Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Alpine Swift

Driving along Hestia Way this morning I was surprised to see 3 Waxwings after a break of nearly 3 weeks. These are by far my latest Waxwings.
Arriving at a nearly full sea watch hide this morning at 08.00 it was clear on entering by the long faces that nothing much was happening on the sea. AJG had been there since 05.45 and the totals below are his sightings till 08.15.

Red Throated Diver 33  E
Gannet 77  E
Brent Goose 59 E , 4 W
Common Scoter 28 E
Whimbrel 7 E
Curlew 3 E
Sandwich Tern 277 E
Common Tern 112 E
Arctic Skua 4 E
Bonxie 2 E
Med Gull 4 around
Kittiwake 11 E
Swallow 1 in
Carrion Crow 12 in
A rather meagre total for the time and effort he put in.
I had a wander with AJG round The Point up to the north end of the Long Pits and back to the observatory seeing of note 1 Black Redstart, 1 Common Redstart, 2 Firecrests, several each of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Swallows also 2 Common Whitethroat.
At the south end of the ARC the highlight was 16 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Little Egrets, also a Great White Egret on New Diggings. A wander around the Willow Trail and track to the pines found more Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, Common Whitethroats, Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers with a few Hirundines overhead.
At Scotney apart from a few Swallows little of note.
I was just climbing out out of the car at Springfield Bridge when SB phoned to say an Alpine Swift was over Boulderwall Farm heading for Hookers Pit. I immediately scanned over Dengemarsh to Hookers and a few seconds later the Alpine Swift came into view in front the viewing ramp where to people were sitting looking at Pochard totally unaware the Swift was right in front of them. It flew around Hookers for a very brief time before appearing to head back to Boulderwall not to be seen again by 18.00hrs as far as I know. A big thank you to Steve who found it and gave up his chance of photographing it, by phoning me and others, once again many thanks Steve.
Whilst making my way to the viewing ramp with AJG we saw 2 Garganey and a Greenshank in Hayfield 3, in the brambles more Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats. From the viewing ramp 3+ Marsh Harriers, 2+ Bearded Tits and more Hirundines, back at Springfield Bridge a Peregrine dashed through and a Raven went over. Another look at the sea from the fishing boats was disappointing but 8 Wheatears on the beach was good.  

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