Tuesday 5 December 2023



1 of 3 Black Redstarts behind the sea watch hide this morning

Wind NNW 3, Temp  4° Cloudy with drizzle

08.00-09.30  from the sea watch hide:

Teal: 4W
Great-crested Grebe: 2E
Turnstone: 2 present
Kittiwake: 9W
Black-headed Gull: present
Mediterranean Gull: 1W
Common Gull: present
Great Black-backed Gull: present
Herring Gull: present
Lesser Black-backed Gull:  5  present
Guillemot: 58W
Razorbill: 97W 
Auk sp: 331W         27E
Red-throated Diver: 41W    1E
Gannet: 81W      17E
Cormorant: 421 into Rye Bay
Black Redstart: 3  behind hide
Meadow Pipit: 2 behind hide
Chaffinch: 4 behind Hide
Grey Seal: 3
1w Caspian Gull at The Patch this morning
A Great Northern Diver was at the southern end of The New Diggings mid morning. Again no sign of any Glossy Ibis so I assume they have moved on, also no sign of any Cattle Egrets. The drake Goosander at Camber appears to have moved on per JY.

Monday 4 December 2023


I was happy to see Polish ringed Black-headed Gull TJVV has returned today to Dungeness for at least its fourth winter.

An excellent if the most comfortable of sea watches today, even in the shelter of the hide the strong SSE wind blew straight in through the slats. 
08.00-09.30 with RW & OL 
Wind SSE 5, Temp  6° Cloudy with rain
Brent Goose: 56E
Common Scoter: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 2W
Kittiwake: 68W
Little Gull: 3W (1 juvenile)
Black-headed Gull: present
Mediterranean Gull: 1E
Common Gull: present
Great Black-backed Gull: 47W
Herring Gull: present
Lesser Black-backed Gull:  3W 
Sandwich Tern: 1W
Guillemot: 13W
Razorbill: 112W 
Auk sp: 145W
Red-throated Diver: 61W 
Fulmar: 13W 
Gannet: 958W
Cormorant: Present
Grey Seal: 1 
At present there are up to 1,000 Greylag Geese out in the fields in front my house, among them today were these 3 White-fronted Geese.
This is the first drake Goosander I have seen for a few years, this one is currently residing on the small pool c150mts west of Rye Golf Club. 
There was still at least 1 Great Norther Diver present on the reserve
I've not seen any Glossy Ibis for a several days and am inclined to think they may have moved on due to the cold weather. There were still up to at least  8 Cattle Egrets around at the weekend. On Walland there are still at least 4 Whooper Swans and 30+ Bewick Swans all of which are are feeding just about as for from the road as is possible.
A mid week check of a Harrier Roost with CP & RW produced 25 Marsh Harriers, a male Hen Harrier and a Short-eared Owl.

Tuesday 28 November 2023


 (Not a very enthralling watch this morning)

Wind N 4, Temp  4°

08.00-09.00 from the Hide with RW:

Tufted Duck: 1W (female)
Great-crested Grebe: 9 on
Turnstone: 2 present
Oystercatcher: 2W
Kittiwake: 6W
Black-headed Gull: 14W
Mediterranean Gull: 1W
Common Gull: 14W
Great Black-backed Gull: 9W
Herring Gull: present
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 2W
Great Skua: 2E
Guillemot: 4E
Razorbill: 3E    
Auk sp: 23E
Red-throated Diver: 14E   13W     
Gannet: 96E
Cormorant: 943W
Grey Seal: 1
The Great Northern Diver was again showing well on Burrowes, but little else of note to be seen there, though RW did see a male Hen Harrier at the back of Dengemarsh. 
one of 8 Stonechats around the sand pit
I nipped over the the border into Sussex today and visited the Jury Gap Sand Pit and the westernmost Scotney pit, places I don't visit enough. The surprise in the sand pit was a party of 4 Bearded Tits, also 8 Stonechat and a Redshank there, the contractors have started to grade the Northern bank so presumably getting it ready to flood. The westernmost Scotney Pit had 4 Little Gulls hawking over it, another Redshank, 15 Dunlin and 6 Little Grebes. It looks as though another pit may be being dug between the Sand pit and westernmost pit, so I'll have to make more frequent visits to see what's happening.
1w Little Gull over the westernmost Scotney Pit
I have no idea why this Great White Egret walked into such deep water at the ARC this afternoon.

Sunday 26 November 2023


Probably my worst ever image of a Velvet Scoter taken early this morning (must remember to turn my camera on )
08.00-09.00 & 13.30-14.30  from the boats with RW, Wind NE 0-1, Temp  -1°
Brent Goose: 1E
Teal: 3W 
Wigeon: 3W 
Velvet Scoter: 1W 
Common Scoter: 19W   2E
Great-crested Grebe: 12 on
Oystercatcher: 1E        4W
Turnstone: 2 present
Kittiwake: 7W
Black-headed Gull: present
Common Gull: present
Great Black-backed Gull: present
Herring Gull: present
Lesser Black-backed Gull: present
Sandwich Tern: 1E
Guillemot: 8 present
Razorbill: 15 present    
Auk sp: 44W
Red-throated Diver: 10E   7W     2 present 
Gannet: 65 feeding 
Cormorant: c1,000 feeding 
Pied Wagtail: 1 present
Grey Seal: 1
At Scotney many 100s of feral Geese but I still can't find and wild Geese there, nor anything unusual among the many duck present.
Mid morning there were 8 Cattle Egrets feeding in the Cockles Bridge Triangle
A disappointing hike down Dengemarsh Gully found 6 Goldcrest and single Raven

Whooper Swans
As I was driving across the causeway after the afternoon sea watch a herd of Swans dropping into the ARC caught my attention, I quickly drove to the RSPB entrance swung round and headed back across the causeway to a position that I could see the Swans properly, I was very pleased to see that there not just 24 Bewick Swans but also 4 adult Whooper Swans, which swam as close as they possibly could to me.
Bewick Swans in the gloom at the ARC this afternoon

One of the Glossy Ibis, image taken yesterday. Today I could only find 3. of them.
My latest ever Swallow hawking around the lighthouse yesterday
One of two Black Redstarts feeding on the perimeter wall

Thursday 23 November 2023


 The sea watching this morning was not a classic, but just about kept us entertained.
07.30-09.00 with RW  from the boats:

Brent Goose: 2W     
Common Scoter: 4W   
Great-crested Grebe: 12 on
Little Egret: 1S
Turnstone: 11 present
Kittiwake: 77W
Little Gull: 1W  (juvenile)
Black-headed Gull: present
Mediterranean Gull: 5W     2E
Common Gull: present
Great Black-backed Gull: present
Herring Gull: present
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 7W
Guillemot: 21W 
Razorbill: 67W    
Auk sp: 374W
Red-throated Diver: 8E   
Diver: sp: 1S
Gannet: 126W
Cormorant: 281 present
Merlin: 1 present
Black Redstart: 1 present
Pied Wagtail: 4 present
Grey Seal: 1

Much time has been spent looking at and photographing the Great Northern Divers and Black-throated Diver on Burrowes Pit, they have now been joined by a Black-necked Grebe and Slavonian Grebe. Late this afternoon a Dusky warbler was found by Stephen Message by Scott.
Elsewhere the 4 Amigos have become the 5 Amigos in the field opposite the Horse Paddocks, nearby up to 30 Cattle Egrets can be found. On Walland The Bewick Swans have increased to 19 with 2 Whoopers in attendance though they are very distant from the road. Another Black-necked Grebe is still on Scotney usually from the double bends.
At The Point 2-4 Swallows are still around and at lest 2 Black Redstarts.
Great Northern Diver and a Black-throated Diver
Great Northern Diver

Black-throated Diver
Black-necked Grebe at Scotney
The 5 Amigos opposite the horse paddocks
Great White Egret that looks like it is enjoying a Great Crested Newt

Tuesday 21 November 2023


 08.00-09.15 from the fishing boats with RW
Brent Goose: 10W      1E
Velvet Scoter: 4W
Common Scoter: 9W   
Red-breasted Merganser: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 18 on
Oystercatcher: 4E
Turnstone: 24 present
Grey Phalarope: 1W
Kittiwake: 72W
Little Gull: 1W     1 present
Mediterranean Gull: 13E
Guillemot: 9W 
Razorbill: 94W    
Auk sp: 320W
Red-throated diver: 18E     2W      7 on
Gannet: 62W
Cormorant: Present
Merlin: 1E
Pied Wagtail: 3 present
Starling: 440 in
Grey Seal: 2

The hide at The Patch is looking a little precarious, hopefully this week the diggers will replace the beach in front of it. Just a slight boil today but loads of Gulls there, but could only find a single adult Yellow-legged Gull and a beast of an Argentatus Herring Gull of any note, however 3 Swallow were hawking in front the power station.
Today the Goosander was still on the ARC, the 10 Bewick Swans were still on Walland also 2 Whooper swans there.
One of the 3 Swallows around the power station this morning 
The 4 Amigos in the Rhea field
Great Northern Diver on Burrowes
Female Goldeneye
Burrowes this afternoon

Monday 20 November 2023


One of a number of Goldcrests around the ARC this morning once the early rain had moved through.
Great Northern Diver on Burrowes, the Slavonian Grebe was still present today but as usual kept its distance.
Black-throated Diver on Burrowes
First Goosander of the year at Dungeness on the ARC
Bittern at the ARC
The first 10 returning Bewick Swans on Walland (3 juveniles), were distant from opposite the entrance to the model airfield.
At the fishing boats this afternoon another Sabine's Gull made a couple of distant passes, this bird is th 5th Sabine's I have seen at Dungeness this autumn. Also a single Red-breasted Merganser past a few each of Red-throated Divers and Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Gull but generally quite quiet.


Saturday 18 November 2023


A Dutch ringed 1st cal year Caspian Gull stopped briefly on the shore this morning
Sandwich tern at The Fishing Boats this afternoon
Common Scoter passing the boats this morning
Part of a Ryokusei navigational bouy from across the Atlanticcovered in Goose Barnacles, also 2 dead Columbus Crabs from the Sargasso Sea.
Black-throated Diver on Burrowes this afternoon
One of two Great Northern Divers on Burrowes this afternoon, The Slavonian Grebe was still present and a Merlin flew through.

Friday 17 November 2023


The juvenile Great Northern Diver on Burrowes, photographed from Dennis's Hide in yesterdays appalling weather, it is still present today today along with the Slavonian Grebe and up to 6 Goldeneye.
Cattle Egrets and 4 Glossy Ibis early this morning in the Horse Paddocks, also 11 Little Egretsat the other end of the paddock. 
This mornings wander around The Desert and Trapping Area was fairly quiet, several Goldcrests showed nicely, 5 Chiffchaffs, a handful each of Siskin and Redpoll flew over, also a single Brambling, best of all was 5 Song Thrushes in the Pear Tree.

A party of 14 Brent Geese spent a short time grazing the field in front of my house before the inevitable dog walker appeared.
One of several Common Darters seen today around the Willow Trail. The trail is only just navigable with Wellingtons. In the trail a couple of Chiffchaffs were in the Tit and Crest flock, Water Rail were squealing, at least 2 Swallows flew over.
A Short-eared Owl at Dusk