Monday, 29 November 2010


A short stop in freezing Broadstairs allowed superb views of 50+ of these beauties today.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snowy Dungeness

The Visitor Centre Today
  A freezing start at Walland Marsh started with a Common Buzzard sat out in the middle of a field. Lots of Thrushes in the Hawthorns including one flock of  1000+ Fieldfare

Snipe at side of road

. With all the ditches frozen there were several Snipe feeding on the verges. At the feeders the Tree Sparrows were still gorging on Sunlower Hearts along with a Goldfinches and Chaffinches. 3+ Marsh Harriers were quartering various fields but still no Geese or Swans.
At the ARC Pit a single red head Smew and 4 more Marsh Harriers, 3 Chiffchaffs in the Willow Trail.
On the reserve from Firth hide there were at least 5 more Marsh Harriers  and 2 Ruddy Duck with good numbers of Pintail, Gadwall, Shovellor and Wigeon. On the way to Denge Marsh hide the sky seemed to be full of Marsh Harriers a count of 10 in the air together in 360
degree scan.
Not suprisingly i had the hide
to my self.
 A little Grebe gave brilliant
close views
as did another Ruddy Duck
and one of the 2 Black-necked Grebes.


Saturday, 27 November 2010

A Wintry Day

 A look around Walland Marsh in a snow storm making viewing very difficult with visability down to less than 50 yds at times. At the feeders north of the drying barn 6 Tree Sparrows amongst the House Sparrows and chaffinches.
At the barn a small flock of Yellowhammers, Chaffinches and Goldfinches feeding on the spilt grain.
No sign of any Swans or Geese but visability was poor.
At Scotney no sign of the Red Necked Grebe,  but 2 Stonechats on the perimeter fence and the Barnacle Geese seemingly enjoying the snow also at least 4 Marsh Harriers around the pit.
At Denge Marsh 2 Black-necked Grebes,  
3 Ruddy Duck, a flyover Bittern and another 3 Marsh Harriers. On the way back home over Walland Marsh 4 more different Marsh Harriers and several flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare being chased by the local  Mistle Thrushes.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Stubby Tail, Grumpy Goosander and an Aquatic Avocet

An Aquatic Avocet
 Caught up with the 1st Winter Glaucous Gull with its distinctive stubby tail again this morning but the light was still poor and the wind raw and very little else of interest on the beach. At the S.E. end of the ARC Pit  there was a very grumpy red head Goosander  (Probably a female) beating up the roosting Lapwings also there 3 fine adult Drake Goldeneye and 6 female/1W type. Nearby at Scotney an Avocet swimming in the middle of the pit for at least the 45mins i was there. There was at least 62 Barnacle Geese  there with 9 Snow Geese(Feral) 600+ Golden Plover ,2 Ruff and 3 Dunlin. On Walland Marsh there was 6 Bewick Swans with a large group of Mute Swans plus several flocks of 50+ Fieldfares.

Stubby Tail

A Grumpy Goosander

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Glaucous Gull and Yellow Browed Warbler brighten the day

A bitterly cold and dull start  at the point found the 1st Winter Glaucous Gull round the fishing boats that showed well for short time before flying off east. Off shore still mplenty of Great Crested Grebes and Gannets and 3 Red throated Divers. A Yellow Browed Warbler that had been seen in the trapping area was frustratingly mobile keeping to the inside of the Sallows and disappearing alltogether for long periods and with the appalling light hence the rubbish images . With the YBW were at least 5 Firecrests and a few Redpolls and Siskins over along with a brief appearance of a Merlin.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Wet at Pett

Spent most the morning at Pett trying to photograph the Grey Phalarope that spent most of the time in the middle of the pool. It wasn't until John King who had also been watching it for a couple of hours decided to go and look for the Velvet Scoters that it came close enough to photograph fortunately it was still quite close when he returned.  Also seen during the morning were 20+ Scoter off shore a Marsh Harrier hunting the reed beds and a couple of Cetti's Warblers singing.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Pesky Herring Gulls

 A still dreary morning at Dungeness. In the fields approaching the ARC  Pit the 3 Bewick Swans consorting with a few Mutes. On the pit 7 Ruddy Duck, 5 Goldeneye and all the usual duck. In the Willow Trail 2 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest with a Marsh Harrier over. From the mound brief views of a Bittern.
At the point with little or no visible migration thought i'd spend some time looking for a Caspian Gull amongst all the loafing gull flocks on the shingle. As usual failed again but this gull did stand out. Having a dark back similar to Yellow legged Gull but a fairly extensively dirty dark hood and neck. Unfortunately it was very skittish and flew off out to sea before i could get good photo's. (Probably gust a slightly darker bog standard Herring Gull)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Starlings and Chaffinches

 At the ARC Pit this morning in a biting North East wind there was obvious visible migration with dozens of small flocks of 25-200 Starlings  moving NW along with slightly smaller numbers of Chaffinches. In amongst the finches there were small numbers of Brambling, Redpoll and Siskin. The Willow Trail held 2 Chiffchaffs , 2 Redpollsand a single Goldcrest. From the hide The only extra to yesterday was a fine Drake Goldeneye.
There was a Yellow Legged Gull in the fishing boat roost and then the rain came.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Fabulous Bluetail

 First stop the Willow Trail at the ARC Pit. As i climbed the mound at the end a superb Bittern took off from just a few yards away and quickly disappeared behind the willows.(To slow with the camera). Returning to the hide  3 Redpolls dropped into the small birches but litte else. From the hide 3 Goldeneye, 3 Little Egrets and a Marsh Harrier along with the usual duck. Next stop the Fishing Boats where a Merlin steaked through and 2 Yellow -legged gulls were in the roost. A sweep of the sea revealed 92 Great Crested Grebes , 36 Gannets and a distant Auk Sp. Back to the ARC where i got a call from Geoff Gowlett asking what i knew about a Red-Flanked Bluetail at Dunge. Nothing i told him. A miute later he called back to to say it was at Denge Marsh and 5 minutes later i was watching a stunning Bluetail with Sussex so frustratingly close in the background. (Thanks Geoff) I spent most of the rest of the day wathing the Bluetail when it showed intermittently. The  Great White Egret also showed from time to time.