Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Grey Phalarope & Leach`s Petrel

Lade - 0700hrs - cool, sunny, w 4 - Following strong overnight winds and heavy rain a check of the lake for any storm-blown seabirds drew a blank. A Black Tern amongst 20 Commons on north lake was about the best of it, plus 500 Black-headed Gulls. On south lake the small, diminishing island attracted two Ruffs, a Redshank and Ringed Plover. Around the willow swamp several Chiffchaffs noted while 20 or more Sand Martins struggled in the wind over the waters. On the walk back several Magpies were mobbing a Short-eared Owl on the Desert, our first of the autumn.
Dungeness - Checked ARC for seabirds but there was nothing much doing here apart from a lone Black Tern over the lake. From Hanson hide two Pintails, a Garganey, Ruff and Dunlin were the only birds of note amongst the usual wildfowl and Lapwings.
  A guided walk for nine visitors was hard going in the strong wind. Around the circular route five Wheatears and a few common warblers was the sum total of small migrants such was the wind effect. At Dengemarsh two Ruffs, two Great White Egrets and Marsh Harriers were the highlights. On Burrowes a Little Stint, several Dunlins and Ringed Plovers noted while we finished on a high as the Osprey flew over towards Kerton Road.

                                Grey Phalarope, Dungeness fishing boats

                               At times it was close!

Spent a couple of fruitful hours at the boats this afternoon where the highlight was a very showy Grey Phalarope that performed like a good `un just offshore and flying up and down the foreshore. My bridge camera pics don't do it justice, although there should be some crackers on the DBO and Plodding Birder blogs. It was an odd sort of a seawatch with a big sea running and for most of the time just a trickle of Sandwich Terns and distant Arctic Skuas going down Channel. Also noted three Common Scoters and a Red-throated Diver on the sea, Little Tern, Grey Plover and Little Gull through, and just as I was leaving a Leach`s Petrel that flew west and was then swept back into the bay before it could round the point!

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