27th April 2014 - Dungeness

Today was INCREDIBLE.  There, gone and ruined the whole blogpost.  Sorrynotsorry.

We meant to go to Dungeness on Saturday, but as frequently happens, completely overslept.  Amazingly, we made it on the Sunday, arriving at 9:15 (which was still an hour later than planned, but shh).  We started off at the ARC pit, with a good haul of terns - Black Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern and Little Tern.  Nice.  A report for Black-winged Stilt then came through (the main aim for the trip) so we hot footed it across to the main reserve, putting off the beach until the afternoon.  I had expected the Stilt to be hidden for some reason, but they were happily out looking gorgeous in the sunlight.  We watched them for a while, with a loud and friendly Whitethroat a few feet away and had a great moment to compare Little Ringed Plover and Ringed Plover as they landed beside each other.

Black-winged Stilt
We went a little further round to see if we could get a view of the Wood Sandpiper that was meant to be lurking in the grass behind the Stilt.  Luckily a gentleman there had somehow managed to find the top of the head of the Sandpiper and we were able to watch it until it came ever so slightly more out of the grass and appeared to actually be a bird.  I didn't see one last year, so this was great for me.

Sedge Warbler
Walking further along we got a sighting of our first Cetti's Warbler for the year.  In fact, throughout the day I counted about 5 Cetti's, so that was rather good!  Bearded Tit were out in force with 7 individuals flying obviously up and down the stream.  A pair of Bar-tailed Godwit were chased off the field by a Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier and Sparrowhawk added to the raptor list for the day.

Black-winged Stilt
Down on the beach we were hoping for a few Skua, but there wasn't as much movement as the day before and we didn't see any.  We did see our first Sandwich Tern for the year and I was very excited to see some Porpoise out to sea.  On the walk back to the car there was a tiny poofy Magpie which I have assumed was a baby (a Magpielet if you will) and a gorgeous Stonechat.

Dungeness loudly let off loads of steam and I nearly wet myself
Trip list: 60
Year list: 165
Lifers of year list: 8


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