Tuesday, 20 September 2011

An "Interesting" Skua

Lade - mild, sunny, sw4 - 1300hrs Two regulars (Stuart and Ray) down from London for a three day bird tour. Commenced at Greatstone Beach (where we bumped into Gullman) for shorebirds, and off the boardwalk at Lade. Hundreds of Oystercatchers, Curlews, Knots and a scattering of Dunlins, Sanderlings, Barwits and Redshank.
ARC 1430hrs - Not so great here today with only 8 Dunlin, 3 Ruff and 2 Goldies amongst 200 Lapwings. The Goosander actually flew across the lake and all the usual wildfowl were noted including half a dozen Wigeon.
Dungeness Boats - 1600hrs - A reported Sabine`s Gull east earlier raised our hopes for a seawatch. At least 5 Arctic Skuas (including an "interesting" dark phase juv), 2 Little Gulls, 1 Med Gull, 3 Guillemots, plus a steady flow of Gannets, Common and Sandwich Terns. On the shingle located the old favourite Glaucous Gull and 2 Yellow-legged Gulls.
 Glaucous Gull, Dungeness -Ok, so I`m desperate for something to digi-scope! But it is in 2nd autumn plumage, AND sitting on a post, so quite different really...
Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Kerton Road Cafe

PS: It appears as though the "interesting" small, dark phase juv skua we saw at close range was a Long-tailed Skua, even though it didn`t have any grey barring on the underparts. Check the DBO website out for a full explaination and good quality picture.

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