Thursday, 23 October 2014

Pinkfeet Morning

Well the general wetness of a week or so ago has soon disappeared after a week of sunshine and strong drying winds and the ground has hardened up again. It's not all bad news and dryness though, the ditches remain freshened up and the grazing marsh looks much greener than it did, and with rain forecast for the whole day tomorrow (Friday), things should soon dampen down again.
What's more, we have the Pink-feet Geese back again, there were 44 this morning, alongside but staying seperate from 160 Greylag Geese. The Pinkfeet were on the reserve quite a bit during September but then spent a week or so along Capel Fleet before returning. How long that they and the Greylags will survive in those numbers is unknown but every day they make flights from the reserve and across the neighbouring farmland, crossing low over ditches regularly shot by duck shooters who lease the opportunity from the farmers.
Below you can see some of the dark-headed Pinkfeet, with, in the middle photograph, Greylags in the background.

Other than the geese, the bird numbers still remain a case of bits and pieces. Most days I see a couple of Stonechats and several Bearded Tits. One or two Water Rails can sometimes be heard "mewing" in the larger reed beds and yesterday I even had a Cettis Warbler in the reed bed alongside the sea wall. One species that does cross the reserve every day in good numbers but without stopping, is the Black-tailed Godwit. This morning over a hundred went by heading to Oare from their daily feeding grounds on the mudflats at Leysdown.
Now that the two RSPB fields alongside the reserve have been cattle grazed down very short I had a walk across them this morning in the hope of finding a Lapland Bunting but a few Skylarks amd Meadow Pipits were the best I could record, the glorious winter of a couple of three ago when we had a flock of up to 60 Laplands, is unlikely to be repeated.
This afternoon for a change, I went to Warden Point, where other birdwatchers having been having some success recently, but even there it was deathly quiet, a small flock of Long-tailed Tits was the best I could do.
Whilst mild winters are more comfortable to walk about in it would be nice to get a brief cold snap this year - several hard frosts and a short snowy spell would go down well and liven up the bird scene.


  1. Nice to know the Pink feet are around. Its about time we had a good year for them in Kent.

  2. I agree Marc, it's great to see and hear the geese filling the sky as they drop in.

  3. Encouraging news Derek early signs of things to come maybe ?

  4. Hope so Mike, funnily enough, this last few years we have always done better for geese than we have for ducks.