Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Rough weather & a dip

Dungeness - 0900hrs  - mild, cloudy start, heavy rain and gale force 8 sw later - We kicked off with a seawatch at the boats with PB & DW where a steady flow of Guillemots and gulls were rounding the point, including plenty of Kittiwakes, four Little and one Med Gull. Several hundred more Black-heads and Kitts were loafing on the shingle, plus another couple of hundred larger gulls on the foreshore towards the lifeboat station. There was little else during the hour apart from singles of Common Scoter, Shelduck and Red-throated Diver.
Scotney - From the double bends a Black-necked Grebe amongst the Wigeon was a surprise with more ducks on the grass, plus Lapwings and a Curlew. With the wind whipping up the surface we pulled in by the farm entrance, more in hope than expectation, to scan for the Long-tailed Duck which surprisingly was the only bird on the water by the now flooded peninsula.

                                Bewick`s Swans, Lydd

                               Black-necked Grebe, Scotney

Lydd - A count of 55 Bewick`s Swan were in their usual field opposite the chicken sheds in Caldecote Lane and on the way out I very nearly put the car in a flooded ditch.
Hythe - The day then went rapidly downhill as the lure of the Hythe heron drew us off the Marsh for what turned out to be a wasted three hours staring into a wooded valley on the edge of a housing estate. When will I ever learn that twitching is just not my bag, and it is such a waste of time if you have to hang about; worse still if its in a built up area and you end up feeling like some sort of peeping Tom. Anyhow, by mid-afternoon and with the rain lashing down we pulled stumps and headed back to paradise.
Littlestone - Waders on the foreshore included Oystercatcher, Curlew, 20 Barwit, 50 Knot, Dunlin and Sanderling. By 1600hrs the tempest reached its zenith with an incredible hail storm, plus thunder and lightening, so we called it a day and retired to Plovers and the log fire. It was one of those days when I was glad to get home in one piece.

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