Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bar-tailed Godwits

Lade - 0700hrs - cool, cloudy, n3 - Just when you think its going to be a quiet day the Barwits arrive. Had 150 over the pits in just 30 minutes, in five groups, heading into the the brisk northerly. Also noted 3 more flocks of 20ish each flying over the cottage during the morning
RSPB - 1130hrs At the southern end of ARC a flock of 55 had dropped in, many in brick-red summer plum. There were 20 more on Burrowes and two flocks of 20 on the access road fields. Also noted several Grey Plovers and Knots.
Had a drive around Galloways this evening where more Barwits on the fields and small flocks flying over; probably another 200. Also, another group of 20 on ARC. Finished off at the seawatch hide where in an hour 250 more moved up-Channel. At least 50 Common Terns on the Patch, plus 2 summer plum Black Terns. Two flocks of 30 Common Scoter also on the move.
Throughout the day reckon I had upwards of 800 Barwits and according to Gullman c7,000 (probably a record) had past the Point by 7pm. Barwits on the move in these numbers is one of the great viz mig spectacles of the spring at Dungeness. The males in breeding plumage are stunning birds and they`re with us for such a short time as they press on to breed in the Arctic tundra region.
                                          Barwits, Dungeness

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