Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Red-necked Grebe!

08.00-09.00 from the fishing boats:

                               Up Channel             Down Channel
Brent Goose:                  1
Shelduck:                                                          6
Teal:                               1
Wigeon:                         4
Red-throated Diver:     13                                25
Red-necked Grebe:                                          1
Great-crested Grebe:           122 around
Fulmar:                          1
Gannet:                                                              2
Cormorant:                         250+ around
Merlin:                                      1 around
Oystercatcher:              2
Turnstone:                                 2 around
Kittiwake:                                                          2
Guillemot:                               12 around
The Red-necked Grebe was the first I have seen this year a real rarity in the last few years. The Merlin gave a superb aerial display c400mts off shore, where it spent about a minute chasing what looked like an incoming Meadow Pipit, both birds dived and jinked in unison until I'm guessing the Pipit tired and the Merlin claimed it's prize. The Merlin was then chased by 2 Herring Gulls but was never in danger of being caught as it easily evaded attack after attack from the Herring Gulls.
At Boulderwall plenty of Tree Sparrows were seen and heard, nearby on Cook's Pool the Ring-necked Duck was still present along with a Great White Egret. No sign of the Long-eared Owl this morning though I'm sure it will be back. From Makepiece I could only find 1 Smew but the light was awful looking straight into the low sun, all the usual wildfowl appeared to be present.
At Scotney the Black-throated Diver was  still present, also at least 2 Great White Egrets, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard and the usual wildfowl.
Another short sea watch this afternoon saw apart from Gulls, the ever present Great-crested Grebes and  Cormorants nothing of note.
I stopped to look at the Gulls at The Fish Hut and spotted this 1w Caspian Gull
At the Kerton Road triangle I couldn't find the grey Stonechat but at least 2 Dartford Warblers were still present.
Driving down the entrance track on my way to the VC for afternoon tea I glimpsed a Harrier over Christmas Dell heading towards Makepiece, I stopped and saw it as it flew over the car park showing a gleaming white rump, then it headed off towards the ARC where I lost it from view.
Whilst having tea with the regulars 3 Smew flew across Burrowes. Late afternoon at the ARC from Hanson a Chiffchaff and a Cetti's Warbler, also the Water Rail was showing well but it was already to dark for images, 2 Bewick Swans were asleep on an island, a Bittern flew across the lake, 2 red head Smew flew in, finally at last light 11 more Bewick Swans came in but no sign of the juvenile that is usually with them.  

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