Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A Little Treat

I was hoping this would be a post containing several photos depicting the chaotic scenes at Seaton this morning. The day that saw the town's worst flooding since 1974. But I've been up since half four and I'm afraid I just don't have the energy.  I just had to post about this little delight though...

A look along the Estuary soon after dawn showed two adult Kittiwakes resting on the water, here's one pictured (very distantly!) with a Common Gull...

Kittiwake on the right

They started to fly around a bit, and being such a scarcity on the Estuary I thought I'd try and get this species on the house list while I could.  So I went straight home to set the scope up in the bedroom, which I peered down for a few minutes at a time every so often. 

I can't see much river at all from my house, in fact during low tide I can't see any at all, just the air space above it. But when the river valley is flooded, I can see this much...



Still not much, and most of what I can see it partially obscured by trees. To be (almost) precise, the Estuary is about 1.900 km in length, and I can see roughly 150m of it, and of that small section, only half the width of it.

Several short watches revealed no Kittiwakes, and with the wind having dropped by late morning I figured they'd probably made a break for the sea.  I kept watching though, and at midday had my reward with a cracking adult Little Gull feeding close to the surface of the water.  I saw it several times from the bedroom over the next couple of hours, before I just had to go for a closer look from Axmouth...



It was superb to watch, feeding exactly like a Storm Petrel pitter-pattering over the surface of the water with incredible elegance and ease. What a cracking bird!!

More 'bedroom birding' later in the day revealed yet another house tick, a Med Gull. I really should have seen this species from the house long before today, as they probably fly past every day of the winter! I obviously haven't been looking hard enough when one has passed. It was an adult circling over Black Hole Marsh with Black-headed and Common Gulls at about 4pm.

And now people, with my head literally resting on my laptop's keyboard, it's time to sign off for the night. But expect a post crammed full of photos in the next day or two...

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