Saturday, 2 August 2008

Tern! Tern! Tern!

Once the outcome of the test match had become almost a certainty and I discovered that a Great Shearwater had put in an appearance at Dungeness I decided to have a short sea watch before it got too dark.

Almost immediately three Arctic Skuas came by at a closer distance than is usual here. A lot of Gannets were out on the sea, both moving through and fishing and large numbers of both Sandwich and Common/Arctic Terns were in evidence. In addition two Black Terns headed down Channel. As is usual at this time of year large numbers of Kittiwakes were passing. Shearwaters, as expected were absent. Scanning the rocks, it was apparent that as well as the normal Black-headed and herring Gulls, others had joined them in their roost.

It wasn't possible to get close but as far as I could see through the scope there were at least 30 Mediterranean Gulls, of various ages and the tern numbers were probably in three figures, but there was a lot of movement in and out all the time. There was a mixture of Sandwich Terns and Common Terns, with probably more of the former.

When I was looking through my pictures I noticed that the Mediterranean Gull in the centre above had rings on both legs, I'll try and find it tomorrow to see if I can read any numbers.

There were several young terns with the adults and they were constantly begging for food. Judging by the amount of activity on the sea there must be quite a few of their prey species about.

Moths. There were two more Lagmaid's Yellow underwings amongst an increasing catch of lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings today, as well as one yesterday. I think there must be a local population.

(Turn! Turn! Turn! - Pete Seeger song, a hit for the Byrds in Oct 1965)

No comments: