Sunday, 8 January 2023

Grey Wagtail

 Sunshine and showers, SW 5 - It`s not often that a Grey Wagtail is the headline bird of the weekend. Our back garden is a small, enclosed affair with a variety of shrubs and a Silver Birch tree festooned with bird feeders that attracts the usual array of common tits, sparrows and the like. It is not the sort of location to attract a Grey Wagtail, but yesterday morning when I came back from town I surprised a male bird sat on the bird bath that soon flew off calling loudly. 

Today`s incoming tide on the bay was at the perfect height to count Oystercatchers from the Tavern viewpoint: 1,050 birds, but little else. On Lade pits 500 Teals, 100 Shovelers and four Goldeneyes were the highlights on south lake, plus Water Rail and Chiffchaff by the ponds. A two hour seawatch (1100 -1300hrs) in the company of DW was notable for a westward stream of hundreds of Black-headed and Common Gulls, Kittiwakes and auks along with 30 Gannets, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, 45 Wigeon, 12 Shelducks, five Pintails, 10 Red-throated Divers and a Fulmar. Plenty of large gulls were feeding along the shoreline including at least three Caspian Gulls.

                                  Caspian Gull, Dungeness

Due to the foul weather (heavy showers and a blustery wind) I wasn`t looking forward to this afternoons harrier count with CP on Walland Marsh. However, despite getting a soaking we counted 25 Marsh Harriers and a fabulous male Hen Harrier to roost, but little else apart from several Buzzards, a Great White Egret, a Snipe, calling Water Rails and Cetti`s Warblers, plus Golden Plovers over in the gloom as we trudged back to the car. 

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