Saturday, 3 September 2011

Chats, Partridges and a bit of Viz Mig

Dungeness - Misty, muggy start, clearing by noon, then warm, sunny, sw2 - Had a day out in the company of the Joker and Marshman; and Barney tagged along too. Funny old session with bits and pieces but no real quality. Anyhow, it went something liked this...
Dengemarsh Gully - 0915hrs - A thick mist and not much else besides, apart from Plodding Birder who`d had much the same idea and result, although he did have the leaucistic Grey Heron in the gully.
Galloways - 1000hrs - Much better here with half a dozen each of Wheatear, Whinchat and Stonechat, plus a sheltered spot with a few Whitethroats, Chiff/Willows, Reed Buntings, Linnets, Great Tit and Robin. A brief view of a Partridge (Grey) dropping into cover was my first since the spring. A 90 minute viz mig from the tank bund followed (by now the Joker was on to his third theory of the day and 20th pun!) which produced around 500 hirundines (mainly Swallows), several Mipits, Yellow Wagtails and singles each of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel (Marshman had a Merlin earlier). Several other car loads of local birders came and went including the Ashford Three.
Scotney - 1215hrs - Plenty of common wildfowl on the grass by the entrance to the farm plus at least 100 grounded Yellow Wagtails, 2 Common Sandpipers, a fly-over Greenshank and a distant adult male Marsh Harrier. On the drive back to Lydd 6 Partridges flew over the road by Pigwell.
ARC - 1330hrs - The now expected waders from Hanson hide included just under 200 each of Knot and Golden Plover, 300 Lapwings, 15 Dunlin, 2 Barwits, Blackwit, Little Gull, Goosander and Pintail. Over the road at Boulderwall the Cattle Egret showed as well as could be expected and a Hobby was noted.
Dungeness Boats - 1445hrs - An hours seawatch produced about 50 Gannets feeding just off shore along with a few Common and Sandwich Terns and 10 Guillemots. Also off the Point, 6 Black Terns, 3 Arctic Terns, Fulmar, Bonxie and 3 Common Scoter. (A Sooty Shearwater and 2 Arctic Skuas had been reported just before we arrived), plus an adult Yellow-legged Gull from the access road. Best of all here though was the close proximity of 10 or more Harbour Porpoises, plundering the fish (probably Mackerel) with several `Flipper` style breaches seen.
Also reported today: GreatWEgret, Dengemarsh; Glaucous Gull, boats; Honey Buzzard, south over the Point this afternoon.
                                          Wheatear, Tank Bund

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