Sunday, 19 February 2012

Dover….for a change.


Instead of the “Valley” today, Brendan and I decided to head for Dover Harbour and look for the recently sighted Slavonian Grebe and revisit the long staying Kumlien’s Gull. I arrived at the inner basin of the harbour just before seven and as I turned into the beach road who should be coming the other way but our very own Dover Recorder Mark Chidwick. We parked up had had a scout round for the Grebe without any luck then made our way to the Admiralty Pier, the Kumlien’s Gull being sighted over the lorry park near the pier entrance.
Two of four Shags
While on the pier waiting for the Gull to glide past we were kept busy watching and photographing four Shags that came in close to the harbour wall as Kittiwakes and Herring Gulls passed by. Joined by Brendan we waited patiently for the Gull that seemed reluctant to show itself so we busied ourselves taking photos of Turnstones and Kittiwakes that were perching themselves on the wall of the pier beside us.

First winter Kittiwake

First winter Kittiwake
At one point Chidders was in pursuit of a Kittiwake when the Kumlien’s strolled by Brendan and me heading towards the beach, a few quick shots were taken but other than one other view of it over the cruise terminal we never saw it again whilst on the pier.
3rd calender year Kumlien's Gull

3rd calender year Kumlien's Gull

3rd calender year Kumlien's Gull
Craig Sammels, Richard Kinzler and Chip Shop Chris?? Plus two other birders joined us but failed to connect. We did however have excellent views of Herring, Greater Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls plus, a couple of Fulmars, 1 or 2 Gannets, at least 1 Razorbill, a breeding plumaged Guillemot, a Rock Pipit and a Peregrine Falcon plus a Common Seal that was seen sevaral times.
Adult Kittiwake

Common Seal
Leaving the pier Mark, Brendan and I headed to the inner marina to try again for the Slavonian Grebe but, no sooner had we arrived Brendan received a call that a White-tailed Eagle was just down the road seen flying from Hawkinge towards Folkestone. Despite arriving minutes later we never did see it although we did manage to note 7 Common Buzzards, 1 Sparrowhawk and a couple of Kestrels. Once again stopping at the harbour as we were homeward bound, a quick search revealed no Slav Grebes while a walk along the Prince of Wales Pier added nothing new for the day but we did relocate the Kumlien’s Gull sleeping on the apron of the old Hoverpad.


  1. Hi Martyn excellent photos , will have to get down to Dover myself soon .

  2. When eye see heap big berd photo me say 'wow' and word called 'Craig Sammels' and silly man name 'Richard Kinzler' hee hee ... him both make up name ... hee hee ... funny name ... me think Richard Kinzler not from these parts ... perhaps his tribe set up tipi in place on other side of mountain range where man with fork tongue live? He say 'when man with woman's hair talk pay attention as man with woman's hair have wisdom' even though he wear moccasin made from dead Hush Puppy ...

    Anyhow ... brain digress big time.

    When large berd in sky fly as Eagle ... is worth two in a bush ...

    lesson over ...