Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Big Bonxie Day

Dungeness - 0900hrs & 1400hrs - Strong to gale force southerlies, cloud and rain - Only one place to start this morning... and what a memorable day it turned out to be with just over 4 hours seawatching delivering a phenomenal passage of 50 Bonxies; infact it could be a Dunge spring record with over 250 passing east during the day (check the DBO website for the final tally). What made it so mesmerising was the stunning close views, as many of these great bruisers powered along the shoreline just below us due to the strong onshore winds. It`s not often visiting birders are fortunate enough to time their visits to coincide with such an event; Stuart and Ray can count themselves very fortunate indeed. A good supporting cast of close Gannets, Manxies and Fulmars was to be expected with a blow such as this, but a flock of 4 Black-throated Divers, well inside the cardinal buoy, was definitely a surprise. Our seabird list for 4 hours comprised: 8 Black-throated Divers, 20 Fulmars, 15 Manx Shearwaters, 100 Gannets, 50 Bonxies, 10 Arctic Skuas, 20 Kittiwakes, 100 Sandwich Terns, 100 Common Terns (a flock of 20 may well have been Arctics), 10 Med Gulls, 4 auks, 6 Eiders, 20 Brents and 150 Common Scoters.
On the land a Black Redstart and a few Linnets were located on the north side of the power station.
Burrowes - 1200hrs - Nothing much of note here due to the strong winds except Raven, Swallow, 5 Dunlins, Redshank and 2 Ringed Plovers.
Scotney - 1300hrs - Two Little Gulls in a flock of 20 Black-heads was noteworthy.
Littlestone - 1630hrs - Finished off with good views of feeding shorebirds opposite the golf course: 50 Curlews, 30 Oystercatchers, 42 Turnstones (many in summer plum), 20 Sanderlings and 10 Ringed Plovers. No sign of any owls over the fairways.

                                          Stormy Dungeness

                                           Redshank, Burrowes

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