Friday, 20 April 2007

Sea Watch

I got a message at lunch time that eight Pomarine Skuas had passed Dungeness at 1.24 pm. It usually takes birds moving north from Dungeness about 1 hour to get to St Margaret's. We usually sea watch from in front of the Boat House in the Bay, but as the car park is still closed I made my way to this watch point just below the site of the old hotel. I think that this is left over from one of the installations in WWII, I must find out its' history.

It is quite a good view point for up to about three watchers, but it is a little higher that the optimum. the Bay being the opposite, too low for the best view. A few things came passed on their way north, 104 Brent Geese, four Bar-tailed Godwits and three Red-breasted Mergansers all being worth noting. 2.24 pm came and I was beginning to think that the Poms had gone off course. Then I saw them, a group of four followed by two and then a single. They were a fair way out but close enough to see the characteristic elongated tail feathers, twisted and shaped like two spoons, on each bird. I didn't see an eighth but the sight of these magnificent "pirates" of the seabird world is always a highlight of spring. The peak is normally the first week of May so hopefully we'll see a few more this spring.

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