Tuesday 27 March 2012

First Swallows

Dungeness - 0900hrs - cool, sunny, ne3 - Another fine bright day with a keen wind off the sea. Went searching for migrants with mixed success. A cracking male Stonechat was singing from overhead wires near the wood yard, while around Jarman`s 5 Wheatears, 10 Linnets, 6 Pied Wagtails, 4 Mipits, 4 Skylarks, Greenfinch, Dunnock and Reed Bunting. Around the old light singles of Black Redstart, Stonechat and Kestrel. A cursory look at the sea produced very little apart from a few Kitts, Gannets, Sandwich Terns, 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 parties of Brents (5 & 15) and at least 6 porpoises. On a pylon near the power station a pair of Ravens were tussling with a crow.
At the Obs paid homage to the newly installed Ray Turley memorial.

                                                                  Wheatear, Dungeness

                                                    Ray Turley Memorial, DBO

RSPB - 1230hrs - The south end of ARC from the causeway road eventually delivered a Water Pipit amongst, at times, 18 alba wagtails of which 5 were Whites; also noted here 5 Dunlins, Knot, Little Egret, Merlin and Sparrowhawk. From the access road the usual Tree Sparrows at Boulderwall, 10 Curlews, 50 Wigeons, several Marsh Harriers and a brown hare. Burrowes produced the Long-tailed Duck, 2 Ringed Plovers and the first Swallows of spring. On the hayfields Curlew and displaying Lapwing, marsh frogs and grass snake; Dengemarsh 4 Dabchicks, 55 Golden Plovers, Snipe and up to 5 displaying Marsh Harriers from the ramp; singing Cetti`s Warbler and Chiffchaff; from Screen hide 3 Pintail, 100 Shovelers, but failed with the reported Garganeys, and a  weasel in the car park.

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