Saturday 4 May 2013

Nightingale & Skuas

Lade - 0600hrs - cool, sunny, cloud by mid-morning, w 4 - A decent enough start to the day with a Mistle Thrush singing from atop a telegraph pole just yards from the cottage. Bit of a surprise really as they`re a scarce bird  along the coast strip, usually occurring in late summer in loose post-breeding flocks. Checked out the pits before doing the breakfasts for B&B birders but there was little of note apart from the now established warblers and other breeding birds, while a group of 20 Sandwich Terns cut across the pits along with 2 Med Gulls.
Ran the moth trap last night and caught a single Hebrew Character.
Bretts - Had a stroll along the range road listening for scrub warblers amongst the gorse. The expected Whitethroats were most numerous along with a scattering of Sedges, Reed and 2 Lesser Whitethroats.  A  Nightingale burst into song by Brett`s pit, which kept low and out of sight as the wind picked up, and was new for the year (184).
RSPB - The usual forlorn faces in the visitors centre told its own story. A couple of Arctic Terns moved through Burrowes, while singles of Garganey and Brent Goose were at Dengemarsh. Over the road Garden Warbler and Redstart were reported at the water tower and a drake Red-breasted Merganser dropped onto ARC during the afternoon.
Elsewhere, there was a Red Kite over New Romney, while morning seawatching was slow going with most skuas high and distant.
Dungeness - 1445-1615hrs - An afternoon seawatch from the hide started off in a heavy shower with poor viz and nothing moving, no surprise there. However, once the rain stopped and the cloud base lifted (between 1530-1600hrs) a small movement of east bound skuas comprised 5 Bonxies (all distant) 3 Arctics (dark morphs) and one cracking close Pomarine Skua (smart cutlery) that passed just outside the cardinal buoy. Also, 12 Arctic Terns, 50 Commic Terns, 1 Brent and 1 Fulmar, plus plenty of Gannets, Common and Sandwich Terns too-ing and fro-ing.

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