Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Southerly gale

Dungeness - cold, cloudy, wintry showers, S 6 - What a difference a day makes. Yesterday morning Dartford Warblers were singing atop gorse scrub at Lade in light airs against a blue sky backdrop. Not so today though with a vicious southerly blow making walking out in the open difficult, and by late morning building up to gale force with a rash of sleety showers.
  While it was still dry we opted for an hour at the fishing boats gazing out across a choppy Channel with plenty of gulls, Cormorants and auks fizzing by. As is often the case with a big sea running here seawatching is not at its best, and so it proved this morning with only a few Red-throated Divers, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Fulmars and a Merganser to keep the interest going.
  The bird reserve wasn't much better with most of the wildfowl hunkered down at the south end of Burrowes sheltering from the blow, although a drake Smew didn't seem to be phased by the conditions as it fished in open water in front of the visitors centre. There was no sign of yesterdays plastic Pochard on the Dipping Pool, although it could have been hunkered down just about anywhere across the reserve. On the way out the Boulderwall fields attracted a large mixed flock of Golden Plovers and Lapwings.

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