Saturday, 6 April 2013

White-winged Gull

Dungeness - 0700hrs - cold, dull, n 2, bright & sunny later - Kicked off the day in the seawatch hide where the highlight was a continuous stream of Red-throated Divers, which throughout the morning passed the 500 mark. A steady stream of Gannets, hundreds of Brents and a trickle of Common Scoter, Wigeon, auks, Sandwich Terns and Kittiwakes made for a lively watch. Offshore and at the Patch were thousands of gulls, mostly Black-headed, Common and Herring Gulls, plus a sprinkling of Kittiwakes, Med Gulls and at least one Little Gull. Around the old light 2 Wheatears, 3 Black Redstarts, 2 Mipits and a Stonechat, while the scrub around West Beach and along the edge of the Trapping Area attracted an impressive 40 Blackbirds, 5 Song Thrushes and a Redwing.
I returned a couple of hours later with CP to look for the reported Iceland Gull at the Patch where we had distant but obscured views of a white gull, sat on the beach, with a small amount of grey on the mantle and a Herring Gull-like bill and head structure which we considered to be an albino Herring Gull. It was then flushed by walkers and flew around like a beacon, looking for all the world like an Iceland Gull, before eventually being relocated on Burrowes a short while later. Due to poor, on-the-deck views, (so we didn't note the leg colour) in my opinion the jury`s still out until I get a better view; if it hangs about of course.
Also at the Patch Med Gull and a 3rd winter Caspian Gull.
ARC - From the causeway road, singles of Little Egret, Redshank, Ruff and Ringed Plover, 3 Blackwits, scores of dabbling ducks, 3 Goldeneyes and 13 Smews. On New Diggings a Great White Egret and another Little Egret.
Me old mate Pete Marshall and a crew of birders from Dunstable turned up this afternoon, having twitched the KP down at Rye. After tea and biccies at Plovers we wandered down the Point for a late seawatch in glorious spring sunshine (at last) where a steady passage of Gannets was still underway, along with a trickle of divers, auks, Kittiwakes and Sandwich Terns. On the land the usual Black Reds, Wheatear and Stonechat. Good to see you all, and safe journey back `up north`.
NB: A White Stork found by SB around midday at Boulderwall flew over the visitor centre and power station before drifting over Lade. It was not relocated but presumably the same bird was seen over New Romney and then Folkestone this afternoon. Also reported on the bird reserve today, a male Hen Harrier at Dengemarsh and a Garganey on ARC.

Black Redstart & Stonechat, Dungeness

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul, Always good to read your blog. There was a rather smart Male Garganey very close to the Blackwits around 11.00 am today also a Ruff and two Ringed Plover .