Trip reports

Pegwell Bay and Grove Ferry - Saturday 3rd December 2016

Friday, 9 December 2016

As we drove into the car park at Pegwell Bay some of the Group saw a weasel run across the road. The tide was out and we took the 'inland' route over to Richborough Port. Out on the beach we could make out flocks of Knot and Golden Plover along with the Lapwing, Curlew, Dunlin, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Grey Plover. Wildfowl included many Wigeon and Shelduck. We also saw the occasional Little Egret and a couple of Stonechats. A single Cetti's Warbler was heard and there were a few Skylarks and many Meadow Pipits.
At Richborough Port there were several Common Seals hauled out, with Mallard and Teal nearby. We encountered a flock of Redwing and a few Fieldfare in this area and there was a distant Mistle Thrush. Blackbirds had been frequently encountered, suggesting that many of these may have been fairly recent migrants feeding on the plentiful berries. Walking back a Reed Bunting was on display. With the tide now fully in we added Both Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits to the day's tally. Some of the latter were in breeding plumage! Out on the sea were several Common Scoter and a single Great Crested Grebe. The pool near the car park had about a dozen Shoveler on it.

After lunch we drove round to Grove Ferry where we had a single Jay. Apart from a few Mute Swans the ponds were generally devoid of birds! However, as dusk approached we could see various species gathering, notably Starlings forming small murmurations and Fieldfare and Redwing. We saw at least three Marsh Harriers heading off to their roost, one being accompanied by a Sparrowhawk. A single Water Pipit flew over and a Green Woodpecker was heard yaffling. With the light fading fast, we observed several Woodcock heading out from their roost feed in the fields while Snipe were calling out in the fields.

My final tally for the day was 61 species, but I knew that I missed a couple (including Ring-necked Parakeet). Report by John Birkett