A pulse of crests

With the morning starting grey, mild and eerily calm, there was hope that the birding would pick up somewhat. Initial observations seemed to suggest otherwise. However, from about 09.00hrs crests started to pop up across the point - not in enormous numbers, but obvious enough to be noticeable. The observatory staff had erected mist nets in both the trapping area and the moat, with the former location being far more productive at first, but then the latter taking over with the higher numbers by midday. The crests were not hanging around: very few birds were being retrapped, and we watched a flock of four Goldcrests take to the air and gain height and then disappear out of view. Maybe 100+ Goldcrests, and 2 Firecrests, were involved.

Lunchtime saw cups of tea and sandwiches being abandoned as a Barred Warbler was trapped, the first-year bird being found in one of the trapping area mist nets. This was only the third to be recorded at Dungeness in the past 20 years - it really is a scarce bird here. Even rarer was a Norwegian ringed Dunnock, only the third such recovery in Kent - but it played second fiddle to the warbler!


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