Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Ichneumon Wasp

After presumably paralysing the caterpillar this Ichneumon Wasp carried and dragged it for a several yards along the footpath to Hanson hide, then dropped it while it dug out the entrance to its nest, then dragged the caterpillar down into the hole, where I guess the caterpillar will host the wasps eggs then be eaten by the young.

Many Swifts were again feeding over the ARC, the one above looks as if its crop is full

A drake Garganey sleeping on one of the exposed islands from Hanson
The Southern Marsh Orchids are still looking good in the field beside the track to Hanson Hide
Several Longhorn moths (Adela croesella) were in the bushed beside the track


A late Arctic Skua passing the bouy
Sea watching as expected in early June in this annoying strong NE wind has not been hugely productive, though there are are still a few Sanderling, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwits, Common Terns, Arctic Terns and Sandwich Terns trickling through. A summer plumage adult male Long-tailed Duck was a surprise on the 5th. On the reserve a few waders have been dropping in, but nothing to get too excited about.
A black Tern spent the day at Burrowes on the 3rd
A gorgeous summer plumage Bar-tailed Godwit with good numbers of Redshanks have on the flood
At least 2 Lapwing chicks on Hayfield 3


Thursday, 1 June 2023


A very poor image of my first ever June Great Northern Diver today
An early start saw an entertaining sea watch.
05.45-09.45 joined by SO & RW
Teal: 4E
Shoveler: 11E
Tufted Duck: 2E
Common Scoter: 328E    2W
Great-crested Grebe: 4 present
Oystercatcher: 4E
Grey Plover: 6E
Sanderling: 82E
Dunlin: 2E
Kittiwake: 258E  31W  
Mediterranean Gull: 9E  
Sandwich Tern: 40E    
Common Tern: 248E
Arctic Tern: 42E
Guillemot: 15E    8W
Great Northern Diver: 1E
Fulmar: 3E
Manx Shearwater: 1W
Gannet: 94E    22W
Swallow: 8 in
Grey Seal: 4
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
As the NE wind continued to blow across the peninsula today it was difficult to get myself motivated. A couple of visits to Dennis's Hide saw a handful of Sanderling, Dunlin and Ringed Plover with Greenshank calling unseen, not s single Tern over Burrowes or the ARC. A few more Sanderling were on the ARC islands, also plenty of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins hawking there. There were 23 Redshank and 4 Greenshank on the hay fields per RW.

Tuesday, 30 May 2023


A late Black-throated Diver
In general the persistent strong cold North East wind has ruined what is usually a good time of year for migrants, as for the breeding passerines I fear for their success due to the complete lack of insects to feed there young. Even the sea watching has been quite poor with just the odd highlights like the 5 Black terns that struggled East this morning.
An unusually early Clouded Yellow along the track to Hanson a couple of days ago
Crowfoot in the smaller ponds
The plus side to the winds is the speed at which the islands are appearing at the ARC, another couple of weeks and there should be plenty for the birds, alas I saw not a single Tern at the ARC or Burrowes today, there was however 100s of Swifts with smaller numbers of Swallow and House Martins hawking over the lakes with 3+ Hobbys in attendance.
Some of the Black-tailed Godwits that have been frequenting the hay fields
Common Buzzard over the garden


Saturday, 27 May 2023


Meadow Pipit on the perimeter wall early morning
A reasonably good sea watch considering the continuing force 5 North Easterly blast across the peninsula.
06.30-09.00 with OL & RW
Shelduck: 9E   single flock
Shoveler:13E.  2+2+9
Common Scoter: 17E      
Great-crested Grebe: 3 present
Oystercatcher: 1E
Knot: 8E
Sanderling: 9E
Curlew: 9E  2+2+5
Kittiwake: 54E      
Mediterranean Gull: 16E
Sandwich Tern: 24E    
Common Tern: 92E
Guillemot: 3E 
Fulmar: 3E
Gannet: 65E  
Cormorant: 14E  
Grey Seal: 2
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Unsurprisingly with the wind blasting across the it, the ARC was quiet, on the plus side the wind and bright skies are evaporating the lake quite rapidly, already several islands are showing.
The other morning a Grass Snake was stalking Marsh frogs in the pools by the track to Hanson Hide

The Southern Marsh Orchids are starting to appear in the field by the track to Hanson
Lovely male Whinchat at Dengemarsh this afternoon with a female and 4 Yellow Wagtails
Female Whinchat
Displaying Yellow Wagtail
Avocets, Greenshank, 4 Grey Plovers, Redshanks and Lapwings on the flood today
Oystercatcher with young on the new islands at Makepiece a couple of days ago, although the young couldn't,t be seen today we think (hope) they have been moved into cover across the channel.
A Red Kite that flew over my house a couple of days ago

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

 Unsurprisingly in the very strong North Easterly this mornings sea watch was disappointing.
07.00-08.15 with RW
Common Scoter: 11E    14W  
Great-crested Grebe: 2 present
Oystercatcher: 1E
Kittiwake: 6E      
Mediterranean Gull: 2 around
Sandwich Tern: 2E    
Common Tern: 24E
Auk sp: 2E  
Fulmar: 1W
Manx Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 14E    18W
Swallow: 4 in
Swift: 1 in
Grey Seal: 2
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Four-spotted Chaser
After the sea watch I went to the ARC, the wind was howling across the track to Hanson but I still managed to hear the Bearded Tits. In the hide the cold wind again howled through the open flaps, the islands that are gradually being exposed held some resting Tufted Ducks and dabblers but no waders yet. The Willow Trail was less exposed allowing 100s of Damselflys to rest on the reeds and boardwalk, also several Four-spotted Chasers. Getting back to the car I received a message from DW that 2 Red Kites were over The Point heading in the general direction of Dengemarsh. I drove down the track to Dennis's Hide which gives a good all round view and quickly spotted the Kites over the Open Pits, they were circling quite high but moving towards me, one of the birds started to lose height over Burrowes and wasn't much more than roof top height as it passed over the VC and Dennis's hide, both birds then melted away to the North West.
Red Kite over Dennis Hide this morning

Greenshank on the flood behind Christmas dell this afternoon
2 Avocet dropped into the flood behind Dengemarsh Hide late afternoon
Common Sandpiper on the small island to the left of Firth. 
Burrowes held 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Turnstones, 7 Ringed Plovers and 3 Grey Plovers late afternoon.

Monday, 22 May 2023


This mornings sea watch was unexpectedly rewarding with a small passage of Terns including a White-winged Black Tern, the watch was only terminated by a message that Dave Bunney had a Bee-eater flying around his house unseen, I managed to get there in time to hear it calling a couple of times but no sight. Again this afternoon the sea watch was interesting with a few more Terns including 16 Little Terns which have been in very short supply at Dungeness this year. 
 07.45-09.10 with OL & 14.30-16.00 with RW
Brent Goose: 2E
Common Scoter: 57E      15W
Great-crested Grebe: 9W    3 present
Oystercatcher 2E
Kittiwake: 28W      114E
Black-headed Gull: Present
Mediterranean Gull: 4 present
Common Gull: present
Sandwich Tern: 40E     4W
Little Tern: 16E
Common Tern: 63E
Arctic Tern: 22E
Commic Tern: 242E
White-winged Black Tern: 1E
Guillemot: 2E
Auk sp: 10E     4W
Fulmar: 2W
Gannet: 103E    60W 
Cormorant: present
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 8+
Brown Argus at the ARC today
Bird wise the ARC was very quiet although JY saw Spotted Flycatcher in the carpark. The reserve was apparently equally quiet with a flock of 5 Greenshanks per JY the highlight.

First Idea ferugalis of the year in the new 40w attinic
Poplar Hawk Moth on the fence beside the trap

Sunday, 21 May 2023


38 Black-tailed Godwits on the flood behind Dengemarsh Hide, a good count for Dungeness
Black-tailed Godwits dropping in Saturday evening,  also 3 Avocet and a Whimbrel unsurprisingly they were all gone Sunday morning.

As the strong cool northerlies continue birding around the peninsula is not productive, the Purple Heron showed a couple of times yesterday but I din't believe it has been seen today, Bitterns are still booming, Bearded Tits, Cetti's Sedge and Reed Warblers can all be seen and heard with patience, Lesser Whitethroats seem to out number Common Whitethroats, top to 6 Hobbys have seen, quite low numbers for here. A single drake Garganey has been frequenting the hay fields but very elusive, also a Cattle Egret has returned. On Burrowes 3 Common Sandpipers and the odd Turnstone. The ARC has been disappointing but it looks as though this dry windy weather will reveal islands in the next couple of weeks, highlight there for me were a pair of Bearded Tits by Hanson Hide.
Several Swifts have been hawking over the reserve the last few days
Nice to see the Herring Gulls have their own security cameras­čść