Monday, 28 April 2014

Dungeness delivers again

Having followed yesterday's sea passage at Dungeness, we decided to head there this morning and hope for more of the same today.
The hide was already full upon arrival, which was not a surprise. so we used the hide as a wind break and sheltered from the strong southerly winds as much as possible.
A scan of the patch produced good numbers of Common Tern, but none of the hoped for Black Terns were found among them.
A pair of Peregrine caused panic among the terns and gulls when they appeared over the patch, but they failed to pick anything off while we were there.
Common Scoter moved through in large numbers, and Arctic Terns were also moving through in good numbers. 
The strong Southerlies were pushing birds much closer to the shoreline than normal and we enjoyed some great views of both Great and Arctic Skuas. Four Red-throated Diver and a single Black-throated Diver were also seen close in as were a small group of Eiders. Single groups of Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot were also noted before the end of the session.

A stop at Arc Pit bagged the sought after Black Terns, with two birds seen. A Little Tern was also found here for another welcome year tick.
Moving onto the reserve, we made our way round to Christmas Dell Hide and picked up the two Black-winged Stilts in the hayfield. 

While watching the stilts  a Wood Sandpiper decided to drop in, giving good views at first and then gradually moved into thicker cover and became much more elusive.
On the walk back towards the reserve centre a pair of Raven were watched displaying high over the Southern end of Burrowes Pit.

A brief stop off at Scotney produced good views of a pair of adult Little Gulls, before we made our way to Elmley.
The drive towards the car park produced the expected Redshank and Lapwings, Lapwing chicks were seen feeding among the vegetation trying to keep hidden as much as possible with several Marsh Harriers in the area.

Marsh Harrier

Lapwing Chick

Each time the harriers appeared the Lapwings were quick to fly up and drive them away from the chicks and nest sites.

Yellow Wagtails were again seen in good numbers here, having only had a brief flyover before today it was good to get  much closer views.

A pair of Ringed Plover were also seen and seemed intent on trying to nest on the actual access track. As you can imagine this would be doomed to failure.  

Ringed Plover

Skylarks were also seen in good numbers and a couple of individuals dropped in for a photo opportunity.


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