Monday, 18 March 2013


With a light SE wind this morning hopes for some off shore migration were high. At 08.00 I approached the sea watching hide just as AJG came out shaking his head. The next hour was one of the slowest sea watches I have had at Dungeness:
Red-throated Diver: 10E   35W
Great Crested Grebe: c300 off shore
Gannet: c15 feeding off shore
Brent Geese: 21E
Common Scoter: 34E
Sandwich Tern: 2E   1W
Auk: 16 W
Harbour Porpoise: 1+

1w Caspian Gull
As I could see 100s of Gulls at The Patch I made my to the hide seeing a Black Redstart on the power station perimeter wall on the way. DW was already in the hide and immediately pointed out a 1w Caspian Gull and 1 of 5 Yellow-legged Gulls present. In the next hour a few more Brent and RT Divers went through while we tried to get the codes off a number of colour ringed Gulls.
2w Yellow Legged Gull
As I drove across the causeway 2 Great White Egrets could be seen on the New Diggings. Walking along the track to Hanson a Marsh Harrier flew over , a Cetti's Warbler sung from a reed bed and Water Rail squealed. From the hide a near summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe (my first of the year) was with a flock of Shoveller and Teal all of which were picking insects off the lake surface. Also there 6 red head Smew, 6+ Goldeneye, 2 Bitterns flew across the lake and a Kingfisher made a couple of passes in front the hide.
Over the road on the reserve the fields by the entrance track still hold good numbers of Curlew, Wigeon and Lapwings. On Burrowes 1 Great White Egret, 4 more red head Smew and 6+Goldeneye were of note.
Back at the ARC the duck Red Crested Pochard flew into its usual lake, a Great spotted Woodpecker was by the track to The Screen hide, where 2 Great White Egrets showed well also a drake Smew was seen and 2 Chiffchaffs were calling in the Sallows behind the hide.
Back at The Point another hour sea watching with MH 15.00-16.00 saw:
Red-throated Diver: 57E  8W
Sandwich Tern:  8E  2W
Guillemot: 6W
A few each of Gannet and Kittiwake feeding off shore.
The Tickners Lane Seed Dump held 24 Yellowhammers, 5 Corn Buntings, 12 Reed Buntings and 20+ Chaffinches. Still many winter thrushes on the marsh.  

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