Thursday, 1 May 2008

25 - 29 April Seabirds and Migrants at Dungeness and a surprise pair of Stilts in Bedfordshire.2 May

Swopping the usual norfolk scenery for the South Coast produced a good crop of migrants on land and an impressive array of birds at Sea. Expectations were not to be dissappointed, with a very satisfactory supply of birds and the good company of the warden and other visiting birders staying at the observatory. FRIDAY; Nightingale ringed. terns and Skuas on the Sea. Evening visit to nearby wood had roding Woodcock, flying Tawny at Dusk and a mass chorus of Nightingales. SATURDAY; The Early Seawatch again produced Skuas, Black Little Arctic Sandwich and Common Terns, Little Gulls and the surprise of the Morning, a Ring Tailed Hen Harrier coming in off the Sea. the RSPB reserve held Drake Gargeney Bearded Tit Hobby Whimbrel Greenshank and Black Tern. Returning to the sea late in the afternoon produced the bird of the week - a fly past WHITE BILLED DIVER SUNDAY; more activity on the sea included a flow of superb Spoon laden Pomerine Skuas through the day - as well as Arctic and Great Skuas in supporting roles. An Iceland Gull flew through, but came down on the beach at the patch to allow a closer view. MONDAY; more seabirds through, with the Iceland Gull again showing on the beach at the patch. The RSPB Reserve added Cuckoo Yellow Wagtails and masses of Swifts and Swallows - with smaller numbers of House and Sand Martins. TUESDAY - no sign of the Iceland Gull , but a final spell at the Sea added Manx Shearwater to the list, with close views of lingering Black and Little Terns at the patch. Driving back to Bedford in heavy rain that evening seemed to be the end of a good spell of birding - only for me to get the phione call THURSDAY evening asking if I knew about the BLACK WINGED STILT at WILLINGTON, BEDFORD ? No I didn't and with time very short before the light went completely, a Black lark scenario was looming. Fortunately. the birds stayed ,and the light held out just long enough to allow good views of the 2 Stilts before darkness fell. A very nice local tick at the end of an excellent few days !! ICELAND GULL WHIMBREL STONECHAT FEMALE NIGHTINGALE - 1 OF A PAIR RINGED THE SAME MORNING

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