Friday, 19 April 2013

Red-throated Diver

Lade - 0900hrs - warm, cloudy, nw 2 - Mercifully the strong winds of yesterday abated to leave a pleasant if overcast sort of a day, which even felt muggy by mid-afternoon. First off an hour long scan from the aerial mound to check for `the swift` over the caravan park, of which there was no sign. However, during the course of the stake out 8 Med Gulls, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Buzzard over plus a steady trickle of Swallows pressing northwards. Around the willow swamp plenty of migrants in song including Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warbler; also singing, Cetti`s, Reed Buntings, Great Tits, Linnets and Greenfinches.
The lakes were thinly populated with the usual grebes, gulls and common wildfowl, while at the southern end of south pit I noticed a diver fly in from the bay and plonk down heavily on the water. On closer inspection it proved to be a badly oiled Red-throated Diver, probably with the sticky gunk that has been affecting other seabirds along the Channel coastline of late.

                                Yellow Wagtail, Burrowes

                                Red-throated Diver, Lade

Littlestone - 1200hrs - Spent an hour checking the shorebirds (in between shell-hunting with a 2 year old) and there was plenty to see. Nine species in all with several Bar-wits coming into summer plum and 2 pairs of Ringed Plovers looking for somewhere to nest (some hope along here). The best of the rest amounted to 30 Knot, 10 Turnstone, 8 Redshanks and hundreds of Curlews, Oycs, Sanderling and Dunlins; the only one `missing` was Grey Plover.
Burrowes - 1500hrs - From Dennis`s hide a Great White Egret and a drake Garganey. Further along the pit, near Makepeace hide, a flock of wagtails comprised 12 Yellows, 1 Channel type, 2 Pieds and a White, plus several Mipits and Reed Buntings.
Later in the afternoon DW found a 1st summer type Iceland Gull on Burrowes amongst the high tide roosting gulls.

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