Sunday, 8 October 2017

Bits and pieces

Saturday - Lade - mild, cloudy, w4 - 0700hrs - Very little happening on the viz mig front due to a blustery westerly first thing. On south lake an Avocet on the island was a nice surprise amongst the Shovelers. Two Great White Egrets lurked in the reedbed and a Sparrowhawk over was about it really.

                               Avocet, south lake

Dungeness - From Hanson hide around noon 40 Blackwits, 20 Dunlins and a Grey Plover amongst numerous dabbling ducks and gulls. Also, Great White Egret, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier and a Red-necked Grebe from the causeway road.
  An hour seawatch from the boats this afternoon with a couple of regulars produced a very obliging Arctic Skua chasing the fishing Sandwich Terns close to shore, plus up to 20 Gannets and nine Common Scoters down-Channel. The skua was a very distinctive pale juvenile with a white rump, ginger head and grey barring on the under fore-wing.

                               Juvenile Arctic Skua

Sunday - Lade -mild, sunny, nw 2 - Today was the monthly WeBS count with 125 Shovelers and 62 Great Crested Grebes of note. Many of the grebes were juvenile birds, as this species has had a particularly productive breeding season. With lighter winds a few more Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were in evidence around the ponds, while a trickle of Swallows, Mipits, Goldfinches and Chaffinches passed overhead.
  Whilst Pat trimmed Barney`s coat in the garden in the midday sunshine a couple of Goldcrests called from the fir trees and several Goldfinches dropped onto the bird feeders. Red Admirals came and went attracted to the ivy flowers and the last of the buddleia blooms.

                                Barney`s third and final clipping of the year

                                Enjoying his hide `bone` for being a good lad

We spent 90 minutes at the fishing boats this afternoon where a steady trickle of Gannets fished or passed offshore. Moving down-Channel were, 15 Kittiwakes, 80 Brents, two Velvet Scoters, an Eider, four Dunlins, a Guillemot and a Red-throated Diver, but no sign of any terns or skuas. Several Harbour Porpoises and a Grey Seal were also competing with wall-to-wall beach-casting fishermen.

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