Tuesday, 30 September 2014

No Change!

Driving to The Point this morning the usual Great White Egret could be seen on the New Diggings.
This mornings sea watch was only notable for a flock of c150 Swallows feeding low over the sea c400mts out, also 2 Grey Wagtails that briefly alighted on the power station filter beds before heading off to France.
The daily plod around The Point and The Desert in the warm sunshine was truly unremarkable avian wise.
At the ARC a work party was doing much needed work cutting Sallows, so much disturbance and little to be seen.
Sitting on the beach at the fishing boats this afternoon in the sun and a warm breeze for 90 minutes was very pleasant, but avian wise it was a rerun of yesterday, with the same single Black Tern, Little Gull, Arctic Tern and 2+ Arctic Skuas, along with offshore c30 Gannets, c30 Sandwich Terns and c20 Common Terns.
Early evening on the reserve found little of note on Burrowes, but 4 Great White Egrets at Dengemarsh.  
 2 of the semi resident Arctic Skuas tussling at the fishing boats this afternoon
 Common Lizards sunbathing outside Hanson Hide
Clifden Nonpareil unfortunately not in the Plodland trap but one of two in Bernard and Andil's Ruckinge trap this morning. Many thanks for bringing it to the Obs this morning.
A hat full of Feathered Brindles in the Plodland trap this morning

Monday, 29 September 2014

Black Tern!

07.15-08.00 from the fishing boats:
Gannet: 24 up
Teal: 7 down
Common Scoter: 8 down
Brent Goose: 1 up
Arctic Skua: 2+ around
Common Tern: 46 up
Arctic Tern: 1 up
Sandwich Tern: 41 up
Swallow: 125 out
Meadow Pipit: 280 out
Alba Wagtail: 8 out
Grey Wagtail: 2 over
A leveret by the approach road
My usual wander around The Point and Desert saw 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Skylarks, c200 Meadow Pipits. c90 Swallows, a Merlin, 10 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Marsh Harrier hunting the trapping area, also a Hare.
At the observatory good numbers of Meadow Pipits and Chiffchaffs were trapped and processed.
Lunchtime at the ARC saw 1 Great White Egret, 1 Garganey, 3 Black-necked Grebes, 3 Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, c150 Golden Plover among c250 Lapwing, couple of squealing Water Rails  2 Cetti's Warblers and usual wildfowl.
5 Great White Egrets and the Glossy Ibis were seen from Hookers per MH.
This afternoon 14.50-16.20 from the fishing boats:
Gannet: 14 down
Brent Goose: 1 up
Dunlin: 1 down
Turnstone: 8 on beach 
Arctic Skua: 1 around
Little Gull: 1 down
Yellow-legged Gull: adult in roost
Black Tern: 1 down
Arctic Tern: 1 down
Common Tern: 37 down
Sandwich Tern:  56 down
Guillemot: 1 around 
 Black Tern at The Fishing Boats

 Sandwich Tern at the fishing boats
 Yellow-legged Gull near the fishing boats
A couple of Moths from last nights catch
 Barred Sallow

Sunday, 28 September 2014


 Wheatear at the fishing boats early morning 
A beautifully warm early morning at the fishing boats today, found a Wheatear sunning its self. Noted moving south in half an hour were c300 Swallows, 2 Grey Wagtails, 4 Yellow Wagtails, c70 Meadow Pipits and 6 Goldfinches. Offshore just a handful of Terns and a an Arctic Skua.
 Reed Bunting in The Moat
A disappointing plod around The Point and Desert seeing of note a single Whinchat, a Wheatear, 2 Black Redstarts, a few Chiffchaffs and a couple of Blackcaps.
 Whinchat at eastern end of The desert
 JT605 Great Black Backed Gull at the fishing boats
I drove into the ARC car park and came straight back out as it was so busy, but by all accounts all the usual suspects could be seen there but nothing new.
A couple of hours this afternoon Gull watching at the fishing boats, saw of note an adult and 2 2w Yellow-legged Gulls, 12 Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull, 3 Kittiwakes, 3+ Arctic Skuas, 2 Arctic Terns, c25 each of Common and Sandwich Terns, 20 Common Scoter flew west and 7 Brent Geese flew east. Also a Grey Seal and loads of small Mackerel boiling the sea.
 Turnstone, I couldn't read the ring
 Small Mackerel pursued by an unseen predator
 2w Yellow-legged Gull at fishing boats this afternoon

 Pearly Underwing the pick of last nights catch.
Common and Large Wainscot

Saturday, 27 September 2014


This mornings wander around The Point and Desert area produced 32 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Black Redstarts, c250 Meadow Pipits, c300 House Martins mainly on the wires around the research station and swarming around the Old lighthouse and a few Swallows.
At the ARC plenty of the usual wildfowl, plus 3 Black-necked Grebes, a Garganey, the Red-crested Pochard, 3 Ruff but no Glossy Ibis.
This afternoon from the fishing boats 3+ Arctic Skuas, c15 Common Terns, an Arctic Tern, a Little Gull, 2 Brent Geese W and 34 Common Scoter W  and 9 E,  but I missed the juvenile Sabines Gull.
A call from DW that he had trapped a Swallow/House Martin hybrid put an end to the sea watch, the rest of the afternoon was spent at the observatory where just over 100 Swallows and a couple of Sand Martins were trapped.
  Swallow/House Martin Hybrid?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A few Micro's

What with over sleeping this morning and domestic stuff, I did very little birding today. I did manage to catch the very end of the terrific movement of House Martins this morning at the fishing boats, sadly little else was moving at sea whilst I was there. 
The micro moths below were all in the trap this morning which was somewhat soggy. 
Cynaeda dentalis a super little micro
Eudonia Angustea
Carcina quercana

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Entertaining Chiffy!

As I drove to the fishing boats this morning 2 Great White Egrets could be seen on the New Excavations.
From the fishing boats 07.15-08.15:
Gannet: 4 up   2 down
Teal: 10 down
Shoveller: 2 down
Wigeon: 33 down
Brent Goose: 21 up   49 down
Arctic Skua: 2 around
Common Tern: 2 around
Sandwich Tern: c15 around
Guillemot: 1 off shore
Swallow: 232 north
Meadow Pipit: 103 north
Linnet: flock of c70 around the beach
Chiffchaff: 1 keeping me entertained picking insects from the underside of the boat.
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
 Chiffchaff on fishing boat rudder.
 Chiffchaff at the fishing boats
 Chiffchaff at the fishing boats
 Chiffchaff with moth that it plucked from under the boats. (no doubt a first for Britain)
A walk from the observatory covering The Desert, Lighthouse Garden, Lloyds, West beach and part or the trapping area, not including The moat which was full of Chiffchaffs sporting shiny new rings saw of note:
Peregrine: 2
Sparrowhawk: 5
Kestrel: 6
Swallow: 107
Meadow Pipit: 203
Wheatear: 3
Black Redstart: 4
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 2 in from the sea
Green Woodpecker: 2
Chiffchaff: 38
Blackcap: 4
Hare: 1 
Fox: 1 
 Great Spotted Woodpecker(male)
 Great spotted Woodpecker(female)
Early Afternoon at the ARC from Hanson saw 2 Garganey still, the Red-crested Pochard, a Black-necked Grebe, c150 Golden Plover, c200 Lapwing, 3 Ruff, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Marsh Harrier along with large numbers of the common wildfowl. The Glossy Ibis was at the south end of the ARC.
 Little Gulls
This afternoon from the fishing boats 15.05-16.35(I arrived at 15.25 in time to see the distant Sooty)
Gannet 2
Sooty Shearwater 1 up at 1510 and one down at 1545(up at c150m distance, other probably same bird at 1 mile)
Scoter 8 down
Teal 5 down
Wigeon 1 down
Little Gull 5 juv down
Sandwich Tern 59 down
Common Tern 1 down
Guillemot: 1 on sea

Swallow 303 down

Monday, 22 September 2014


Arriving expectantly at the fishing boats this morning, I received a call from DW asking if I had seen the 2 Great White Egrets come in off the sea, I hadn't, I was unlocking the gate at the time.
07.15-08.15 was a very slow hour. 
Gannet: 19 up
Wigeon: 8 up
Common Scoter: 7 up
Shelduck: 1 down
Brent Goose: 11 up   3 down 
Oystercatcher: 1 down
Kestrel: 2 out
Merlin: 1 over beach. My first of the autumn.
Arctic Skua: 1 chasing Terns
Sandwich Tern: c20 off shore
Meadow Pipit: 89 N
Swallow: 21 up
Chiffchaff: 1 by the boats  
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
Chiffchaff at the fishing boats
I spent the rest of the morning at the observatory and around The Desert and trapping area. Although the bushes appeared quiet, at least 8 Kestrels and 6 Sparrowhawks were around the area  60 birds were ringed mainly Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, also a Firecrest and the superb young male Sparrowhawk below. Also at least 8 Kestrels, 6 Sparrowhawks and 2 Merlin's were around the area and a steady trickle of Meadow Pipits and Swallows, 2 Skylarks, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Black Redstart at West Beach.
After lunch as I was about to pull out of my drive, an articulated lorry blocked me in and my view of the field while it waited for another vehicle to pass, when the lorry eventually pulled away the first thing I saw was a ring tail Hen Harrier just 50mts away cruising by and rapidly disappearing behind the football pitch and over Brett's towards the ranges. 
From Springfield Bridge 3 Great White Egrets, a Hobby, a Common Buzzard and 3 Marsh Harriers.
At the ARC from Hanson in the company of The joker 2 more Great White Egrets, 3 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Garganey, 4 Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and a Knot among c50 Golden Plover, al so numbers of Wigeon are building with a few Pintail. At the south end 2 more Black-tailed Godwits and a pulse of c100 Swallows through. 
 Black Rustic the first for thePlodland trap
 Barred Red. This variant  becoming quite regular at Plodland
 L-album Wainscot also a regular in the trap
Handfuls of Lunar Underwings

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Colour Ringed Caspian Gull!

Very quiet around The Point this morning in the poor visibility. There were 2 Peregrines round the power station, a Black Redstart, a Wheatear and 2 Chiffchaff  at West Beach were the highlights.
Dengemarsh Gully held 9 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest with c150 Meadow Pipits over. 
On Dengemarsh the Great White Egrets have increased to at least 4, 2 Yellow Wagtails and more Meadow Pipits over.
 Distant pic of the 4 Great White Egrets on Dengemarsh
At Galloways 8+ Whinchats, 6 Stonechats, 4 Wheatears, 9 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps and 18 Brent Geese over eastwards were the highlights. 
 Meadow Pipit
On the ARC from Hanson, the Glossy Ibis, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 5 Ruff, c100 Golden Plover along with the usual wildfowl.
1w Caspian Gull  XDFE
When I arrived at the fishing boats late afternoon MS and MC were there, quickly they pointed out a superb colour ringed 1w Caspian Gull which which gave us some great views before moving off towards the lifeboat station. While I was there a couple of Arctic Skuas were chasing Terns off shore and a few each of Brent Geese and Wigeon passed.
Stop Press: I have just received a text from Mick to say that the Caspian Gull is sporting a German ring.