Sunday, 12 February 2017

Weekend wildfowl

Saturday - Dungeness - cold, grey, sleet, ne 3 - A grim Mordor-like morning with a rasping wind and a light covering of wet snow, a rare event down here on the coast (the latter, not the former). At the Patch the two long-staying 1st winter Iceland Gulls were among the melee of Black-headed, Herring and Black-backed Gulls over the boil and on the beach. The shoreline was rammed with fishermen competing in the `World Dab Fishing Competition` - honest, I`m not joking!
There was little seabird movement offshore and the land was dead.

                                Wintry Dungeness

                                Iceland Gull, the Patch

  A check of the bird reserve gravel pits revealed a drake Smew on New Diggings, plus a Slavonian Grebe, the drake Ring-necked Duck still on Cook`s Pool and a flock of five Scaups on Burrowes, a scarce bird these days and one I didn't see last year, not that I`m keeping much of year list...

                                Oystercatchers and Barwits, Lade Bay

Sunday - Lade - cold, grey, dry, e 3 - Another miserable morning for the monthly WeBS count on the local patch with an increasing easterly wind throughout the day. On the duck front Goldeneyes were back into double figures at 12 and a redhead Smew dropped in and out on south lake. Tufted Duck, Pochard and Wigeon remained in the low hundreds, but where have all the Coots gone?
  On the bay, with the tide flooding in, counts of 640 Oystercatchers, 45 Knots and 20 Barwits were noteworthy. The Curlews had already gone to roost while about 100 each of Sanderling and Dunlin were following the tideline in.

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