Friday, 30 September 2011

Hot and Sunny

A plod around The Desert, The Moat and most of the trapping area was very productive. 45 Chiffchaffs, 21 Blackcaps, 3 Common Whitethroats, 6 Northern Wheatears, 5 Stonechats, 2 Pied Flycatchers buried in the sallows, 6 parties of Siskins over also 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Crossbills, 18 Skylarks, 29 Goldfinches, 14 Pied Wagtails, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 13 Swallows, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Merlin, 1 Hobby, 1 Marsh Harrier, 4 Sparrowhawks and a trickle of Meadow Pipits over.
On the sea 4+ Arctic Skuas, 5 Common Scoter, 1 Med Gull , a few Terns and Gannets.
At the ARC highlights 96 Golden Plover, 7 Knot, 4 Dunlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Sparrowhawk, the Goosander and 9 Chiffchaffs. 

Both birds did there best to avoidthe camera

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sun bathing

Very few migrants around The Point this morning 6 Chiffchaffs, 3 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat and few Siskins over. At the fishing boats a couple of hours enjoying the weather but very few birds at sea, just 2 Arctic Skuas ambushing the few Terns that were off shore, 2 singletons of Brent Geese W, 4+ Med Gulls, 1 Black Tern, 2 Sanderling W and a few Turnstones on the beach. At the ARC a Curlew Sandpiper at the South end and from Hanson due to disturbance from much needed vegetation clearance work in front of the screen hide just a few Lapwing, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Water Rail and 2 Cetti's Warblers. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Bits and pieces and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Started with a plod from the old lighthouse, round the moat and through the southern part of the trapping area, back through the desert to the lighthouse. The highlights were 20 Crossbills in 2 parties of 3 & 17, several Siskins to high to see, 13 Chiffchaffs, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Whinchats, 2 Stonechats, 1 Northern Wheatear, 4 Sparrowhawks, 1 Peregrine and a few Mippits and Pied Wagtails.
Next stop the reserve and from Firth Hide 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover, 10 Golden Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Common Snipe, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 more Chiffchaffs. At Christmas Dell 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Common Redstart, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Hobby, 1 Common Whitethroat and the Leucistic Grey Heron. At the back of Hookers a Grey Heron apparently swimming in the pool before flying off. In the fields at the back the Great White Egret, a flock of 500+ Linnets, a Blackcap and 4 Tree Sparrows in the bushes and 2 Ravens over. Also seen and heard around the reserve 5+ Marsh Harriers, 10+Cetti's Warblers, a Kingfisher and 30+ Swallows. A text from MH telling me of a B.B.Sandpiper at the ARC from Hanson, fortunately I was close by and was in the hide watching the Sandpiper in a a matter of minutes. As with all waders from Hanson it was quite distant but good enough views to see that it had a drooping wing like last weeks bird so probably the same. Also there a single Knot and the Goosander.  

The Goosander flying through the Greylags

Record image of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Part of a 500+ flock of Linnets

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Princes Park

After visiting mum in West Sussex i called in on the very confiding Grey Phalarope at Princes Park Eastbourne on the way home this evening. Glorious sunshine all the way to Eastbourne, but the seafront was buried under a layer of sea fog which extended over Princes Park making photographing the Phalarope very difficult even with the flash gun.  

Monday, 26 September 2011

Slow day at Dunge

A very quiet day today with very little on the sea just a very few Gannets, Sandwich and Comic Terns, 1+ Little Tern, 3 Brent Geese the Yellow-legged Gull on the beach and trickle of hirundines out sea.
The ARC was just as quiet with a few Golden Plover, 3 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and Hobby chasing Sand Martins. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

All at the pines

First thing this morning i walked from the ARC car park to the pines by the railway line. The bushes were alive with Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps 54 and 26 respectively 2 Reed Warblers 1 Common Whitethroat, 6 Cetti's Warblers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 18+ Siskins in the pines, overhead l00s of House Martins streamed south with a few Swallows and Sand Martins.
At the fishing boats things went down hill with only 2 Arctic Skuas loafing off shore with a few Terns and Gannets and the odd Guillemot. On the beach an adult Yellow-legged Gull in the gull roost. In the desert and southern edge of the trapping area 2 Common Whitethroats, 2 Stonechats, 1 Whinchat, 1 Northern Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 3 Chiffchaffs.
On the ARC this afternoon The Lapwing and Golden Plover flock 5 Dunlin and the Goosander.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps

I spent most of the day round The Moat, The Desert, North end of the trapping area and the ARC bushes. Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were much in evidence with totals of 64 and 27 respectively, though i suspect that these were just a small percentage of the numbers present. Also seen 2 Common Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Cetti's Warblers, 4 Stonechats, 3 Whinchats, 7 Northern Wheatears, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Common Redstart, 3 Black Redstarts, 5 Sparrowhawks, 5 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 20+ Siskins including one trapped at the obs, a few Goldfinches and linnets moving through and steady movement of Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins south, but no sign of the Stinky Pinky. The ARC Pit was disappointing with usual flock of Lapwing and Golden Plover and 6 Ringed Plovers and 2 Marsh Harriers.

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Burgh with the East Kent Photography Club

A day full of good natured banter and the highs and lows of birding. In which the mood changed in an instant from doom and gloom to elation when the Pallid Harrier came floating across the field. Also seen 3+ Red Kite, 2 Hobbys, 12+ Common Buzzards, 4+ Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks.
Many thanks to Steve Ashton for doing all the driving.

  More poor record shots below. I'm sure Steve's site will have good ones shortly.                             

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Burgh

At The Burgh between 09.30-16.00 the Pallid Harrier was showing on and off mainly fairly distant. b On one occasion between 50-100mts for long enough for me to fire off a burst off 30 images which should have produced some good shots. When i went to review the images i realised i had knocked the camera setting to "M" so every image was a write off. Apart from that disaster i had superb scope and bins view of this cracking bird.
Also seen there 20+Common Buzzards, 1+ Red Kite, 1 Merlin, 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, scores of Skylarks, several flocks of Corn Buntings, a few Yellowhammers, good numbers of Goldfinches and Linnets, several Chiffchaffs and Common Whitethroats in the hedges and best of all large numbers of Grey Partridges in coveys of 10-30  at least 100+. It shows what can be done on farms.   

A poor record

Monday, 19 September 2011

Sabines Gull

After vising mum today i had the opportunity to drop into Newhaven and hopefully see the juvenile Sabines Gull. When i arrived it was on show bobbing about fairly close in but soon drifted out further and then flew even further out hence the poor images. Despite this still a superb looking bird and the first i have seen in Sussex since 1987.
It seems that i will have to go to the Burgh tomorrow weather permitting.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Christmas Dell

An hour at the sea watching hide this morning produced only 1 Red-throated Diver w, 3 Common Scoter w, 1 Auk w 1 Kestrel in off and a few each of Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns.
A call from DW to say a Pectoral Sandpiper had been seen infront of Firth hide, gave me the excuse to stop the sea watch and go to the reserve. When i arrived the Sandpiper was still there though distant and straight into the sun and the hide was packed with a large group of visitors, so i carried on around the reserve. From the empty Makepiece hide the Sandpiper was still visible and much in better light but even more distant. From there to Christmas Dell there were a few Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers in the bushes but little else. At Christmas Dell though a Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat, 2 Stonechats,  6 Common Whitethroats, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 more Cetti's, 1 Hobby over, 1 Marsh harrier over and the leucistic Grey Heron. The Great White Egret still at Denge Marsh and on the way back to the car park another look from a now empty Firth hide revealed no sign of the Pectoral Sandpiper.
Whinchat Christmas Dell

Leucistic Grey Heron Christmas Dell

Spotted flycatcher Christmas Dell

Saturday, 17 September 2011

To Late again

Image taken on same day as L.T.Skua at the fishing boats
A late start this morning with a lot less birds around. At the ARC from Hanson of note:
Little Stint:  2
Curlew Sandpiper: 1
Dunlin: 10
Wigeon: 12
Chiffchaff: 3
Cetti's Warbler: 2
Goosander: 1 at the south end.

From the fishing boats 11.30 - 13.30
Balearic Shearwater: 1w
Gannets: constant stream E and W
Arctic Skua: 2 off shore
Bonxie: 1w
Little Gull: 1w
Brent Geese: 10w
Common Scoter: 15w
Little Tern: 2w
Arctic Tern: 3w
Common Tern: 56w
Sandwich Tern: 84w
Guillemot: 2 off shore
Shovellor: 1w
Sanderling: 36w
Dunlin: 22w
Ringed Plover: 14w
Bat-tailed Godwit: 1w
Swallow: many parties moving south
I was informed that apparently there were Skuas and Shearwaters galore while i was having a leisurely breakfast at home this morning.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Jokers First Shag On The Reserve

A walk around The Point, The ARC, The Reserve and Dengemarsh found totals of birds of note in and around the bushes 65 Chiffchaffs, 6 Willow Warblers, 9 Blackcaps, 13 Common Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 8 Reed Warblers, 3 Sedge Warblers, 12 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Bearded Tits, 6 Northern Wheatears, 4 Whinchats, 6 Stonechats, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Common Redstart, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 18 Siskins, 2 Great Spotted Flycatchers, 6 Green Woodpeckers,  14 Yellow Wagtails, 300+ Swallows and 100+ Sand Martins moving south. On the pits 2 Little Stints, 2 Ruff, 1 Knot, 2 Turnstones, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Dunlin, mixed flock of 500+ Lapwing and Golden Plovers, 1 Little Gull, 1 Black Tern, 1 Hobby, 5 Marsh Harriers, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Great White Egret, 1 Cattle Egret, 14 Little Egrets, the leucistic Heron and finally the infamous 1w Shag.

Jokers first

The Ahh factor!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Fiona from Marwell comes to Dungeness

Fiona the Greater Flamingo former resident of Marwell Zoo at Dungeness today.  

 A noticeable increase in the number of birds in the bushes around the peninsular. With personal totals of 17 Common Whitethroat, 9 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 4 Sedge Warblers, 14 Reed Warblers, 30+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 150+ Yellow Wagtails(most on the Dengemarsh Road) 5 Whinchats, 16 Northern Wheatears, 5 Sparrowhawks, 3 Common Buzzards and large numbers of Hirundines over the reserve accompanied by 2+ Hobbys. On the sea no sign of the Long-tailed Skua despite reports to the contrary but 3+ Arctic Skuas hanging around off shore, 2 Little Gulls, 50+ Knot, 7 Sanderling, 1 Black Tern and a few Common, Arctic and Sandwich Terns.
At the ARC from Hanson 2 Ruff, 2 Little Stints, 4 Avocets, 5 Dunlin, 2 Marsh Harriers and the usual mixed flock of 400+ Lapwing and Golden Plover.At the south end first thing this morning 1 Little Gull, 1 Black Tern and 1 Spotted Redshank.

Sparrowhawk trapped at the obs today

Wasp Spider devouring a Grasshopper sp.
There was 3 Clouded Yellows around the Denge Marsh hide this morning also a couple of Wasp Spiders.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Vis Mig

This morning i spent a very pleasant and fruitful 3hrs at The Point with MH and BP, not looking at the sea but inland. After a quick look at the L.T.Skua, i joined MH & BP watching many Meadow Pipits, Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins and a few Finches on the move. Also moving were 2 Spoonbills, 2 Common Cranes, no less than 40 Sparrowhawks, 3 Marsh Harriers, 3 Common Buzzards, 1 Hobby, 1 Grey Wagtail and Spotted Redshank.
An early afternoon sea watch produced 4 Arctic Skuas, 2 Little Gulls, 1 1W Med Gull, 60+Knot, 50+ Common Terns, 50+ Sandwich Terns, small numbers of Gannets and the Long-tailed Skua gave another outstanding performance trying to eat a dead fish thrown in by a fisherman. The Skua was eventually robbed by a Great Black Backed Gull.  

This afternoon at the ARC from Hanson Hide with MH we saw 2 Little Stints, 1 Ruff, 100+ Golden Plover, 1 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 1 Arctic Tern, 1 Common Tern, 1 Hobby, 1 Marsh Harrier and the Goosander.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Long Tailed Skua

I drove straight to the point this morning and spent an hour staring out to sea and seeing 2 Arctic Skuas, a few Terns and Gannets, lots of Meadow Pipits coming and a steady procession of Hirundines going out including 1 Swift and 2 Yellow wagtails. I then received a text telling me of a Long Tailed Skua a few hundred yards away that had been there all the time i was looking at not alot. The Skua showed well up and down the beach ranging from The Patch to the Fishing Boats spending alot of time hunched up on the beach, probably because it only had one leg(See picture below) till at least 4.30 P.M. It appeared to be feeding well and was watched robbing a Black Headed Gull and a Sandwich Tern as well as picking up what looked like some kind of shellfish from the surface of the sea.  Also on the beach was 2 Sanderling, 16+ Turnstone, the Glaucous Gull and 3+ Little Gulls off shore. Below are just a few of the 2000+ images i took and will still be sorting next week.

Showing its stump