Friday, 28 December 2007

Rude in Thanet

It's taken a while, but I finally got a Shag in Ramsgate .....
...and having got one, I got another. Thanks to Dylan for the tip-off, I finally scored. Cormorants are common around the Kent coast (I saw 10 feeding together off Kingsdown this week) but Shags are infrequent, keeping mostly to the northern and western coasts. A few do appear in Ramsgate harbour each year, though, but I generally miss them.


At various points around the Thanet coast there are signs like this one, politely asking people to keep away from the high tide roosts. There are four at the entrances to Botany Bay, to give some rest to the waders in winter. I counted 19 Redshanks (below), over 130 Sanderlings, 10 Ringed Plovers, 2 Grey Plovers, 16 Purple Sandpipers and innumerable (and mobile) Turnstones......
...until a dumb dog scattered them all.
Or maybe it's not the dog that's dumb. I have to admit that I was rude to them (from a distance) so perhaps they'll keep away next time.

The festive season has brought all the dogs and owners to the coast, so the safest place seems to be the old putting green at Cliftonville, where there were over 100 gulls (including at least 6 Common Gulls), a dozen Linnets, about 300 Starlings, 6 Mistle Thrushes and yet more Turnstones.

3 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Steve,
You crack me up...... ''I must admit I was rude to them''...... Heh heh heh. You should hear me!!

Anonymous said...

people are allowed to walk on the beach you know...

Steve of Kingsdown said...

Yes I agree wholeheartedly with the 'right to roam' and am very aware of the inherent contradictions of this post and the previous one (double standards even).

In this place, however, the beach goes nowhere at high tide, and the preferred roosting area is right at the end of the beach. Just a 50 - 100 yard stretch of sand is used, and if people avoided it (and kept their dogs away from it) there would be no reduction in their amenity and no disruption to the birds.

Thanet DC have seen fit to ask people for consideration - I ask for nothing more. I have written to Thanet DC on this matter, suggesting another sign at the critical point to serve as a reminder, and will report on any reply.

Thanks for your interest.