Saturday, 24 September 2016

2 hours this morning 07.30-09.30 from the sea watch hide started promisingly but petered out.
7+ Arctic Skuas, 4+ Great Skuas and a Manx Shearwater were the highlights, with 100s of Hirundines going out.
 Sand Martin Dengemarsh
Late morning at Galloways saw only of note a couple each of Winchat and Stonechats. At Dengemarsh 2 Stoats were playing in the field and good numbers of Sand Martins were moving through, by hay field 3 2 Winchats and a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Common Snipe flew over. I met DW, GH, DC and SO at Springfield Bridge where we clocked up 7 raptor species Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Peregrine, Hobby, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, but not the hoped for ring tail Harrier.
 Common Snipe Dengemarsh
JU082 Great Black Backed Gull
A late afternoon sea watch was a total non event. I joined Mick & Richard further along the beach where they had attracted many gulls with there popcorn, bread and Fish offal, among the Gulls was JU082 a Norwegian ringed Gull which I photographed on 13th August 2016. As I had been out most the day I left them early to get some tea, which I had just started on when Richard text me to say a Caspian Gull had come in and was showing to a few feet, hunger got the better of me so hopefully it will still be around tomorrow.

Friday, 23 September 2016


 Juvenile male Sparrowhawk caught in the Heligoland trap
This morning plenty of Chiffchaffs around The Point, at least 50 ringed at the observatory, also 3 Willow Warblers, several Blackcaps, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Black Redstarts, a Wheatear, a Firecrest, a Cetti's Warbler, a late Cuckoo, a trickle of Hirundines but no Y.B Warblers. 
 A late juvenile Cuckoo
The reserve was quiet today with few waders, just 2 Little Stints, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers and a Ruff. Several Winchats and Wheatears could be seen around the reserve along with more Chiffchaffs, Common Whitethroats and Blackcaps.
 Winchat at Galloways
Galloways was very quiet this afternoon but a Winchat did pose quite nicely.
This evening while waiting for the Egrets to come in to roost, a Kingfisher was dashing back and forth across the lake, a party of 42 Sand Martins flew through, also a party of c100 Swallows. A Cattle Egret, 8 Great White Egrets and 24 Little Egrets roosted tonight. 
Convolvulous Hawk Moth by the MV last night.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Osprey and Hirundines!

A short sea watch first thing this morning produced my first Merlin and Brent Geese of the Autumn, a few Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns and an Arctic Skua.
100s of House Martins around the new lighthouse
Around The Point 1,000s of Swallows and House Martins, I only saw 4 Sand Martins. A walk in the Desert saw 2 Sparrowhawks, a Raven, 7 Kestrels, c30 Meadow Pipits, 2 Stonechats, 3 Black Redstarts, 3 Common Whitethroats and 4 Chiffchaffs. A the observatory I saw my first Firecrest of the Autumn also a super Clifden Nonpareil moth caught by GH at Tenterden.
 Clifden Nonpareil
A late morning visit to the ARC was disappointing with just 1 Ruff and c150 Golden Plover of note.
 Meadow Pipit bathing in the fishing boat puddles
 This afternoons sea watch from the fishing boats14.30-15.30 I was joined by AJG.
Brent Goose: 12W
Wigeon: 9W
Red-throated Diver: 1W (first of the Autumn for me a super summer plumaged bird)
Gannet: 16E
Grey Plover: 3W
Mediterranean Gull: 1W
Kittiwake: 2W
Sandwich Tern: 107W
Common Tern: 15W
Razorbill: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 1W
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Osprey over the ARC water tower with some of its tormentors
As I was heading back to the reserve an Osprey flew over the causeway being harassed by several corvids, by the time I was able to stop and raise the camera the Osprey was over the ARC water tower heading towards the Mirrors. About half an hour later I was in the ARC car park when a message from PT alerted to an Osprey sitting on a telegraph pole on the north bank of the ARC being viewed from Hanson hide. The bird was quite distant from the hide but enjoyable as most Ospreys at Dungeness seem to fly through very quickly, usually only seen by a couple of people. 
A late afternoon visit to the reserve found a minimum of 7 Great White Egrets, 3 Little Stints, 3 Rull, 4 LRPs, 3 Ringed Plovers and 2 Dunlin. 2 Whinchats were by the entrance track near Boulderwall Farm. The Osprey was still sat on its pole when I left the reserve at 17.30, not sure if 2 birds were involved.           

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Rose-coloured Starling!

I arrived back at Heathrow just before midday Tuesday, 2hrs later I was watching the Dungeness juvenile Rose-coloured Starling around West Beach which was a site tick for me.
Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling
 Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling
This morning I went to the ARC early morning just in case the reported Greenish Warbler was still around, there was no sight or sound of it, from Hanson the islands were very quiet with the highlights being  a couple of Common Snipe, 2 Water Rail, 3 Cetti's Warbler and a few Chiffchaffs. A return visit this afternoon found c300 Golden Plover, c300 Lapwing, 2 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Garganey of note.
Egyptian Geese
At Scotney a steady stream of Swallows moving east, 20+ Yellow Wagtails, the usual Little Owl, an increase in Wigeon, 100s of feral Geese including some Egyptian Geese. The western lake at the back of Scotney is difficult to view due to the height of the Maize.
 Turtle Dove Caldicott Lane
 Late afternoon along Caldicott Lane only my fourth local Turtle Dove this year and another Little Owl.
Avocets on Burrowes this evening
Early evening on the reserve, 3 Whinchats and 4 Wheatears along the entrance track, around Burrowes 5 Great White Egrets, 4 Little Egrets, 7 Avocet, 2 Little Stints, a Ruff, 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Common Snipe, a Garganey, 8 Pintail and arise in Wigeon numbers.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Quiet! not really!

The peninsula seemed fairly quiet this weekend, but on reflection a Red-necked Phalarope, Cattle Egret, Great White Egrets, Little Stints, Wood Sandpipers, 40+Black Terns, 1,000+ Sandwich Terns, 100s of Common Terns, Arctic Skuas, Hobby, Whinchats, dozens of Yellow Wagtails, Wheatears including an adult male that came in off the sea this afternoon, the spectacle of 1,000s of Sand Martins and much more I didn't see. Just another weekend at Dungeness.
Old World Web Worm(Hellula undalis)  a scarce migrant found in my MV on the morning of 2nd September only the 4th Dungeness record per S Clancy. Many thanks to Dave Walker for ID.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Not such a bad day in the end!

This morning there was just 1 Chiffchaff in the lighthouse garden and 2 Wheatears on the approach road.
07.40-08.40 from the sea  watch hide:
Gannet: 37W   35E
Cormorant: present n/c
Arctic Skua: 3 around
Kittiwake: 1W
Black-headed Gull: c500 over The Patch
Herring Gull: c200 over The Patch
Lesser Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Great Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Sandwich Tern: 27E  21W
Commic Tern: 2E      8W
On the reserve 5 Great White Egrets on Burrowes, also a Ruff, 3 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin, 2 Greenshanks and 5 Common Sandpipers. 2 Wheatears were by the dipping pond.
At the ARC from Hanson just the 2 Little Stints, 3 Dunlin, 3+Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Ringed Plovers a Common Snipe, the leucistic Pintail, also a Common Swift among several 100s of Sand Martins. 
 Wheatear at the Dipping Pond
 Cattle Egret in Boulderwall fields
A late morning call from PB alerted me the presence of a Cattle Egret on the Boulderwall fields, minutes later I was watching it having missed all the others at Dungeness this year. While there I was looking at a very tatty Marsh Harrier when a large raptor in the distance caught my eye, putting the scope on it, it turned out to be a Honey Buzzard disappearing westwards towards Sussex. 
 Arctic Skua at the fishing boats this afternoon
14.30-16.15 from the fishing boats joined by MH:
Common Scoter: 4W
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 42W
Ringed Plover: 2W
Turnstone: 5 around
Arctic Skua: 12W
Kittiwake: 2W
Black-headed Gull: Present n/c
Herring Gull: present n/c
Lesser Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Great Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Sandwich Tern: 771W
Commic: Tern: 308W
Black Tern: 3W
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
This evening Trevor Maynard found a Red-necked Phalarope at the southern end of the ARC which was till present at 19.15 at least, while I was there the Cattle Egret came into roost. 
Convolvulous Hawkmoth in the Plodland MV yeaterday.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

 Willow Warbler
This morning around the lighthouse area a single Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and an adult male Redstart. Also a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. At the Observatory another Redstart was ringed along with a couple Lesser Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler. In the Desert 5 Wheatears, a couple of Common Whitethroats and few Swallows over all very quiet. Another 6 Wheatears opposite Jarmans.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth
 Common Redstart
 Common Redstart at the Observatory
 Small Coppers in the observatory garden
An hour at the fishing boats late afternoon was again very quiet:
Common Scoter: 1E
Great Crested Grebe:1 off shore
Gannet: 1E
Cormorant: present n/c
Black-headed Gull: present n/c
Common Gull: 3W
Herring Gull: present n/c
L.B.B Gull: 4 around
G.B.B Gull: present n/c
Sandwich Tern: 40+ feeding o/s
Common Tern: 10+ feeding o/s
Swallow: 14 S
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Early evening at the southern end of the ARC of note, a Wood Sandpiper ands a Ruff. On  Burrowes of note 2 Little Stints, 5 Common Sandpipers, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlin, a Ruff, a Black Tern and a Garganey.
 Common Sandpiper from Firth
Lapwing from Firth

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

 Waders on the reserve were the main feature at Dungeness this weekend unless you are a Larophile of course.
Up to 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Little Stints, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 6 Ruff, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Ringed Plovers, 3 Green Sandpipers, 7 Common Sandpipers, a Wood Sandpiper, 5 Turnstone, 80 Golden Plover, 6 Common Snipe, 20 Dunlin, 5 Garganey, 5 Great White Egrets, a Glossy Ibis and more.
Passage on the sea however was very poor, though 2 Sooty and a Balearic Shearwater were seen by others.
Redstart at the Old Lighthouse this morning
This morning around point, 2 Redstarts, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Pied Flycatcher, several each of Whinchats, Wheatears, Common Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethoats and Willow Warblers but nothing special. The lakes held the same waders as the weekend. A wander around the hay fields produced more Snipe and Green Sandpipers and c20 Yellow Wagtails. 
An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon was very enjoyable sitting in the warm sunshine, but avian wise a non event with just 36 Common Scoter flying east, a single Kittiwake and few each of Sandwich and Common Terns off shore, 102 Swallows with a Sand Martin going south, also several Harbour Porpoises off shore.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

A quick look at the sea this morning showed it to be very quiet, likewise the Lighthouse area.
At the reserve a Black Tern on Burrowes along with 4 Great White Egrets, 2 Garganey, a Wood Sandpiper, 7 Common Sandpipers, a Ruff, a Common Snipe, a party of 18 Ringed Plovers and 4 Dunlin of note.
 Wood Sandpiper in horrible light from Firth this morning
2 visits to the ARC found 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpipers, 5 Little Stints, 5 Little-ringed Plovers, 3 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 2 Common Snipe, a fly over Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit also 8 more at the Southern end and myriads of Sand Martins.
A Glossy Ibis was seen by RO heading towards Boulderwall fields.
  Curlew Sandpipers from Hanson this PM
2nd Vestal of the year in the MV this morning
A busy bight in the MV produced a Vestal of note among the many more usual species, also plenty of Mico's whch will keep me busy this evening trying to ID them.

Friday, 26 August 2016


 This morning I parked at the old lighthouse hoping that the garden would hold some migrants, whilst staring into an avian free garden, a young male Sparrowhawk zipped over my shoulder and landed on the fence a few metres  away until it heard the camera. A pity that the position of the ring gave me no chance to read it.
With the bushes being virtually devoid of birds I joined AJG in Hanson Hide, where a Ruff, 4 Little Ringed Plovers and a Black-tailed Godwit were the highlights.
An early afternoon sea watch was very slow with just a handful of Sandwich Terns, a Grey Seal and 6+ harbour Porpoises.
Late afternoon at Galloways and Dengemarsh Gully, 14 Whinchats, 8 Wheatears, 3 Stonechats, 4 Sedge Warblers, 8 Common Whitethroats, a Raven and the Diamond Dove by the chicken sheds.
Barred Red
The MV was busy this morning with 274 macros of 38 species. But no surprises.