Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Arctic Waders

Dungeness - 0630hrs  - cool, cloudy, showers, NE 3 - We tried an hour in the seawatch hide for the guests but it wasn't happening, what with the wind direction and all. However, a single Arctic Skua was noted, plus a trickle of Gannets, Common Terns, Kittiwakes and a Fulmar. On the land a singing Black Redstart showed well enough on the power station.
Rye Harbour NR - En-route we paused at Scotney to view a mixed flock of Barwits and Whimbrels on the sward opposite the lay-by. At Rye a host of passage waders awaited us on Flat Beach from the John Gooder`s hide including 15 Knots (several in summer plumage), 20 Turnstones, 100 Dunlins, 20 Barwits, two Greenshanks and a Whimbrel, plus breeding Avocets, Redshanks, Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers. Although we noted a handful of Med Gulls, Sandwich, Little and Common Terns there was no sign of any nesting, while even Black-headed Gulls were low in number. Also present around the site, Skylarks, Wheatears, Wigeon, Little Egret, Shelducks and a Red-breasted Merganser.
Thanks again to Chris and Barry at Rye for site access.
  Crossing Walland Marsh on the way back several Buzzards and a Jay were noted, plus the usual Tree Sparrows at a private site.

                                Turnstone in summer plumage

Burrowes - Back at Dunge we caught up with the Ring-necked Duck and more common passage waders, plus two Hobbies and good views of the 2nd year Iceland Gull bathing on one of the islands opposite Firth hide. A large flock of hirundines and Swifts were hawking insects over New Diggings and two Brown Hares showed well from the Access Road.

                                Brown Hares from the Access Road

Lade - From the Tavern viewpoint we caught up with the beach waders as high tide approached: Oystercatcher 65, Curlew 25, Barwits 60, Dunlin 20 and Sanderling 20. We checked north lake but only Cuckoo and Marsh Harrier of note. A run out after dinner for a Stone Curlew on the Desert drew a blank.

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