Sunday, 27 April 2014

Dunge delivers

We headed down to Dungeness this morning hoping that yesterday's weather and good sea passage would be repeated. The forecast was for quite strong south easterly winds but on arrival the wind was more southerly and if you like "right in your face" so standing on the beach at 6am was quite testing as we started our sea watch. The patch was alive with Common Terns and large numbers of Arctic Terns moved through too. We had five Arctic Skua and two Great Skua in the couple of hours we gave to the sea watch one of each coming in really close giving excellent views. Hundreds of Common Scoter flew west and were joined by three very close Eider Ducks. A small group of Barwits and Knot made up the wader count. A pair of Peregrine kept coming to the patch trying to catch a Tern for lunch but failed on the visits we witnessed. Four Red-throated and a single Black-throated Diver flew west before we moved on to the RSPB reserve. On ARC pit we had two Black Terns in with the commics and a Little Tern gave us another year tick. A Buzzard flew over and was chased off by the local Crows.

Black-winged Stilt at Dungeness
Grey Heron
Black-winged Stilts
Wood Sandpiper
On the reserve we found two Black-winged Stilts and they were accompanied by a bonus bird in the form of a Wood Sandpiper, on the walk back we saw a pair of Ravens display and a Marsh Harrier hunting. We popped into Scotney GP's on the way out and picked up two smart adult Little Gulls and then made our way to Elmley where we enjoyed good views of some smart birds but with the poor light on offer the camera was struggling. (or my technical ability was left wanting) A smart day again at Dunge etc. and here's hoping we manage to catch a little bit of the Pom passage expected in early May.

Lapwing chick
Marsh Harrier
Yellow Wagtail

206 on the year list now


  1. Great day out Brian and well done on that two ton. Hoping to go to see the BWS tomorrow if they hang around. Wood sand would be nice too !

  2. Thanks Mike, The Stilts looked really comfortable and showed very well so I hope they have stayed for a another day for you. The Wood Sand however was a little hardy to find in the grass. Good luck.

  3. Thanks Brian managed to get the BWS today but very distant ,so no shots. Did get Whinchat but no wood sand.

  4. Glad they hung around for you Mike, The Wood Sandpiper was really difficult on Sunday hiding in the longer grass for most of my visit.