Saturday 18 October 2014

Seawatch Snipe!

Dungeness - 0800hrs- 1000hrs - Warm, dry and sunny, s 3 - We joined the seawatchers at the fishing boats for a two hour session during which the main seabird feature was the steady westward flow of hundreds of Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks (including Razorbills), although many seemed to be milling around feeding just offshore. Also noted less than 20 each of Brents and Common Scoters, 20 Sandwich and one Common Tern, five Teal, four Med Gulls, Arctic and Great Skuas, Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser and most surprising of all a Snipe - now, that was a first
Passerine wise several pulses of Swallows left our shores, plus a few House Martins, along with a steady trickle of coasting Skylarks, Mipits, alba wagtails and a Rock Pipit. But most numerous were Goldfinches with a near continuous stream of coasting flocks totalling well over 500, along with a few Linnets and Greenfinches.
On the beach an adult Yellow-legged Gull amongst the roosting gulls and a Wheatear by the concrete road.
Lade - On south lake at least 25 Dabchicks amongst the legions of Gadwall and Coot, plus ten Swallows south. Around the willow swamp three Chiffchaffs and two Ring Ouzels in the scrub towards the airport, plus many more Goldfinches overhead.
With the temperature climbing to 21C it was no surprise that plenty of Migrant Hawkers and Ruddy Darters were active; also noted two Clouded Yellows and a large Grass Snake by the ponds.

                                Barnacle Geese, Scotney

                                Hybrid Snow/Emperor/? Geese, Scotney

Scotney - This afternoon we spent a couple of hours in the company of 500 Golden Plovers, grilling them from every vantage point along the cycle path, but could find nothing untoward within their ranks. The usual feral goose flock was feeding around the cow byre as well as a few Mipits and Skylarks. On the lake the usual wildfowl including nine Pintail. Three Marsh Harriers drifted over and two Ring Ouzels were flushed from the stand of trees.

                               Golden Plovers, Scotney

Boulderwall - On the way home called in to see that the Cattle Egret was still present still with the cows in fields near the entrance and a Great White Egret flew over towards Dengemarsh.

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