Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Another Glaucous Gull

Dungeness - cold, wet, se 4 - Spent the day birding the local area with Wendy and Doug, in foul weather conditions with a biting easterly wind. Seawatching from the concrete road and hide produced hundreds of auks, Kittiwakes, Gannets and Red-throated Divers moving around the point, but not as many Black-headed Gulls than of late. Also, three Brents, two Little Gulls and singles of Fulmar and  Med Gull. Just as we were about to pack up news came through from MH of a Glaucous Gull located on the foreshore near the fishing boats, and we were soon enjoying good views of a 1st winter bird as it fed amongst the other large gulls. As usual this brute of a, "come and have a go if you think you`re hard enough" gull was being given a wide berth by the Black-backs and Herring Gulls.

                              

                               

     1st winter Glaucous Gull, Dungeness fishing boats

RSPB - A tour of the bird reserve commenced from the causeway road with good views of three Goldeneye and Smew on New Diggings, although we couldn`t find the divers. On ARC ten Goldeneye and three Smew amongst hundreds of common wildfowl, plus two Great White Egrets and a Little Egret. From Hanson hide two Marsh Harriers and calling Water Rail and Cetti`s Warbler.
Over the road plenty of birds on the fields at Boulderwall including 150 Curlews, two Snipe amongst the feral geese, corvids, gulls, Lapwings and Wigeon; also several more Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzard, another Great White Egret and dozen Tree Sparrows on and around the garden feeders.
On Burrowes we eventually located the wintering Black-necked Grebe from Makepiece hide, plus another Smew, several Goldeneyes, three Pintail and loads of common ducks. Needless to say the islands have all but disappeared under water and many of the Cormorants were already claiming nest sites amongst the willows.
Scotney - On the grass small numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Lapwing, gulls and feral geese. At the Kent end the Long-tailed Duck was in its usual position fishing off the spit. Several Marsh Harriers also noted and two Dabchicks.
Lydd - The Bewick`s Swan flock, numbering 44, was in the usual field along with large numbers of Common Gulls.
Littlestone - Finished the day down by the golf links for the owls, which we didn`t see, probably due to the poor weather. On the foreshore plenty of Curlews, Oystercatchers and several Barwits.
Despite the biting wind a decent days birding with the Glaucous Gull the obvious highlight.

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