Monday, 19 January 2009

King Eider twitch

Sorry I haven't posted for a while, I'll try to do it more regularly in the future.

Yesterday (Sunday 18th Jan 09) I went down to East Sussex to see the King Eider that's been seen on and off for a week. A seawatch near Rye Harbour (I was in between the two main groups of birders about 5 miles apart from each other that were scrutinizing the coast for the bird) produced large numbers of Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and a possible female Common Eider. I made a quick diversion to the Long Pits at Rye Harbour NR to get Scaup, one of my biggest bogeys, off my life list and I succeeded, getting good views of 2 immature males and an adult male. There was also a female Smew present (great, now I've got all the regular sawbills on my year list!). Back to the coast, nothing much new. I got a call from my mate Kevin McManus that the news had come through on the pager that the King Eider had been seen at Jury's Gap. I rushed to the car and told dad to get me there as soon as possible! After not too long, we pulled up by a large group of birders. I rushed towards them and frantically tried to get onto the bird using Lee G R Evans' instructions but it took me at least 5 minutes to get onto the bird in someone else's scope and then another few minutes to get it in mine! Beautful! Male King Eider, what a bird, even if you could only see it for a second or two before it disappeared under a wave! I spotted a distant Red-throated Diver (another tart tick off my list!) flying west and a Guillemot heading the same way.

A quick roadside stop at the ARC pit at Dungeness revealed a pair of Goosanders, a male and 2 female Smew as well as about 20 Red-legged Partridges. A half hour seawatch before dinner at the Pilot Inn, and sunset got me good views of a fishing Guillemot, a female Common Scoter and a Kittiwake.

At the end of the day my year list was on 99. Its on 102 after Beddington SF today with Tree Sparrow, Green Sandpiper and Woodcock.


Benjamin Young said...

Lucky you David!
I fear that by the time I visit it will have gone, but you never know. The Hythe Herons defied all expectations as far as time is concerned! Maybe I'll try to get some nice photos of the Smew and Goosander; they should be a lot closer than the King, much as I'd like to see it... I doubt I would, as I possess no scope, and DON'T ask me to get one; I'm quite content with my lens!!!

Benjamin Young said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

scopes are wicked, you may think your content with your lens, and you are; but when you get a scope you won't want to look back.