Sunday, 12 May 2013

Green-winged Teal

Dungeness  - 0500hrs - cool, sunny, w 3 - Not sure why but gave the sea an early morning look and lasted 90 minutes before caving in. A large feeding flock of c 200 terns offshore included at least one Little Tern and 20 Gannets. Moving west were 2 Manxies (186), 100 auks and 12 Fulmars, while the only eastbound birds of note were singles of Arctic and Pomarine Skuas.
At the Patch at least another 100 Common Terns over the boil. Nothing on the land apart from 2 Goldfinches and a Black Redstart.

                                Drilling ship, Dungeness

                                             Early Purple Orchid, Dungeness

                                Green-winged Teal, ARC                               

ARC - Whilst checking through a flock of Swifts by the gate at the southern end of ARC a Cuckoo flew over. Further along the causeway road way two birders (Craig Sammels & Chris Dyatt) flagged us down to tell of a drake Green-winged Teal dabbling in the shallows alongside a couple of Mallards. To all intents a drake nominate Teal, apart from the distinctive white vertical slot on the side of the breast, while it also lacked the white scapular bar of Teal. Managed a couple of poor record record shots into the sun and alerted the local bird hounds; TG arrived just in time before it flew off towards Tower Pits at 0750hrs. Needless to say it was new for the Marsh year list (187) and a personal Dungeness tick.
Dungeness - Spent an hour chatting to DB whilst staring into his amazing bird garden where Spotted Flycatcher (188) was new for the year. Also had brief views of 2 Common Redstarts and heard a sub-singing Blackcap. Across the road Skylark, Wheatear and Mipit.
As an example of how late the plant growth is this spring the two pics below were taken at the same location on 12th May last year and today, where the sea kale is probably three weeks adrift.

                                Sea Kale, Dungeness 12th May, 2012

                                Sea Kale, Dungeness 12th May, 2013

Burrowes - 1500hrs - A scan from Dennis`s hide yielded a pair of Scaup out in the middle battling with the waves being whipped up by an increasing westerly blow. Several parties of Swifts and hirundines over the lake plus a few Common Terns. Otherwise spent most of the time nattering in the visitors centre. The Pec Sand was still on Hayfield 3, another drake Scaup on ARC and a Hen Harrier through. There was no further sign of this mornings Green-winged Teal despite extensive searching. The rain arrived by 1630hrs.

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