Wednesday 16 September 2015

Dodging the rain

Dungeness - 0900hrs - mild, rain, overcast, e 4 - A dozen Siskins over the cottage was a good start to the days birding. However, the promise of a south-easterly from early on, forecast by the Met Office yesterday, failed to materialise, yet again. We kicked off in the seawatching hide with TG for a steady hour of Sandwich Terns, Gannets, several Common Terns, 4 Common Scoters, a Black Tern, 4 Arctic and one Pomarine Skua up-Channel, plus a Grey Seal and several Porpoises. Around the point in the drizzle, there were small flocks of Mipits and Goldfinches, a Tree Pipit over, a Black Redstart on the power station fence and several Chiffchaffs in the scrub.
RSPB - Moving onto the bird reserve and a circuit delivered Black Tern, 2 Pintails, Grey Plover, Common Sandpiper and Ruff on Burrowes, a Redstart by Dennis`s hide and plenty of Common Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers and Chiffchaffs around the trail, two Great White Egrets, several Marsh Harriers, Raven and a Sparrowhawk. Hundreds of hirundines fed on the masses of flying insects in the humid air.
Scotney - Heavy rain here, but all the usual feral geese, 20 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Curlews and a Whimbrel.  

                                Yellow Wagtail, Scotney

Dungeness - Back to the point and another seawatch from the fishing boats with PB and TG, in good light and closer birds, comprised hundreds of Gannets and Sandwich Terns moving down-Channel, plus 5 Arctic Skuas, a Brent Goose, Manx, Kittiwake, Razorbill, Guillemot, 2 Black Terns, 10 Common Terns and best of all a flock of 4 cracking Balearic Shearwaters. Throughout the watch a constant stream of hirundines coasted westwards. Around the point several large mixed flocks of gulls on the shingle contained 20 Sandwich Terns and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.
All in all, a decent day, despite the rain. 

                               Gulls and terns, Dungeness

We finished the day with brief flight views of the Wryneck at the southern end of the Trapping Area, along with Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Wheatear.

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