Wednesday 30 December 2015

Seabirds and raptors

Dungeness - mild, cloudy, S6 -  A birding day tour for Wendy and Mike from Sussex commenced in grand style with a superb seawatch from the fishing boats. The strong to gale force southerly wind had pushed hundreds of Gannets and Guillemots close to shore affording cracking views of these ocean wanderers as they streamed down-Channel. There was also a good supporting cast of Red-throated Divers, Kittiwakes, 3 Fulmars, 2 Razorbills and a smart Arctic Skua, while large gaggles of Brent Geese forged the other way. Amongst the beach gulls was an adult Yellow-legged and the regular 1st winter Caspian.
RSPB - Around Burrowes all the usual wintering wildfowl including 5 Goldeneyes and 3 Smew, plus Peregrine and Marsh Harrier. The Long-eared Owl had shifted its roost site behind the discovery pond, slightly to the right and in a bit, but could still be seen well enough despite the strong wind. Elsewhere around the site, Tree Sparrows, Great White Egret, Reed Bunting, plus a large mixed flock of Lapwings, Golden Plovers and Wigeon on the fields at Boulderwall.
Scotney - Plenty of diving duck and Wigeon on the lake, plus feral geese and Curlew on the grass.
Walland Marsh - The Bewick`s Swans remained in the Mute Swan flock at Hook`s Wall and several Yellowhammers were located at Midley drying barns. We finished the day counting 22 Marsh Harriers coming to a reedbed roost site, whilst trying not to be distracted by a hunting Barn Owl! Great stuff.

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