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Sightings can be Emailed to:
Marc, Martyn & Brendan
Marc Heath - Heathym007@aol.com
Number of species recorded in the valley this year so far = 178
Non Avian sightings
In the company of Mike Gould, and Gadget, whom we met in the car park at Stodmarsh, we walked through the Alder wood and then sheltered from the persistent drizzle in the Reed bed hide. I wanted to look through the Alder wood, as Redpoll have eluded me this year. It was not long before a Lesser Redpoll was picked out from a flock of 20 + Siskin’s feeding in the Alder canopy. A Goldcrest was seen, as were several Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits. A sparrow hawk spooked the Siskin flock, gliding over the treetops and also 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen in the wood.
With a strong wind and drizzle, I spent about an hour hiding behind the screens after work from 3.15pm. The light was already going quickly even when I arrived but I managed to see a few birds: 24 Mute Swans into roost, 2 adult Bewick's Swans into roost at 4.07pm, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel, 1 Meadow Pipit, 41 Fieldfare, c200 Golden Plover, c800 Teal, 2 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 2 Marsh Harrier and 2 Shelduck. There was 1 Black tailed Godwit, c22 Snipe, 1 Grey Heron and as the Greylag Geese flew in I picked out a smaller Goose which was probably the Pink footed Goose but the light was to dark to confirm identity.
For what it was worth I made a brief visit to the ramp tonight after work for about 40 minutes. Phil Parker and Ian Harding were already there and between us we saw 4 Dunlin, c10 Redshank, 7 Marsh Harrier, 32 White fronted Geese departed just prior to my arrival, 1 Black tailed Godwit, 3 Shelduck, 6 Ruff, 1 Little Egret, 4 Fieldfare, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Great spotted woodpecker, c600 Lapwing, c100 Golden Plover and as we left in the fading light, a Woodcock flew over the entrance into the paddock. A male Hen Harrier was also reported mid afternoon by other birders.
(Marc Heath, Phil Parker & Ian Harding)
A brief visit tonight was made to the ramp at Grove Ferry until dusk. Not that much around but the following was observed: 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Shelduck, 8 Ruff, 5 Marsh Harrier, c60 Golden Plover, 19 Fieldfare, 1 ring tail Hen Harrier, 4 Dunlin, 41 Mute Swan in to roost, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Water Rail, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Grey Heron and as I was leaving in the dark, the Greylag Geese arrived in numbers but it was impossible to see if the Pink footed Goose was with them.
I spent the morning carrying out a Timed Tetrad Visit for the BTO Winter Atlas in TR26A, which includes Stodmarsh Village and Collard’s and Hersden Lakes. A total of 64 species was recorded during the two hours plus a few more species outside the counting period. A Long-tailed Duck flying E over the tip at Collard’s was the surprise of the day, but other sightings included 1615 Coots, 1070 Wigeon, 1270 Herring Gulls, 98 Great Black-backed Gulls, 334 Gadwall, 1 Pintail, 4 Goldeneye, 56 Teal, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Little Grebes, 138 Greylags, 211 Mute Swans, 41 Tufted Ducks, 24 Shoveler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Water Pipit, 4 Goldcrests, 2 Woodcocks, 1 Snipe, 9 Cetti’s Warblers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 8 Jays, 15 Long-tailed Tits, 40 Fieldfares, 6 Siskins, 9 Bullfinches and 2 Bearded Tits.
I spent the whole day in the valley today from 6.20am until 4.15pm with Marc for the first 2 hours, Pete, Alan & Norman and then Brendan from late morning until 3.45pm. Also at Grove today were, Steve, Mike & Sue. Avian delights today were, 1 Tawny and 3 Little Owls before 6.00 (Marc), 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Pochards, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 2 Grey Herons, 9 Shelducks, 1 Curlew and 4 Dunlin. There were, 4 Redshank, 1 Hen Harrier, 6 Marsh Harriers, 1 Kingfisher, 32 White-fronted Geese, 9 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 40 Wigeon west. The two adult Bewick's Swans flew out at 7.47 and returned at 2.30pm and there were 2 Pied Wagtails, 18 Snipe, 1 Kestrel, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Stonechat, 99 Golden Plovers and 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker. Also there were 100+ Feildfares with many moving west along the river late afternoon. A phone call from Tim Hodge via Marc told of a Long-tailed Duck flying low over Collard's towards Stodmarsh so, Norman and I went along to see if we could locate it on the Main Lake, but sadly without any luck although I did find a smart drake Red-crested Pochard amongst 45 Common Pochards and 155 Tufted Ducks, an overnight influx! as there were no Tufties and only 32 Pochards here yesterday. This also brought Marc back into the Valley to tick off his first RCP for the Stour Valley!! Also at Stodmarsh were, 3 Marsh Harriers, 7 Great-crested Grebes and several Black-headed Gulls and Shoveller plus a small flock of Long-tailed Tits. . There was no sign of any Goldeneye at Collard's but a large Gull flock was again at Cow Corner. A good scan through revealed a couple hundred Herring, 1 adult Lesser Black-backed and 30+ Great Black-backs with only a couple of Common and c46 Black-heads. A return to Grove Ferry revealed nothing new apart from the two Bewick's back in and the Pink-footed Goose that came in almost un-noticed at 4.05pm.
Returned to the valley this afternoon in the hope of seeing the Pinkfoot and Bewick's at Grove. By 2.30 it was already fairly dark as well as being cold and windy. However. there were plenty of birds from the ramp although the variety was limited with 1,840 Lapwing, 113 Golden Plovers, one Ruff, 250 Teal and 3 Shelduck. The single Pinkfoot arrived at 3.10 with about 150 Greylags and landed on one of the back pools. An hour later when it was virtually dark, the 2 Bewick's Swans flew in to the back pool. In between 2 Marsh and a single Hen Harrier flew to through on their way to roost at Stodmarsh. 31 Whitefronts flew up from the dowitcher pool at dusk and seemed to land beyond the boat yard.
A cold start with a heavy ground frost but no wind so rather pleasnt, birds today were, 3 Tawny Owls, 3 Pochards, 2 Grey Herons, 32 Eurasian White-fronted Geese that left at 8.08am, 1 Stonechat and 3 Sparrowhawks. The two adult Bewick's Swans flew out at 7.00am and there were,12 Ruff, 2 Water Rails, 6 Marsh Harriers, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 4 Redshanks, 1 Kestrel and a ringtail Hen Harrier. Also there were 128 Golden Plovers 60+ Fieldfares and 1 or 2 Redwings. We left Grove for Cow Corner at 9.00am but I returned at 11.am and added 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Shelduck, 16 Snipe and 2 Little Egrets. Plus 31 White-fronts were back, where is no. 32? The feeders had all the usual including, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting, Collared Dove, Blue & Gret Tits and 8 Magpies. At Cow Corner there were no Gulls at all but there were several distant Gulls on Herdsen Lake and some more on Collard's. At Collard's there were 7 Goldeneye (1 drake), 1 Marsh Harrier, 51 Tufted Ducks, 1 Bittern and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull. Stodmarsh held 32 Pochards, 3 Jays, 2 Marsh Harriers, 8+ Long-tailed Tits and in the Alder Wood The finch flock had several Siskins, 1 Lesser Redpoll and half a dozen Goldfinches.
(Martyn Wilson, Marc Heath & Brendan Ryan)
I made two visits into the valley today, the first was at dawn for an hour and again about 30 minutes until dusk. A good selection of birds were noted from the ramp including the 32 Eurasian White fronted Geese which left towards Chislet at 6.45am. They were soon followed by 2 adult Bewick's Swans. Other birds seen included 1 Skylark, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 6 Redshank, Redwings were heard calling in the dark with a few seen later, 15 Mute Swans, 1 Kingfisher, 6 Ruff, 3 Shelduck, 1 Dunlin, 3 Marsh Harrier and 1 ring tail Hen Harrier towards Sarre. There was 34 Fieldfare, 15 Golden Plover, 2 Water Pipit on the mud from the ramp, 1 Peregrine causing chaos amongst the 600+ Teal and Lapwing. The feeders held 14 Greenfinch, 1 Goldcrest in the tree, 1 Great Tit with a further 2 in the car park, 1 Blue Tit, 6 Chaffinch and the rat has turned into spider rat, showing good hanging skills on the feeders. 2 Pied Wagtail were seen along with 1 Kestrel, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Green Woodpecker. At 4pm as I was walking back to the ramp after work as numbers of Greylag Geese were coming into roost, one group had an accompaning small Goose which to my surprise turned out to be a Pink footed Goose, number 160 for the year for me and my best year yet in the valley. The Pink foot looked like it had been in the wars with its wings looking like it had been dodging bullets, other birders told me that it had been around in the area for a couple of weeks or so! 2 Hen Harriers, a male and a ring tail were reported flying towards Stodmarsh from the Harrisons hide area.
Update on yesterdays Colour-ringed Gulls
The Herring Gull White A3GO is from the RSPCA Wildlife rescue centre at Mallydams Wood in Sussex. The 2nd bird is a little more confusing, as I can't decide if it is a Herring Gull or not. However the ring colour and combination point to it being from a Belgian scheme. Many thanks to Dylan Wrathall for information supplied.
Very quiet at Grove this morning with a bitterly cold wind blowing straight up the ramp, Harrison's was empty as usual and has now been renamed "the Dead Pool" while the only bits at Green Hide were 1 Tufted Duck and 18 Mallards. So all other sightings from the Ramp until 9.00am when Phil arrived and we headed of to Cow Corner for the Gulls. Birds recorded from the Ramp were, 2 Bewick's Swans until 6.50, 32 Eurasian White-fronted Geese until 7.20, 4 Marsh Harriers, 3 Shelducks, 111 Golden Plover, 5 Redshanks, 1 Spotted Redshank and 2 Pied Wagtails. There were, 2 Grey Herons, 1 Stonechat, 1+ Ruff, 1 Little Egret, 3 Snipe and 2 Sparrowhawks. The feeders had the usual suspects and several Fieldfares were around the reserve. At Cow Corner Phil and I found no Gulls but noticed they had moved up to Collard's where Phil stayed an hour and I stayed until 11.10 before heading back to Grove for an hour with Steve Ashton. From the angle we looked at Collard's Lake we could not see any Goldeneye but we mostly concentrated on the Gulls. No sign of yesterday's adult Yellow-legged but, I did eventually find what is looked likea 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull but, expert opinion says Herring Gull plus two colour ringed gulls that may intrest Dylan. With all the varying plumages and sizes of just the Herring Gulls, some had streaked heads, some had clean heads some, were bigger than Lesser Black-backed some, were dark grey, some light grey etc etc etc, I have every respect for Gull watchers they are talented people. Also at Collards today was a Peregrine and 2 Marsh Harriers. Back at Grove with Steve for the final hour the only addition to the days list was 1 Dunlin and a Peregrine (probably the same as Collard's earlier).
A fairly normal start to the morning with Marc making his rounds with the Owls recording 1 Little and 2 Tawny's. At the ramp the first noticeable birds were two Swans on the main pool and several Geese and, despite it being too dark to see features the Swans were wild Swan due to the angular head shape. When light conditions improved we found ourselves looking at 2 Bewick's Swans and 31 White-fronted Geese (14 juvs). Also today there were, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Water Rail, 2 Sparrowhawks, 4 Marsh Harriers, 3 Ruff and a ringtail Hen Harrier. There were, 4 Stonechats, 2 flyover Siskins, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Pied wagtails. 3 Shelducks and 2 Grey Herons. A total of 4 Little Egrets were seen and there were, 5 Snipe, 6 Pintail west, 48 Golden Plovers, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Pochard, 6 Common Gulls, 5 Redshanks, 1 Green Sandpiper and quite a few Fieldfares and the odd Redwing. Phil Parker and I made our way over to Collard's were there were 3 Goldeneye, 3 Marsh Harriers and plenty of Wigeon, while moving on to Cow Corner to look through the Gull roost (only a quarter of last weeks size) we came across a fine adult Yellow-legged Gull along with several Lesser and Greater Black-backs, many Common and several different sized and plumaged Herring Gull. Unfortunately the Gulls were spooked on at least four occasions, once by a Sparrowhawk and once by a Grey Heron, so the Yellow-leg avoided having it's portrait taken.
(Martyn Wilson, Marc Heath, Pete Solly, Norman McCanch & Phil Parker)
I had an hour at the ramp at Grove Ferry after work tonight until dusk. Geoff Burton was already at the ramp and had already logged 4 Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Peregrine, c250 Golden Plover, 1 Black tailed Godwit and 1 Spotted Redshank. We both stayed on until dark and even spent some time looking for the mystery small Crake species but all we saw was a small black dog the size of a rat! Birds noted included: 1 Shelduck, 5 Ruff, 1 Jay, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 1 Water Rail, 2 Stonechat, 31 White fronted Geese on the main pool, 1 ring tail Hen Harrier, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Green Woodpecker, 4 Cetti's Warbler, c100 Fieldfare and 3 Red legged Partridge seen at Stodmarsh whilst driving to Grove.
(Marc Heath & Geoff Burton)
Late news for Monday 12th November. There was a probable Rough legged Buzzard seen at Grove Ferry hovering near Harrisons hide at approx 11.30am before flying off North.
I had a few hours after work in the valley and firstly called in at Cow Corner to see if any Gulls were present. There were a few Great and Lesser Black backed Gulls, Herring, Common and Black headed Gulls but not the hoped for rarer Gulls that we hope will stop in the valley. I did however find an Avocet on Hersden Lake which was a surprise. I moved on to Grove and watched at the ramp until just before dusk where I spent some time looking for the probable small Crake species. Nothing showed but it does sound like an interesting bird. Birds noted from the ramp: 31 White fronted Geese were present including 14 juveniles, 27 Fieldfare, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Little Egret, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 2 Skylark, 2 Black tailed Godwit and 4 Mute Swan. There was 8 Meadow Pipit, 1 Water Pipit, 23 Black headed Gull, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 4 Marsh Harrier, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Dunlin, 1 Pied Wagtail, c140 Golden Plover, 1 Shelduck and 2 Water Rail.
A small dark Crake with dark undertail coverts was again at the base of the ramp this evening. I saw it in the middle of the path feeding in the grass and when it caught sight of me it dashed into the Bramble covered pool to the left as you leave the ramp. Also the 31 White-fronted Geese came in and the juvenile Brent Goose was still present.
I felt duty bound to go to the coast and see a Little Auk for the year and so it wasn't until mid afternoon that I arrived at Westbere to check the gull roost. However, compared with yesterday there were few gulls present, presumably because the nearby tip doesn't operate on Sundays? There were around 800 Herring Gulls, 24 Great Black-backed Gulls 2 Common Gulls but only 150 Black-headed Gulls ( down by c4,000 on yesterday!). Since I was there I thought I might count a few duck to kill time and recorded 26 tufties, 5 Shoveler, 1 Pochard along with 14 Great-crested and 3 Little Grebes. 2 Lesser Redpolls were in bushes by the railway crossing. As the wind had dropped, I thought I would go an check out Collard's but I luckily stopped off at the ramp to see Martyn and jammed into my first ever Brent Goose for the valley, species number 217 for the list.
There were just 5 White-fronted Geese on the main pool this morning, 2 adults and 3 juvs. They left towards Reculver at 6.55 then, at 7.00 the other 26 White-fronts came to the main pool from a secluded pool before following the others at 7.30, 11 0f these were juveniles. Two adult birds were on the main pool this afternoon. There was 1 Pintail, 4 Marsh Harriers, 12 Ruff, 1 Sparrowhawk, 8 Snipe, 3 Grey Herons and 9 Wigeon flew west. There were 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Dunlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Redshanks, 1 Shelduck, 2 Pied Wagtails and c280 Golden Plovers that left before counting due to a very large female Peregrine, they did not return. Also today were, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Tufted Ducks, 1 Water Rail, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Fieldfares, a Common Buzzard and 6 adult Bewick's Swans flew over the Ramp towards Reculver at 10.00. There was a juvenile Brent Goose on the main pool this afternoon. Fortunately for Brendan, he was at the bottom of the Ramp, on his way in, and only had a 10yard twitch to get first for the Valley!! Collard's was much the same as yesteday but I could not locate the Scaup but, the 4 Goldeneye were still present.
The bush bashing season has come to an end so its back to counting ducks in the valley. I spent much of the morning in the Westbere/Hersden area hoping to find some wind blown seabird but alas it wasn't to be. There were plenty of gulls at Westbere with 4,100 Black-headed Gulls, 500 Herring Gulls, 8 Common Gulls, 3 Gt B-b Gulls and one Lesser B-b Gull. On the duck front there were 47 Tufted duck, 14 Pochard, 16 Gadwall, 13 Mallard plus 4 Little Grebes and 10 Gt-cr Grebes. On to Collard's where I met Martyn. A peregrine flew over as I arrived, and there were 3 Marsh Harriers patroling the lake pushing all the duck around. Highlight on the duck front was a drake Scaup, plus 4 Goldeneye, 54 Tufted Duck and 12 Pochard.
Some high expectations of inland seabirds after yesterdays winds sadly revealled very little. Making the note book today were, a Merlin at 6.35 and then it or another, a fine male, at 9.05, 6 Marsh Harriers, 1 ringtail Hen Harrier, 1 Peregrine and 1 Sparrowhawk. There were 12 Ruff, 3 Redshank, the White-fronted Geese now at 31 until 7.15 when they flew towards Reculver, 1 Shelduck, 7 Snipe and 280+ Golden Plover in the air just north of Grove Ferry only 6 onsite. Harrison's and Green Hide were a waste of time with just a handful of Teal and 2 Tufted Ducks at the later. Other birs of note were, 2 Pied Wagtails, 152 Stock Doves, 3 Grey Herons, 1 Stonechat, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Little Egret, 3 Common Gulls, 1 Mistle Thrush and 3 Fieldfares, although there were several Fieldfare and Redwing just to the east of Grove Ferry in fields by the Blue Bridge. At Stodmarsh there were, 2 male Bulllfinch, 13 Tufted Ducks, 8 Great-crested Grebes, 1 drake Pochard, 200+ Shoveler, 3 Mistle Thrushes, and a flock of 20 Goldfinfhes in the Alder Wood with a single Siskin. While highlights at Collard's where I met up with Brendan were, a drake Scaup, 4 Goldeneye and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.
(Martyn Wilson & Marc Heath)
After a pleasant days sunshine I made a visit to Grove late afternoon in a strong Westerly wind and drizzle, this turned later to torrential rain as I fled to the car. the following was noted from the ramp: 5 Marsh Harrier, c35 Snipe, 1 Kestrel, c100 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 6 Little Egret, 10 Ruff, 2 Pochard, c250 Greylag Geese flew in, in small flocks, 1 Bittern was seen in flight and landing at 4.26pm at the back of the main pool, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Cetti's Warbler and the odd Blue Tit and Greenfinch on the feeders.
I had a cycle down to Grove after work today and spent an hour from the ramp in the fast fading light. The following were noted: The hop along Little Stint was still present along with 4 Ruff, 1 Green Sandpiper, c160 Golden Plover, 2 Grey Heron, 9 Meadow Pipit, 7 Marsh Harrier and a few Chaffinch and Blue Tits made the most of the free food from the feeders and table.
A decidedly quieter morning with a fresher feel and less bird activity with no sign of any Geese except a few Greylags. Steve and Pete were already on the Ramp when I arrived and had logged 5 of todays 7 Marsh Harriers and 11 Ruff plus the Redshank count had risen by 50% to 3! There were 141 Golden Plover, 2 Kestrels, 1 Little Egret, 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Water Pipit, 3 Grey Herons and 2 Sparrowhawks. Only 2 Stonechats seen today but plenty of Feildfares with small numbers moving through plus a fair amount of Skylark activity. There were 28 Snipe, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 (injured) Little Stint and the flock of 30 Eurasian White-fronted Geese flew in at 10.35 only to land out of sight on a back Pool. At around 10.45 another birder on the Ramp thought he saw a Great-white Egret over the fields beyond the road near Grove, I had just seen a Little Egret flying to the north in the same vicinity and just caught sight of another Egret sp landing in with the Sheep just before Salvatori's yard. As the other birder had seen 'a yellow bill', my mind was thinking perhaps Cattle Egret because of recent events (2 in July & 2 last month) and the Sheep field!! Several scans across the area over the next 15-20 minutes finally revealled two seperate Little Egrets and a Great-white Egret that gained hieght headed towards Preston before turning, dropping and appearing to go down in the area of the Blue Bridge. A drive over and parking at the Blue Bridge revealled a Little Egret in the Sheep field, another Preston side of the road in a field with a Grey Heron and some Cows. Despite a walk along the footpath towards Seaton, to te third Gate, and a trapse around a couple of fields failed to relocte it by 1.00pm. There were however at least 7 Stonechats, 2 Sparrowhawks and 3 Little Egrets in the area.
(Martyn Wilson, Steve Ashton & Pete Solly)
Today started with Marc noting 2 Tawny Owls and 4 Little Owls around the valley before making way to the Ramp at Grove Ferry where we had the 30 Eurasian White-fronted Geese that have been present for the last couple of days. Originally reported as White-fronts, Pink -feet and Bean, but as there are 14 juveniles of the White-fronts with some looking very much like Pink-feet with there dark bills it is quite possible that there have only been just White-fronts. Other sightings today in the company of Phil Parker, Norman McCanch and Dylan Wrathall were, 5 Ruff, 1 Little Egret, 8 Marsh Harriers, 1 Kestrel, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 179 Golden Plovers. There were, 3 Pied Wagtails, 34 Snipe, 3 Green Sandpipers, 6 Stonechats, 2 Redshanks and 12 Corn Buntings. Dylan left us for a wander round the circuit as follows: "I left the others and headed off to the Alder wood at Stodmarsh. Two more Green Sandpiper, 10+ Goldcrest, 3 Siskin, 6 Wigeon, 2 Treecreeper, 1 Grey Wagtail and 3 Sparrowhawk made up the bulk of my sightings. Redwing and Fieldfare were present in reasonable numbers, feeding on the various berries around the hedgerows. A 3rd yr Lesser Black-backed Gull retained its' juvenile/1st yr tail pattern - really weird. A Chiffchaff and a few Bullfinches were in the bushes by the River Stour at the end of the Lampern Wall." more can be found at www.planetthanet.org . Also today were, 4+ Sparrowhawks, 12+ Bearded Tits, 1 Pochard, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Water Rail, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Cetti's Warblers, a Peregrine Falcon and several Fieldfare and Redwings. The juvenile Little Stint with the injured leg is still present and there were, 57 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Common Gull, 2 Grey Herons and 1000+ of each Teal and Lapwing. At Collards Lake there are now 2 Goldeneye plus there were 3 Marsh Harriers hunting the fringes as well as 107 Mute Swans with just two being young birds and well over 100 Coots and Tufted Ducks and 250+ Wigeon. A small flock of Greylag Geese were on the fields between the lake and the road with at least four birds showing a white border around the base of the bill, a kind of White-fronted goose type appearance.
(Martyn Wilson & Marc Heath)
I was passing Grove Ferry today between meetings so I thought that I would call in and check out the various species of geese reported in the last day or so. 30 Eurasian Whitefronts were present on the main ramp including 14 young birds. I checked the flock of 174 Golden Plovers very carefully for their smaller greyer American cousins which seem to be everywhere else in the country of late but alas they all looked big and golden. The only other bird of note in my short visit was a single Ruff.
With news of some Geese moving through Grove today I made a brief visit at 4pm for 45 minutes to see if they were still around. There was unfortunately no sign of the Pinkfeet or White fronted Geese but plenty of Greylags flying in to roost late on. I was joined by a few other birders who had already noted Green Sandpiper and the hop along Little Stint. Whilst we watched from the ramp a Bittern took flight briefly in front of us and 3 Marsh Harrier were seen dropping in to roost.
I was at Grove this lunchtime, 24+ White-fronted Geese could be seen from the ramp in the long grass to the left of the main pool.