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Beach Reserve

The daybreak light was not really conducive to getting record shots of a Temminck's Stint, but after spending nearly an hour sliding around Harbour Farm on my belly I managed the two below........ also of note at daybreak 94 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Greenshank, 31 Whimbrel, 4 Grey Plover and 3 Little Ringed Plover (not in picture).




Skuas from the Clifftop

As there was a lot of seabird movement yesterday [which I missed], I hoped for more this morning. Another zero moth catch left plenty of time for seawatching, and it was soon obvious that birds were on the move again, with groups of Gannets and Common Scoters passing regularly. The most sought after bird during spring seatches is Pomarine Skua [some of which I was unable to pick out from the Clifftop a week ago], I soon saw both Great Skuas and Arctic Skuas fairly close in, and my pager told me of lots of "Poms" past Dungeness, and small groups coming along the coast from Selsey eastwards. After much frustration, I finally picked one up rather distantly after 2 hours at 0825, followed by nice scope views of 4 together closer in at 0900. I saw 3 more plus 3 very distant skuas that I couldn't be sure of by the time the light became too difficult at 0935.

Lots of other birds to look at : My totals, doubtless eclipsed by those watching from the usual headlands, were: Gannet 72, Common Scoter 520, Velvet Scoter 3, Pintail 4, Gadwall 2, Bar-tailed Godwit 20, Black-throated Diver 1, Arctic Skua 7, Great Skua 5, Pomarine Skua 8 and Skua sp 3. As usual in spring, all these birds were going East.


Beach Reserve

Avian highlights at daybreak.........12 Little Terns, 130 Common Terns, 22 Swift, 33 Whimbrel and 14 Bar-tailed Godwit.


From the Clifftop

Both moth trapping and seawtching have been largely a waste of time all week, with a zero catch on one morning, remarkable in late April, and 2 Velvet Scoters E a couple of days ago my only decent seabird sighting.

A chilly walk along the Firehills this morning found both male Stonechats in place still, a rather belated first singing Lesser Whitethroat, and a singing Willow Warbler on the cliff edge. Sitting on a seat in the garden for 30 mins-when driven inside by cold -produced nothing at all overhead-spring really is so quiet compared to the excellent autmns here.

When will it rain ?


Castle Water

Nice few sunny hours at Castle Water before the clouds came............. found my first few Emerging Downy Emeralds around the margins of the viewpoint, also Hairy Dragonfly but they have been emerging since the 20th mainly in the ditch north of the hide, good selection of damselflies also on the wing. Avian highlights competed well with the damsels and dragons, Hobby, 3 Swift, a mixed flock of around 80 Swallows, House and Sand Martins, 12 Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover. Obviously full selection of singing summer warblers, Cuckoo, booming Bittern, Marsh Harriers and the regular Buzzard. The Downy Emerald pictured below took off shortly after I took this picture just before the heat of the sun disappeared.