Thursday, 14 February 2013

2 Glaucous Gulls & Scaup

Dungeness - 0900hrs - A day of extraordinary weather commenced with lashing rain, a force 6 ssw blow and a churning sea. By 1100hrs the wind relented, the rain stopped and the sun came out rapidly elevating temperatures by early afternoon to 12C (where 24 hours earlier it was barely 2C). To cap it all by late afternoon some hefty showers developed resulting on the most vivid rainbows over Lade Bay. However, I digress, our seawatch in poor weather resulted in the expected auks, Great Crested Grebes, Red-throated Divers, Kittiwakes and Gannets rounding the point plus, 2 Fulmars, 6 Common Scoters and a Little Gull. At The Patch the mass of gulls over the boil suddenly produced a 1st winter Glaucous Gull that eventually settled on the beach with the other gulls. A classic `biscuit` coloured individual and completely different from the 3rd winter that we saw at the fishing boats  later on. We `moved` the 1st winter down the beach in line with power station car park and left it at that. However, it could not be relocated during the afternoon.

                                        The Patch

                                                 Common Scoter, Scotney

Scotney - Following a tip off from PB we had good views of a female Scaup from the double bend that spent most of its time asleep amongst the Pochards and Tufted Ducks. Scaup are quite scarce hereabouts and this was our first of the year. Also present a 1st winter drake Common Scoter which also got the sleeping sickness and fell into line with the other diving ducks. There were very few birds on the grass except for near the farm entrance where 50 Goldies, 20 Dunlins, 6 Redshanks and 3 Ringed Plovers amongst the Lapwings and Wigeons.
Ray and Stuart ended their stay on 101 species for the three days which produced typical winter birding with the highlights being Black-throated Diver, Bittern, Bewick`s Swan, White-fronted Goose, Scaup, Smew, 9 species of shorebirds, Glaucous Gull, auks, roosting harriers, Barn Owl, Kingfisher and Snow Bunting.

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