Saturday, 25 August 2012

Balearic Shearwater

Lade - 0600hrs - Strong to gale force south-westerly, showery, low cloud, mild - What a contrast to yesterday morning, with a fair old blow coming up-Channel off the Atlantic. Despite the unfavourable conditions White-point and Iron Prom in the garden moth trap this morning.
Dungeness - 1030hrs - The full force of the wind could be felt in the shuddering seawatch hide as the spray whipped in through the slots. Did a brief 30 minutes during which time a steady passage of terns and Gannets noted, plus 3 Arctic Skuas, several Kitts, Little Gull and Fulmar; earlier more skuas, plus 3 Balearics and a reported Sooty Shearwater.
1400hrs - Round 2 from the fishing boats eventually, after 90 minutes, yielded my first Balearic of the summer heading east, plus more Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns, 6 Arctic Skuas, 10 Kitts, 2 Fulmars and an Arctic Tern. A RNLI boat (not the Dungeness one) was making heavy going of the big sea and was "going green", as us old sea dogs would say.
ARC - Nothing much happening on Burrowes from the Visitors Centre, although the GWEgret was on the board for Dengemarsh. From Hanson a scattering of waders: Golden Plover, Common Sands, Dunlins, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, a Black Tern and at least 4 Garganeys amongst the dabblers.
NB: Whilst there a bloke confidently called out, "Kentish Plover". Here we go I thought, but I kept mum and scanned around to where the putative plover was supposed to be, only to find a juv Ringed Plover, albeit quite a pale one (apparently, one was also claimed here yesterday, a Kentish that is). Anyhow, this went on for a bit, but when someone else came in and matey tried to convince the newcomer of his find I donned my best diplomatic hat and went into the fray, calmly pointing out the finer points of plover identification, and emphasising how tricky wader id is and all the while trying not to put the bloke down. I mean, lord knows we`ve all made cocks up, and hopefully can look back, learn and have a chuckle. But no way, Mr I`m Right and You`re Wrong was having none of it, a Kentish Plover it was, and that`s that. So, not wanting to spoil his `find` any further I shuffled off in a cowardly fashion, eager to avoid a confrontation, and returned to the car to see whether QPR had claimed their first win of the season...

                                          Iron Prominent
                                          Juv Kittiwake, DBO

                                         Lifeboat, "going green"

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