Archive for January 29th, 2008

29th January 2008, Tuesday

Rye Harbour Sightings

Now entering its sixth week, the Shore Lark is still present today on the Beach Reserve, feeding with Skylarks in its favourite spot near the Red-roofed Hut. Also on the Beach Reserve, high tide found a good range of waders on Flat Beach including 500+ Lapwing, 180 Dunlin and smaller numbers of Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Redshank. Offshore there were 150+ Common Scoter, 28 Red-throated Diver, 10-15 Auks and two Kittiwake, while on Long Pit the Long-tailed Duck and two Scaup were present late morning.

29th January 2008, Tuesday

News from RSPB Dungeness

The fine weather bought about a spring feel to the day, with ruddy ducks and great crested grebes displaying on Burrowes pit, and one of the three chiffchaffs around Hanson hide occasionally bursting into song. A ringtail hen harrier was seen near the water tower and the Slavonian grebe continued to show well from Firth hide. Seven grey partridges were seen in the fields along the entrance track, and the party of white fronted geese, currently roosting on Burrowes pit flew out again this morning, heading in the direction of Scotney pit. A party of 17 collared doves perched on the wires near the water tower, was the most unusual record of the day, beating the group of eleven birds seen in 1985!

29th January 2008, Tuesday

Yet more grebes (divers too)

The continuing calm weather allowed me to do a more thorough count of GC Grebes in the bay. I began at Winchelsea Beach and worked westwards. There seems to be very few in the eastern half of the bay, and birds were only thinly scattered until I got west of the Pools, when denser flocks appeared. In moving from point to point, I was careful to avoid duplicating counts, and erred on the side of caution when suspecting an overlap. The last group was right round past Fairlight Cove in Darkest TQ81Q, rather hard to see and the tide was coming up, so I may have missed a few more there.
2008-01-29-014.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

29th January 2008, Tuesday

Round the corner

2008-01-28-054.jpg
I have been unable to find many G C Grebes in the bay this winter. On the rare occasions that I’ve been able to look when the sea has been calm, I’ve seen few or none at all, though at this time of year there are usually hundreds. In fact, Rye Bay holds one of the biggest wintering flocks in Great Britain, with up to 600 birds present. Another very large flock has been counted round the corner – but still in RXland – at Lade sands, and I’ve often wondered whether these are two separate groups. If they are, then the RX area is by far the most important wintering site in the country for this species.
On Monday, however, in my Winter Atlas Late Visit to TQ81 W , I found flocks all the way round from Toot Rock to W of Fairlight Cove. These were mostly close inshore, therefore easy to count, and totaled 499 birds. I did not have the opportunity to check for more grebes further east in the bay or west beneath the cliffs. Read the rest of this entry »