After seeing Chiddies superb photos of the Slavonian Grebe in the sun in Wellington Dock in Dover Harbour from yesterday, I thought, go and have another go and get some pictures yourself. Well, as is to be expected these days, I ran in to the “Harbour Master”, a one Mr M Chidwick, along the beach road by the inner harbour just after first light. After parking in the same spot as last week we walked back to Wellington Dock and had a good scan around for the Grebe. It would seem that this particular Grebe must attend church on a Sunday as, yet again there was no sign of it, even when joined by Adam Faiers, Steve Ashton and Timmy Gutsel and all of us having a good scout round on many occasions. A wander along the Prince of Wales Pier added 4 Rock Pipits to the days tally and the/a Common Seal was beached up on the apron of the old Hoverport, the odd Kittiwake was floating about and as well as a pair of Cormorants a single Shag flew across the open water.
Looking back towards the rocks alongside the Admiralty Pier revealed 6 Purple Sandpipers with 3 Turnstones and a dozen Feral Pigeons and at the end of the pier, behind the Café the Kumlien’s Gull flew towards us from the end of Admiralty, passed close by and flew down the pier before turning across the Hoverpad and back to Admiralty Pier.
Three more Turnstones were beside us on PoW Pier and 3 Great-crested Grebes were in the Harbour. A Black-headed Gull sitting on the beach below Shakespeare Cliff was actually dead despite sitting upright and nearby was a dead adult gannet with a smashed left wing and a rope knotted around its neck, was this the cause of death or post life?
A Razorbill by the Lifeboat station allowed us close enough for some photographs and watching the mastery of the birds speed below the surface while chasing, and, catching fish while further searches for the Slavonian Grebe proved fruitless but the Kumlien’s Gull was spending much of its time in the inner part of the harbour either on the water or flying up and down the pier but, never that close for any decent photographs or, if it was it was against the light.