recording the 1MR) but you only see them once or twice a year unless you go out looking for them all the time. This was the cherry on top of our brilliant day.

Good Birding.

Slavonian Grebe

Slavonian Grebe

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