Thursday 27 March 2014

Linnets are back

Mockmill Sewer - 0900hrs - chilly, hazy sunshine, ne 2 - With only a light breeze coming off the sea this morning we decided on a slog across the shingle to work Mockmill Sewer. I don`t venture out here nearly as much as I should but whenever I do there is always a sense of expectancey that something good may be lurking amongst the tangle of gorse, bramble, sedge, tussock grass and bog. On the way out several Skylarks and a Mipit were in full song, two Med Gulls called overhead and a Sparrowhawk skimmed the storm beaches. At the southern end a smart dog Fox dashed from cover, quickly followed by a Border Terrier (who shall remain nameless) for about ten seconds. Two male Reed Buntings were singing a jaunty song and a Snipe was flushed by the returning terrier; further along the sewer a Green Sandpiper was a surprise as it flew towards the back of the `mirrors`.
Down here on the shingle Linnets are greeted as harbingers of spring along with Wheatears and Sand Martins and over the past week have become more noticeable as they return from their winter quarters, probably in southern France and Iberia. Linnets are a welcome splash of colour and song before the Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats take up residence in a fortnights time.

                               Linnet, Mockmill Sewer

Dungeness - 1430hrs - An hour at the fishing boats was enlivened by the presence of the long-staying Glaucous Gull that plonked itself right in front of us on the foreshore for half an hour. It seemed to be fascinated by the breaking surf, every so often walking out into the waves, bathing and generally enjoying life. Great Black-backs entering its orbit were given short thrift by this beast of a bird. I don't suppose our Arctic visitor will be around for much longer so I made the most of it and took a few more piccies. As for seabirds, well, there weren't any, apart from a couple of west bound Sandwich Terns and a few Great Crested Grebes on the sea.

                                1st winter GBB & Glaucous Gull, Dungeness

                                1st winter Glaucous Gull, Dungeness

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