The morning started with the disappointment of the scorecard in Sydney, bad even by the standards of this series, but improved as I watched a Green Woodpecker feeding on the grass while I drunk my first cup of tea. Unfortunately it wasn't as cooperative as they often are and spurned the photo shoot opportunity.
At the moment I'm finding the lure of the sea difficult to ignore. Not only is it beautiful to watch but news from near by raised my hopes of finding something our o9f the ordinary. Reports of a Glaucous Gull along the front at Deal and a Black Guillemot passing Dover Harbour had me, once again behind my scope watching the waves.
Of course sea birds aren't the only birds to be seen down there, but I only managed two species (apart from Crows and Jackdaws over the cliff) on dry land. One Pied Wagtail was feeding along the "car park" wall and about ten Rock Pipits were working their way along the shingle. Like most passerine birds, feeding on the ground, it is almost impossible to see the minute morsels of food that attract their attention.
This Rock Pipit hoped onto the breakwater (or is it a groyne?) and peered at the metal structure, before leaping up and picking something off the surface.
I have to say I do have a liking for Rock Pipits. They are hardy creatures, getting their livelihood along the bottom of the cliffs, and just coming together in the bay at high tide when the bay is the only feeding area left.
As the still over-active sea reached the beach it through up a large amount of spray and the surf foamed along the retreating waves. I was in this area that I noticed the flock of Black-headed Gulls feeding attentively amongst the bubbles.
I can only assume that the wave action brings to the surface small items of food that the gulls pick from the foam. Needless to say I didn't find a Black Guillemot or an unusual gull. There were still a lot of Common Guillemots, known as Murres in the USA, and large numbers of Kittiwakes and Fulmars. Again just one Red-throated Diver passed, quite close by and there were also a couple of small groups of Brent Geese flying up The Channel.
Today was FA cup day, but my team (the Gunners was given a bye into the fourth round by the Sp*rs, so there was no competitive game to see this afternoon!