Tuesday 8 January 2013

Seabirds & Wildfowl

Dungeness - 0845hrs - Mild, cloudy, sunshine! cloudy later, sw 2 - A day in the field with BH from Sussex commenced at the fishing boats with a cracking seawatch as many of the Gannets, Red-throated Divers, auks and Kittiwakes were close to shore feeding on shoals of fish. Numbers were difficult to assess but in the ascendancy were over 1,000 Guillemots and around 500 Razorbills, plus over 1,000 Great Crested Grebes. Also noted singles of Little Gull and Bonxie. On the beach old favourites in the shape of Glaucous and Yellow-legged Gulls, plus 5 Kittiwakes and 10 Turnstones.
RSPB - On ARC/New Diggings the usual hundreds of common wildfowl plus 6 each of Smew and Goldeneye, 2 Marsh Harriers and 4 Great White Egrets. At Boulderwall Tree Sparrows, Kestrel and  Stonechat. In the car park had close views of a Goldcrest plus all the usual tits and finches on the feeders. A circuit produced numerous wintering wildfowl 2 more Great Whites, Little Egrets, Dabchicks, several Marsh Harriers and a Slavonian Grebe on Hookers.
Scotney - Nowhere near the number of birds present here than at the weekend but still several hundred Wigeon, Goldies and Lapwings, also a sprinkling of Pintails, 15 Ruff and 2 Redshank. Also managed to relocate the duck Red Crested Pochard asleep on a shingle spit, presumably the same bird that`s been knocking around the bird reserve recently.
Walland Marsh  - First stop the spud field opposite the flying club and 68 Bewick`s and 2 Whooper Swans still present. Further down the lane Tree Sparrows on the feeders but no sign of any winter thrushes anywhere; infact passerines remain in short supply across farmland tracts. A walk out on the Marsh failed to deliver the Crane but we did see up to 20 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards and a distant Peregrine, plus thousands of plovers, grey geese and wildfowl in the area. We finished in some style with stunning views of a Barn Owl hunting a sewer margin near Midley.

                                          3rd winter Glaucous Gull, Dungness

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