Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Had a glorious day at Elmley. Along the entrance track Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Yellow Wagtails, Lapwings and Redshanks seemed positively abundant and the air was buzzing with bird song and calls. Round the Kingshill Farm bushes were 2 Hummingbird Hawk Moths, numerous Common Darters had emerged, many Meadow Browns, Large Skippers , Red Admirals and Large Whites . From the toilet block view point the Barn Owls could be seen in there box. Apparently there are 4 Owlets. Along the mile and quarter walk to the hides the sedges held plenty of Reed and Sedge Warblers, while the ponds held Great crested and Little Grebes, with more Skylarks Pipits and Wagtails and waders in the fields and Marsh Harriers over them. At Wellmarsh Hide Lots of Black-tailed Godwits and Avocets with plenty of young. As i came out of the hide 6 Spoonbills circled high overhead and disappeared over the Swale. At Counterwall Hide more Godwits and Avocets, also a Turnstone and Common Sandpiper and 10 super summer plumaged Spotted Redshanks. At one of the other hides 3 Spoonbills flew in and landed distantly(not sure if this was an extra 3 or some of the 6 seen earlier). The Avocets semm to have had a bumper breeding season on Elmley this year.
I spent an hour or so looking for the Dainty Damselflys under the bridge but was unsucessful along with few other people.    

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A pleasant day at Dunge

From Hanson Hide this morning several Reed Warblers feeding young. Numbers of Lapwing and Pochard still seem to be increasing also 9 Little Egrets, a Cuckoo and a Whimbrel of note. With flying Ants on the wing large numbers of Gulls including at least 18 Med Gulls, Starlings and 3 Hobbys were having a feeding frenzy over the Tower Pools. At the southern end of the pit the Goosander still present despite the best efforts of the army appearing to try to land a Chinook there.

At the power station the only things of note were a Hummingbird Hawk Moth on the perimeter wall and another by the concrete road.

Common Blue Damselfly
On the reserve the Great White Egret still on Dengemarsh also many emerging Damselflys but little else in the thundery conditions this afternoon.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Hot morning lazy cool afternoon.

At the ARC Pit this morning there was very little change. A single Green Sandpiper from the Screen Hide and 2 LRPs, a Cuckoo and a Curlew, the 1st Summer Little Gull and Goosander at the South end with many Pochard and another 2 LRPs.

Leucistis Grey Heron

A walk from the ARC car park to Dengemarsh saw the usual Tree Sparrows at Boulderwall Farm also my first Painted Lady of the year and 2 Hobbys there. At Hookers a Bittern flew towards Christmas Dell at the same time as a the above leucistic Grey Heron. Several family parties of Bearded Tits were there and the Great White Egret was on Dengemarsh and 2 Yellow Wagtails flew over. 

At the fishing boats the Glacous Gull still present also several Juvenile Wheatears around the boats. At Jurys Gap this afternoon nothing of note but the sea was lovely after the first cold shock! Retirement you cant beat it!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

At the ARC Pit today from the screen hide 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper, from  Hanson Hide 4 LRPs, 4 Dunlin, 1 juv Ringed Plover, 6+ Little Egrets and 2 Marsh Harriers.. Many Swifts, Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows over the pit also 10+ Hobbys over the bank by the railway line 2 more LRPs at the south end along with the Goosander and 1st Summer Little Gull. 

Friday, 24 June 2011

My First Day of Retirement

2nd Summer Med Gull with young?

 At the ARC Pit this morning the highlights were 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 9+ Little Egrets, 1 Dunlin, 2 Cuckoo's, 3 Hobbys 2+ LRPs and 6 Sand Martins through. The water level at Carters Flood, Pett is high at the moment, consequently the only waders there today was 2 Avocet. A Hobby was hunting from a Hawthorn to the left of the hide until the regular Little Owl saw it off. Pett Pools hels 33 Black-tailed Godwits and an Avocet. At Rye Harbour the Gull and Tern Colonies are full of young.  On The Ternery Pool young Med Gulls were all round so appear to have had a good season.  The pair of Common Gulls appear to have been flooded out. A Turtle Dove was purring on the reserve and Skylarks appeared to be numerous.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Little and Large

The Ahhh factor!

The Squacco Heron was still showing well from the ramp but just that little tbit to distant for really good pics. While watching the Squacco the Great White Egret flew over then landed on Denge Marsh near a Little Egret showing the huge size difference. Also from the ramp the Bittern gave a fly by and was booming, a family party of Bearded Tits were pinging and flitting in the reeds along with Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers, 3 plus Hobbys entertained with their aerobatics and a couple of Marsh Harriers cruised the reed beds.The Trre Sparrows have occupied the triangular box at Boulderwall Farm and Bee's appear to have ousted the Kestrels from there usual site there.  On the ARC Pit the Goosander was roosting on the islands from the Screen Hide also the 2 Green Sandpipers still there. A count of Pochard on the pit was 346. At Cockles Bridge a Corn Bunting was singing and 2 Yellow Wagtails were in the horse paddock. 

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Wild day at Dunge

A wild wet morning on the viewing ramp at Hookers produced superb prolonged views of  the Squacco Heron, which eventually flew to Denge Marsh but still showing all be it more distantly. Also from the ramp the bittern was booming occasionally and the Beardies were pinging. The Great White Egret was on show distantly on Denge Marsh with a couple of Hobbys, 3 Marsh Harriers and 6 Common Terns. On the ARC Pit an exceptionally early or late Goosander and 2 Green Sandpipers from the screen hide.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Squacco in the rain

In an hour at Dunge RSPB in the rain this evening the Squacco Heron was showing at on Hookers Pit and the Great White Egret was on Denge Marsh. On the way back to the car a very bedraggled Hobby was huddled up on a fence post and hundreds of Swifts were over the pits. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Squacco Heron

I should have been in Wales today but due to unforseen cicumstances i found my self in Worthing.  So i was unable to get to Dungeness untill late afternoon. Fortunately the Squacco Heron behaved it self and showed well on Denge Marsh all be it fairly distant for photographic purposes. Also showing there was the Great White Egret, 2 Hobbys and the Bittern was booming regularily.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

White-throated Robin

A superb trip to Hartlepool Headland Friday 10th June started at Reigate, where i met Richard F at 08.45 at 12.55 we were on site, with news being the WTR had not been seen for a couple of hours, at 15.00 it was looking as though a repeat of Thursday was on the cards, (showing in the morning then disappearing for the rest of the day). RF and I were looking in shrubbery opposite the doctors garden, when a lad ran by saying it was on the bowling green, a few seconds later we were there watching it showing brilliantly for an hour in which time i took 850 shots most still to be looked at. Thankfully RF had a mate who lives near by who would put us up for the night. He kindly showed us the delights of South Gare birding all be it not at its best before a much needed nights sleep.
Saturday morning we went back to the Headland to be met by a lot of disappointed birders the curse of the Friday night flit had struck again. From the Headland we had 2 reasonably close Manx Shearwaters and a couple of Puffins along with Guillemots, Eider, Little Terns, Gannets and Fulmars. We then headed to the Moors via Saltholme Pools where 3 Spoonbills were asleep as usual. On the Moors we saw 3 families of Red Grouse, 3 Cuckoo's and Curlews. We then taken to a site where Pied Plycatchers nest in boxes provided but they had already fledged and left the site, Where do they go before turning up on the coast in August? at the same site we saw a Woodcock, Redstarts, several Spotted Flycatchers and Willow Warblers. Before heading home we went to Scaling where a pair of Little Ringed Plovers had 4 very recently hatched featherballs on legs.  

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Unfortunately not in focus

Returning bird?
An hour sat in the screen hide with Mark this morning was rewared with my first Green Sandpiper, 1+ Hobby, 1+ Yellow Wagtail, 4 Little Egrets, large numbers of Swifts and Martins over the pit and Mark suddenly calling Spoonbill which appeared low from the East and disappeared over Boulderwall Farm, shame i never quite got true focus on it. 

Monday, 6 June 2011


A bedraggled Hobby sat at back of the screen hide this morning also a Cuckoo. 100+ Swifts hawking low over the ARC Pit with similar numbers or Swallows and House Martins, 90+ Lapwing arrived while i was there and duck numbers have increased eg 200+ Pochard. Waders were about the same 2 Dunlin, 4 LRP, 4 Ringed Plover, 4 Redshank.
At Scotney 6 Yellow Wagtails and hundreds more Swifts, Swallows and Martins.   

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Damp and Dreary

Common Spotted Orchid?
A very damp day with most birds keeeping there heads down. On the ARC Pit 1 Greenshank, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Little Egrets, 60+ Lapwing, 4 Redshank, 2 Common Terns and the usual wildfowl. In the Willow Trail  Reed Warblers and Cetti's Warblers singing and a small patch of what i think is Common Spotted Orchids. On the reserve the Great White Egret still present, 2 Peregrines sheltering under the Ravens old nest, 2 Hobbys hunting low over Burrowes Pit with 100+ Swifts and House Martins and a lone Mediterranean Gull huddled down with 40+ Black Headed Gulls.  

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Rye Harbour and Dungeness

A pleasant morning spent at Rye Harbour. Turtle Dove, 2 Cuckoo's and 2 Lesser Whitethroats singing by the Long Pit. Many Common and Sandwich Terns and Meditteranean Gulls but i could only find 12 Little Terns. The ARC Pit was very quiet so i spent a couple of hours on Springfield Bridge watching the 5+ Hobbys and 4 Marsh Harriers.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Denge Wood

Spent the day in Denge Wood looking for late Duke of Burgundy butterflies but  could find none. However the wood was full of singing warblers,Tits, Thrushes and Crests including several  Firecrests also Common Buzzards mewing overhead.  

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Stubby Tail Still Here

A look at The Patch this morning was much the same as yesterday and the Black Redstart was still singing on the power station. A walk out to the fishing boats Northern Wheatears, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were all collecting food for their young. I was surprised to find the Glaucous Gull on the beach as i have not seen it for a while. 

In the layby opposite Hamstreet Garden Centre 30+ House Martins were busy collecting mud.