Sunday, 31 October 2010

Another missed Pallas's at Dunge

 Spent the best part of the morning at the Willow Trail the drizzle in the  trying to photograph a very grey looking Chiffchaff but failed miserably as it always stayed deep in the bushes. A Firecrest was fairly obliging as were the numerous Goldcrests though the dark overcast conditions didn't lend it self to photography. 60+ Redpolls and 15 Siskins flew over. On the pit the Goldeneye had increased to 5 and another Ruddy Duck has appeared(No doubt soon to be shot by DEFRA). A Pallas's Warbler in the trapping area completetely eluded me along with most other birders (Thats 3 i've missed now) But there was at least 3 more Firecrests there and another 50+  Redpolls over also 6 Redwing and 2 Black Redstarts by the railway Station.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Bits and Pieces

Visited most the usual sites at Dungeness today starting at the ARC Pit where the best of the ducks was 3 Goldeneyeand not alot else. On to the board walk where there was 1 Arctic Tern, 40+ Kittiwake and 50+ Great Crested  Grebes on the sea.
Round the trapping area there was 2 Firecrests and a few Siskins over. Back to the ARC there was a Chiffchaff on the Willow Trail and 4+ Cetti's calling. At the back of the pit behind the water tower there was 1 Swallow, 4+ Marsh Harriers,1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Merlin.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

A busy morning at The Point

No sign of the Penduline Tit this very cold  morning  but plenty of overhead migration. Consisting of mainly Finches and Thrushes and Pipits. My totals in 3.5 hrs around the point. 200+ Goldfinches, 400+ Chaffinches, 32 Greenfinches, 28 Brambling, 92 Siskin, 35 Redpoll, 2 Tree Sparrows, 200+ Meadow Pipits, 150+ Wood Pigeons, 48 Stock Doves, 22 Skylark, 1 Woodlark, 26 Golden Plover, 56 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing, 56 Jackdaws, 8 Swallows, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Marsh Harriers, 3+ Kestrels and 1 Common Buzzard also every bush seemed to have at least 1 Blackbird and Robin in it. A good morning but missed the 2 Waxwings.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Penduline Frustration

When i arrived at the ARC Pit the rain was lashing down and looked set to continue for the day. Made my way to Hansen Hide and found Ray Turley there on his own and for the next 1.5 hrs thats how it stayed. There was at least 4 marsh Harriers around and several Water Rails squealing in the Phragmites. A Kingfisher put in a brief appearance as did a Peregrine streaking across the pit. Waders were represented by 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Dunlin 1 Snipe and 50+ Lapwing. All the usual duck were present along with the first 2 Goldeneye. Of interest 14 Long-tailed Tits came from high in the sky across the pit into the bushes by the hide.  When the sun came out i decided to do the bushes at the point which were very poor 1 Goldcrest, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and a few Blue and Great Tits.On my way back to the car i got a message about the Penduline Tit which was showing very well infront of Hansen Hide apparently from about ten minutes after i left! By the time i got back it had disappeared back into the Phragmites but Ray kindly showed me the video of it on a Bullrush 20 feet from the hide(Swine). After another hour of watching it showed its self breifly deep in the reeds and  a Bittern gave an equally brief appearance. I'll try again tomorrow with a tape!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

No wind no birds

A very calm Dungeness this morning filled me with optimism. A quick look in the lighthouse garden produced 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest along with the resident birds. Then half hour looking at the sea came up with 2 distant Little Gulls, 6 Shelduck, 20 Common Scoter, 32 Brent Geese, 8 Kittiwake,  9 Turnstone, 1 Med Gull, 1 Red-throated Diver, 3 Sandwich Terns, a few distant Auks along with lots of Gannets loitering off shore.
Back on the land i spent 3 hours walking in the trapping area for scant reward just 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest, 1 Ring Ouzel, 8 Long-tailed Tits and a Great spotted Woodpecker, 8 Siskins, 26 House Martins and 100+ Swallows. The local Robins and Dunnocks were doing there best to become Bluetails alas it was not to be.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

North winds at the point

Migrant Hawker ?
With strong north winds the birds were thin on the ground and most of those seen were over head calling. Best of the bunch were 2 Bearded Tits briefly in the trapping area (The only place with slightly less wind) and 2 over flying Ravens.
There were 3 Ring Ouzels in the scrub and 2 Brambling,18 Siskin, 9 Redpoll,1 G.S.Woodpecker,100+ Swallows,21 Stock Doves, 100+ Wood Pigeon,3 Sparrowhawk,28 Goldfinch, and 3 Skylark. Inthe bushes were 20+ Robins, 7 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests,1 Reed Warbler and 4 Green Woodpeckers. On the beach were 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and a House Martin Over.
Nearby at the ARC Pit  of note were 2 Avocet, 2 Marsh Harriers and 4 Cetti's Warbler heard with a few dragonflies in the more sheltered spots.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Rosy at Newhaven

A short visit to Newhaven gave me distant views of the Rose-coloured Starling (only because i was being polite to other birders) and brief views of a Ring Ouzel and 3+ Wheatears on the cliffs. It  was worth the visit just to catch up with some old friends twitching the Starling.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Finches galore over The Point

When i arrived at The Point this morning the Gin clear sky was full of birds mainly moving east, most notably the tinkling of Goldfinches(The early risers had in excess of 3000) with Meadow Pipit numbers not far behind good numbers of Chaffinches and Greenfinches with 10s of Reed Buntings and at least 2 Brambling, 2 Redpoll , 12 Siskin, 4 Tree Sparrows, 48 Stock Doves, 40+ Swallows, 18 Blue Tits, 15 Skylarks along with 2+ Sparrowhawks and the local Kestrels in close attendance.
An Arctic Skua came right overhead chasing a Sandwich Tern and won its fish prize.
In and around the bushes were 25+ Goldcrests and the same amount of Chiffchaffs, 20+ Continental Song Thrushes, 1 Mistle Thrush,  1 Ring Ouzel, 2 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat,
1 Stonechat and smaller numbers of Pied Wagtails than of late.
Nearby the Black-throated Diver still on the New Diggings.
At Scotney the 3 Buff-breasted Sandpipers showing well all beit distantly, 1000+ Golden Plover, 500+ Lapwing, 2 Ruff, 2 Little Stints, 1 Egyptian Goose, Wigeon numbers appear to be building up and 2 Marsh Harriers by the wind turbines. 

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Dungeness Point

 At The Patch 4 Little Gulls, 1 Black Tern, 1 Med Gull, 10+ Commic Terns and 5 Sandwich Terns. Also past in the fog 126 Brent Geese with many Goldfinches and Meadow pipits and Chaffinches coasting eastwards. 1 Mistle Thrush and 1 Sparrowhawk in off the sea.
On the land many Chiffchaffs and 5 + Goldcrests, 3 Stonechats with 100s of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails. Also 1 Brambling and 1 Siskin , 25 Skylark, 27 Swallows over. 20+ Continental Song Thrushes around the point.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Egytian Geese at Pett

Stopped at Pett Pools on my way home and came across these 4 Gypo Geese. Also seen were a single Marsh Harrier and Little Egret along with several Little Grebes and the usual duck.
Next stop Scotney where all 3 Buff- Breasted Sandpipers were present on the Kent side albeit distantly. Still 1000+ Golden Plover present with 2 Ruff.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Late afternoon early evening at Scotney again!!!

The 2 Buff-breasted Sandpipers still on the Kent side but i couldn't find the the third. With them were 1000+ Golden Plover still and a Little Stint also a steady westward movement of Swallows. 2 Marsh Harriers round the turbines and in the nearby fields a covey of 7 Grey Partridge and 6 Red-legged Partridge.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Water Rail

A sad end for this Water Rail i found under power lines in a meadow at Send  Marsh near Guildford.
A dusk visit to Pett Pools revealed 1 Common Sandpiper, 28 Wigeon, 16 Little Grebe, 22 Gadwall, 11 Shovellor and a female Ruddy Duck another missed by DEFRA. A male Marsh Harrier was sitting on post out in the fields with 17 Curlew nearby.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Arlington and The ARC Pit

An hour spent at Arlington this afternoon looking at the Buff-breasted Sandpiper and chatting.
The scruffy juv Avocet was still present looking like someone has tried to strangle it along with 4 Dunlin and 2 Ringed  Plovers.
Managed an hour this evening in the hide at the ARC Pit. This produced 4 Black Terns swooping and diving and devouring the myriad of newly hatched bugs that covered the surface. 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 golden Plover, 4 Pintail and plenty of Teal, Shoveller, Gadwall, Mallard, Wigeon,Pochard and Tufted Duck. 2 Marsh Harriers appeared to go to roost on one of the vegetated islands and 3 Chiffchaffs in bushes by the hide but best of all was a drake Ruddy Duck that DEFRA must have missed.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Windy Dungeness

Yellow-legged Gull
Seawatching at the point 08.30-09.30, 8 Arctic Skuas W, 2E, 3 Bonxies W, 1 Long-tailed Skua W with another probable, a constant stream of Gannets, Sandwich and Commic Terns, also a Merlin in off the sea and many Swallows and Sand Martins still moving.
On the land a Yellow-legged Gull was in the gull roost but migrants were virtually non existant with the exception of 100s of Meadow Pipits and Gold  Finches with 6 Skylarks over and 7 Chiffchaffs in the bushes.
A walk around the reserve saw a Great White Egret, 1 Ring Ouzel,3 Chiffchaffs but not the Barred Warbler. By the approach road on the way out was a Short Eared Owl sheltering from the wind and rain.

Short-eared Owl

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Dungenesss and Scotney

Barred Warbler
My first stop was the ARC Pit where i found 38,Golden Plover, 1 Little Stint, 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Black Terns, 4 Chiffchaffs and the usual ducks and geese and gulls. Opposite the ARC on the New Diggings a fine juvenile Black Throated Diver showed well. On to the point to be told that a Long-tailed Skua was lingering offshore. A few minutes later i was watching it albeit distantly along with an Arctic Skua to give great comparisons. Also there were 2 more Arctic Skuas past, 22 Common Scoter,1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Guillemot, a few Gannets and several Common and Sandwich Terns.
On the land at the point 100+ Pied Wagtails including one with a large growth on its foot preventing it from walking, 100+ Meadow Pipits,3 Ring Ouzels, 15 Chiffchaffs, 4 Black Redstarts,
2 Wheatears, and 12+ Siskins over, also good numbers of Swallows with few House and Sand Martins.
Back to Scotney where the 2 Buff Breasted Sandpipers were showing well along with 14 Ruff,1000+ Golden Plover and no sign of the albino Lapwing. Whilst there i was told of a Barred Warbler at Dungeness RSPB reserve which showed quite well for me. While watching it another Ring Ouzel popped up and at least 4 Cetti's Warblers were singing and then the rain came to curtail further excitements.

Juv.Black Throated Diver


Swallows,Sand Martins and a House Martin

Buuff-Breasted Sandpiper on Sussex side
Barred Warbler