Thursday, 7 May 2009

At Last!

Yes, at last some local patch birding worthy of a post!! No photos though I'm afraid!

This morning I tried a sea watch 06:30 - 07:30 from Spot On Kiosk. It wasn't too bad, with the totals being: 4 Great Northern Diver (two during my first scan, one about five minutes later then the last at 07:20ish), 13 Manxies, 3 Little Egrets (in/off), 18 Common Scoters, 6 Kittiwakes, 2 Sandwich Terns, 12 Whimbrel and 54 Dunlin (in/off, my biggest flock of the year so far). Swifts were really on the move too, streaming west over the sea throughout the watch.

I finished work at six, and after dinner went back down to the seafront. 18:30 - 19:00 was brilliant, solely due to a manic passage of Dunlin! 252 flew west just offshore/along the beach in this half hour, but from 19:00 onwards no more. I was hoping for something in with them, but could manage nothing better than four Ringed Plovers - they were in the first flock too! This is a super count for the patch, but I can only wonder what the count would have been if I'd have started the watch earlier? Not much else passing, just ten Manxies and a Kittiwake. I managed to fluff a probable good'un though (at 19:30), it was a large raptor that had just arrived in/off but dived straight into cover as soon as I got my bins on to it. Flipping annoying! It landed in trees up the slope towards the golf course, maybe it will show in the morning?

Another interesting thing about these Dunlin is that they were really on the move. At about 19:20 I walked half the beach, bearing in mind I'd just seen 252, there was only ONE grounded!

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