Monday, 29 October 2007
Briefly, the first arrival of Common Gulls was apparent this morning on Kingsdown beach, a dozen among 300-odd Black-Headed Gulls with a few Herring, Great and Lesser Black-backs.
Driving to Dover in mid-morning, there were two Buzzards circling over Oxney Bottom woods.
Another brief look at the rifle range (on a sunny morning with a chilly NW breeze) produced far fewer gulls, the pair of Stonechats, the female Kestrel, plenty of unidentified passerines flying north and a Short-Eared Owl. The owl was especially welcome as they were in short supply last year (I didn't see any). The local jackdaws half-heartedly mobbed it as it drifted south along the cliff-top.
At lunch time, it was approaching high tide in Thanet, which generally attracts me to Foreness. I arrived too late to see the gradual submerging of the rocks (the wind was onshore and the tidal spread quite large, leading to my miscalculation - better luck tomorrow) but the wader roost had gathered below the water works.
The count was 50+ Turnstones with many others still gallivanting along the shore, 43 Ringed Plovers, 190 Sanderlings in a white swathe and 9 Purple Sandpipers including one still on the concrete base of the pumping station.