Sunday 27 April 2014

Another good seawatch & hayfield heaven

Dungeness - 0615 - 0830hrs - cold, wet, cloudy, sse 3 - By the time I arrived the seawatch hide was already packed so we headed for the old coastguard tower to find shelter from the elements where we joined NF from Folkestone. The viewpoint wasn't ideal, being too low down and I`m sure we missed some close terns, but at least it was dry, and it was still a very good seawatch. The tern count was very much an approximation as there was so many birds swirling up and down, many of which were probably Arctics, but it was difficult to tell due to the poor viewing conditions.
However, up-Channel totals logged as follows: Black-throated Diver 1, Fulmar 10, Gannet 92, Eider 3, Common Scoter 245, Red-breasted Merganser 2, Bar-tailed Godwit 110, Arctic Skua 13, Bonxie 2, Med Gull 2, Kittiwake 2, Little Gull 4, Sandwich Tern 50, Commic Tern 950, Little Tern 12, auk 10.   

                                Black-winged Stilts, Dungeness RSPB

                                Whinchat, Dungness RSPB

Hayfield One/Two, RSPB - 1100hrs - With the sun shining and temperature rising I couldn`t resist seconds on the Black-winged Stilts. Due to the noise of venting steam from the power station they`d moved to the Dengemarsh end of the flooded hayfield, but were happily feeding and have a kip during the hour or so I was on site. Also picked up a couple of tidy year ticks in Wood Sandpiper and Whinchat, both of which can be difficult to find in the spring - I really must find that check list... On the walk down from Springfield Bridge two Barwits in summer plum briefly dropped onto Hayfield Three.
ARC - From the causeway road the few remaining terns included 30 Common, five Arctic, two Black and one Little Tern.

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