Wednesday, 2 August 2017


Dungeness - mild, overcast, ssw 4 - 0800-1000hrs - A two hour seawatch from the boats with MH and CP was notable for a steady down-Channel passage of Gannet squadrons totalling around 200 birds, along with a steady trickle of Common Scoters, Sandwich and Common Terns. Also noted singles of Fulmar, Med Gull and Manx Shearwater.
  The spectacle of the watch was a shoal of mackerel and sprats close to shore being rounded up by porpoises and a grey seal. At times the surface was broiling with fish, some which leapt clear of the water to avoid the sea mammals, only to be consumed by gulls and terns from above. Several pulses of Sand Martins and Swifts struck out for Franceland as the wind picked up and before the rain set in around noon.
ARC - Plenty of Lapwings and wildfowl on the islands, plus several each of Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Little Ringed Plover and hundreds of Sand Martins over the water. From Screen hide it was good to see two locally fledged Marsh Harriers in action over the reedbeds.
Lade - A check of the bay from the Tavern viewpoint on an ebbing tide revealed a cornucopia of terns, gulls and waders. The terns were mainly loafing on sand bars, dodging a few hardy holidaymakers, and bringing in sprats which were offered up to their mates. Common Terns were much in evidence at 310, comprising mostly adult birds, followed by 185 garrulous Sandwich Terns. The quality was provided in the form of 12 Arctic, four Little and two Black Terns.

                               Some of the many terns on the bay

  Waders were well strung out across the bay as the tide receded with minimum counts of: 330 Oystercatcher, 210 Curlew, 40 Sanderling, 30 Dunlin, six Barwit, five Turnstone and two Knot. At least six Mediterranean were amongst up to a thousand mainly Black-headed and Herring Gulls.
  A brief look at north lake before the rain set in revealed a moulting Black-necked Grebe.

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