Sunday, 2 February 2014

Dungeness delivers again

We opted to drive south to Dunge again this morning despite the forecast being better to the north of Essex.
The morning saw rain and strong wind in between small amounts of blue sky. From the point we had Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Kittiwake, Auks and the usual gulls before finding the Glaucous Gull in the roost close to the fishing boats. It obliged with a brief flight in dull light but always remained too distant for any real opportunity. On the beach we watched as the gulls took advantage of the tide line to feed and Kittiwake hunted in good numbers too. Scoters and Grebes were also noted before I found myself a very early Sandwich Tern. We bumped into fellow bloggers Lee and Alan B whilst watching the Glauc .

Glaucous Gull at Dungeness
Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats in Dungeness
Great black-backed Gull with catch
Good catch
Kittiwake with a good sized catch
Heading back out to the RSPB reserve we spotted the Black-throated Diver in New Diggings pit and enjoyed more time with the Great-white Egrets on ARC pit. On Burrows Pit we located a Black-necked Grebe, Red head Smew and Goosander before looking for Tree Sparrows again at the entrance track.

Great-white Egret at Dungeness
The Egret has landed!
In flight
We made a quick stop at Elmley where we bagged another year tick when Jimmy found a Little Owl sitting in the middle tree behind the wardens house and I found a distant Peregrine for Jimmy to tick. The fields at Elmley are still flooded and although there are good numbers of birds present they remain distant.
As we headed up the A2 we decided to try Dartford for the reported Iceland Gull and eventually located the Viridor building to find James Hunter present and the bird in his scope. He left and we scoped the juvenile bird for a while before checking the fields nearby for Caspian but sadly none were found today.

Another cracking trip to Dunge and the year list nudges up to 133.

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