Friday, 30 March 2018

First Arctic Skuas

Dungeness - 0645-0845hrs - cold, cloudy, SE2 - With the wind from a favourable direction a couple of hours in the seawatch hide seemed a good prospect this morning, and so it proved to be with a steady up-Channel passage of mainly wildfowl including singles of drake Velvet Scoter and Eider, plus my first two Arctic Skuas of spring. Approximate numbers as follows: 30 Red-throated Diver, 5 Fulmar, 150 Brent Geese, 200 Common Scoter, 100 Gannet, 30 auks, 18 Teal, 12 Shoveler, 10 Kittiwake, 100 Sandwich Tern, 5 Med Gull and an Oystercatcher. Also on the sea the usual Cormorants and Great Crested Grebes, plus two Harbour Porpoises. Later in the morning the first Common Terns of spring were logged past the point, plus a passage of Little Gulls (CP).
Lade - 1000hrs - After breakie we headed out around the local patch where the usual wildfowl were still present, including two Long-tailed Ducks, five Goldeneye and a Black-necked Grebe. Fifty Sandwich Terns were roosting on the foreshore waiting for the tide to ebb, and as we headed for home, and with the rain setting in, our first two Common Terns of spring flew across the bay calling loudly. The rest of the day was a right off due to persistent rain.

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