Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Passage waders and hirundines

Dungeness - 0900hrs - cold, dry, sunny, ne 5 - A day of shocking weather with a blasting north-easterly throughout making for a dearth of passerines and difficult viewing. It started poorly with a 30 minute seawatch during which time not a single passage seabird passed by, apart from six Common Scoters going west. A couple of Med Gulls and Sandwich Terns milled around offshore and three porpoises were noted. At the Patch up to 100 Common Terns amongst the immature gulls, while opposite Jarman`s three Wheatears hunkered down sheltering from the wind.
Galloways - Some good birds here and not quite as windy with two Cattle Egrets near Brickwall Farm, Stonechat by the range entrance and singing Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Reed, Sedge, Cetti`s and Willow Warblers by Brett`s.

                                Cattle Egrets, Brickwall Farm

Scotney - On the roadside fields passage waders in the form of two Whimbrel, six Ringed Plovers two Redshanks and a cracking summer plum Barwit. Behind the farm all the usual mix of waders and farmland birds: 20 Yellow Wagtails, ten Corn Buntings, Skylark and Mipit, 20 Avocets, LRP and Greenshank.

                                Bar-tailed Godwit and Corn Bunting, Scotney

RSPB -  A profitable circuit for migrant waders with a flock of 14 Greenshanks and two Redshanks on Burrowes, two Common Sandpipers over the hayfields that were our first of the year, a Snipe in front of Christmas Dell hide, two LRPs, two Ringed Plovers and a Dunlin on Hayfield 3 and Curlew on Dengemarsh, where also two Garganey, Wigeon, Common Tern and Peregrine. From the ramp the two Bean Geese were in the back field with all the usual Greylags and Egyptians.
Over the road on ARC we spent over an hour going through hundreds of hirundines, mainly Swallows, plus 20 House Martins, 10 Sand Martins and 30 Swifts, our first of the year.

                                Greenshanks, Burrowes
Dungeness - 1900-2000hrs - An evening seawatch from the boats produced 20 Sandwich Terns and 10 Gannets feeding offshore, plus up-Channel, three Little Gulls (first of the year), five Kittiwakes, five Brents, Whimbrel and Oystercatcher. 

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