Male Merlin at Dungeness
But still we couldn't find them two damn gulls. Caspian and Glaucous Gull. However, John, Conrad and myself had a very good day and it all started with a seawatch near the patch from 09.30-10.30. There were lots of auks, Red-throated Diver, 100's of Great-creasted Grebe with smaller numbers of Kittiwake and Black-headed Gulls moving through. Conrad spotted the first good bird of the day, Common Scoter, then I got a Great Skua and John shouted 'What's this then?' I shouted 'Velvet Scoter!' All 3 birds were at close range flying west. By the boats, we spent over an hour looking for the gulls and two birders told Conrad that a male Merlin flew through. Conrad relocated it on the deck and after watching people almost standing on it, slowly we approached it, until we were close enough to enjoy this stunning small falcon.
Immature male Velvet Scoter
Immature male Common Scoter
Great Skua attacking a Great Blacked-backed Gull
Gannet and Red-throated Diver
Lots of auks were on the deck as well as streaming through
1st winter Kittiwakes are one of my favourite birds
This male Merlin was sheltering from the cold wind
From the road we looked at the ARC pit and immediately saw 3 Smew included a 'white nun' On the opposite side of the pit we got a single Great White Egret and a Black-necked Grebe. Later, we had maybe 2 Great White Egret, which could involved the individual from New Diggings Pit. Marsh Harriers were all over the shop and the last good bird of the day was a redhead Smew seen from the Christmas Hide.
Note size comparision between Little and Great White Egret at New Diggings Pit
3 Smew with a raft of Tufted Duck and Pochard
Great White Egret flying over a Marsh Harrier from Denge Marsh Hide
A very good song from Naomi'How Many Loves'