Monday, 29 April 2013

Scoters & skuas

Dungeness - 0630hrs - cool, sunny, w 3 - Back to proper birding this morning after a couple of days inland. A 90 minute seawatch from the hide delivered a steady up-Channel passage of seabirds including 155 Common Scoters, 10 Arctic Terns (175), 4 Eiders, 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Bonxie, 2 Red-throated Divers and 1 Black-throated Diver, plus scores of Gannets, Common and Sandwich Terns milling to and fro feeding. Heading west were 4 Fulmars and a cracking close drake Velvet Scoter (176), my first of the year.
On the land 2 singing Black Redstarts on the power station, several Chiffchaffs in the lighthouse garden and a Firecrest by West Beach.
Scotney - Eventually located the Long-tailed Duck (177) close to shore at the Scotney farm end of the main pit; although when I returned later in the morning for a better look I couldn`t find it. Apparently at the weekend it spent a fair bit of time sat on the spit at the eastern end.
ARC - All the expected warblers were singing between the car park and around Hanson hide, including a Willow Warbler. Nothing much on the water, or at the southern end from the causeway road.
Lade - 1830hrs - A stroll over the pits this evening delivered little apart from a few Med Gulls, 2 Shelducks and a Sparrowhawk.

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