Monday, 5 May 2014

Pomarine Skuas & Grey Herons

Dungeness - 0600-0800hrs - cold, dry and sunny, se 3 - It`s early May and with the wind in the south-east it just had to be a Pom day, didn`t it? After all, the previous ten days or so had only produced about a dozen or so birds, but today the weather gods, and whatever else stimulates these fabulous seabirds to come our way, combined to deliver 100 spooners passed the peninsula by close of play this evening. And what really made the day was that being a Bank Holiday many visiting birders were able to witness this iconic `Dungeness bird` en-route to its Arctic breeding grounds.
0600-0800hrs - We watched from the concrete road to start with, as it looked a bit crowded at the seawatch hide, and were joined by CP and MH. Up-Channel totals as follows: Red-throated Diver 1, Black-throated Diver 3, Fulmar 4, Gannet 22, Pintail 5, Shoveler 2, Common Scoter 125, Oystercatcher 9, Barwit 5, Pomarine Skua 3, Arctic Skua 1, Med Gull 2 (west), Kittiwake 5, Commic Tern 35, Sandwich Tern 20, auk sp 17, plus 5 harbour porpoises and a grey seal.
1530-1700hrs - Brilliant afternoon session from the seawatch hide with 22 Pomarine Skuas, including one group of six which clipped the cardinal buoy and a distant flock of 11 high over the sea. Also noted: Brent 8, Commic Tern 200, Black Tern 31 and singles of Gannet, Little Gull, Red-throated and Black-throated Divers, Arctic Skua and Kittiwake.

                               Seawatching, Dungeness

ARC - 0930hrs - En-route to Lydd, from the causeway road, a drake Garganey was feeding in the shallows and a male Whinchat in the willows.

                                Garganey, ARC

All Saints Church Lydd - 1000-1300hrs - Spent the rest of the morning atop the church tower on the annual RSPB Heron watch where six nests were easily viewable in the holm oaks below and what is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on nesting herons. With five pairs of Little Egrets now in the heronry in was good to see one at close range, also in the holm oaks.
Other birds noted from this lofty perch included Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Swift, Cuckoo and Whimbrel.
Thanks are due to the Les and Pat Carter for organising access to the tower on what has become an established annual event in our birdwatching calendar.

                               Stroppy `branchers`

                                Happy family

                                Nosey neighbours
                                Little Egret approaching nest site

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