Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A wanderer returns

Yesterday I had a short sea watch at St Margaret's Bay, late morning. Short because when the rain arrived not only was the visibility poor but it appeared all the birds disappeared, possibly they settled on the sea? In 40 minutes the passage of Kittiwakes was impressive, about 800 birds all moving S (into the wind). Just two parties of Scoter, the first 8 Common Scoter and one Velvet Scoter (m). The second 5 Common Scoter. The only other thing of interest were 9 Adult (or near adult) Med Gulls, difficult to see small back tips way over the sea, and four 1st year Med Gulls. A few Gannets were around, but they appear not to be on a definite movement, but probably feeding in the shallows. Another look at the sea today started with me approaching a small bird standing in the car park.

When I got close enough to get the sun out of my eyes I saw that it was a Robin, and not some waif or stray blown in off the sea. It was probably a local bird, making use of a lull ion the dog walkers to pick out a few crumbs dropped on the ground. the sea wasn't quite empty but with the wind moving from S to W everything was further away. The number of Kittiwakes had dropped although there were a few passing a long way out. I saw just three Common Scoter and one Great Crested Grebe on the sea. Two Skuas were chasing something a very long way out, I suspected they were Pomarine Skuas but they may well have been Arctic, which sometimes appear quite deep chested. In the Bay I had a close look at three ages of Mediterranean Gull. As it was high-tide many of the Rock Pipit that are along the shore at the bottom of the cliffs had come into the Bay and I counted at least eight (damn things wouldn't stay still). 

Only the adult Mediterranean Gull was in range for a distant photograph. The other two, a juvenile moulting into first winter and a second year moved along the Bay and I lost sight of them.

 We'd been a bit worried about our most regular Badger, "Old One Ear". We hadn't seen him for four days, and he's been regular as clockwork for a good while now. Our other three recognisable visitors had all been in, but not him. I'm happy to say last night, and again at the moment he's been back.

"Old One Ear"

 "Old One Ear"

 This is one of the younger boars who now seems a regular and he's becoming less worried about being photographed.
In fact he's quite happy to have a sit down while he eats his supper with me just a few feet away.

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