Just need to get them down into Sussex with some sunny weather!
On to Dungeness where we wanted to record the Long-eared Owl that we had dipped the previous week. Great news - not one LEO adjacent to the dipping pond, but two and in a reasonable location for a record.
On the way out we located the Ring-necked Duck but as it was no closer than on our last visit we decided to spend the time on the Stejnegers - same result the bird had gone AWOL - it must have known we were coming. Shades of the infamous Little Bunting episode - seven trips without a result.
A short stop at Scotney gave views of the usual feral Barnacle Geese with the Emperor Goose crosses mixed in. Another stop at Pett Level and a diligent search of the geese out in the field resulted in Martin finding the five Taiga Bean Geese, a long way off and the scope on maximum magnification to resolve the ID.
We completed the day on Pevensey Levels looking for a Short-eared Owl, unfortunately a no show and with both the light and the temperature dropping we called it a day and headed for home.
The previous day had been a foray around the local patch, with the rail strike and local road works the traffic was horrendous and any long distance was out of the question. First up was Petworth Park, invariably there are Goosanders on the lower lake and always the chance of an Egyptian Goose. When we arrived a lone Goosander was on the lake but as always he kept his distance. There are always better chances for Goosander shots, particularly at Eyeworth or even the Widewater at Shoreham. So I left Martin trying, with consummate fieldcraft, to get closer to the bird whilst I stalked the Fallow Deer. I say stalked, these deer are used to a host of dog walkers and joggers, as you approach they just drift away to a comfortable distance.
I heard the familiar sound of antler on antler and found two bucks half heartedly engaged in "combat", every now and then they would break off, have a graze then have another go, the rutting season has long passed but I guess they like to keep their hands in.
I returned to the lake and found that three more birds had flown in, rather than settling things down it made the birds much more wary and finally they departed, probably for the upper lake.
Next a trip the Sussex commons where we obtained our yearly fix of Dartford Warbler, unfortunately never close and never stationary but a record shot nevertheless.