Wednesday, 29 June 2022

This week so far!


2 Ruff made an appearance for one evening only, the above bird has one of its feet missing , but seems to feed well enough.
Since the excitement of the Caspian Tern it has been fairly quiet at Dungeness. Sea watching has seen a few Common Scoter, Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns and the odd Guillemot. Another of the same Serin put in another appearance around The Point, Black Redstarts can be found around the power station along with Stonechats but generally quiet around The point. On the reserve heaven knows why  Dennis's Hide is still shut even though the Bees nest was removed last week, at this rate I can see Dennis's Hide going the same way as Firth, Scott and Makepiece Hides. Fortunately at the moment here is very little of any note to be seen on Burrowes, the hay fields are now bone dry so very little avian life to be seen there either. At the moment the only place to see birds is at the ARC now that the islands are rapidly appearing. The first returning LRPs, Ruff and Garganey along with 4 Glossy Ibis, Great, Little and Cattle Egrets, Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, wildfowl etc.

Garganey from Hanson
This female Pochard has just this single chick surviving from its brood
Swallow gleaming in the sunshine at the ARC car park

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Caspian Tern a superb Dungeness tick for me!

Caspian Tern at the ARC viewed from Hanson Hide
I had been sitting in Hanson Hide with Rob & Andrew Edwards yesterday morning, then left to get some breakfast, I had just made a coffee when Rob messaged me to say a Caspian Tern was now in front of Hanson Hide, I jumped back into the car in my bare feet, fortunately I had some footwear in the back of the car, I made some calls as I drove to the ARC, on entering the hide a few minutes later I was relieved to see the Tern still sitting in front the hide. A bird I have much wanted to see at Dungeness. Many thanks to Rob and Andrew for spotting and messaging me so promptly.


Glossy Ibis enjoying the abundance of Medicinal Leeches in the ARC

Cattle Egrets from Hanson

Friday, 24 June 2022


The ARC is probably the best place to see birds on the reserve at the moment, The 4 Glossy Ibis and the 3 Egret species, Bittern, Marsh Harriers, Hobby's, Common Buzzards, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, are all regular there along with the wetland warblers and usual wildfowl and Grebes with the occasional Black-necked Grebe..
Around The Point a few Black Redstarts, Wheatears and Stonechats. I was lucky yesterday jamming in on a Serin flying around courtesy of Dave Bunney. The sea is still very quiet though not unexpected for this time of year.
Common Buzzard getting the Herring Gull treatment over my garden while I was going through the moth trap.
My local Robin serenading me while doing the moth trap.
The hay fields have now mainly dried out so that there is very little avian interest to be seen there 
Norfolk Hawker at Dengemarsh
The only image I managed of a brief encounter with a Lesser Emperor dragonfly at Dengemarsh
A Cherry Bark Tortrix new moth for the garden, although common throughout England there is very little of its food plant on the peninsular
Scott adelphella seems to becoming regular in my garden

Monday, 20 June 2022


Spoonbill put in a brief appearance at the ARC before flying off towards The Point
From Hanson in 3 visits today 3, Glossy Ibis, 32 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Ringed Plovers, 4 Avocets, 2 Common Terns, a Mediterranean Gull, the first 2 juvenile Black-headed Gulls, c30 Swifts, House and Sand Martins along with the usual wildfowl and warblers.
A very brief visit to Burrowes as Dennis's hide is now also shut because of a Bees nest, also the view points would be hopeless in the blasting NE gale, saw just a single Grey Plover of note from Dennis's picnic area.
A visit to the observatory paid dividends when the Gulls at the power station started alarming, myself DW, SC, GH and Jacob immediately started scanning the skies, thanks to Jacobs young eyes, he spotted 2 mega Honey Buzzards over the power station and got us all onto them as they drifted off West.
Mediterranean Gull next to the nesting Avocet from Hanson
The relentless NE gale washed out the Great-crested Grebes nest in front of Hanson Hide, the eggs could not have been far off ready to hatch.

Sunday, 19 June 2022


The Glossy Ibis seem to be a regular feature at the ARC
Grey Heron from Hanson
Little, Cattle and Great White Egrets can all be seen around the reserve, the Bitterns seem to have gone a little quiet. Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Oystercatchers and Green Sandpiper are all regular on the ARC and Burrowes at the moment, so far just a handful of Common Terns. I think 2 pairs of Kingfisher nested this year with at least one nest fledging. Large numbers of eclipse wildfowl can be seen around the reserve, most looking very scruffy. Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzards and Hobby's can be seen just about anywhere on the reserve.
2 of the 3 short staying Black-necked Grebes came in close to Hanson Hide briefly before being chased off by an aggressive Coot.

These Great-crested Grebes are nesting in front of Hanson hopefully soon the eggs will hatch if they don't get predated.
One of several Honey Buzzards that have graced the peninsular this last week

Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps are all still singing around the reserve.
The overnight storms brought in many Swifts, House and Sand Martins this morning
A visit to Folkstone Warren found a confiding juvenile Peregrine

Fulmar and Rock Pipit at Folkstone Warren

Monday, 13 June 2022


Hobbys have putting on superb displays around the reserve 

These 3 Glossy Ibis dropped into the ARC late morning today
The long staying Glossy Ibis on the ARC
Great White Egrets have started to reappear around the reserve

It was quite pleasant to go out early morning and not get blasted by the the incessant near gale force winds that have plagued the peninsula for the last few days. Hopefully from tonight onwards the moth trap will start catching numbers of moths.
The first Black-necked Grebe of the autumn on the ARC from Hanson
Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits
On my second visit of the day to the ARC mid morning I joined Pete and Pam in Hanson Hide, where among the 100s of eclipse wildfowl they had located 2 Pochard bearing Nasal Saddles, also there were 4 Avocet, 17 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Redshank, a Ringed Plover, Oystercatchers and Lapwings, 4 Glossy Ibis, Great White and Little Egrets, 2 flyover Cattle Egrets early morning, a Kingfisher, 2 Cuckoos,  4 Hobby's and the usual Marsh harriers, Common Buzzards and Reed bed Warblers. It seems that Dennis's Hide has been closed due to a Bees nest, so as there are no other hides for viewing Burrowes I gave the reserve proper a miss.
An adult Common Whitethroat looking rather tatty after its parental duties
2 Common Pochard bearing nasal saddles on the ARC today spotted by Pete and Pam, probably French birds.