Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Winter Seawatch at Dungeness fishing boats

Red breasted Merganser feeding under Cormorants

Saturday, January 29th: Two hours lively sea-watching huddled behind a fishing boat and sheltered from a very bitter north-easterly wind had some rewards. A scarce Red breasted Merganser feeding amongst a raft of Great Crested Grebes being one of them. Far out to sea, many flights of Guillemots and Razorbills, (Guillemots in summer plumage), were also feeding in drifting, rolling rafts often disappearing behind white choppy waters. Sadly, despite the onshore wind, all birds were just too far out for any crisp images. Overhead, flights of Brent Geese sometimes tagging along with Cormorants criss-crossed the point in search of calmer feeding areas. To add to the excitement, Red-throated Divers were also present. Some were content to feed and others racing through, seemingly charged up by the loud, bracing and very cold wind. Behind me, on the beach and above Jarmen's Cottage, an increasingly common sight for birders at Dungeness; two Ravens cart-wheeled into the sky chased by a mob of Crows - great stuff.

Red-throated Diver undaunted by strong N.E. wind