Sunday, 20 August 2017


 Common Whitethroat
A pleasant walk around the lighthouse area, the desert and trapping area saw plenty of birds if you managed to managed to bump into the roving flocks. Common Whitethroats were the most numerous species followed by Great & Blue Tits, Lesser Whitethroats, Reed and Willow Warblers also a single Great-spotted Woodpecker. A Little Egret flew over the desert  as did 2 Dunlin, a Little Ringed Plover, a Common Buzzard, a Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk. Butterflies were numerous with several Painted Ladies and a Clouded Yellow.
 Common Whitethroat taking a spider from its web
 Lesser Whitethroat
 Reed Warbler
 Painted Lady
While having lunch dozens of Swallows and Sand Martins were hawking over the fields in front of the house, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard and a Hobby flew through.
A very slow sea watch at the fishing boats this afternoon, highlights being a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua and a brief juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. 
 Spoonbill on the ARC
On my way home I stopped off at the ARC as Liz & Paul Hunter had told me they had seen a Spoonbill on the islands from Hanson early afternoon. On my arrival the Spoonbill was in usual pose asleep but did wake up briefly, also there 2 Garganey, 4 Dunlin, a Little Ringed Plover, 7 Little Egrets and many Sand Martins. Over the road the juvenile Black Tern seen by JR was still on Burrowes.  
Garganey on the ARC

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Leach's Petrel!

 Great White Egret over my house first thing this morning
 Reed Warbler
 Willow Warbler
 Lesser Whitethroat
At the ARC the bushes by the track to the tower were alive with warblers, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat were in the majority with smaller numbers of Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap and Sedge Warbler, Sand Martins and Swallows were much in evidence over the lakes. From Hanson a Garganey showed well, also there 3 Dunlin, a Little Ringed Plover, another Great White Egret and the usual wildfowl. Also a Clouded Yellow butterfly by the car park.
 Clouded Yellow
 Turnstone at the fishing boats
13.45-16.45 from the fishing boats joined by AJG, SO & PT.
Common Scoter: 3 up
Eider: 1 female around
Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Fulmar Petrel: 2 up  1 down
Leach’s Petrel: 1 down (to far out for any images but gave good scope views)
Gannet: 59 up
Cormorant: 17 around
Turnstone: 6 around
Arctic Skua: 5+ around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Kittiwake: 25 down
Sandwich tern: 186 down
Common Tern: 61 down
Sand Martin: 12 out
Swift: 15 out
Wheatear: 2 on beach
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 8+
 Eider at the fishing boats

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Curlew Sandpipers!

 Curlew Sandpipers
 Curlew Sandpipers
3 Excellent visits to the reserve found a total of 48 Curlew Sandpipers, 20 Knot, 31 Black-tailed Godwits, 30+ Dunlin, 20+ Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Green Sandpipers, 6 Common Sandpipers, 4 Ruff, a Little Stint, 200+ Lapwing, 10+ Oystercatchers, 5 Great white Egrets, 6 Garganey, 2 Black Terns, 100s of Sand Martins and all the usual wildfowl.
 Colour ringed Curlew Sandpiper
 Little Stint from Firth
 Great White Egret from Hanson
 3 of 5 Garganey from Hanson
09.30-12.00 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 8 up
Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Fulmar: 2 down
Gannet: c120 down
Cormorant: 12 around
Turnstone: 27 down
Arctic Skua: 4+ around
Kittiwake: 36 down
Little Tern: 11 down
Sandwich Tern: c400 down
Common Tern: c220 down
Black Tern: 13 down
Grey Seal: 1
Swallow: 2 out
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Hummingbird Hawkmoth: 2 in

Turnstones past the fishing boats
14.15-16.15 from the fishing boats with AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Common Scoter: 12 down
Fulmar: 2 up
Gannet 64 up
Arctic Skua: 3 around
Kittiwake: 18 down
Little Tern: 6 down
Sandwich Tern: 218 down
Common Tern: 118 down
Black Tern: 2 down
Swift 3 out

Arctic Skua  from the fishing boats

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

 Early morning clear view from Hanson
From Hanson early this morning it was good not to have to peer through a wall of reeds to see the birds on the islands. 3 Common Sandpipers, a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Little Ringed plovers were the highlight among many feral Geese and eclipse wildfowl, though I'm sure more will be seen now that it can be viewed.
Reed Warbler Denge Marsh
On the reserve there were far fewer Common Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers than yesterday though still a good selection of waders and herons also still 2 Whinchats at the top of the return trail.
 Starlings bathing in the puddles at the fishing boats
This afternoons sea watch from the fishing boats with AJG was uneventful:
Gannet: 23 around
Cormorant: 5 around
Whimbrel: 1 down
Arctic Skua: 4+ around
Kittiwake: 6 down
Sandwich Tern: 251 down
Common Tern: 4 down
Grey Seal: 1 around
Harbour Porpoise: 10+ around
 1 of 2 Garganey at Firth this evening
A visit to the reserve this evening found of note 2 Garganey from Firth, 14 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Green Sandpipers, Ringed Plovers, Dunlin and at least 5 common Sandpipers.
 Green Sandpiper from Firth this evening
 Male Gem best in the trap today
A very small Adaina microdactyla (Hemp Agrimony Plume)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

First thing this morning at the ARC from Hanson a couple of Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit among the Lapwings, Black-headed Gulls and wildfowl.
At the reserve centre I assisted Barry Banson with the reserve MV, much to our surprise and delight we found a gorgeous Beautiful Marbled a very scarce migrant from the continent.
The sea was apparently fairly quiet this morning though 6 Arctic Skuas were seen also 2 Great white Egrets and a Spoonbill flew out to to sea per AJG.
 Beautiful Marbled
 Common Sandpiper
An excellent walk around the reserve Plenty of waders around the reserve including a Wood Sandpiper, 8+ Green Sandpipers, 7+ Common Sandpipers, 2 Ruff, 19+ Dunlin, 14+ Ringed Plover, a Greenshank, 21 Redshank, 6+ Great White Egrets, 2+ Whinchats, 4+ Wheatears, a Stonechat, many Common Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers, Cetti's Warblers and more, an adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the gull roost by the entrance track.
 Sedge Warbler
 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at the fishing boats
This afternoons sea watch from the fishing boats in the company of AJG:
Shelduck: 6 down
Gannet: 28 around
Cormorant: 6 around
Sanderling: 2 down
Arctic Skua: 4+ around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 down juvenile
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Kittiwake: 29 down
Sandwich tern: 107 down
Common Tern: 30 down
Sand Martin: 38 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 10+

 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at the fishing boats

Portland Moth
A Portland Moth was the star find in the Plodland MV also the my first Dog,s Tooth today.

Monday, 14 August 2017


4 Hummingbird Hawkmoths on the power station perimeter wall this morning. The walk from there to the observatory taking in the lighthouse garden, station scrub, West Beach and Lloyds saw just a couple of Common Whitethroats, a Black Redstart and a Peregrine. After a cup of tea at the observatory where a Tree Pipit flew over, I decided to wander around the Desert without any expectations. 3 Wheatears around The Moat were a good start and as soon I reached the Gorse Common Whitethroats started appearing, by the time I'd covered The Desert, shingle and scrub up to Kerton Road I'd seen  c100 Common Whitethroats, with much smaller numbers of Lesser Whitethroats and Reed Warblers, also 4 Yellow Wagtails, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, a nice Tit flock of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits with a few Chaffinches tagging along, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk. Back at the observatory a very pale Common Buzzard came over, joined by a normal plumaged bird and a Marsh Harrier, they flew out over the power station then seemingly saw the sea and changed there minds and headed back inland.
worn adult Lesser Whitethroat
Reed Warbler
fresh juvenile Lesser Whitethroat
2 very different Common Buzzards over the observatory
Black Redstart at Lloyds
Bedstraw Hawkmoth at the observatory courtesy of Barry Banson.
A visit to Hanson saw all the usual wildfowl, Cormorants and Gulls but little of note.
An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon topped up my sun tan but was a total non event avian wise.
Wood Sandpiper from Makepiece
Late afternoon on Burrowes 19 Black-tailed Godwits, 19 Dunlin, 18 Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank, 2 Turnstone, 4 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, a Wood Sandpiper, Great White Egret and a Sandwich Tern over all from Firth and Makepiece.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

 Wheatears on the reserve
 Early morning around the reserve still plenty of Common Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers and a few Willow Warblers, 5 Wheatears, 1,000+ Sand Martins moved through, 3 Ruff, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 3+ Common Snipe, 4+ Common Sandpipers and 4 Great White Egrets of note as well as all the usual wildfowl.
 Marsh Harrier Denge Marsh
Yellow Wagtail on the Plodland roof catching flying Ants
An hour sky watching from home saw 4 Marsh Harriers, 4 Common Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, a Little Egret, 3 Grey Herons, 100s of Sand Martins moving through and  4 Yellow Wagtails of note.
This afternoons sea watch from the fishing boats was not particularly inspiring, 4-5 Arctic Skuas chasing Terns off shore, a few Gannets and 100s more Sand Martins on the beach and moving south.