Monday, 23 November 2020


07.30-08.30 on a beautiful still clear morning at the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 2E
Shelduck: 1W
Wigeon: 2E
Velvet Scoter: 3E single party
Common Scoter: 43W   20E
Red-throated diver: 11W    16E
Gannet: 30W   95E
Oystercatcher: 6E
Turnstone: 1 on beach
Kittiwake: 5W     49E
Mediterranean gull: 1E    3 o/s
Sandwich tern: 1W
Great Skua: 1E
Guillemot: 1W    10E
Razorbill: 6E
Auk sp: 86E
Starling: 65 in
Harbour Porpoise: 2
Grey Seal 1
Sparrowhawk at the observatory

Lesser Redpoll
The 2 Whooper Swans in the field in front my house this morning completely ignoring the spray tractor.
Blue Snow Goose new in at Scotney today
Blue Snow Goose new in at Scotney today

A long walk around Scotney also found a ring tail Hen Harrier, 4 Green Sandpipers, 3 Tree Sparrows, 5 Corn Buntings, Little Owl and the usual wildfowl. Apparently the Long-tailed Duck is on the back lakes and I managed to walk past it! 1,000s of Lapwing and Golden Plover out the back, also a few Curlew 3+ Ruff, Peregrine, Merlin, Common Buzzards and Marsh Harriers and several Cetti's Warblers.
Late afternoon on the reserve the Glossy Ibis still present at Cooks Pool, 5+ Caspian Gulls came into roost including a yellow ringed Polish 2w bird.


Sunday, 22 November 2020

The weekend

2 Sea watches today 07.15-09.50 & 13.30-15.15 thanks to AJG, SP & RW for keeping the logs:
Brent Goose: 1w   3E
Wigeon: 7E
Velvet Scoter: 1E
Common Scoter: 63W   8E
Goosander: 1E
Red-breasted Merganser: 3E
Red-throated Diver: 22W     14E       5 on
Black-throated Diver: 1W
Great Northern Diver: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 26 around
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 762W
Cormorant: 1066 moving between Lade Bay & Rye bay
Peregrine: 2 over beach
Merlin: 7+ all in off the sea most carrying prey
Oystercatcher: 2E
Turnstone: 19 around
Kittiwake: 398W
Mediterranean Gull: 2W   4 around
Sandwich Tern: 6W     1E
Great Skua: 4W
Guillemot: 30W      11on
Razorbill: 69W     21on
Puffin: 1W
Auk sp: 200+ W
Grey Seal: 1
Common Seal: 1 
Harbour Porpoise: 1
Merlin coming in with prey
Merlin with a Linnet
1 of at least 5 Red-throated Divers off shore
Whooper Swans On the ARC yesterday
The Whooper Swans have now moved to the Mute Swan Herd in the field in front my house, unfortunately it seems the farmer is going to spray that field, so they are likely to be moved on. A female Scaup was reported at Scotney on the first lake west of the caravan park, in a late afternoon visit I could not find it, but I will try again tomorrow in better light. 


Friday, 20 November 2020


With a flat calm sea this mornings watch in the company of AJG was unsurprisingly a slow one, with just a few Gannets and usual fare. After an hour of tedium we walked around The Point hoping to find some lurking scarcity, but without success. We met OL who told us about a Pallas's Warbler that JD had found in the trapping area. Normally I wouldn't try for anything in the trapping area but it was a pleasant morning and I was at loose end, within seconds of arriving in the area it was seen we could hear it calling and very soon saw it, we saw at least 4 Firecrests, several Goldcrests and a Woodcock, Siskins and Redpolls were going over. 
Vocal Pallas's Warbler in the trapping area
Skylark behind the fishing boats
Goldeneye at Scotney but I couldn't find the Long-tailed Duck
I had a walk along the front of Scotney to Jury's Gap which to be honest was disappointing, I was unable to locate the Long-tailed Duck, though a fine drake Goldeneye is fairly unusual at this site, a brief view of hunting ring tail Hen Harrier along the back of the lake was probably the highlight of a long walk. I couldn't have been further from the car when JD messaged that 2 Whooper Swans had arrived on the ARC, but they were still present when I arrived nearly 2 hours later.
Stonechat at Scotney
Newly arrived Whooper Swans on the ARC this afternoon
The Glossy Ibis still around Cooks Pool
On the reserve The Glossy Ibis was in it's usual spot and a Cattle Egret was nearby, on Burrowes a flock of 5 Ruff were flying around and as the light faded the Gulls came pouring in, among them at least 5 Caspian Gulls, 2 adult and 3 x 1w birds, I probably missed a few more.  
Adult & 1w Caspian Gull (images takes at 4000 iso)


Wednesday, 18 November 2020


I had some domestic stuff on this morning so I missed the sea watch and the Great Northern Diver, fortunately the watch was generally the same as the last few days. The Long-tailed Duck was still on its favoured lake at Scotney today.
Great White Egret
With domestic duties done I spent a few hours wandering around the reserve, getting nice views of the Egrets, not so good of the Glossy Ibis. I Bearded Tits were calling at several spots around the reserve, also several Cetti's Warblers but saw none probably due to the strong winds, a Common Snipe was flushed from the path at Christmas Dell by one of several Marsh Harriers seen, also an unseen Firecrest calling there. Cormorant numbers on Burrowes are growing fast with 2,000+ on the islands today, also there 1,000+ Lapwings, 3 Black-tailed Godwits were notable. Boulderwall fields held many Wigeon and 2 Ruff of note. A male Hen Harrier was seen but it managed to avoid me again.
Cattle Egret

Grey Heron joining the Egrets sheltering from the wind

Distant Glossy Ibis at Boulderwall
Black-tailed Godwits roosting on Burrowes

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

16/17/11/ 2020

Sea watching at Dungeness the last couple of days has been quite poor, though not surprising considering the WSW wind that has been blowing. The Merlins continue to be seen hunting over the beach and out to sea, today they were joined by a Peregrine. Gannets continue to trickle through along with a few Auks and sea duck.
Presumed Nordic Jackdaw at Scotney yesterday but no sign today
Long-tailed duck still at scorned today
If you are lucky you may bump into 1 of the at least 3 Hen Harriers that are currently frequenting Walland Marsh, but you do have to be lucky as they can appear any where at any time. Still no sign of any wild Swans on Walland and the few wild Geese seem to have disappeared. The first Goosander of winter flew through Lade yesterday per PT, around the lakes only a handful of Goldeneye have arrived. 
Goldeneye on the ARC today

Saturday, 14 November 2020


1 of 2 Sooty Shearwaters past the fishing boats today
Below is the combined totals for todays sea watches from the fishing boats 07.00-10.00 & 14.00-16.00
with AJG, SP, RW, DW, CP, CT.
An excellent sea watch today with the highlight for me being the 89 Little Gulls as they have been so so scarce this Autumn.
Gannets streaming past today
The 1w Caspian Gull that made a brief appearance
Red-throated Diver
1 of the 100s of Kittiwakes past today
Early afternoon at Scotney the Long-tailed Duck was still mostly sleeping among the Pochard

Friday, 13 November 2020


Bonnie past the fishing boats early morning
07.14-11.20 & 14.00-15.00 from the fishing boats with AJG and SP who both kindly kept the log:
Common Scoter: 26W   8E
Red-breasted Merganser: 1W
Red-throated diver: 13W
Fulmar: 1W
Manx Shearwater: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 128W
Gannet: 1,916W
Cormorant: 2,700W
Merlin: 1 o/s
Peregrine: 1 in off the sea
Dunlin: 1W
Kittiwake: 587W
Little Gull: 6W
Mediterranean Gull: 6W
Common Gull: 107W
Sandwich Tern: 85W
Great Skua: 1W
Pomarine Skua: 2W
Arctic Skua: 1W
Guillemot: 26W
Razorbill: 407W
Auk sp: 222W    5E
Goldfinch: 21W
Harbour Porpoise: 3 present
Peregrine coming in off the sea early this morning
Submarine heading down channel this afternoon
Long-tailed Duck at Scotney late afternoon, image taken after sunset.
 Late afternoon at Scotney JD & SP found a Long-tailed Duck, also there a male and a ring tail Hen Harrier, both of which probably roosted on the ranges, 2 Peregrines, a Merlin and a Green Sandpiper were also there late afternoon.

Thursday, 12 November 2020


Still a few Sandwich Terns around
Todays sea watches with SM and AJG 07.20-09.20 & 14.00-15.15 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 3E
Red-throated Diver: 8W      1E
Red-necked Grebe: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 8W     11o/s
Gannet: 316W     
Cormorant: 303W out of Lade Bay
Merlin: a minimum of 3 birds hunting over the beach and sea
Turnstone: 2 on beach
Kittiwake: 354W
Black-headed Gull: 401W
Mediterranean Gull: 22W
Common Gull: 102W
Great Black-backed Gull: present n/c
Herring Gull: present n/c
Sandwich Tern: 15W
Great Skua: 1W
Guillemot: 2W
Auk sp: 762W     20E
Alba wagtail: 1W
Common Seal: 1
As I left the the beach with SM around 09.30 he spotted a Black Kite going inland over South View, DB was in his garden so had superb views, DW saw it from The Moat, JD saw it from the Long Pits, OL saw it at New Romney and CP saw it over St Marys Bay but not reported since. I believe DW got some images so hopefully he will put them on the DBO web site this evening.
Black-headed Gull TJVV still around the beach today

Cattle Egret at hay field 1
A walk around the reserve was pleasant enough in the sunshine, apart from a single Cattle Egret in the hay fields, the Glossy Ibis at Boulderwall, several Great White Egrets and a few Bearded Tits and squealing Water Rails little else was seen.
1 of the 2 1w Caspian Gulls that came into roost on Burrowes this evening.
Brambling at South View yesterday, many thanks to Dave Bunney for the access and call


Monday, 9 November 2020


Shelduck with Brent Geese this morning
A very nice mixture of species today made for entertaining sea watching.
Todays sea watch totals for 07.15-09.00 & 13.45-16.00 with AJG who kindly kept the log, CT, SP et al.
Brent Goose: 374W   4E
Shelduck: 8W
Shoveler: 28W
Gadwall: 3W
Wigeon: 71W
Pintail: 46W
Teal: 47W
Scaup: 3W
Velvet Scoter: 1W
Common Scoter: 158W   86E
Red-breasted Merganser: 3W
Red-throated Diver: 9W
Great-crested Grebe: 4W   3 o/s
Gannet: 813W   9E
Cormorant: present: n/c
Oystercatcher: 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 1E
Knot: 1W
Dunlin: 13W
Turnstone: 3 on beach
Kittiwake: 204W         246 o/s
Little Gull: 9W
Black-headed Gull: present: n/c
Mediterranean Gull: 4W     25o/s
Common Gull: present: n/c
Great Black-backed Gull: present: n/c
Herring Gull: present: n/c
Sandwich Tern: 8W
Great Skua: 9W         2 o/s
Guillemot: 1W      1o/s
Razorbill: 47W    2o/s
Auk sp: 21W      2E
Meadow Pipit: 14S
Goldfinch: 240S
Siskin: 3S
A Woodcock that flushed from under my feet in The Desert
A first of the year for me was a Woodcock I flushed during my wander around The Point and Desert, a Black redstart was showing well around the lighthouse, while overhead a few Goldfinches, Siskins, Redpolls and a Brambling were heading south. A handful of Redwing were seen with a couple of Song Thrushes, the bushes were fairly quiet with just a few Crests being seen.
Scotney was almost birdless, probably due to the army practicing for the next world war, the noise was deafening and non stop, I would imagine many £1,000s of pounds went up in smoke there today.
Black Redstart at the old Lighthouse
Polish ringed Black-headed Gull TJVV still frequenting the fishing boats this afternoon
Newly arrived migrants making their way to the police to give themselves up, at least boatloads this morning. They must be very cold after spending the night at sea on rubber dingy in such flimsy clothing.