Friday, 28 October 2011

Another quiet seawatch

Friday 28th October
Mild, overcast, dry with a light N/E breeze.

I'm on a late shift at work today, and keeping an eye on the forecast I chose to take a half days leave, so I don't need to be at work until 4pm. My intention when setting off this morning was to walk the lanes and hedges and cover as much of the area as possible, but after an hour walking round the back of the caravan park and seeing nothing but Blackbirds and a few Goldcrests, I took a look at the sea. First thing I saw were 7 Little Gulls flying slowly west, and there was a northerly breeze blowing, so I went back to the car and grabbed my scope and some warm clothes and headed up to the towers.

For a short while there was little to see, apart from a single Bonxie and a few Gannets, and a couple more Little Gulls. I was joined by Mickey Baldock, and gradually we built up a fairly good selection of birds, with several large flocks of Gannets reasonably close, quite a few Little Gulls and a single Pom Skua a little distant.

Highlight was stumbling on 2 Slavonian Grebes sitting on the sea, a little way out, just far enough to sow some seeds of doubt re Black-necked Grebe. They had clean white cheeks and a distinct cap which led Mickey and I to be fairly sure they were Slavs, and Chris Hindle joined us a little later, using a larger magnification on his scope to confirm their i.d.

We stayed until the wind dropped off completely and nothing was moving. Totals were:
1 R T Diver, 1 G C Grebe, 2 Slav Grebes w, 287 Gannets w, 6 Bonxie w, 1 Pomarine Skua w, 46 Little Gulls w, 13 Kittiwakes w, 20 Common Scotor w, 8 Wigeon w, 2 Swallows w, 1 Grey Wagtail w and a Wheatear around the towers.


This afternoon I took a walk over at Shuart, where 3 Corn Buntings flew west, as did around 80 Siskins in small flocks, and distantly I saw over at Brooksend a flock of around 30 Greylags. A couple of Redpolls and a few crests were about all else today.

Other short visits recently were a trip to Chambers Wall to see the Rough-legged Buzzard on Sunday 23rd, also managing to see a Goosander fly over Coldharbour (poor photo below)

And on Wednesday morning I had a short visit to Bishopstone, where not much was to be seen, but I did try to get a photo of a Firecrest (another poor photo below)

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