Thursday 28 February 2013

Merganser, Water Rail & Skylarks

Lade - 0900hrs - Cold, grey, dry, ne 4 - The bitter easterly airflow continues and looks set to carry on for the next week; still, at least its dry underfoot. Started off on the local patch this morning where the drake Red-breasted Merganser eventually came out to play from behind the willows, flying out onto the middle of south pit for a spot of fishing. Across both waters Goldeneye numbers had risen to 15 amongst the diving duck. From the causeway we had cracking views of Water Rail sitting in the bottom of a willow.
Lade Bay - Checked the sands at three locations on an incoming tide with 7 species of shorebirds noted including a single Grey Plover. The Snow Bunting continued to perform well at the Varne boat ramp where a large digger had just been delivered in preparation for what looks like some shingle shifting, so the little ground-hugger may not be around for much longer.
Dungeness - Finished off at the fishing boats searching for the wintering Glaucous Gull but to no avail. Plenty of common gulls roosting on the shingle and a loose flock of 20 Skylarks feeding amongst the boats. Another look at the sea delivered fine views of Razorbill and Red-throated Divers.
  In summary, the London birders had a successful visit with 105 species noted and some classic winter birding with highlights including Fulmar, Bittern, Great White Egret, Tundra and White-fronted Geese, Bewick`s and Whooper Swans, sawbills, Purple Sandpiper, shorebirds, Marsh Harriers, Water Rail, Barn Owl, Raven, Bearded Tit, Snow and Corn Buntings.

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