Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Red-backed Shrike

Lade - cool, cloudy start, sunny later, w 4 - A couple of Goldcrests in the garden fir trees and a Grey Wagtail over were the only migrants of note locally on what was a blustery day and much cooler than of late.
  An early afternoon check of the bay from the Tavern viewpoint, on a falling tide, was notable for hundreds of Oystercatchers and Curlews, 100 Dunlin, 30 Sanderling, 50 Barwits, 10 Redshanks, 100 Sandwich, 20 Common and five Arctic Terns. An odd distant wader flummoxed me for a while until I decided it had to be a juvenile female Ruff, an usual record on the beach. Just as we were leaving the sandpipers erupted skywards as a Merlin plunged into the flock, but without success. 

                                Wheatears, Dungeness

                                Red-backed Shrike, Long Pits

Dungeness - A seawatch from the hide delivered a steady flow of down-channel Sandwich Terns and Gannets, several Arctic Skuas, a small flock of Common Scoters and a few outward bound Swallows and a House Martin. The Patch was also quiet with only a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of note. A wander around the point produced a few Meadow Pipits, Willow Warblers, Common Whitethroats and Wheatears.
  Onto Dengemarsh and four Ruff amongst the Golden Plovers and Lapwings, plus two Great White Egrets and a pair of Peregrines over. It was then back to the point and the Long Pits where a juvenile Red-backed Shrike showed briefly in scrub on the Desert; we returned later in the day and gained much better views. Also Blackcap, Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Wheatear and Stonechats on the Desert.
  A late afternoon seawatch from the fishing boats was quiet with several Arctic Skuas chasing the terns, 20 Harbour Porpoises and a Grey Seal offshore and a Swift out.

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