Friday, 12 April 2013

First Skuas

Dungeness - 0900hrs - mild, cloudy, showers, sw 6 - The first decent passage of skuas this spring comprised at least 40 Bonxies and 7 Arctic Skuas (AJG) up-Channel. Only spent an hour in the hide during which time I saw a dozen Bonxies and 2 Arctics (159). Most of `em were, `half way to France`, except one dark phase Arctic which came in close, passing within the cardinal buoy. Also on the move was a steady passage of divers, scoters, Gannets, Brents and 2 Mergansers. Milling around were a few Fulmars, Common and Sandwich Terns, auks and a Med Gull. The land was a waste of time due to the strong winds.
Lade - On the local patch a Marsh year tick in the shape of a House Martin (160) alongside 3 Swallows on south pit. In the willows several Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Goldcrests. Back at the cottage a singing Blackcap in the garden, 2 calling Goldcrests and a pair of Med Gulls over.
RSPB - Very little of note on Burrowes except another Swallow and House Martin. Two Great Whites on New Diggings, Goldeneye and Little Egret on ARC. The hayfields held the usual Ringed Plovers, Dunlins, Lapwings, Redshanks and dabbling ducks, while a Bittern flew over Hookers reed bed.
Dungeness - 1400hrs - A return to the point with MH for a seawatch from the boats was predictably poor with only a few divers and Gannets on the move. Close to the beach though were several Kittiwakes, Common and Arctic Terns and a Swallow flew in.
On arriving home Mrs PT, prompted by a positive weather forecast, decided that "her two boys" needed a haircut, so out came the clippers and both of us were soon in full summer plumage. To complete the moult, maybe shorts by Sunday?...
PS: I know its been a phenomenal winter for Waxwings but there still seems to be plenty about. This morning I had a report of 40 plus in the Kingsnorth area of Ashford, while in Folkestone Waxwings were seen at two locations, including Park Farm retail park. Surely they can`t stay for much longer? Or maybe some will stay on and breed...




  1. No before and after pic of you then Paul !

    I saw 22 waxwings today near Mote Park Maidstone.

    1. Don't want to frighten off the readers!
      As for Waxwings, never known so many stay this late