Sunday, 2 February 2014

Glaucous Gull at Dungeness

We opted to take another trip to Dungeness this morning.
The weather forecast was predicting early morning showers then clearing to leave a bright late morning early afternoon.
Before reaching Dungeness we get the first rain shower. Although quite heavy it's thankfully brief and has cleared up by the time we park up by the moat.
A Smart male Kestrel is spotted close to the car, but a complete circuit of the moat area produces very few birds and we quickly move on.
The Hume's is still being reported from the trapping area, but having already bagged it a couple of weeks ago we give it a miss and head towards the beach.
At the point there's Gannets, Cormorants, Great Crested Grebes, Common Scoters, Kittiwakes, and the usual gull species found along with a single Red-throated Diver.
As we drive towards the fishing boats, the Glaucous Gull is found close in resting among a small group of gulls. On the walk back from the beach it's found again roosting closer to the fishing boats.
While watching the Glaucous Gull it was Good to bump into Lee again and meet Alan for the first time.

Glaucous Gull
From here we head towards the reserve, stopping on route to pick up a couple of Great White Egrets on ARC Pit and a Black-throated Diver on New Diggings.
On the drive up to the reserve another two Great White's are found, along with good numbers of Tree Sparrows at the entrance gate.
Another year tick is added when a Black-necked Grebe is found along the back edge of Burrowes Pit along with a redhead Smew. There's also Female Goosander and Goldeneye to complete the treble of winter ducks.

Great White Egret

On the way home a quick stop off at Elmley produces a Little Owl in the centre tree behind the toilet block and a distant Peregrine for a couple more year ticks.
Most of the birds were again distant from the entrance track, with large flocks of Lapwings, Golden Plover and Curlews seen. The only birds that approached close enough for any photos were a small group of Rooks.

As we approach Dartford news comes through of an Iceland Gull present near Bob Dunn Way. There's plenty of gulls present on the flooded fields either side of Bob Dunn Way, but most are Black-headed with a few larger species mixed in. But there's no sign of the Iceland.
Brian spots some gulls flying around in the distance and after a bit of a drive around we manage to find the Viridor waste site. As we arrive James Hunter is already present and has the Iceland gull in his scope.
Luckily it's resting on top of the Viridor building roof.
We manage some good scope views before activity on site puts the birds up into the air, and the bird is lost to view.

Another good trip to Dunge, with the added bonus of a few more year ticks on the way home.