Thursday, 3 January 2013

Razorbills & Geese

Dungeness - 0830hrs - Cloudy, mild, sw 2 - Joined PB et al at the boats for a tidy little seawatch. Almost the first bird I saw was a Bonxie followed by a second bird half an hour later. Offshore DW counted 1,200 Great Crested Grebes with at least 100 Red-throated Divers on the sea and coming and going around the point. A few Gannets, Guillemots and Kitts were noted but bird of the morning was Razorbill with up to 1,000 moving down-Channel and on the sea. Also, several combined flocks of 200 Dunlin, 35 Turnstones, 5 Teal and 2 Mallards. A dead porpoise on the beach looked to be a result of by-catch from the ever wastful fishing industry judging by its lack of fins, tail and head; there must be many more that simply sink to the bottom and are never recorded, what a sad way for a beautiful mammal to end its days.

                                          Harbour Porpoise, Dungeness

                                         White-fronts, Scotney

Scotney - The seawatch was abruptly curtailed as news came through of two species of geese at Scotney. CT & BH had found 7 White-fronts and a scarce Pink-footed Goose at the Sussex end amongst hundreds of feral Grey Lags and thousands of Wigeons, Lapwings and Golden Plovers. As the locals began to arrive we were treated to riveting views of a male Hen Harrier and a Peregrine tussling high over the lake.
  An afternoon visit failed to relocate the geese but I did see the reported Slavonian Grebe at the western end by the farm. Having a bit more time a scan around also delivered 12 Pintails, 2 Shelduck, 55 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, a fly-over Snipe, 3 Marsh Harriers, Buzzard, Merlin and a ringtail. As the ranges were silent and as it was high tide I tried the Midrips from Jury`s Gap; big mistake, the place was virtually birdless with just a small flock of roosting Oycs, Shelducks and Redshanks on the big pool.
  From the causeway road on the way home 2 Great White Egrets and 3 Smews on New Diggings, plus 3 Marsh Harriers heading for the Oppen Pits.

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