Saturday, 19 October 2013

Jack Snipe

Dungeness - 0900hrs - Mild, cloudy, rain, `til 4pm, sw 3 - After clearing the moth trap (which didn`t take long), with only Blair`s Shoulder-knot new for the year we headed down to the point noting several Swallows and House Martins moving south along the beach.
A two hour seawatch in driving rain from the concrete road and then the seawatch hide yielded a wide range of seabirds with a steady flow of Gannets, Sandwich Terns and the usual roving Arctic Skua. On the move west during the course of the watch were 300 Common Scoter, 150 Brent, 30 Wigeon, 3 Mallard, 5 Red-throated Diver, 10 auks, 3 Little Gull, 3 Med Gull, and singles of Velvet Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser and Kittiwake, plus coasting, 20 Redwings, 10 Swallows, 5 House Martins, 50 Chaffinches and inbound Sparrowhawk and 3 Skylarks. At The Patch, 5 Little Gulls and a juvenile Arctic Tern were the highlights, but nothing much noted on the land due to the poor weather. Whilst drying out at the Obs news came through of potential Dunge tick at ARC...
ARC - Twenty minutes later we were watching a stunning Jack Snipe (208) from Hanson hide, bobbing like a good `un, in a clearing in the reedbed and posing beautifully for piccies. What a little cracker, one of the best birds of the year so far, new for the Dunge list and the first seen since on my old local patch at Dunstable sewage works about ten years ago, a top bird.

                                Jack Snipe, ARC - what a poser!

                                Little Owl, Lydd

Scotney - From the lay-bye up to 1,000 Golden Plovers on the fields, plus 105 Barnacles and 8 Emperor types, Lapwings, Wigeons and a Ruff.
Galloways - With the rain slackening Robins began to appear everywhere around the range road along with Dunnocks, 5 Stonechats, Kestrels, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Cetti`s Warbler and a pair of Ravens. Eventually we found a Little Owl in the area and from Springfield Bridge Marsh Harriers, Reed Buntings, 2 Shelducks and 100 Goldfinches.
Dungeness - We returned to the lighthouse garden, as the rain had stopped, to look for the reported Yellow-browed Warbler, but without success (weekend string?). Another quick look at the sea returned a few more Gannets, Sandwich Terns, scoters and an Arctic Skua.
Lade -  Ended the day checking the bay from the boardwalk where we nailed five species of shorebirds including Barwits and Grey Plover.
A cracking days birding around the Peninsula, despite the rain, and loads of good birds for the guests to enjoy.

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