Sunday, 19 April 2015

First Arctic Skua

Dungeness - 0845hrs - cold, cloudy, ne 3 - We just about made it through a slow, hour long seawatch off the concrete road where the highlight was our first Arctic Skua of the season, a dark phase bird powering up-Channel just off shore. Also, several Gannets, Red-throated Divers, Whimbrels, Sandwich Terns, Kittiwakes and Common Scoters.
Scotney - The drake Scaup showed well at the Sussex end while five Barnacle Geese, five Med Gulls, Whimbrel and Ringed Plovers were on the grass. Out back up to 20 Yellow Wagtails, five Corn Buntings, Reed Bunting, Skylark and Stock Dove on the farmland. On the new gravel pits 22 Avocets, two Greenshanks, four Little Ringed Plovers and all the usual wildfowl, egrets and gulls.
Dengemarsh - We failed to locate the Cattle Egrets in their usual fields but did have good views of the Ravens. On Hayfield 3, four Dunlin, Redshank and Greenshank, plus two Garganey opposite the hide. There was plenty of harrier activity over the reedbed while a Bittern `boomed` and also put in a brief flight view.
In summary a pretty decent weekends birding for Lawrie and Sally, despite the strong wind, with 86 species noted, the highlights being: Garganey, Scaup, Whimbrel, Greenshank, Arctic Skua, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Yellow Wagtail and Ring Ouzel.

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