Sunday, 20 April 2014

Black-necked Grebes

Lade - mild, overcast, rain, nw 3 - Pulses of rain continued throughout the day with one or two longer spells making unpleasant birding conditions. Being as it was WeBS weekend we covered all angles of the pits but predictably duck numbers were low with only a pair each of Shoveler and Pochards remaining amongst the Gadwalls, Mallards and Tufted Ducks. However, three Black-necked Grebes livened things up on north lake and were probably the trio from the bird reserve seen earlier in the weekend. A party of 20 hirundines was split about equal Swallow/House Martin. The rain eased off for a while and encouraged several Sedge, Reed and Cetti`s Warblers into song, plus Whitethroat.

                                Black-necked Grebes, Lade

ARC - from the causeway road similar numbers of Little Gulls to yesterday, plus flyover Greenshank and Grey Plover. Two Yellow Wagtails briefly dropped in at the south end and a Sparrowhawk headed towards Tower pits over the water.
Dungeness - 1500hrs - I fully intended to check the Patch out this afternoon, even before a text from PB informed me of a Black Tern! Which did happen to be new for the year, not that I`m year listing you understand... Anyhow, with the front moving over and in terrible light we joined PB and BM in the hide for an hours worth of trickling Common and Sandwich Terns, Gannets, three Fulmars, three Little Gulls and singles of Kittiwake, Red-throated Diver and Bonxie.
Bank Holidays always attracts loads of tourists to Dungeness, and long may they continue to come (some of them even stay at Plovers), but the little charmers that came up on the train from Dymchurch this afternoon were most unwelcome. A right old kerfuffle was going on outside the old light as yobbos had been hurling stones onto the people and cars below. The rozzers were on site trying to restore order, including the sub-machine gun toting, power station boys (well you never know when a Fifth Columnist is going to strike). Anyhow, I stopped and had a chat with one of the locals who said the baying mob were out for blood from the culprits, so I drove on before I got pelted too - roll on Tuesday...

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