Sunday 15 March 2009

Oare and Dungeness for rarities

Took Lynne, my wife, to see her parents in Kent. We both went to Oare where the tide was low and the water level in the East Flood was high. Quite a nice selection of ducks: Tufted, Shoveler, Pintail, Teal, Widgeon and Mallard. NO waders at all except three distant snipe. Very quiet in the reedbeds too. Two Reed buntings and a stonechat, plus a Cetti's warbler nearby. Stayed an hour and dropped Lynne off before going on to Dungeness.

David Campbell had arrived an hour before me and we met at the seawatching point (David having already looked at the rest of RSPB Dungeness and pronounced it 'dead'). We looked in vain for black redstart near the beach. David was getting depressed and grumpy at the lack of action. We decided to walk to the observatory. Finally we saw a female Black Redstart, a year tick for both of us. David's spirits lifted. We saw a particular race of stonechat on the way back to the car (don't ask me what) and then went to Pannel Valley to try and see the Great Grey Shrike which had been reported.

We had no idea where it was, but we found a path along the ditch. After about 500m we saw the Great Grey Shrike on top of a tall bush 75m ahead. Took some pics before sneaking a little closer. Got to about 50m when it flew to another favourite bush much further off. Watched it for a while and then went back to the car where we saw a barn owl in an adjoining field.
Remember, the picture below was taken from quite a way off.
Great Grey Shrike.

It was getting late so I had to go and pick Lynne up from her parents. In all, a modest day. Three year ticks, the Cetti's warbler, Black Redstart and the Shrike.


  1. Congrats on the GG Shrike - great spot!

  2. Thanks, Tricia. It's much better than the last shot I got of the GG Shrike last year.

    Regards, Phil

  3. hehe. Good post + pics Phil. David.


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