Monday 5 April 2021

Arctic Blast

Dungeness - cold, cloudy, drizzle, NW 4 - 0630 - 0800hrs. In a moment of madness I decided upon an early morning seawatch where I was joined by CP. To be fair at daybreak the winds were light, but during the course of the watch the wind veered around to a more northerly vector and picked up apace along with plummeting temperatures; the icy blast from the Arctic was approaching and by noon we even had a few snow flurries! However, the seawatch was as expected pedestrian with a trickle of feeding Sandwich Terns and Gannets both ways, plus several small flocks of Common Scoters, auks and Brents up-Channel along with a few Red-throated Divers and two Mediterranean Gulls down.  A Peregrine stirred the local gulls into a lather, otherwise little else was noted.

                                  Power station Peregrine

                                  Resting Swallows

  On the local patch there was a noticeable increase in hirundines with around 100 Sand Martins and 50 Swallows feeding low over both lakes, plus the first five House Martins of spring. Around the ponds  singles of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap sang in the frigid air. On the bay this afternoon 35 Turnstones, 12 Ringed Plovers, 20 Sanderlings and 10 Dunlins noted on the incoming tide, while a couple of Swallows flew north along the beach into the icy wind - welcome to spring-time in England!

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