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Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Dungeness and a Valley Wood Sandpiper

August 10th

With 50mph+ South Westerly winds forecast for the Saturday, Paul and myself heading down early doors full of the usual enthusiasm and arriving around 5.45a.m.

Obviously on arrival the south westerly wind, even that early, was bloody strong, walking out to the Fishing Boats proved an event in itself over shingle, however the short stubby legs came into their own.

We parked up behind one of the larger boats, nice and overcast and from the off Terns were moving in numbers, all into the wind left to right.

After a short while we were joined by Andy Lawson, during the course of the morning, with the aid of some bread, I picked up some pointers from Andy regarding juvenile Yellow Legged Gulls , I don’t mind admitting I find immature Gulls a bit of a minefield.

Anyway we had a decent morning, it brightened up around 8.30 - 9.00am but the highlights were 2 Balearic Shearwaters, picked out by Andy, I did manage to get on one for them.

My totals below:

Common Terns – around 250, no doubt some Arctic’s in there as well.
Yellow Legged Gull juveniles – 8+
Sandwich Tern – 70
Gannet – constant stream all morning, at least 150+
Fulmar – 10
Swift – small flocks totalling 30
Mediterranean Gull – 2 juveniles

Nothing earth shattering I know but just good to get out.

From here, with the wind now really howling and threatening to remove what remaining hair Paul has left, we moved on to the Hansen hide on the Arc Pits, it was the only place to go for shelter.

It proved a good move with lots of birds sheltering around or on the islands.

Again my totals, highlights.

Marsh Harrier – 1
Wood Sandpiper – at least 8 likely more
Greenshank – 2
Ruff – 3
Garganey – 3
Little Ringed Plover – 4
Little Tern – 1
Little Gull – 1 in Bay
Common Tern – around 100
Arctic Tern – 4
Sandwich Tern – 10+
Great White Egret – 1
Cattle Egret – 2 along RSPB entrance track

A good morning all round and as mentioned, just good to get down there again.


Dave McGouth found a Wood Sandpiper in the viewing area when we got back, well done to him, first one I have seen over there in a good few years.

Even better was the fact that it was quite posy and gave good comparison views alongside a Green Sandpiper.

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