Tuesday, 19 November 2019

First frost of winter

Lade - cold, dry and sunny, light airs - A stunning winter morning with the first proper frost of the season covering the shingle and plants with a white rime, and welding the stones together affording an easy transit over the pebbles. Barney, however, wasn't so sure as he slithered his way across to the main track! The view south to Dungeness had an ethereal feel with the power stations and lighthouses looming out of  the mist.

                                Mullein rosette
                                Looking south towards Dungeness

  Along the main track there was a good selection of birds for a change including Dartford Warbler and Stonechats, Reed Buntings and Greenfinch. Around the ponds Bullfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker were bonus birds (the finch being particularly scarce here) plus Chiffchaff and Cetti`s Warbler. On the lakes most of the Great Crested Grebes have now dispersed, presumably onto the sea for the winter; a lone Goldeneye was the only wildfowl of note. Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Long-tailed Tits, Mipits, Blackbirds and Robins also noted.

                                Great Spotted Woodpecker

                               Guelder Rose by the ponds

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Harriers and Stone Curlew

Lade - mild, cloudy, wet, light airs, am, brighter later - Spent the first part of the morning on the local patch counting waterfowl for the monthly WeBS survey on south lake, until a phone call from PB told of a Pallas`s Warbler in the moat at Dungeness found by Ray O` Reilly whilst leading a KOS group. We were soon on site, but despite a couple of hours searching it could not be relocated, just several Goldcrests, a Firecrest, Song Thrush, Robins, Wrens, Chaffinches, Dunnocks and Blue Tits.
  Whilst there news came through of a Stone Curlew on the beach at Greatstone found by David Scott whilst scanning roosting waders on the high tide - from his front window! The bird eventually moved down the beach towards the Pilot and landed just past the green fishing boat opposite Williamson Road, a stone`s throw from Plovers - in a desperate attempt to get it on the cottage list I tried to see it from the upstairs bedroom window, but failed! However, the bird had settled on a quiet section of the beach affording a clutch of local and visiting birders to observe it on the deck through scopes. A very late record and an odd place for one to turn up too, alongside roosting Oystercatchers.

                               Stone Curlew on Greatstone beach (by David Scott)

                               Record shot down the beach!

   This afternoon on the way out to Walland with CP we stopped for seconds on the curlew before heading out on the marsh, where a scan of the bay revealed a Red-breasted Merganser, five Sandwich Terns and a number of Kittiwakes on a flat calm sea.
  From our usual watch point on Walland a total of 18 Marsh Harriers dropped in to roost in perfect weather conditions. Also noted in the area, five Buzzards, four Kestrels, two Ravens, five Fieldfares, several Water Rails and Cetti`s Warblers, 10 Mipits, Corn Bunting and five Great White Egrets to roost over by the reservoir. As dusk fell several large Starling murmerations fizzed inland, while hundreds of feral swans and geese flew to roost.

Friday, 15 November 2019


Lade - cold, cloudy, rain, ne 3-4 - A grim morning to be out and about across the peninsula that got steadily wetter as the afternoon progressed. The local patch had a few more Teal and Wigeon on south lake, but otherwise it was similar fare to earlier in the week. On the high tide and with the onshore wind picking up a few Gannets and Red-throated Divers were forced into the bay, although still fairly distant. A late Sandwich Tern was also of note.
  Around the bird reserve Burrowes held all the usual wildfowl, gulls and Cormorants, while at least five different Marsh Harriers were active over the Boulderwall fields. A walk down to the pines yielded good numbers of 20 plus Blackbirds foraging on sea buckthorn berries, plus a mixed flock of tits, Chaffinches and a couple of Chiffchaffs. Two Goldeneyes were on the ARC lake, but with all the islands now underwater for the winter it was a pretty bleak picture.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Burrowes Biomass

Lade - mild, dry and sunny, light airs - A fine winters day to be out and about around the peninsula. We kicked off on the local patch where several Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were by the ponds and two Mediterranean Gulls amongst a large flock of gulls on north lake. All the usual grebes and wildfowl across both waters, plus Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and a mixed flock of Curlews and Lapwings over the airport fields.

                                Mediterranean Gull, Lade north

  Moving onto the bird reserve where Burrowes was stacked out with enormous numbers of common wildfowl, chiefly Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal, hundreds of gulls and Lapwings and at least 3,000 Cormorants. Also in the mix 10 Pintails, five Golden Plovers, two Redshanks and a Red-throated Diver, plus several Marsh Harriers, Raven and Peregrine over. More Chiffchaffs were in the bushes and a Brambling on the car park feeders. On Boulderwall fields, two Cattle and one Great White Egret, plus a single Goldeneye on ARC.

                               Great White Egret, Boulderwall

  An afternoon visit to Scotney yielded the usual feral geese, 100 Wigeon, 100 Lapwings, 500 Starlings, five Ruffs and two Redshanks. The Little Owl was in its favoured bush by the watch tower from the range road, while two Brent Geese had joined the Mute Swan flock in the stubble field by the dung heap along Dengemarsh Road. A ringtail Hen Harrier was also reported today between Cockles and Springfield bridges.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Sandwich Terns

Lade - mild, dry and cloudy, ne 2 - The forecast yesterday was for a brisk south-easterly, so I joined a clutch of locals in a damp seawatch hide first thing - only to realise the wind was from the north-east! However, there was a notable up-Channel passage of Sandwich Terns for the time of year of 80 + over an hour and a half (TG); thing is, of course, they should`ve been going the other way!
Also, hundreds of Gannets and Kittiwakes offshore, plus 10 Red-throated Divers, 10 Common Scoters, a Black-throated Diver and a Bonxie.
  Around the local patch at Lade nothing much had changed: a Dartford Warbler was still present along the main track; Goldeneye and seven Wigeon on south lake; two Chiffchaffs by the ponds; a Peregrine over the wall `mirror` and 50 Curlews flying to roost.
  Likewise on the bird reserve, with the water levels rapidly rising and flooding the wader habitat it was over to wildfowl, and there were few of them with just a scattering of Goldeneyes and the long-staying Red-throated Diver on Burrowes of note, plus the usual egrets and  harriers.
 It would appear that the season has suddenly morphed into early winter...

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The gully

Dengemarsh Gully - cold, sunny, w 3 - I decided upon a change of scene first thing this morning with a walk down the gully, out across Penn Bars towards the switch station, back along the foreshore and up the gully with the sun behind me. I never seem to have much luck here, but the site has got form: Bluetail, Bluethroat, Pallas`s and Melodious Warblers to name but a few goodies, and that`s just in my time down here. However, not today as it was pretty much a bird free zone with just single figures of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin and Wren noted.
  Still, Barney loves this walk, scampering around the scrub like a puppy and even flushing a couple of rabbits; not bad for a 13 year old mutt, who at the moment is asleep at my feet snoring merrily away and probably dreaming about his exploits!

                               Dengemarsh gully

                                Myrtle Cottage memorial stone, Penn Bars

                                One happy Border Terrier

  However, the weedy field by Springfield Bridge did attract a few Skylarks, Mipits, Goldfinches, Chaffinches and a Kestrel, while the flood held a host of feral geese. Also, Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier and Raven noted over Dengemarsh.
  Scotney on the other hand was packed out with birds on the flooded, front fields: mostly 1,000 plus feral geese, 50 Wigeons, 300 Golden Plovers and 200 Lapwings, plus four Ruffs, 20 Dunlins, Redshank, Curlew, 20 Linnets and 15 Mipits. On the lake the Black-necked Grebe was at the Sussex end, while a Great White Egret and Marsh Harrier over flew the road.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Late Swallows

Dungeness - mild, cloudy, light airs - Following torrential overnight rain flood water was everywhere on the drive down to the point first thing. However, in the still, dry conditions there were a few birds to be seen, mainly Starlings, Dunnocks, Robins and Wrens. Four late Swallows flitting around the old light were the pick of the bunch and they didn't seem to have any trouble finding flying insects. Also, near the Patch, two Black Redstarts, 10 Goldfinches and a Chiffchaff on the power station wall; a Firecrest in the lighthouse garden; several Stonechats in the scrub and single figures of Siskin and Redpoll over. A search along the beach opposite Jarman`s for a late Wheatear yielded little apart from a few Skylarks and Mipits, while the Shore Lark remained faithful to the puddles by the fishing boats.
  The bay at Littlestone at low tide held six Black-tailed Godwits amongst the regular six species of waders, plus 23 Sandwich Terns on the sands. An afternoon check of the local patch in warm sunshine revealed nothing much of note apart from a couple of Goldcrests by the ponds and two Marsh Harriers quartering the far reedbed on south lake.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Bearded Tits

Lade - mild, cloudy, light airs - Any attempt to go birding past mid-morning yesterday was rendered largely pointless by a fast-moving weather front that moved up-Channel delivering gale force winds and heavy rain well into the evening. I spent most of the afternoon worrying about whether our new roof was going to hold up to the tempest (which I`m pleased to say it did) but when I did venture into the garden to lash down a fence panel noticed a bedraggled Goldcrest hiding behind a flower pot!
  However, the wind eased this morning affording a circuit of the local patch in calmer conditions, and there were one or two bits and pieces of interest to be fair. A dribble of overhead passage included the usual suspects of Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, Mipit and Skylark, plus two Redpolls and a Brambling. On the ground a scattering of Reed Buntings, Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens and Dunnocks with two Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap by the ponds and a Dartford Warbler by the badger sett. Surprise of the morning went to two Bearded Tits that `exploded` from a reedbed alongside north lake and were only my third record here. On south lake, two Goldeneyes and a Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel out back, plus squealing Water Rails from what seemed like every patch of reeds.

                               Great White Egret and Dartford Warbler, Lade

  Elsewhere today the Shore Lark was again reported near the fishing boat puddles, a Short-eared Owl was in the Kerton Road triangle, while Pomarine Skua and Velvet Scoter were logged past the point by the seawatchers.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Rough-legged Buzzard

Dungeness - mild, cloudy, drizzle, S3 - A wander along the foreshore this morning from the lifeboat station to the lighthouse delivered very little of note apart from a Black Redstart by the sea containers, several inbound Skylarks and Goldfinches, a Merlin and a handful of Goldcrests and a Firecrest in scrub by the Sanctuary, while the lone Shore Lark remained faithful to the puddles by the fishing boats. Half an hour with the seawatchers produced plenty of Gannets, auks (mostly Razorbills), several Sandwich Terns, Wigeon, Common Scoter, Mediterranean Gull and a Red-breasted Merganser.

                               Shore Lark on its third day

  Around the bird reserve this afternoon a few more Goldeneyes had moved in with three on ARC, two on Burrowes and one on Lade. Great White and Cattle Egrets were noted at Dengemarsh and the Red-throated Diver remained on Burrowes. Whilst in the visitors centre MH and DC were watching a raptor over the far side of the lake which we eventually identified as a Rough-legged Buzzard amongst several Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards, before it eventually went down by the Oppen pits. I moved to the Long Pits to try and relocated it looking back but had no luck.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Shore Lark

Lade - cool, cloudy, E 4 - Another nippy day with the wind coming in off the sea from the east. We flogged around the local patch for little reward other than two late Swallows over south lake - heading north! A check of the Kerton Road pit section of the Desert for yesterdays Stone Curlew drew a predictable blank.
Dungeness - Anyhow, things picked up somewhat around noon following a call from MC saying that yesterdays Shore Lark had returned to the puddles by the fishing boats. Shore Larks are magical little birds that you don't see very often, and certainly not down here on the south coast where their status is one of a rare autumn/winter visitor. Infact in my time on the Marsh I`ve only seen one before; the  Rye Harbour bird that wintered by the red-roofed hut amongst a flock of Skylarks about ten years ago. This was my first at Dungeness as the last one in the recording area was in 2005, although I seem to remember Steve Broyd having a flyover at ARC on the bird reserve some years ago.
  My first one ever was on a YOC trip to Staines Reservoir sometime in the late 60`s when we bumped into a bird on that famous tatty, old causeway. I thought it so exotic and in a way still do, whether encountered on the high tops of Cairngorm, the salt marshes of north Norfolk or Lincolnshire - or even by a muddy puddle on Dungeness!
  However, I digress... Ten minutes later I was on site and enjoying this cracking little ground-hugger with a yellow and black face as it was becoming surrounded by local birders in cars, also enjoying our rare visitor from across the North Sea as it fed on weed seeds. I had second dibs later in the afternoon when there were fewer birders present and concluded it to be the bird of the autumn, for me at least, in this rarity-starved year.

                                Shore Lark, Dungeness

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Stone Curlew

Dungeness - cool, cloudy, E3 - A wander around the point first thing with a brisk wind out of the east produced a scattering of migrants, particularly within the power station complex where several each of Robin, Wren, Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, and a Black Redstart were noted. More were seen elsewhere between the old lighthouse and the moat, plus two Chiffchaffs, Stonechat, two Firecrest, several Blackbirds, five Redwings and two Mistle Thrushes in and two late Swallows out.
  At the Patch a mix of common gulls included five Mediterranean Gulls and two Kittiwakes. In the Channel, Brent Geese were on the move in good numbers as confirmed by the seawatchers who`d logged a couple of thousand past the hide.

                                Stone Curlew, Desert (pic by Colin Turley)

  News this afternoon of a Stone Curlew found out on the Desert shingle ridges between the water tower and Mockmill had me slogging out from Lade to join a group of locals for brief flight views of what is a scarce migrant down here. There was no chance of a picture from the views I had, but Colin Turley managed a fine one from earlier. On the walk back a Wheatear flew across the shingle, probably my last of the year.
  Other local news today concerned a brief Shore Lark at the puddles by the fishing boats.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Goldcrest in the kitchen!

Lade  - cold, dry and sunny, N2 - The first frost of autumn was on the garden shed this morning, although it was a fine, bright day with a few birds of interest on the local patch. Several parties of grounded Reed Buntings were scattered across the shingle scrub along with what seemed like an influx of Wrens. Two Dartford Warblers skulked amongst the shingle ridge broom and bramble between the cattery and the south end of the main track. Overhead passage was once again very light with only a few Skylarks, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits on the move.


                                Reed Bunting

                                Goldcrest perched on the telly
  Back home a neighbour delivered an exhausted Goldcrest in a small box to our front door. After a short while in the kitchen the sprite soon recovered and spent some time perched on the telly and in a pot plant between flitting around the kitchen, preening and generally looking a lot perkier. It was then released into the garden fir trees where it joined its fellow crests.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Lesser Redpolls

Lade - cold, dry, cloudy, sunny later, NW 2 - Despite the wind and rain of last night it was mild so I ran the garden moth trap; maybe for the last time this season, what with colder nights ahead in the forecast.  Five species of macros came to light with Black Rustics the most numerous and one tatty Delicate the highlight.
  Before the rugby we walked the local patch where the overhead passage of passerines was once again pitifully low with double figures of Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit and single figures of Skylark, Reed Bunting, Siskin and Redpoll. Two Ring Ouzels dropped in to join a scattering of grounded Blackbirds and Robins along the main track, with another two high over towards Mockmill, while two Lesser Redpolls fed on birch seeds in the ponds, a rare sighting here on the ground. Plenty of egrets and Grey Herons were around the reedbeds and several Marsh Harriers enjoyed the dry, calm weather conditions whilst hunting over the willow swamp.

                               Ring Ouzel, Mockmill (pics by David Scott)

                               Long-tailed Duck, Burrowes (pic by David Scott)

  An early afternoon walk along the foreshore between Littlestone and St Mary`s Bay, in warm sunshine, brought forth the crowds and as a result few birds were noted - and certainly no Snow Buntings! On the golf course a small flock of grounded Skylarks hugged one of the fairways and several Stonechats perched on wire fences. Roosting Turnstones and Ringed Plovers were the only waders seen along the beach. A Black Redstart flicked off a garden fence by the old water tower, while more were present on the Dungeness Estate today.

                               Skylarks, Littlestone golf links

Friday, 25 October 2019

Great Spotted Woodpeckers

Lade - mild, cloudy, showers, light airs, sw 4-5 later - Started the day with a one hour viz mig from the aerial ramp overlooking south lake in decent weather conditions with a light south-westerly. Numbers of birds overhead were, once again, pathetically low as follows: Skylark 3, Swallow 1, Meadow Pipit 21, alba wagtail 12, Grey Wagtail 1, Song Thrush 2, Blackbird 5, Chaffinch 51, Greenfinch 5, Goldfinch 72, Linnet 32 and Reed Bunting 2. However, it was slightly better on the ground with one each of Dartford Warbler and Ring Ouzel along the main track scrub and four Great Spotted Woodpeckers around the ponds. Also noted a couple each of Goldcrest and Chiffchaff, Cetti`s Warbler, two Great White Egrets and three Marsh Harriers.
  A wander down to the pines and behind Tower pits wasn't much more inspiring as the wind had picked up; plenty of Robins, a few Blackbirds, another Ring Ouzel and two more Great Spotted Woodpeckers was about it. Over the road the Red-throated Diver and Long-tailed Duck remained on Burrowes and two Cattle Egrets were in the Boulderwall fields.  

                                Rainbow over Lade

Thursday, 24 October 2019


Dungeness - mild, cloudy, ssw 2 - A mild, murky day with drizzle throughout commenced for us at the point where we briefly joined the seawatchers at the fishing boats overlooking a calm sea. A few Gannets and Sandwich Terns drifted by along with several rafts of Razorbills and one or two Guillemots, plus 25 Wigeon and a Grey Plover. On the land five Swallows raced south while a wander around the foreshore and the Sanctuary delivered plenty of Wrens and Robins, 10 Stonechats, two Black Redstarts, 50 Goldfinches, two Skylarks, 20 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail over, a Merlin, 20 Goldcrests, two Firecrests, plus a Fieldfare and two Continental Coal Tits in the pines. It was also good to see a Brown Hare bounding across the shingle.
  Back at Lade 20 Swallows and a House Martin coasted along the beach towards Dungeness. There was no change to the regular birds on the pits this afternoon.
  It was similar fare on the bird reserve with the Long-tailed Duck and Red-throated Diver still present on Burrowes from Makepeace hide while island clearance work was underway in front of the visitor centre.

                                Great White Egret in front of Hanson hide

Wednesday, 23 October 2019


Dungeness - mild, overcast, e3 - A brief seawatch from the hide proved fruitful with a few passing Gannets, Kittiwakes, Med Gulls and Sandwich Terns, plus four Common Scoters, two Brents, two Wigeon, Red-throated Diver and a superb pale phase Arctic Skua that did a double pass. Plenty of auks came and went, mostly Razorbills, and some settled on the sea inside the buoy. Several Swallows went out and small flocks of Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits came in.
  On the land more Goldfinches and Mipits noted, plus Robins everywhere, five Black Redstarts around the power station perimeter, a few Blackbirds, Chiffchaffs and Stonechats and a Peregrine over. A scattering of crests included a flock of five feeding on the rim of the moat and a Firecrest in the hand at the Obs.

                               Firecrest, DBO

  We finished the Birdwatching Break for Clare and Peter in some style with thousands of birds on the bay, including ten species of waders from Littlestone on the outgoing tide - 410 Knots and three Black-tailed Godwits being highlights, plus a Little Egret a species rarely seen here on salt water.
  In summary across the three days 108 species were recorded with the highlights being a Merlin, closely followed by Hen Harrier, Long-tailed Duck, Ring Ouzels, Firecrest, Brambling and loads of waders on the beach.

                                Knots on the bay

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Hen Harrier

Dungeness - mild, foggy start, sunny later - We continued on with our Birdwatching Break at the point in thick fog first thing. There were few passerines about, apart from many Robins, although we did manage two Wheatears opposite Jarman`s, several Goldcrests and a Firecrest in a private garden, two Ring Ouzel at the top of Long Pits and six Bramblings over the Trapping Area. Also noted small numbers of Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Skylark, Mipit, Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Siskin, Song Thrush and a Snipe.

                                Juvenile Long-tailed Duck, Burrowes

                                Adult Mediterranean Gull, ARC

  Moving onto the bird reserve where the highlights were, two Cattle Egrets by Cook`s Pool; Red-throated Diver and a juvenile Long-tailed Duck on Burrowes and a ringtail Hen Harrier over the water tower on ARC being the bird of the day and my first of the year, if only I was keeping a list...
Elsewhere across the reserve several Marsh Harriers, Great White Egret, two Buzzards, Kestrel, five Dunlins, Black-tailed Godwit, three Golden Plovers and all the usual gulls and ducks.
  Scotney was quiet with just a Ruff in amongst a Lapwing flock of any note, plus the usual feral geese.
 We finished the day at Lade where another two Wheatears and 50 Curlews were on the Desert and the first Goldeneye of autumn was on south lake. Walking Mockmill Sewer we noted seven Ring Ouzels, 10 Stonechats, Chiffchaff and Cetti`s Warbler.

                               First Goldeneye of autumn on south lake, Lade.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Gulls, Merlin and Brambling

Lade - cool, cloudy, rain, nw 3 - A decent fall of Song Thrushes and Robins were scattered across the local patch this morning following heavy overnight rain. Also noted two Ring Ouzels, a Fieldfare, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrest, four Great White Egrets and four juvenile Marsh Harriers in the air at once over the main reedbed.

                                Merlin at the fishing boats

                                Brambling in front of the power station

                               1st winter Caspian Gull by the puddles

                                Black Redstart

                                Barnacle Geese eastbound

Dungeness - With Clare and Peter down from London for a three day Birdwatching Break there was only one place to start: for the juvenile Sabine`s Gull, that was into its third day. Despite searching the foreshore between the fishing boats and The Patch this afternoon we had no joy. 
  However, we did connect with a wide range of gulls including first winter Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls by the boats and plenty of Kittiwakes, 10 Mediterranean Gulls and six Little Gulls on the sea. Several parties of Brents and Common Scoters passed the point, plus a flock of six Barnacle Geese (unusual here), 10 Shelducks, 10 Sandwich Terns, five Red-throated Divers and a Bonxie. Best of all though was a Merlin that had chased a Meadow Pipit into the cabin of one of the fishing boats and was in the clutches of JTM awaiting processing at the Obs.
  In front of the power station a Brambling and Black Redstart showed well, while small flocks of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches, Linnets and Starlings came in off the sea and two House Martins flew over the car park. Grey Seal and Porpoise were noted offshore.
  Although we dipped on the Sabine`s there was still plenty to see - and we only did the foreshore!

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Ring Ouzels

Lade - cool, cloudy, n 2 - At last, a change in the weather with a high pressure system bringing more settled conditions, and hopefully more conducive for delivering a few decent migrants this coming week. Two trips over the local patch produced two and then three Ring Ouzels along the main track scrub, while DS had six in Mockmill along with a Snipe and Dartford Warbler. Overhead, a trickle of Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Goldfinches and Mipits, plus three Jays in off the bay. On the beach this afternoon on the incoming tide: 30 Sandwich Terns, 220 Curlews and 560 Oystercatchers to roost, also noted in small numbers Barwit, Knot, Dunlin, Turnstone and Ringed Plover, plus two Grey Seals following the tide in.
  This afternoon I joined CP for the first harrier count of autumn out on Walland Marsh where 15 Marsh Harriers came to roost. Also noted: Peregrine, six Buzzards, six Kestrels, two Ravens, five Great White and two Little Egrets, 60 Golden Plovers, six Snipe, 20 Skylarks, 20 Meadow Pipits, two Stonechats, two Corn Buntings, a Barn Owl and an `eared` owl.
  Elsewhere today the Sabine`s Gull was at the Patch, a Yellow-browed Warbler was trapped at the Obs and a Long-tailed Duck joined the Red-throated Diver on Burrowes.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Sabine`s Gull

Dungeness - mild, showery, sw 3 - A shocking 24 hours of wet and windy weather eventually relented by early afternoon. Between the rugby quarter finals this morning we checked the local patch where the usual array of egrets (three Great Whites), grebes and wildfowl were present on the wetlands, plus several Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests around the ponds.

                               Juvenile Sabine`s Gull, Dungeness fishing boats

  A phone call around noon from CP told of a juvenile Sabine`s Gull on the sea off the fishing boats, probably storm-blown from the recent gales, and by the time we arrived on site it was still showing well close to shore between the boats and the boardwalk. A superb pelagic gull that rarely affords such stunning views.

                               Plus, some much better pics taken by David Scott