Friday, 5 April 2013

Winter continues

Lade - cold, cloudy, sleet/rain showers, ne 6 - Awoke at dawn fully prepared for a seawatch until I heard the easterly wind and driving rain rattling on the window pane. It was a slow start to the day spent at the keyboard catching up on magazine articles and drinking too much tea. Eventually we ventured out into the tempest (only because Barney kept sitting by the back door whinging) and spent the next hour tramping around the local patch getting soaked and not seeing a great deal. On the pits it was a typical winter scene with diving ducks, grebes, 6 Goldeneyes and a Shelduck. A Great White Egret was lurking in a reed bed and the only passerines were singles of Song Thrush and Skylark flushed off the storm beaches.
RSPB - 1430hrs - Spent a couple of hours birding with MH this afternoon commencing at the boats where we only lasted 20 minutes; a trickle of Sandwich Terns, Gannets and a couple of divers was about it. From the causeway road a wintry scene on ARC with Shovelers, Teal and Gadwall in the ascendancy plus Ringed Plover, Redshank, Little Egret and 3 Pied Wagtails. Nothing much else from the access road and on Burrowes (where we scanned from the comfort of the visitor centre) except a few Goldeneyes and a Smew.
The only other local news was a male Hen Harrier at Dengemarsh and a Blackwit on ARC.
Such is the effectiveness of this blocking high pressure weather system on migration that so far this spring I have yet to see Willow Warbler, Yellow Wagtail or Garganey, while Wheatear, Swallow, LRP and even Chiffchaff have been difficult to come by. Its my 8th spring down here and by far the slowest, so things can only get better, perhaps over the weekend...

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