Wednesday, 4 February 2009

CommonMurre in the Harbour

With all the great Gull records from Dungeness I ventured again to Dover Harbour, hoping that something interesting had arrived with the cold snap.

There were very few gulls around and nothing on the old Hover port apron. One or two adult Kittiwakes were around, with this one settled on the water while two or three others patrolled along the pier.

I saw a couple of Guillemots, one right out in the middle in a flock of Black-headed Gulls and three Great Crested Grebes, and this one much close to the pier. This one is still in its winter plumage, others that were around last week had already acquired their summer look. In the USA these have the rather unattractive name of Common Murre, I'm not sure of the derivation, but would like to hear if you do.

Eventually one of the adult Kittiwakes came along and gave some good flight views. The wing tips are often described as looking as if they'd been dipped in black ink, and this shows the solid black tip well. The legs are also black, which distinguishes it from the only other member of its genus, the Red-legged Kittiwake, endemic to the Bering Sea and Aleutians.

Often birds take advantage of mans activities, and Turnstones are well known for their readiness to interact with fishermen. This one patrols the pier hoping for scraps from the few fishermen there. (I didn't see any fish caught today).

Back in St Margaret's I joined Jack and Flossie, who were watching a Fox dozing on the Leas. I was quite alert and slid quietly into the bushes when I tried to get closer. I think Flossie had caught the scent of the fox as she seemed quite interested in the area it had been sleeping on, but in the end settled for carrying a lump of wood about four foot long!

1 comment:

Graham James said...

The Kittiwake shot is truly a masterpiece, Tony.