Sunday 23 April 2017

An early pulse of Pomarine Skuas

Dungeness - 0645 - 0815hrs - mild, overcast, se 1 - We joined CP and MH for a seawatch from the Britannia boardwalk where a steady trickle of up-Channel Common Scoters was underway totalling around 100 in small loose flocks. Also noted lesser numbers of Gannets, Kittiwakes, auks, Fulmars, two Red-throated Divers, two Med Gulls, a pair of Mergansers, 20 Commic and 10 Sandwich Terns, two Garganeys, six Little Terns (new for the year), 10 Bonxies and a superb pale phase Arctic Skua that cut in close to harry a tern, pick up a fish and pause briefly on the sea.

                                Egyptian Goose

                                Bee hives

                                Sedge Warbler

Dengemarsh - 1100hrs - Pat joined us for a circuit of the marsh where the highlights were a cacophony of Sedge, Reed and Cetti`s Warblers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Reed Buntings and a Cuckoo. Also several Bearded Tits and a Marsh Harrier food pass from the ramp, plus Swallows hurrying inland, four Med Gulls and a Greenshank over calling. The Hayfields looked a sorry old sight now pumping has ceased, being bone dry and attracting mostly feral geese, although there were several pairs of Lapwings and Redshank on No 3. The back track to Dengemarsh Road is not an advisable route for anyone allergic to oil-seed rape pollen, but a clutch of hives by the dung heap was busy with worker bees going about their business. The only birdlife in this arable factory was a single singing Reed Bunting and a flyover Yellow Wagtail.
Dungeness - 1615-1715hrs - Around midday the wind swung round to a brisk SSW and news came through from `down- the-road` at Splash Point, Sussex concerning a pulse of Pomarine Skuas moving up-Channel. By the time I arrived on site at the seawatch hide 15 Poms had already been logged, with four more at 1630hrs that showed reasonably well considering the bright sunshine. Such a number this early in the `Pom season` is quite unprecedented, although with the wind due to swing back to a cool northerly our expectancy levels may be quashed somewhat. Also noted during the hour a trickle of Kittiwakes, Gannets, Fulmars and Common Scoters, plus 100 Commic Terns, three Bonxies, three Little Gulls and a Black Tern. 
  Thanks are due to Matt Eade and PB for the regular Pom tweets.


  1. Had our first Whitethroat of the year today and a couple of Swallow. Don't you feel sorry for the Swallows going north this week if the forecasts are correct.

  2. Hi Derek, the main body of Whitethroats and Swallows also arrived here yesterday, and yes, they`ll be in for a shock over the next few days. Great time of year though, with new birds arriving every day. All the best.