Monday, 5 December 2016

A very slow and uninspiring hour this morning from the fishing boats:
07.45-08.45:              ESE 2
                                Up Channel                      Down Channel
Common Scoter:            7
Red-throated Diver:       6                                         3
Great-crested Grebe:                  50+ around
Gannet:                          18                                      14
Cormorant:                               300+ around
Turnstone:                                      2 around
B.H.Gull:                                   Present  n/c
Common Gull:                           Present  n/c
Herring Gull:                             Present  n/c
L.B.B.Gull:                                Present  n/c
G.B.B.Gull:                               Present  n/c
Guillemot:                      6
Auk Sp:                        12
Grey Seal:         1
I thought about going to Norman's Bay to see the Desert Wheatear but only got as far as Scotney. The Black-throated Diver was still on the lake immediately west of Lydd caravan park. As the lakes were all like mill ponds in the windless glorious morning sunshine, I took the opportunity of taking a stroll out the wind farm, seeing a few each of Corn Bunting, Skylark and Reed Bunting, 2 Stonechats,3 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard and 1,000+ Greylag Geese. 
 At the ARC from Hanson hide a very showy Water Rail has been entertaining visitors recently, also there a Common Snipe and a Dunlin of note.


 Mid afternoon at The Kerton Road triangle the grey Stonechat was still present along with at least 2 Dartford Warblers.


 I didn't make it to Burrowes today but there was  at least 3 Smew present per PB, the usual Great White Egrets were around and the Ring-necked Duck is still on Cook's Pool, also the Cattle Egret has returned per SC.
While unloading my car late afternoon 5 Bewick Swans flew over my house heading for the ARC, where apparently 14 roosted per DG.
As I didn't get to the Desert Wheatear today, I'll console myself with the image above which is one I took on 2nd November 2006 at Cooden.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Herring Gull, VOWT at the fishing boats this morning
 08.15-09.45 joined by OL & AJG,

                              Up Channel        Down Channel
Common Scoter:         21                         3
Red-throated Diver:    51                         4
Black-throated Diver:           1 on sea
Great crested Grebe:          c60 around
Gannet:                       65
Cormorant:                        c400 around
Oystercatcher:             6
B.H.Gull:                           Present  n/c
Common Gull:                   Present  n/c
Herring Gull:                      Present  n/c
L.B.B.Gull:                         Present  n/c
G.B.B.Gull:                        Present  n/c
Kittiwake:                          10 around
Guillemot:                   7
Auk Sp:                       5
Grey Seal:           1
Mid morning myself and AJG had look around the Kerton Road Triangle but found no sign of any Stonechats or Dartford Warblers.
On the reserve the Ring-necked Duck was at the far end of Cook's Pool, though this afternoon it had moved down to the track and was showing well, also Great White Egret there and a Merlin flew through. The Long-eared Owl was back on its chosen perch at the Dipping Pool. On Burrowes 3 red head Smew, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, several Goldeneye among the usual wildfowl. 2 Mediterranean Gulls were among the Gulls in front of Firth.
At Scotney the Black-throated Diver was still on the lake to the west of Lydd caravan park but little else of note there.
 Late afternoon at the ARC from Hanson a Water Rail was giving superb prolonged views, 12 Bewick Swans came into roost, 2 Marsh Harriers were over the tower pits and a couple of Cetti's Warblers were calling from the Sallows.

2 of the 12 Bewick Swans roosting on the ARC

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

At Scotney this morning all the feral Geese still present, despite scrutinising the Greylags I could find nothing interesting among them. The Black-throated Diver was still on its chosen lake next to Lydd caravan park.
 Bewick Swans opposite Cockles Bridge just about to be moved on.
 Green Woodpecker at Christmas Dell
On the reserve, again no sign of the Ring-necked Duck or Cattle Egret, also I could not find the Long-eared Owl. A brief look at Burrowes staring into the sun saw nothing unusual, though I saw the 2 red head Smew later from Dennis's hide. At Christmas Dell a Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker and a couple of Cetti's warblers, also a Fox inside the anti predator fencing made short work of getting out by jumping straight up onto a fence post and over, presumably it got in the same way.
 Fox inside the anti predator fence behind Christmas Dell.
 Bittern over Dengemarsh
At Dengemarsh Great White Egrets, another Chiffchaff, Bearded Tits, Cetti's Warblers, c300 Stock Doves, Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzards, Water Rails, 3 Egyptian Geese and more.
 Bearded Tits on the gritter from the ramp
The Kerton Road Grey Stonechat
At Kerton Road this afternoon, the Grey Stonechat was by the quarry with 2 normal Stonechats and 2+ Dartford Warblers.
Late afternoon 10 Great White Egrets and 18 Little Egrets came into the ARC roost, also 6 Bewick Swans roosted on the lake, a Merlin was attracted by the small Starling murmuration.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A change scenery this morning by visiting The Patch first thing, though the visit cut short by the vibrations, noise and dust due to the arrival of the beach moving machinery.
07.45-08.15 at The Patch:

Red-throated Diver:         29 up channel
Gannet:                         c200 off shore
Cormorant:                   c500 off shore
Black-headed Gull :  c3,000 around
Mediterranean Gull:         3 on beach
Common Gull:            c300 around
Herring Gull:            c1,000 around
Caspian Gull:                    1 1w on beach
Lesser.B.B.Gull:            c20 around
Great.B.B.Gull:           c500 around

No sign of the Ring-necked Duck nor the Cattle Egret, the Long-eared Owl was still showing well at the Dipping Pool. On Burrowes 2 red head Smew and a Black-tailed Godwit along with usual wildfowl.
The Black-throated Diver was still on the lake immediately west of Lydd caravan park. Scotney held all the usual feral geese but I was unable to find anything interesting among them.
Galloways was open again today though I don't think the birds realised it, as yet another fruitless hour was spent seeing the odd Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Blackbird, Meadow Pipit and 2 Stonechats.

14.00-15.00
From the fishing boats with CP,CT and MH
                                Up Channel          Down Channel
Brent Goose:                   13                           2
Common Scoter:              4                            9
Red-throated Diver:         2                           13
Great Northern Diver:                                    3
Slavonian Grebe:                   1 on sea
Great Crested Grebe:           16 around
Gannet:                              c50 off shore
Kittiwake:                          c50 off shore
Guillemot:                             3 off shore
Razorbill:                              1 off shore
Auk sp:                         15                             6

Monday, 28 November 2016

Long-tailed Duck

 Velvet Scoter in this mornings terrible light at the fishing boats
From the fishing boats in bright sunshine and a biting 6-7 Easterly wind:
08.00-09.30
Up Channel unless stated otherwise:
Brent Goose:              2
Wigeon:                      7
Common Scoter:        2               12 down
Velvet Scoter:             1
Red-throated Diver:   33              1 down
Great-crested Grebe: 27 around
Gannet:                    234
Cormorant:              present n/c
Turnstone:                 4 on beach
Great Skua:               2
Black -headed Gull:  present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:  2
Common Gull:           present n/c
Herring Gull:             present n/c
Great B.B.Gull:         present n/c
Lesser B.B.Gull:       present n/c
Kittiwake:                 5
Guillemot:                8
Auk Sp:                    7
Grey Seal:                1 around
Great Skua past the the fishing boats this morning
I had walk out to the back of Scotney which is best described as bracing or stupid as very little was seen in the strong winds and bright sunshine. The partially oiled Black-throated Diver was still present on the pit to west of Lydd caravan park. At Boulderwall the Ring-necked Duck still present.
13.30- 15.00 from the fishing boats;
Up channel unless otherwise stated:
Long-tailed Duck:                1 Down
Common Scoter:       1         2 Down
Red-throated Diver:  1         1  Down
Gannet:                   17
Kittiwake:               15
Guillemot:               4
As very little was moving this afternoon and even the Gulls weren't interested in the bread, the temptation of a hot mug of tea and chocolate biscuits at home was too much for me.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Another tardy start this morning. On my way to the fishing boats quick stop at Cockles Bridge saw the 6 Bewick Swans in the field opposite.
Mediterranean Gull past the fishing boats
09.00-11.00 from the fishing boats:
All up unless stated otherwise:

Brent Goose:              4
Shoveler:                    4
Gadwall:                     5
Pintail:                        1
Common Scoter:      89
Velvet Scoter:            3
Eider:                         1
Red-throated Diver: 78
Great-crested Grebe: 46 around
Gannet:                    806
Cormorant:               present n/c
Turnstone:                 5 on beach
Great Skua:               2
Black -headed Gull:  present n/c
Mediterranean Gull: 53
Common Gull:           present n/c
Herring Gull:             present n/c
Great B.B.Gull:          present n/c
Lesser B.B.Gull:         present n/c
Kittiwake:                  117
Guillemot:                  63
Auk Sp:                     904

On the reserve all the usual suspects still present, Ring-necked Duck, Cattle Egret, (I must have missed it as it went into the roost last night) Long-eared Owl, Goosander, Great White Egrets, Bittern. The Black-throated Diver still on pit immediately west of Lydd caravan park.

14.15-15.00 from the fishing boats:

Brent:                        5
Red-throated Diver:  2
Gannet:                    78           22 down
Bar-tailed Godwit:    1
Mediterranean Gull: 7
Kittiwake:                 9
Guillemot:                4
Razorbill:                 2
Auk sp:                   15             4 down



Saturday, 26 November 2016

Forster's Tern!

No sea watch this morning after a late night. When I eventually got out I went straight to Boulderwall where the Ring-necked Duck was still present on Cook's Pool, unfortunately it was about as far away from the track as it could be. The Long-eared Owl was showing well at the Dipping Pool. On Burrowes Great White Egret, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Avocet, 6 Grey Plovers and the usual wildfowl. I joined OL in wander up to Denge Marsh on the way 3 Chiffchaffs in the sallows were the highlight. At Denge Marsh another Great White Egret, 3 Stonechats, c300 Stock Doves, in the Sunflower field with the Linnets. Then a text from Brian H FORSTER'S TERN Princes's Parade.
We couldn't have been much further from our cars.
Long-eared Owl at the back of the Dipping Pool this morning
After a fraught drive to Hythe encountering tractor, ambulances and generally annoying traffic I arrived with Gill H to find the Tern showing well.
Forster's Tern Princes's Parade an excellent find by by Ian Roberts.





This afternoon after a tip off from Jake I saw the Black-throated Diver on the pit next to Lydd Caravan Park.
3 of the 6 Bewick's 
ON the ARC from Hanson 6 Bewick Swans and another Great White Egret.
Early evening 12 Great White Egrets and 21 Little Egrets roosted on the ARC. 2 Goosander were on the New Diggings.
Hopefully in the next couple of days the Forster's Tern will turn at Dungeness. I think I will visit The Patch first thing tomorrow!

Friday, 25 November 2016

07.50-08.50 from the fishing boats with OL, fairly quiet in a cold NE 6-7
All up channel unless stated otherwise:

Brent Goose:           22
Shelduck:                  6
Wigeon:                  21
Common Scoter:    31
R.B.Merganser:       2
G.C.Grebe:            17 around
Fulmar:                    2
Gannet:                  54
Cormorant:         c350 around
B.H Gull:            present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:3
Common Gull:     present n/c
L.B.B.Gull:           present n/c
G.B.B.Gull:          present n/c
Kittiwake:             27
Guillemot:              4 around
Auk: sp:                46 down channel
Stock Dove:          18 in
Starling:                40 in
Linnet:                   17 over
Goldfinch:             10 over
A quick stop at Boulderwall saw the Ring-necked Duck still on Cooks Pool, the Cattle Egret in the distance with the cattle, 2 Great White Egrets in the ditches and the usual wildfowl.
 Bewick Swans on Denge Marsh
A walk around the hay fields saw a few Reed Buntings, Chaffinches and Linnets feeding in  the Sunflower field. On Denge Marsh 2 Bewick Swans (4 more on the ARC per M Hook) and the usual wildfowl. The Sunflower field at the back held 300+ Stock Doves, c100 Linnets, many Starlings and a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, all attracting the attention of a Common Buzzard, Kestrel and a couple of Marsh Harriers.
As the ranges were open again I drove to Jury's Gap, clambered over the sea wall and rocks and walked the sea wall. Considering the habitat there were very few birds there, just 24 Wigeon, 2 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, 2 Mute Swans and 7 Redshank were the combined total for the 3 sets of pools.
The rough ground had 2 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard all of which soon drifted off towards Scotney. In the sueda 2 Reed Buntings, a Wren and Common Stonechat. 
Scotney had all the usual feral Geese and wild Duck and little else.
Another hour on the beach this afternoon saw nothing of note in the still strong NE wind, I tried tempting the Gulls with loaves of bread to no avail.
 Pheasant in the middle of Burrowes
Back on the reserve from on Burrowes a Drake Goosander, also a drake Red-breasted Merganser which is more unusual, 3+ Goldeneye and the usual dabblers. The Gull roost attracted an adult and a 1w Caspian Gull though most were flushed at dusk when a Pheasant flew across from Firth landing on one of the islands, it was still there as dark fell. The Long-eared Owl was still behind the Dipping Pool today.  

Thursday, 24 November 2016

I stopped at Cockles Bridge on my way to the beach where I could only find 1 Bewick Swan in the field opposite.
In blasting 6-8 NE wind 08.30-09.30 from the fishing boats with CT & BH:

Brent Goose:                      44                       11down
Shoveler:                              3
Pintail:                                  1
Wigeon:                              39
Tufted Duck:                        1
Common Scoter:                  8                         6 down
Red-breasted Merganser:     3
Red-throated Diver:             1                         8 down
Great-crested Grebe:         96 around
Gannet:                            155                        17 down
Cormorant:                         present n/c         800+ on Burrowes
Oystercatcher:                     2
Turnstone:                           3 around
Dunlin:                              19
Black-headed Gull:            present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:            3
Common Gull:                      present n/c
Herring Gull:                         present n/c
Lesser Black Backed Gull:   present n/c
Greater Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Guillemot:                              5
Auk Sp:                                15                         76 down
Pied Wagtail:                         3 around
Starling:                               10 out
Goldfinch:                            18 over
Linnet:                                    3 over
 On the reserve the Ring-necked Duck was  still showing well on Cooks Pool, out in the fields the Cattle Egret, a Great White Egret and several Little Egrets, also c500 Wigeon, c300 Lapwing, 50+ Golden Plover, 200+ Stock Doves, 2+ Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard along with 100s of Starlings, Coot and Teal.
I walked the promenade from Littlestone to St Mary's Bay and back but was unable to find  the Snow Bunting flock, plenty of Oystercatchers and Turnstones on the shore line though.
Curlew in a flooded part of Galloways
In a wind blasted Denge Marsh Gully a Robin, Wren and Magpie the only birds. 2 Ravens around the power station.
As the ranges were open I drove to the bottom of Galloways then walked west towards The Midrips and back. Apart from being an exhilarating plod along the beach the Snow Buntings, Lapland Buntings and Shorelarks I felt sure would be lurking in this undisturbed area did not materialise, but were replaced by 4 Reed Buntings and several Meadow Pipits.
A Ring-billed Gull was reported from Burrowes mid afternoon, I joined CT and BH looking for it with out luck finding just 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls.
A drake Goosander was  at the south end of the ARC per CT & BH.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Winter Gloom

Another thoroughly Gloomy winters day so much so that I couldn't even be bothered to point the camera at the Ring-necked Duck.
O7.45-08.45 from the fishing boats joined by OL
All down channel unless stated otherwise:

Teal:                                  18
Common Scoter:               16
Red-throated Diver:            8
Great northern Diver:          1 up
Great-crested Grebe:          14 around
Turnstone:                           27 around
Dunlin:                               46
Black-headed Gull:             present n/c
Mediterranean Gull:           3
Common Gull:                    present n/c
Herring Gull:                      present n/c
Lesser Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Great Black Backed Gull:  present n/c
Guillemot:                           9
Auk Sp:                               4
Meadow Pipit:                 128 over
Starling:                           500 in
Goldfinch:                          20 over
Linnet:                                20 on beach
Driving back from the beach across the causeway a pair of Goosander flew over settling on the ARC.
Most of the rest of the day was taken up with domestic stuff, though I did manage to catch up with the Ring-necked Duck, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret and Little Egrets at Cooks Pool, also the Long-eared Owl was still behind the Dipping Pool. The 4 Bewick Swans had relocated back to the field between the airport and Cockles Bridge Dungeness Road. I was going to count the Egret roost today but by 15.30 it was  already dark.