Saturday, 22 October 2016

Weasel Encounter!

Very quiet at Dungeness this morning with apparently no grounded migrants and virtually no overhead migration. I wandered down to The Patch seeing 8 Pied Wagtails and a party of 23 Swallows on the way, over the boil c150 Black-headed Gulls with a few Herring and common Gulls and a single Mediterranean Gull.
Wandering further down the beach towards Denge Marsh Gully a movement caught my eye, on closer scrutiny just the head of a Weasel was sticking out of hole under a large yellow metal container. I stood motionless for what seemed ages  before the Weasel came out, it was very wary and kept on dashing back to the safety of it's hole. Eventually it came right out under the fence and ran along the wall over my feet grabbed a Beetle and dashed back to it's hole. It came out again, after about an hour of it entertaining me it dashed to the power station buildings and disappeared into a cable duct, despite waiting a further half hour I never saw it again. 
Always check those big yellow containers!
Cute Assassin!

 It ran along the wall and over my foot!
Just before it disappeared into a cable duct.
This afternoon on the sea a few Gannets, Mediterranean Gulls, Guillemots and a couple of Brent Geese.
This evening at the ARC Egret 14 Great White Egrets and 19 Little Egrets came into the roost.
Cypress Carpet
The Plodland MV has been very poor lately, so this Cypress Carpet was a nice surprise.

Friday, 21 October 2016

This morning at The Point very little in the way of grounded migrants but there was some vis mig, with my poor hearing the following totals will only be a part of what was seen and heard by others
Brent Geese: 15 
Common Snipe: 1
Common Buzzard: 1
Short-eared Owl: 2
Swallow: 4
House Martin: 1
Black Redstart: 2
Pied Wagtail: 47
Mistle Thrush: 2
Fieldfare: 2
Song Thrush: 11
Blackbird: 12
Skylark: 96
Meadow Pipit: 46
Chiffchaff: 6
Goldcrest: 2
Starling: 7,950
Tree Sparrow: 1+
Siskin: 31
Chaffinch: 460
Brambling: 2
Linnet: 90
Goldfinch: 140
 1 of 2 behind The Patch
Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov
This afternoon I joined AJG who collated  at the fishing boats 15.10-16.10:
Brent Goose:  9E     28W
Gadwall: 3 in
Eider: 1W
Gannet: 138E
Great Skua: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 8E
Kittiwake: 6E
Guillemot: 64E
Auk sp: 311E
Skylark: 6 in

Thursday, 20 October 2016


At the weekend this juvenile Gannet joined the Gull throng at the fishing boats.

 Once the Gannet caught this Plaice it did not know how to eat it and eventually had it stolen.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Spurn & Dungeness

An excellent day trip to Spurn for the Siberian Accentor with DW, AJG, OL and GH who did all the hard work driving us there and back. The Accentor was on show from the time we arrived though frustratingly it was in the gas terminal feeding along the fence line in heavy shade for most of the time before flying deeper into the terminal. As news of an Isabelline Wheatear nearby came through we left the Accentor hoping that it would come back. The Isabelline Wheatear was a bonus also a Yellow-browed Warbler, Bean Geese, Brambling, Tree Sparrows, Ring Ouzels and birds in every bush and every field and on return to the gas terminal the Accentor was back on show.  
 Siberian Accentor

 Isabelline Wheatear

Brambling & Tree Sparrow
Back at Dungeness this morning I joined AJG in a wander around Trapping area and Desert where we saw Yellow-browed Warbler with a Tit flock along the Pilot Path and there was up to 3 Ring Ouzels present but very little else. Normally I would have been very satisfied seeing a Yellow-browed Warbler but after yesterdays avian extravaganza at Spurn I found it difficult to motivate myself. I did spend more time looking among the sea containers seeing just a Wren. The sea was very unproductive though not surprising given the wind direction. Dengemarsh Gully held just a Wheatear of any note, on Burrowes from Dennis's Hide 8 Great White Egrets and another from Hanson Hide on the ARC but very quiet in general. 
With North West winds forecast for tomorrow I'm off to Cap Gris Nez with most of the Dungeness regulars to hopefully have a good sea watch, time will tell. 

Saturday, 15 October 2016

More Ouzels, an Osprey, a Caspian Gull and a couple of Owls!

 Some of the Ring Ouzels around The Point today
 A tardy start this morning at the Old lighthouse where 2 Ring Ouzels flew out of the garden as I got of the car, a few Goldfinches, Linnets and Swallows flew over as I wandered around the bushes which contained a few Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest and more Ring Ouzels which popped up onto the fence posts right in front of me. A quick look at the sea saw plenty of Gannets but little else.
This one found it's way into the Heligoland Trap
 Osprey over Lade south 
 After a trip to the garage for new tyre I dropped into Lade just as BB tweeted that the Osprey was fishing over Lade south. Although I have seen it several times it has always been very distant, so it was nice to get good views of it , pity about the awful light. While I was there a Great White Egret flew in, c20 Swallow were seen, a Kingfisher flashed across north lake, a few Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers were in the Sallows, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk were also seen.
Wheatear among the sea containers, not what I was hoping to find.
2 visits to the sea containers failed to find a Siberian vagrant, no doubt I'll try again tomorrow.
 Polish ringed 1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats
A message from the gull boys Mick and Richard alerted me to a Polish ringed 1w Caspian Gull that was performing well at the fishing boats. Fortunately I was only a few hundred yards away and was there in a couple of minutes, while there an adult Yellow-legged Gull came into the beach.
Late afternoon just as the first spots of rain started I joined Steve G to hopefully see the 3 Short-eared Owls he found in the Desert earlier. 2 of the birds were located just as the rain started in earnest and sought the shelter of my car. 

Yellow-legged Gull at the fishing boats

Friday, 14 October 2016


07.20-09.05 with PW and AJG who collated the numbers:
Teal: 2W
Pintail: 3W
Wigeon: 30W
Common Scoter: 2E
Red-breasted Merganser: 1E
Gannet: 71E
Grey Plover: 6E
Dunlin: 1E
Pomarine Skua: 1W
Mediterranaen Gull: 3+ around
Razorbill: 3E
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 51E
Swallow: 124 out
Sand Martin: 3 out
Pied Wagtail: 51E
Grey Wagtail: 1E
Linnet: 44E
Goldfinch: 20E
Ring Ouzel 1 of c30 around today
Around The Point this morning c 30 Ring Ouzels over and in the bushes also a few Song Thrushes, a steady trickle of Linnets, Goldfinches and Meadow Pipits over, 18 more Swallows, a few Skylarks but little else. A Black Redstart was by the Station and a Firecrest was in the Lighthouse Garden. Another wander around late afternoon found nothing extra. 
A 45 minute sea watch this afternoon:
Brent Goose: 10E
Wigeon: 40W
Gannets: c20 around
Little Egret: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 4+ around

Thursday, 13 October 2016


A slow sea watch first thing this morning in the company of AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 6W   1E
Shelduck: 2E
Teal: 1W
Wigeon: 17E
Red-throated Diver: 3E
Peregrine: 1 flew out to sea
Sandwich Tern: 8E
Arctic Tern: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 11E
Razorbill: 11E  2W
Auk sp: 5W
Pied Wagtail: 2E
Swallow: 10 out.
A flock of c200 Fieldfare flew North over The Point towards Lade.
Great White Egrets viewed from Hanson Hide
At the ARC 15 Sand Martins and 6 Swallows over the car park several Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and Cetti's Warblers were alongside the track to Hanson also a Bearded Tit. From the hide 10 Great White Egrets and 2 Snipe but no sign of yesterdays Jack Snipe.
At Scotney c500 Golden Plover and 2 Ruff along with all the usual feral Geese.
Another c100 Golden Plover in fields opposite Herons Park entrance, Dengemarsh Road, also the injured Ruff still present, a Mistle Thrush over and 8 Swallows.
At Dengemarsh the Linnet flock and some Reed Buntings still in the Sunflower field despite the attentions of 2 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk and a Ring Tail Hen Harrier, also there up to 4 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards, a Raven and another Mistle Thrush.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Hen Harrier!

 Chiffchaff at West Beach
First thing this morning grounded migrants were thin on the ground around The Point. Small numbers of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, fewer Song Thrushes, 2+ Ring Ouzels, a Mistle Thrush, a Fieldfare, 2 Stonechats, a Grey Wagtail, a Merlin, c20 Swallows and 2 Woodlark overhead. Other migrants overhead were mostly stratospheric.
 Goldcrest at Lloyds
At the ARC 8 Great White Egrets, c100 Golden Plover and a Dunlin among the Lapwings and usual wildfowl. In the bushes there 2 Blackcaps, a few each of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests and several Cetti's Warblers.
At Scotney c500 Golden Plover, a Ruff and all the usual feral Geese.
A very slow hour at the fishing boats this afternoon produced 14.15-15.15
Brent Goose: 2E
Common Scoter: 3E
Gannet; 5E    7W
Sandwich Tern: 1E
Auk sp: 1E
Fox, Dengemarsh Gully
Late afternoon in Dengemarsh Gully a few more Chiffchaffs, 2 Stonechats, a Goldcrest and a Fox basking in the warm sunshine.
Hen Harrier at Dengemarsh very late afternoon
While checking the bushes at Brett's Marina very late afternoon, DW called me to say the Hen harrier that has been around for a while but has steadfastly eluded me was showing well at Springfield Bridge. \A couple of minutes later I was there but no Harrier. After c30 minute wait the Harrier reappeared and showed very well in the failing light.

Monday, 10 October 2016

A very distant Osprey
Fairly quiet in the bushes and overhead around The Point this morning, 2 Ring Ouzels were the highlights. An Osprey discovered by PT fishing the Lade Pits tempted myself and SO. On arrival the bird was fishing the North Pit while we were at the South, a quick drive to the North ensued only to find no sign of the Osprey.
Local Sparrowk in the lighthouse garden
Early afternoon at Scotney c500 Golden Plover, 2 Wheatears, 6 Curlew and the usual feral Geese, all of which flushed when the probable Saker appeared.
14.15-16.15 from the fishing boats:
Wigeon: 30W
Shoveler: 6W
Common Scoter: 4E
Balearic Shearwater: 1 lingered for a few minutes before heading into Lade Bay.
Gannet: c20 around
Mediterranean Gull: 3 around
Sandwich Tern: 5 into Lade bay
Razorbill: 2 into Lade Bay
Guillemot: 1W
Auk Sp: 2W
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2
Late afternoon at the ARC 5 Great White Egrets, c100 Golden Plover and a Black-tailed Godwit among the Lapwing and usual wildfowl.  

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Yellow-browed Warbler at the observatory 
A Yellow-browed Warbler was virtually the first bird I saw at the observatory this morning. A wander around the bushes and Desert saw 3 Ring Ouzels,, 2 Black Redstarts, 5 Wheatears, 6 Stonechats, 6 Redwings, a Fieldfare, a Mistle Thrush, several each of Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Goldcrest and Skylark, 30+ Chiffchaffs, 16 Swallows, 5 Brambling, 4 Tree Sparrows, a Grey Plover over, along with Meadow Pipits, Gold Finches and Linnets.
 Lunchtime watch from home saw 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Great White Egret of note.
Common Buzzard over Plodland 
At Boulderwall this afternoon a Kingfisher, a Cattle Egret and a couple of Whitefronts of note.
This evening 11 Great White Egrets and 18 Little Egrets roosted at the ARC this evening.