Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Feeding Frenzy

Dungeness  - 1000hrs - mild, wet, cloudy, se 3 - The early morning had an end-of-the-world feel to it with rain and low cloud producing an eerie, reddish half light until around 0900hrs. Anyhow decided on a change of tack prompted by the fabled south-easterly airflow which is supposed to produce loads of seabirds, but rarely does, as today... An hour from the boats was very pedestrian with just a few distant Gannets, Sandwich Terns, 2 Arctic Skuas, a Little Gull and several small groups of Brents and scoters to alleviate the tedium. Viz mig was provided by a steady passage of hirundines crossing the Channel.

                                   Four-spotted Footman, KRC

                                         Large Ranunculus, KRC

Called in at the Kerton Road CafĂ© to see a migrant Four-spotted Footman and a Large Ranunculus the larger version of the similar Feathered Ranunculus. Mrs Moth reckons you can tell the two apart by the Large, "looking as though it`s been cut out of felt", and I think she`s onto something there.
RSPB - 1500hrs - Called in at Burrowes this afternoon but the Spoonbill had gone awol (probably back to Rye). However, from Makepeace hide there was the unusual spectacle of 150 Cormorants working as a team `rounding up` a shoal of small fish (Roach/Rudd types). As they approached the shore the fish were met by a `welcoming` party of 6 Great White Egrets, 8 Little Egrets and 5 Grey Herons! For a couple of minutes it was mayhem with the gulls joining in as the fish leaped out of the water, after which the whole mass of birds flew over to the islands as though nothing had happened. I`ve seen Cormorants doing this on the sea but can`t recall this behaviour on a freshwater lake.
Also on Burrowes 3 Black-necked Grebes, 12 Egyptian Geese, Ruff, Dunlin and Greenshank.

                                Feeding party of Cormorants & Egrets, Burrowes

Over the road on ARC Pectoral Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, Little Stint, plus a Red-crested Pochard on Tower pits.

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