As I cleared the heavy frost off the car early this morning, I heard the familiar call of Bewick Swans flying out of the ARC over me to feed at Horses Bones Farm.
Early morning at Cooks Pool, the Whoopers Swans roosting with the Mutes
As I arrived at the sea watching hide wave after wave of Cormorants were flying past out of Rye Bay round The point into Lade Bay. The image above does not begin to show the numbers that swept past. I was trying to count them in blocks of 10 and believe a minimum of 9,000 birds were involved.
After that spectacle I wandered down to The Patch which was very quiet, probably because the boil was virtually non existent. Offshore plenty of Auks were tooing and froing, with a few Red-throated Divers and Gannets also 23 Brent Geese flew East.
Brent Geese past The Patch
Razorbills and a Guillemot off the fishing boats this afternoon
MH joined me at the fishing boats this afternoon for a bitterly cold and fairly brief sea watch, which once again saw 100s of Razorbills and Guillemots tooing and froing and littering the sea while chasing Sprats, c50 Great-crested Grebes were feeding along with the omnipresent hordes of Cormorants, also 5 Turnstone on the beach and Grey Seal off shore.
Next stop the RSPB visitor centre for a warm up, where a Norwegian ringed Great Black-backed Gull JU850 was roosting. Details below.
Ringing Centre Stavanger Museum (Norway) Ring number 3039430
Species Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
Sex Unknown Age Pullus
Date Place Coordinates Observers Days/km/°
02.07 2014 Udvaare, Lindesnes, Vest-Agder, Norway 57°58'49"N 007°12'41"E Helberg, Morten -
22.11 2014 Boulogne-sur-Mer "bassin Loubet", Pas-de-Calais, France 50°43'38"N 001°35'14"E Petit-Berghem, Eric 143/884/206
01.07 2018 Udvaare, Lindesnes, Vest-Agder, Norway 57°58'49"N 007°12'41"E Helberg, Morten
Skår, Hogne 1460/0/0
31.01 2019 Dungeness, UK., Great Britain, Great Britain 50°55'51"N 000°56'16"E Casemore, Martin 1674/882/209
1w Caspian Gull
While I was in the visitor centre I saw a 1w Caspian Gull drop in front of Firth Hide, I quickly made my way to the hide, where fortunately the bird was still present and showing well.
Estonian ringed Common Gull P39JBelow are details of the above Estonian ringed Common Gull which David Walker and myself saw at The Patch on 29/01/2019. Many thanks to David for for forwarding the birds history to me.
Larus canus, white plastic P39J (ID= 7440)
• ringed 7.06.2012 with an aluminium ring Estonia Matsalu UA9695 (on right tibia) as a chick in Kakrarahu colony (nest no. 545), Matsalu Nature Reserve, Estonia (58º46’ N 23º26’ E).
• caught 10.06.2014 as a breeding female in Kakrarahu colony, nest no. 724. White PMMA ring P39J added on left tarsus.
• observed 15.05.2015 in Kakrarahu colony, nest no. 620.
• observed 15.05.2016 in Kakrarahu colony, nest no. 210.
• observed 15.05.2017 in Kakrarahu colony, nest no. 409.
• observed 15.05.2018 in Kakrarahu colony, nest no. 315.
• observed 29.01.2019 at Dungeness, Kent, UK (50°55’ N 0°59’ E) by David Walker.