Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Where are all the passage waders?

Dungeness - mild, cloudy, drizzle, N2 - A different day altogether with rain on and off through the day and the wind swinging around to a more cooler, northerly vector. We headed down to the southern end of the Trapping Area and soon located the long-staying Wryneck feeding in the lee of an Elderberry bush, which showed reasonably well for about 30 minutes before disappearing back into cover. Also noted several large flocks of Mipits, Linnets and Starlings, plus a few Common Whitethroats, Stonechats, Wheatears, Dunnocks, a Skylark, Yellow Wagtail and Whimbrel over.
  Moving onto Burrowes where six Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper rounded off a wretched  Birdwatching Break for waders. I cannot remember it being this poor, despite plenty of good habitat on the local pits; and even on the bay numbers are down. There have been hardly any juvenile calidrids through at all this month and I can only assume that as many adults moved through in July they failed to breed due to poor weather in the Arctic region; there were a couple of reports of thick snow still on the tundra in early June. Hopefully my pessimism will be allayed and a few late stints and sandpipers will turn up, but somehow I doubt it. 
  However, despite the indifferent weather we managed to rack up 97 species for our guests Clare and Peter to enjoy, the highlights being: Pectoral Sandpiper, Cattle and Great White Egrets, Wryneck, Black Tern, Garganey, Goldeneye, Yellow Wagtail and Whinchat. The number of Kestrels across the peninsula this week was also pretty impressive.

                                The Boulderwall Four

  This afternoon I called in at Hanson hide where the four Cattle Egrets flew in from Boulderwall for a wash and brush up on the islands. Yet again waders were few with just a couple of Snipe, a Ruff and Common Sandpiper amongst 50 Lapwings, plus three Great White Egrets, two Garganeys and a similar tern flock to yesterday out over the lake comprising 11 Black and three Arctic Terns amongst many Commons. Also noted a Hobby and Black-necked Grebe.

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