Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Goring Gap and Gravesend

A morning visit to Goring Gap was rather enjoyable, with vismig being the order of the day, with hirundines swamping all others out in terms of volume. It was impossible to keep an accurate count on the numbers of House Martins and Swallows but I estimated a minimum of 4,500 and 850 respectively. Other bits moving overhead included 28 Siskins, 128 Meadow Pipits, four Linnets, 23 Pied Wagtails, four Yellow Wagtails, five Grey Wagtails and four Sand Martins. 15 Skylarks included a few going east. A Snipe heard flying overhead was notable and also moving were three Gannets and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. A Whinchat kept company with three Stonechats around the rough field, while 13 Chiffchaffs were scattered about. An adult Common Tern on the beach was unusual, while three Shelducks, three Little Egrets, 11 Oystercatchers and a few Sanderlings, Dunlin and Turnstones were also there. Four Sandwich Terns blogged about, a Curlew was heard and nine Mediterranean Gulls and two Common Gulls were also noted. Two Buzzards included a loitering bird which caught the attention of the local corvids.

Liam kindly called me to alert me to the astonishing news of a Beluga Whale on the River Thames at Gravesend. Due to stop off in Sutton in the evening anyway - ahead of my trip to Spurn - I picked up Josh, Francis and Ivy to head over to the river to look for this most bizarre of lost waifs. Joining the assembled crowds, it wasn't long before we caught site of the Beluga breaching! We enjoyed occasional views for a couple of hours before heading off delighted. Birds noted included two Arctic Terns - plus several 'Commics' that I couldn't get my scope on, eight Black-tailed Godwits, six House Martins and 18 Linnets.