Wednesday 12 October 2016

Osprey and Jack Snipe

Dungeness - 0900hrs - mild, overcast, light airs, rain - Despite near perfect over night weather conditions for grounded migrants there were few to be found, apart from a smart Ring Ouzel in the moat and a scattering of Goldfinches, Song Thrushes, Chiffchaffs, Robins, Great Tits and a Goldcrest, plus Siskin, Redpoll and Skylark overhead and Sparrowhawk, Raven and Kestrel.

                                Dark skies over Dungeness

Lade - On a falling tide the bay yielded seven species of shorebirds and a lone Shelduck. On south lake the Osprey was located perched on a concrete fence post feasting on a fish with a couple of crows and Magpies for `company`, which we watched for an hour from the aerial ramp, where a Grey Wagtail and a flock of 20 Blue Tits, Cetti`s Warbler and three Mediterranean Gulls were noteworthy. The Osprey could also be seen from the end of Taylor Road by the cattery at noon.

                                Distant Osprey with fish

Burrowes/ARC - From the access road at least three White-fronts present in the fields amongst the Greylags and Lapwings and several hunting Marsh Harriers; there was no sign of the Cattle Egret or Glossy Ibises. On Burrowes the usual wildfowl and brief views of the ringtail Hen Harrier over Dengemarsh. Over the road from Hanson all the usual wildfowl, egrets and plovers, plus a Ruff, three Snipe and intermittent views of a spring-heeled Jack Snipe on an open shingle island, a rare sight down here, and well found by Roy.

                                Crouching Jack Snipe!

Dungeness - With a brisk, cold east wind picking up a seawatch from the fishing boats delivered the spectacle of a flock of some 50 Gannets and a host of gulls fishing just offshore along with several Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean Gulls and Kittiwakes. Also noted passing east two Little Gulls, 20 auks and two Brent Geese, plus five outward bound Swallows and two Grey Seals.
  And that folks, is one cracking day`s birding, Dungeness at its best with the undoubted highlights being protracted views of an Osprey, only my second Jack Snipe on the deck at Dunge and a short, spectacular seawatch concerning close range, plunge-diving Gannets. 

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