Tuesday, November 20, 2007

French seawatching

Part of the hardcore Dungeness seawatching crew braving the elements on the other side of the Channel at Le Clipont, probably the best seawatching site in France, standing from 07:00 till 17:15. Not the large numbers of birds we were hoping for but still a nice variety... 12 Leaches Petrels, 5 Sabines Gulls, 6 Pomarine Skuas, 8 Long tailed Skuas, Grey Phalarope, 20 Sooty Shearwaters and at least 17 Manx. Plus numerous groups of Arctic tern, Black Tern and Little Gulls and lots of very close Great Skuas. Conditions were pretty wet and windy with waves regularly sweeping over the pier, and rucksacks nearly dragged backwards into the sea. Had the wind been much strongher the trip would have probably called off 1) because it would have been almost impossible to watch anything going past and 2) because of the potential safety risk, demonstrated later on in early November when a car was swept from the pier and lost to sea...

Juvenile Arctic tern on ther beach by the fishing boats at Dungeness

Friday, November 09, 2007

Autumn moan

Dungeness passerine highlights....

August: 2 Wryneck and a Nightingale

September 1 Wryneck remaining 2+ Yellow browed Warbler

October: More Yellow browed Warblers and a brief Great grey Shrike no Pendunline Tits

Compared with Holme...

Red backed Shrike
Great grey Shrike
Richards Pipit
Yellow browed warblers
Barred Warblers
Greenish Warbler
Raddes Warbler

And I have been told (on more than one occasion) that Holme is crap...

The recent lack of pictures is to be blamed not only on the lack of birds, but the fact that my Camera has eventually decided to pack in. There might be one or two pictures to upload, once I get around to transfering some of Octobers images to the computer.

Whilst there is still time yet for this years Pendunlines to turn up (and maybe a Dusky or late Pallas's) I hold out little hope of there being much else... autumn has died. Out of the above I managed to connect with a single Wryneck and Yellow browed Warbler. Grasshopper Warbler was a good bird for the reserve and Ring Ouzels turned up in some reasonable numbers at the start of October. Following the recent trend in migrant numbers, some species were very scarce... 2 Garden Warblers, 3 Pied Flycatchers and 5 Spotted Flycatchers. My personal tally for the three species for the whole of the autumn.

Its a good job I like Caspian Gulls....