|Posted on February 10, 2012 at 6:15 PM|
It was cold, barely above freezing all day and with a light to moderate easterly for good measure.
I started at Oare Marshes just before high tide around 0900. The east scrape was largely iced and the open patches held a few Teal, Wigeon and Pintail. The waders were on the Swale; around 200 Dunlin, 50 Avocet and a scattering of Grey Plover, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit and Turnstone were feeding on the exposed mud . A few Brents flew by and I could see a swirling mass of Oystercatchers distantly over Shellness. Having exhausted what Oare seemed to have to offer I drove off and had a look at Ham pits and was pleased to find a couple of "redhead" Smew on the main pit.
I then set off for Dover to look for the Kumlien's Gull that had been reportedly present for at least a week. I soon discovered that Admiralty Pier is the southernmost arm of the harbour and after eventually parking for free - no mean feat these days in Dover - I walked out to find Alan and Brenda Fossey and Keith Holland watching the Kumliens as it performed circuits of the pier. The views were quite good though a long way from ideal for photo's and then frustratingly it moved across and flew up and down the central pier in bright sunshine. The scope views were good but we all eventually decided to walk round to see if we could get closer looks.
Kumlien's Gull - 2nd winter
By the time we walked round to the central pier it had disappeared - naturally! A Snow Bunting feeding under a crash barrier on the old hoverport provided some consolation. Eventually, around 30 minutes later, it reappeared from the north where there were hundreds of gulls feeding near the car ferrys but flew overhead and vanished again. Another 30 minutes or so passed before it appeared and spent a good while washing and preening on the old hoverport ramp giving great looks in the scope. It flew off into the sun around 2.30 and I headed off for some food and to warm up. Also of note in the harbour were around 20 Razorbill, a Shag and hundreds of Common Gulls and Kittiwake.
Kittiwake - adult
I had my lunch at Samphire Hoe but it was very quiet there so I drove off and finished the day looking around the Downs near Charing; plenty of Buzzards but little else of note.