Saturday, 24 January 2009

Counting Crows

Kingsdown beach was inundated with a piece of wood today, part of a cargo that was washed overboard down the coast. Most of it ended up on the beaches of Thanet.

It was a morning of counting - first from Deal Pier with the inimitable Dylan, who had managed 250+ Great Crested Grebes floating past by the time I arrived. A Kittiwake created some photo-opportunities by standing on the flagpole (a traditional Kittiwake perch) .....
....and by attracting the attention of local gulls when it took a large fish.
Moving along the coast to the undercliff, it was clear that there were far more auks and divers to be seen flying south, confirming the expected flightpath from mid-channel past South Foreland.
Continuing to count, I timed 18 auks and 7 divers flying past in a minute, which could be unscientifically extrapolated to 1000 and 400 per hour.Not as many as yesterday (when the piermaster said he was surrounded by feeding guillemots) but plenty nonetheless.
Not many birds came close, but a few Guillemots dived nearby and one of the divers was close enough to confirm with Dr Ray's scope as a Black-Throat.
Dr Ray's equipment also came in handy when a Peregrine flew past. Tetrad counting too, there were 26 Fulmar sites occupied (compared with 16 by the breeding season last year).

Back to the counting theme, Counting Crows in the US refers to the British equivalent of counting magpies - One for sorrow, two for joy / Three for girls and four for boys / Five for silver, six for gold / Seven for a secret never to be told.
There were five crows on the range today......I'm waiting.......

Finally back to the garden for an hour's RSPB Garden Bird Count. Not too impressive, but two Coal Tits (one continental, one British) and a party of nine Long-Tailed Tits enjoyed the patent suet recipe.


Warren Baker said...

An Interesting and varied post today steve. Did the kittiwake get to eat the fish ?

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Good read and photos .
Like your suet feeder .
Perhaps the ( Silver ) number of Crows referred to the treasure being washed up on the beaches .

Kingsdowner said...

I think the fish escaped in the melee.

Adam said...

LOve the shot of a single plank on the beach - would make a nice Owl box!


Mary said...

Nice kittiwake on the flagpole and with the fish! Let me know if you get the "silver" and I'll go out and find 5 or 6 crows.

Steve said...

Great list and some excellent pictures. I'll have to venture down there sometime.

Kingsdowner said...

You'd be welcome, Steve.
Thanks for visiting the site!