The most impressive sight this morning was a flock of around 2000 Razorbills feeding close inshore of the fishing boats along with some 400 Guillemots and at least 500 Great Crested Grebes. A Velvet Scoter made several passes offshore during the day and an immature Pomarine Skua was seen in the afternoon. A few Brent Geese also flew east and an Eider and two Red-breasted Mergansers were of interest. The first-winter Caspian Gull showed very well again and the second-winter Glaucous Gull was also seen.
Without doubt the highlight of the day off Dungeness was a pod of four Orcas, all likely to be males judging by their dorsal fin size and shapes, which were watched for about 20 minutes in mid-morning as they fed about a mile offshore.
A handful of migrants arrived including a fine male Redstart, two Ring Ouzels, two Whitethroats and 15 Willow Warblers. Two Yellow Wagtails, 17 Swallows and a Brambling and four Siskins also flew through. The Glaucous Gull was in its usual station at the fishing boats.
Also of note, what was presumably the same swift was seen for a short time at ARC in the early morning and these observers were able to confirm its identity as a Pallid Swift.
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The Glossy Ibis made another sortie over the recording area and a Raven was heard but not seen. A party of three White-fronted Geese also flew east over the area. Two Firecrests were seen at the Long Pits.
At sea, there were large numbers of Gannets, Razorbills and Guillemots and at least 500 Kittiwakes feeding offshore, 65 Wigeon flew east and the Glaucous Gull remains on site.
from the DBO website
A day of dismal weather but good birds continue to appear. The highlight was a Hoopoe which spent most of the day in a small area of beach near the fishing boats. Five Lapland Buntings were also seen in the same general area. Seawatching produced 14 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua and there were 20 Black Terns at the Patch. The flock of 18 Glossy Ibis were still on the RSPB Reserve.
From DBO website.
Yesterday’s Red-backed Shrike spent the day in the broom and gorse between West Beach and the Old Lighthouse but was difficult to see well in the poor weather conditions. Fresh migrants on the ground were thinly scattered but included three Whinchats. Twenty Yellow Wagtails also flew over. There were three juvenile Mediterranean Gulls, two Little Gulls, four juvenile Arctic Terns and two Black Terns feeding offshore during the morning whilst eight Arctic Skuas and seven Great Skuas flew past and a Black-necked Grebe floated east on the sea in the afternoon. The Cattle Egret, Purple Heron and Great White Egret were all seen again at various locations around the RSPB Reserve. See DBO website.
At Dungeness yesterday there were gulls from several parts of the globe “The Patch was the place to be during the morning where a first-winter Iceland Gull appeared at 1120hrs and then spent an hour or so feeding before heading off eastwards. Also among the gulls was a short-staying first-winter Caspian Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull. ” from DBO website.
The bird of the day was a first-winter Red-necked Phalarope which spent an hour or so in the early afternoon flying between various patches of floating weed just offshore. This, perhaps surprisingly, appears to be the first Observatory record although there have been at least 12 records for the greater Dungeness recording area. The sea also produced a steady, if slow, trickle of birds including 176 Common Scoters, a Black-throated Diver, a Balearic Shearwater, a Manx Shearwater, a Shag, 19 Ringed Plovers, 14 Arctic Skuas, three Great Skuas and 70 Sandwich Terns. Two Mediterranean Gulls and seven Little Gulls were also feeding offshore.There was also a steady movement of birds overhead during the morning with 870 Swallows, 125 House Martins, three Rock Pipits and 300 Goldfinches but it was very quiet in the bushes. From DBO website
The highlight of the day was a very tame Lapland Bunting which spent the morning on the beach between the fishing boats and the New Lighthouse. Finches were passing through in large numbers with 330 Siskins, 570 Goldfinches and 80 Redpolls and a single Brambling. A Marsh Harrier, five Rock Pipits and two Grey Wagtails and 31 Reed Buntings were also of note. The bushes were fairly quiet but two Coal Tits were noteworthy along with nine Redwings, three Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs and 20 Goldcrests. A few birds were also feeding offshore including 12 Arctic Skuas, two Mediterranean Gulls, seven Little Gulls, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and three first-winter Arctic Terns whilst a small southerly movement of wildfowl included 131 Brent Geese, nine Wigeon, 99 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers and also six Great Skuas. From DBO website
I was interested to see Cliff Dean’s image of a hybrid Canada Goose X Greylag Goose? at Pett Level on 26th February. I also saw and photographed this bird at Scotney Pit on 12th January 2005.