Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A pair of Smew

Dungeness - 0830hrs - cold and grey, se 2 - Another grim old day on the Marsh with low light levels throughout, but at least the blasting east wind had relented. We joined the regular seawatchers at the fishing boats for half an hour where hundreds of Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets, Cormorants and Great Crested Grebes fished just offshore. A few Kittiwakes and Red-throated Divers flew by, plus singles of Red-breasted Merganser, Fulmar, Caspian Gull and Bonxie.

                                Guillemots off Dungeness

                                Pair of Smew from Christmas Dell hide

  At the bird reserve ongoing conservation work on Burrowes and ARC kept the wildfowl on the move which meant that the pools in front of the usually quiet Christmas Dell hide became the focus of attention. Smew have been in short supply this winter so it was good to see a pair amongst the diving ducks, plus Marsh Harrier and Great White Egret over and in the reedbeds respectively.
Lade - At least 3,000 Cormorants were counted flying over the peninsula from the north-east heading towards the bird reserve. I couldn't find the Long-tailed Duck, but it could easily have been lurking somewhere on site, while the Slavonian Grebe was in the back channel on north lake. With only light airs the Dartford Warbler made its presence known, calling and briefly perching atop the gorse. Also around the site Cetti`s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and Shelduck.

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