Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A late Goldeneye

Dungeness - cold, sunny, nw 3 - Completely the wrong weather conditions for sea watching and it was no surprise that half an hour in the hide delivered nothing much apart from a couple of Brents and 8 Common Scoters. However, on the mammal front up to 10 porpoises and a grey seal were a bonus. At the Patch c300 Common Terns over the boil made for an impressive sight, plus 20 Common Gulls and a 1st summer Med.
RSPB - We spent most of the day on the bird reserve starting at New Diggings where the 2 Slavonian Grebes showed well along with a host of Swifts and hirundines feeding on emerging insects low over the water, despite the low temperatures. At Boulderwall the Tree Sparrows were on the feeders and along the access road 2 Whimbrels and a Wheatear noted. On Burrowes loads more hirundines, Swifts and Common Terns, plus Black-necked Grebe, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and a redhead Goldeneye which had just dropped in. Around the circular route Little Egret, Lapwings, Greenshank and Whimbrels over, Ravens, Marsh Harriers, Common Whitethroat, Sedge, Reed, Cetti`s and Willow Warblers, but we failed to find the Bean Goose. More Whimbrels (25) on the way out and a cracking Lesser Whitethroat in scrub on the walk down to Hanson hide on ARC where there were 30 Common Terns.

                                Goldeneye, Burrowes

Greatstone Beach - We finished the afternoon from the Tavern scanning the beach on a falling tide where 10 Sandwich Terns bathed in the sea, alongside 200 Sanderlings, 100 Oystercatchers, 10 Curlews, 10 Dunlins and best of 12 Barwits, several of which were in summer plumage.
Boulderwall - An evening visit connected with Barn Owl around the old farmhouse, plus Sparrowhawk and Marsh Harrier, plus a spectacular lightning show over the Channel.

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