Saturday, 7 April 2018

Seaford seawatches (6 and 7 April 2018)

Saturday 7th April. DB and I arrived at Splash Point, Seaford at 06:20 to find ME and JK in situ. We were soon joined by SL, NP, JMS and others with mowst of those mentioned staying to 13:00. During that time I saw the following flying (or swimming in the case of the grebe) east: 110 Red-throated and 3 summer plumaged Black-throated Divers, a summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe, 31 Gannets, 81 Brent Geese, 5 Wigeon, a Gadwall, 40 Shoveler, male Scaup (just after 09:30 in a scoter flock and initially thoughts were of Garganey although perhaps an aythya hybrid couldn't be excluded it seemed extremely unlikely even if I had seen on at th eother end of the county earlier in the week), female Long-tailed Duck (09:05), 939 Common and 8 Velvet Scoter (the latter in a scoter flock at 08:22), 14 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Dunlin, 3 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 20 Arctic Skuas, 4 adult Mediterranean, 29 (mostly adult) Little, 17 Black-headed and 12 Common Gulls, 161 Sandwich and 21 Common Terns, 60 auks of which 9 Razorbills and 2 Guillemots were identified. Also 3 Canada and a Brent and later 2 Egyptian Geese and 10 Carrion Crows came in and headed north. Excellent company and another enjoyable seawatch if not quite up to yesterday's standard.

Friday 6th April.  Witha SE wind forecast DB and I arrived at Splash Point, Seaford at 07:00, a bit later than originally planned, and were soon joined on the arm by SL and a few others. SL stayed to early afternoon and ME arrived at 14:00 having been in Berlin that morning (I initally misheard him and thought he said Birling!). DM, ME and I stuck it out to 18:10. The last couple of hours were generally quiet but a road closure on our route home due to a serious accident and the desire to see 2000 scoter kept us there. During the 11 hours there I saw the following mostly flying (or swimming in the case of the grebes) east: 68 Red-throated and 4 summer plumaged Black-throated Divers, a summer-plumaged Black-necked and 7 Slavonian Grebes (2 then 4 in summer-plumage and one in transitional plumage), 120 Gannets, just 12 Brent Geese, 6 Mallard, 3 Gadwall, 17 Teal, male and female Garganey (at 12:10, presumably the paier seen at Dungeness at 13:30), 31 Shoveler, 2025 Common (my highest ever total) and 5 Velvet Scoter (the latter a 2 and a 3), 10 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Grey Plover, 4 Dunlin, a Curlew, 4 Whimbrel, 6 Arctic Skuas, a first-winter Mediterranean, 84 (mostly adult) Little, 19 Black-headed and 35 Common Gulls, 584 Sandwich, 42 Arctic and 194 Common Terns and 200 auks of which 92 Razorbills and 6 Guillemots were identified. I saw 6 Swallows coming in (and missed a few others) and 4 Peregrines flew over as did 2 Ravens. Excellent company and a very enjoyable seawatch, particularly the first hour or so during which time it was hard keeping up with what was flying past.

Tuesday 5th April. I took Cookie to Medmerry feeling the weather wasn't great for seawatching and seawatching not great for Cookie. I'd misremembered where the car park was but soon found it. On the Stilt Pool we saw 63 Avocets, 4 Little Ringed Plovers (acting as 2 pairs), at least 26 Mediterranean Gulls and an aythya hybrid. A quick look at the sea produced 22 Brent Geese, 4 Sandwich and 2 Common Terns making me realise that enjoyable as Medmerry was seawatching might have been a better option after all. On the way home we called in at Fishbourne Creek which was very muddy (more so for Cookie than me) and a single Black-tailed Godwit was the only species of note.
Avocets and Mediterranean Gulls at Medmerry

aythya hybrid at Medmerry
male Tufted andn female Pochard seems its most likely parentage

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.