Monday, 22 March 2010

More Owl Failure, and a trip to Dungeness.

Catchy post title eh? I thought so, that's why I went with it. The first part is fairly obvious. On both days this past weekend I elected to get up at 4am and go to Rainham to stake out the Long-eared Owl. The Long-eared Owl elected not to bother showing on either day. I'm not going to try again. Well, not until tomorrow at least.

A load of blokes get up really early and get very cold on a shingle bank, all in pursuit of a dull hobby. What losers.

I also went to Dungeness yesterday! All becomes clear, the title makes perfect sense! Hawky, Bradders and I went on an early migrant hunt, but it was fairly quiet. Actually, perhaps it wasn't. First up were two smart Wheatear, that despite being nearly asleep, I picked up whilst driving along the approach road. These were then eagerly twitched by the other two, albeit from the car. A quick look at the sea gave us a few Sandwich Terns, and a couple of Red-throated Diver and Common Scoter. Back on the shingle, it wasn't long before Paul picked up the first of about four Black Redstart, and the bushes in the moat produced a minimum of three Firecrest. The various pits held four Slav Grebes, two Black-necked Grebes, a Redhead Smew, and several unmentionable ducks. Near the humming toilet block, a Willow Warbler sang. That put me on 177 for the year. When did I say I would hit 200?

Pied Wagtail

Reed Bunting

Although this was a fine haul, the birds were easily eclipsed by Breakfast at the cafe. Rarely have I seen such a huge breakfast, but after my early (and nourishment free) start I probably could have eaten two of them. Look at this! I feel fat just looking at it.

Back in London mid-afternoon, Bradders and I hit Rainham. 'Hit' in the lazy amble around not trying too hard sense. We probably missed a fly-over Spoonbill, such is life, but early evening sunshine and a smart adult male Wheatear made it easier to bear. I was so knackered when I finally got home I couldn't even write this. I tried, but it didn't read at all well, whereas now of course it is perfect. Hem hem.


  1. An impressive Breakfast worth capitalising, even if it doesn't have black pudding.

  2. Love the reed bunting photo! Not sure about that breakfast, though, but hey, all the more for you.