Thursday, 20 October 2016

Incoming Starlings

Dungeness - 0900hrs - cool, cloudy, n 3 - Ordinarily with a northerly airflow I wouldn't attempt a seawatch, but with guests to guide even a duff watch down here can produce riches for land-locked birders, and so it proved. An hour from the hide produced the spectacle of several hundred Starlings coming in off the sea, plus a drake Eider and a Bonxie westbound. The usual array of Gannets, Brents, Common Scoters, auks, gulls, Sandwich Terns, Porpoises and a Grey Seal also kept the interest ticking along. As for grounded migrants it was largely quiet (yet again), apart from a Black Redstart on the power station wall, 10 Blackbirds in the lighthouse garden, a Wheatear opposite Jarman`s and a scattering of Robins. Overhead a few Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Mipits, Skylarks, more Starlings, the odd Reed Bunting, Siskin and Redpoll was about all we could muster.
Scotney - The roadside fields were loaded with 200 Goldies, 100 Lapwings, five Curlews, a Ruff, 120 Barnacle Geese and five hybrid Snow/Emperor types. On the lake around 500 Wigeon, plus a Raven and Sparrowhawk over.
Tower/ARC - We finished the morning checking the bushes down to the pines where a few Chiffchaffs, Cetti`s Warblers, tits, Reed Buntings, another Sparrowhawk and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was the best on offer. Several Marsh Harriers were active from the Screen hide and a couple of hundred Starlings flew in off the sea.
  A steady three day bird tour delivered 101 species for Ray and Stuart and we all agreed that the large Fieldfare flock on the canal was the most memorable event, closely followed by the fishing Cormorants and egrets on Burrowes.

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