Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sandwich Terns

Dungeness - 0700hrs - cold, dry, sunny, w 3 - A noticeable dip in the temperature meant a return to fleece and gloves this morning on the stroll down to the Patch. Among the melee of gulls over the boil were a couple of Mediterranean Gulls and a first winter Caspian on the beach; although I didn`t see the Iceland Gull it was present later in the morning (LG). Two Sandwich Terns briefly paused before moving east and several Harbour Porpoises were feeding around the boil. A Raven flew over the power station with crop bulging and a couple of Mipits displayed along the wall.
  A quick chat with the seawatchers in the smartly refurbished hide confirmed that little was on the move this morning apart from a trickle of Sandwich Terns, Gannets, Kittiwakes and a few Red-throated Divers, auks and Brent Geese.
  On the land a couple of Chiffchaffs in the lighthouse garden and a Wheatear opposite Jarman`s was about it.
Lade - The wind picked up through the day and by the time I ventured out back with Barney this afternoon most passerines had gone to ground, although there was a lone Chiffchaff singing in the willow swamp. Mid-March can be one of the quietest times of year in the birding calendar as winter visitors depart and before the main body of spring migrants arrive, and it certainly felt like that today.

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