Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Dull Day at Dunge!

1w Glaucous Gull
A very damp morning at Dungeness but I still wandered down to The Patch where the long staying 1w Glaucous Gull was feeding inside the power station, it often disappears behind the portacabins for long periods. The Gull roost was disappointing considering that it was low tide, as I was expecting there to many Gulls there but there was only a couple of hundred present. Apart from large numbers of Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants off shore very little could be seen off shore though the visibility was very poor.
1w Glaucous Gull at the power station
Brent Geese
Mid morning at the fishing boats a party of 35 Brent Geese flew up channel close in shore and a Norwegian ringed Great black-backed Gull was there.
Norwegian Great Black-backed Gull JC782
Great White Egret in the constant drizzle
Late morning at a very quiet reserve saw the usual Tree Sparrows at Boulderwall, a Great White Egret in the fields along with c500 Golden Plovers. With work being done on Burrowes there was very little to be seen there.
Another visit to the reserve after lunch saw the the new Glaucous Gull put in a brief appearance on one the islands on Burrowes before it flew off towards the beach. 
 1w Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats
This afternoon at the fishing boats the new Glaucous Gull put in appearance that was short lived due to a dog walker. Offshore the usual hordes of Cormorants, another 8 Brent Geese flew up channel, small numbers of Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbills and Kittiwakes feeding along with a couple of Mediterranean Gulls and a Red-throated Diver.
  1w Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats
  1w Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats
Some of the c400 Cormorants at the fishing boats

Sunday, 18 February 2018

 Ross's Gull, Vlissingen.
On Friday I joined DW & GH on trip to Vlissingen to see the Ross's Gull. It was a successful trip in the fact we saw the Gull on number of occasions through the day, unfortunately the bird refused to perform for the camera.
 Mistle Thrush by the new lighthouse yesterday
A sunny weekend at Dungeness brought out all the tourists and fishermen wandering along the beach flushing the Gulls, causing me to sulk and wish for bad weather. Yesterdays highlight was a newly arrived Mistle Thrush around the new lighthouse, the Glaucous Gull was feeding in the power station as it was this morning. As I was out on Walland this afternoon I missed seeing the 2 Glaucous Gulls that came to Mick & Richards offerings, though I'm not to disappointed as it seems the second bird was the same bird I bumped into at Ramsgate Harbour.
On Walland plenty of Tree Sparrows to be seen as well as Fieldfare and Redwing, while waiting for the Harriers to come to roost 2 Barn Owls were seen along with Peregrine, Merlin, Sparrowhawk and 2 Common Buzzards. A least 16 Marsh Harriers flew over the reed bed I was watching but none roosted.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

4 yrs ago today!

Very quiet at Dungeness again today with no sign of any migration. 4 yrs ago today the Penduline Tit below was posing in front of Hanson Hide.
 Penduline Tit from Hanson 15th February 2014 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A day at The Patch!

With the continuing gales the only real option was to spend most of the day in 2 visits either side of high tide at The Patch.
There were plenty of Gulls to look and a few colour rings to note.
Offshore a few each of the usual suspects.
 3w Caspian Gull 
 1w Glaucous Gull
JK586 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 Ad Yellow-legged Gull
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
Not sure about this one hunkering down in the teeth of a force 8 gale, first thoughts were adult Caspian Gull but doesn't seem quite right.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

07.30-09.00 from the fishing boats with MH & CP:

Brent Goose: 6 up
Shelduck: 1 down
Common Scoter: 3 down.  2 up
Red-throated diver: 5 down.  4 up
Fulmar: 8 down
Gannet: 576 down
Cormorant: c1,500 down
Oystercatcher: 2 up
Turnstone: 1 down
Black-headed Gull: c2,500 down
Mediterranean Gull: 1 down
Common Gull: c100 down
Kittiwake: 1,341 down
Guillemot: 580 down
Razorbill: 305 down
Auk sp c500 down

At a very windswept Scotney no sign of any grey geese, the usual feral Barnacles were feeding on the sward but nothing else of note.
By the time I reached the reserve the rain had started, 500+ Golden Plover among 14 Curlew the Lapwing on Boulderwall Fields, also Great White and Little Egret there. A drake Smew could be seen from the visitor centre and a couple of Goldeneye, by lunchtime the weather had deteriorated so much I gave up for the day. 

Monday, 12 February 2018


1w Glaucous Gull
As I had an appointment in NE Kent this morning, I took the opportunity after to make my first ever visit to Ramsgate Harbour to try and see the long staying 1w Iceland Gull and the 2 Snow Buntings. When I arrived I didn't have a clue as to where I was going so I took pot luck and wandered out along what I now know is the East Pier. About halfway along I spotted a white winger sitting on a pontoon a long way off on the other side of the harbour. Being lazy I wasn't carrying my scope so assumed at first it was the Iceland Gull, though it did seem very chunky, as I got a little nearer I realised it was 1w Glaucous Gull. As I reached the end of the pier it took off and flew past me out to sea. I was going to walk round to the West Pier but when I got back to the car it was surrounded by smartly dressed veterans bearing flags, colours and some with Bugles who were about to have a parade if some idiot wasn't blocking there progress with his car, I quickly got in my car and left somewhat embarrassed.
 1w Glaucous Gull
 1w Glaucous Gull

 As it was bright sunny day I decided to come home via Godmersham Church to try and finally see some of this winters invasion of Hawfinches. On arrival there was quite a crowd gathered there and a female Hawfinch could just about be seen deep in the thick cover of a Yew tree. Quite quickly most observers drifted away and the birds became a little more cooperative, though mostly in deep shade.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Horned Lark!

A bright fresh start to the morning persuaded me to walk along the seaward side of Lydd Ranges from Galloways to The Wicks and back. A 2 hour trudge along the beach and through the salt marsh saw just a few Gulls along the shore, while around the salt marsh 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Curlews, 2 Ringed Plovers and 5 Redshanks, not single Bunting, Finch, Lark or Pipit was seen. Needless to say I wont be repeating that walk in a hurry. 
Late morning I was in the reserve car park after looking at Burrowes from Dennis's Hide, I was contemplating visiting The Patch when GH called with an offer of a lift to Staines to see the Horned Lark, after the poor morning I'd had I wasn't going refuse. AS we travelled along the motorways the weather deteriorated, by the time we arrived it was quite unpleasant. Mounting the causeway we could see 4 birders in the distance who appeared not to be looking at anything. Eventually we found the Lark which after a while flew to the north basin and showed quite well.


Friday, 9 February 2018

Garden First!

 First Long-tailed Tit after 6yrs
Due to the miserable weather this morning, I spent longer than usual drinking coffee and staring out into the garden, where I saw a long overdue first for my garden, Long-tailed Tits, 3 of them coming to a fat feeder.
I joined Mark and Chris at the fishing boats around 08.30
Thanks to Mark for collating the totals.
Common Scoter: 23 down
Red-throated Diver: 12 up
Great-crested Grebe: 10 on sea
Fulmar: 52 down
Gannet: c40 off shore feeding
Great Skua: 1 down
Caspian Gull: 1 adult down
Kittiwake: 75 down
Razorbill: 15 around
Guillemot: 100+ around
 Glaucous Gull at The Patch
At The Patch the Glaucous Gull was showing well among the usual Gulls, a few colour ringed gulls were read including 1w Great Black Backed Gull JZJ93 which has been around Dungeness for a few months now. 
Norwegian ringed JZJ93  
A visit to Lade Pits saw both the Long-tailed Ducks on Lade South though both kept to the far side of the lake.
Late afternoon on the reserve the Glaucous Gull came into roost as usual, though little else of note was seen on the lake. In the Boulderwall Fields c500 Golden Plover and 2 Great White Egrets were notable. Considering the weather conditions the birding wasn't that bad.