Monday, 9 May 2022

Cogden Collection

One migrant which an early visit to Cogden pretty much guarantees right now is Wheatear; there were nine yesterday and 17 on Saturday. It has to be said though, other passerine migrants are at a premium, and I am still Whinchat-less. It's been good to see a few waders though, with Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Whimbrel over the weekend. On Saturday morning, nine Ringed Plovers and singles of Dunlin and Whimbrel came straight in off the sea and headed away inland. However, I was not expecting yesterday's top bird to be a gull...

Busily preening, the darker mantled bird in the foreground is a 2nd-summer Yellow-legged Gull.

Unfortunately the gulls all spooked before I could get better pics, but I found it again about a mile further east...

...where it sat offshore, looking very swish in the sunshine.

A very satisfying encounter, and my first local YLG of the year. It was not a large individual, so presumably a female. Quite a looker though, if you like that kind of thing...

YLG on the right, upstaging the dross

I was at Cogden again this afternoon, after work. The intention was simple: stare at the sea until it gives me a Pom. It is fair to say that Monday, 9th May 2022 has been a bit of a Pom day. Well, in Kent and Sussex anyway. Very, very few off Portland though, as far as I know, so I wasn't optimistic. I guess the winds have been too light to shift many this far west. Still, you've got to be in it...etc...

I walked to the far end of Cogden and set up shop...


That photo was taken at 18:45. I had already been there two-and-a-half hours, and didn't pack up until 20:15. For me that's a bit of a marathon session. Were there any skuas? Yes indeed, two immaculate light-phase Arctics past at 19:42, probably less than 300m out. Stunning birds. Not Poms, but it didn't seem to matter.

Despite the very light breeze there was a fair bit going on...

77 Gannets, 33 Black-headed Gulls, 10 Common Terns, 19 Common Scoter, a surprising 26 Med Gulls (all but one 1st-summer birds), 1 Red-throated Diver on the sea, 35 Sanderlings, 2 Sandwich Terns, 14 Guillemots, 9 Razorbills, 1 Swallow, 74 Manxies, 42 Kittiwakes and 3 Whimbrel

I was way too slow with the camera to stand a chance with the Arctic Skuas, but this flock of Manx Shearwaters was suitably slow and close...

15 of 18

Finally, one of Saturday morning's Wheatears...

'Wheatear in Thrift' is always a winner.

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