Friday 22 February 2013

King of the Beach

Lade - 0900hrs - cold, overcast, ne 5 - Another raw-bone day with occasional snow flurries and a vicious easterly airflow continuing to make life out-of-doors most unpleasant. Very quiet on the pits where most of the wildfowl were lurking in the shelter of the willows, except for a few diving ducks and 5 Goldeneyes on the open waters of north pit. On the trudge back I noticed a Marsh Harrier out on the shingle ridges dropping down on what turned out to be another Marsh Harrier that had just nailed a rabbit. Whilst the harriers were busy tussling away 5 Magpies stole in, like a pack of hyenas on a lion kill, to claim picking rights leaving the two raptors to drift off looking for second breakfast.
A brief call in at Littlestone for the Snow Buntings drew a blank, however there were quite a few dog-walkers about so they`d probably moved a way down the beach.
Dungeness  - A short spell at the fishing boats yielded the usual seabirds on the Channel, including 6 Common Scoters and 15 Wigeon west. Just as we were leaving the King-of-the-Beach turned up and bullied a couple of Herring Gulls as he took charge of a fish carcass; even the Greater-blacks give this bruiser a wide berth. He/she has become such a fixture at Dungeness through the winter months that it`ll be a great shame when it does move north in the spring, hopefully to return again next winter as a full adult.

                                         3rd winter Glaucous Gull - King of the Beach

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