If, and that is a very big "IF", the weather forecasts are correct then tonight will be the last in this current cold snap? The predictions for Thanet over the coming week are for temperatures into double figures, Celsius, with accompanying rain. What joy in the run up to Christmas. The morning was much the same as yesterday, however, Lapwings had replaced the decked Golden Plovers and I actually managed to get a record image whilst standing within the garden boundaries.
|A convenient gap in the garden hedgerow enabled me to obtain this record shot.|
A decent flock of Goldies did pass over, but were certainly intent on going somewhere other than Newlands. As the afternoon started, so the sun finally broke through the high cloud and I said to Bev that I was going out with the camera to make the most of the conditions. My plan was to have a quick wander around Pegwell Bay NNR before heading over to the Ancient Highway, where Sandwich Bay Obs had reported five Short-eared Owls to be present on the Royal Cinque Ports GC.
I have to say that it proved to be a most enjoyable afternoon. Pegwell wasn't too brilliant, although I might have seen much more had I carried the Kowa. I then proceeded to the rendezvous point, at Sandwich Bay. Unsurprisingly, there were a good number of camera wielding folk present. I parked the van and got as much space between me and the "toggers" in double quick time. I'd already decided that 15.30 hrs was the latest I could stay and was, therefore, delighted when five Short-eared Owls left their communal roost site at 15.10 hrs. They knew exactly what they were doing and headed directly across the Ancient Highway and out onto Willow Farm. I rattled off a sequence of hopeful shots knowing that they'd be little more than record efforts.
Back indoors before 16.00 hrs, the sunset provided the cherry on the cake. It had certainly been a very pleasant way to waste away a few hours.
Nice result on the s e owls. Im right on the Stour estuary and this hard weather has resulted in lots of interesting stuff. Alot of snipe, avocets, a few greenshank, mergansers, pintail and huge numbers of the "usual"wildfowl and waders.ReplyDelete
The fact that Golden Plover and Lapwing have been present on the fields behind our garden says an awful lot about the effects of this arctic weather on our wildlife. The mudflats of Pegwell Bay were providing food, and shelter, for a good number of birds although the distance involved ensured specific id was beyond the capabilities of my 8 x 42 binoculars. Shelduck numbers were certainly much higher than normal, with huge numbers of gulls assembled along the low tide line well over half a mile away.Delete
Sandwich Bay has long been a place to see wintering Short-eared Owls, as they hunt the links of the three golf courses which are adjacent to the bay coastline. Cheers for the comment - Dylan