Monday, 2 February 2009

Dungeness - Guillemot and Gulls

'Summer' plumaged Guillemot - apparently some adult birds have this plumage by autumn and will indeed revisit breeding sites at this time to. This bird with a noticably lighter and chocolate brown plumage to its northern counterpart may be the southern race of Guillemot. I need to check this out at the Bird Obs for certain ID.

A late January trip down to Dungeness point by the fishing boats seemed like a good idea to complete a few spare hours on a Saturday afternoon. Blessed with strong sunshine but also a bitterly cold easterly wind, I thought I'd photograph some of the commoner Gulls and perhaps keep an eye open for 2 rarer gulls that were in the area. On the beach and looking out across the channel the sea had quite a swell on it. There were many thousands of Guillemots and Razorbills viewable, some feeding quite close in but many on the move mostly heading west. Both Auks displayed many contrasting plumages with many adult Guillemots already having striking summer plumages.
Little Gulls patrolled the shoreline and behind them, on the shingle, were many commoner gulls feeding on the local fishermens' overcatch.

2 or 3 Little Gulls were following the shoreline unperturbed (as my camera by the strong sea spray)

Juvenile Great Black backed Gull - fairly common amongst the larger Gulls at Dungeness

These local Herring Gulls are known not only to follow back incoming fishing boats from a trip, but also follow the fisherman driving their vans back to the beach to despatch their over-catch back to the sea.

Adult Great Black-backed Gull easy to spot amongst the Herring Gulls

A flock of 13 Grey-lag Geese pass the point heading east, I can only guess if these are local birds or possibly from across the channel, pushed on by the extreme cold weather now upon us.

Adult winter Kittiwakes - one of many gulls happy to scavenge along the shoreline

Adult and first winter Kittiwakes at Dungeness point

..and a single first winter Kittiwake followed by a fine adult, all plentiful by the fishing boats at Dungeness

1 comment:

Cori said...

Really stunning photos.