Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Fog Bound!

A desperate day at The Point, in 3 separate watches including a fog free one this evening all I could manage was 10 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 60+ Common Scoter the now usual Sandwich and Commic terns tooing and froing in the gloom. The only notable bird was the superb male Black Redstart on the power station fence. With the reserve fog bound I went home and sulked. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Another Pom and Yellow Browed Warbler!

Most of the day was spent sea watching with AJG and DW. Thanks to AJG for collating the totals:
05.30-09.00 + 10.05-11.10 + 14.45-16.45
Red-throated Diver: 3E
Black-throated Diver: 5E
Gannet 35E 
Fulmar 3E
Brent Goose 15E
Scoter 114E  50W
Shovellor 8E
Shelduck 4E
Whimbrel 13E
Curlew 1E
Bar-tailed Godwit 148 E
Oystercatcher 13W
Bonxie 4E
Arctic Skua 4E 
Pom Skua 1E at 0840
Kittiwake 7E
Mediterranean Gull: 14E 
Sandwich Tern 260E
Common Tern 2542E 
Arctic Tern 2E
Black tern 5E
Little Tern 3E
A wander around the hayfields lunch time did not produce much, even though they look excellent for waders. 3 Whimbrel dropped in, 2 Ravens flew over as did a Peregrine, several Bearded Tits were calling from the reeds along with Reed and Sedge Warblers but sadly no sign of the Black-winged Stilts.
Yellow Browed Warbler Lighthouse garden
 As I stretched my legs this afternoon after spending a couple of hours sitting in front the sea watch hide, I noticed DW waving to me from beside the lighthouse garden. I quickly made my way there and heard then saw a Yellow Browed Warbler. A strange occurrence as The Point was more or less bereft of migrants, though a Chiffchaff was keeping it company.
Yellow Browed Warbler Lighthouse garden

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Mating Stilts!

Another reasonable sea watch this morning. A few each of Great and Arctic Skuas, 280 Gannets, c 400 Common Scoter, c2,000 Commic Terns and a few Divers. 
Another watch this afternoon with AJG saw 400+ Commic Terns, c50 Gannets and handful of Common Scoter.
A quick look at the ARC saw that 2 Black Terns, a Little Tern and several Arctic and Common Terns still present.
A quick look around Galloways saw little of note.
This evening on the reserve the 2 Black Winged Stilts were showing well and even mating, a Marsh Harrier spooked them briefly but they soon settled down. A Hobby was hawking over Dengemarsh, Sedge, Reed, Cetti's Warblers, Common Whitethroats and a Cuckoo were all singing. A Whinchat was showing well by Christmas Dell until 10 seconds before I arrived and party of 8 Swallows were around the pits. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

A stunning sea watch!

Arriving at the beach at c07.00 I realised I was to late get in the sea watch hide comfortably, so I opted for The Patch Hide where I spent the morning with Paul W. in comfort and more importantly dry. The 2 of us did not see quite as much those in the sea watch hide but we were comfortable and dry.
Red-throated Diver: 23E
Black-throated Diver: 4E
Great northern Diver: 1E
Fulmar: 58E
Gannet: c200E
Brent Goose: 104E
Common Scoter: c250E
Red Breasted Merganser: 4E
Peregrine: 1 terrorising the Terns over The Patch
Whimbrel: 15E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 270E
Arctic Skua: 18E
Great Skua: 34E
Black Tern: 35E
Little Tern: 6E
Common /Arctic Tern: c3,000E a complete guestimate as they were passing so quickly in flocks of numbering 100s.
Sandwich Tern: c50E
Kittiwake: 6E
Doubtless the days totals will at least double ours.
A stop off at the ARC on the way home for breakfast saw 8 Black Terns (40 + seen there earlier) and c50 Arctic Terns.
Before I could have breakfast news of 2 Black Winged Stilts on the reserve saw me go to the hayfields where the 2 birds performed admirably. Also there a Little Ringed Plover, a superb White Wagtail and the bonus of a Wood Sandpiper.

Friday, 25 April 2014

A good late afternoon movement!

An OK watch sea watch this morning 05.30-09.30 with BB,DW and AJG who collated the numbers. This evening 16.00-18.30 with DW a good movement when the fog cleared.

    05.30-09.30                     16.00-18.30
Gannet                   68E          149E
Fulmar 3E                                 1E
Brent Goose             6E
Common Scoter       4E            19E
Merganser               3E
Whimbrel              48E
Bar-tailed Godwit 136E
Oystercatcher          3E             1E
Dunlin                    1E
Knot                      2E
Great Skua:             1E            2E
Arctic Skua             8E           10E
Pomarine Skua:                       1E
Sandwich Tern     176E         48E
Common Tern    245E       2355E
Kittiwake:                              7E
Auk sp:                                  6E
Swallow              9 in             1 in

Sand Martin        1 in
The land was very quiet and apparently nothing new in today.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Black-winged Stilt

05.30-08.40 from the sea watch hide, thanks to AJG for collating the totals.
Red throated Diver 2E 1 W
Black throated Diver: 1E
Fulmar 12E
Gannet 35
Scoter 151E
Shelduck 2E
Sparrow Hawk 1 coasting up
Whimbrel 11E
B t Godwit 8E
Dunlin 4E
Razorbill 5 on sea
Auk sp 4W
Bonxie 16E
Arctic Skua 11E
Kittiwake 7E
Little Gull 2E
Sandwich Tern 235E
Commic Tern 1391E
Little Tern 8E
Carrion Crow 14 coasting down
Swallow 17 in
Wheatear 3 in

As things seemed very quiet around the peninsular I thought I would take the opportunity to paint the garden fence. I had just started painting when a call from DB about Black-Winged Stilts on the flood behind Christmas Dell. 10 minutes later I was on sight but no sign of the Stilts, I was then told that had been 10 of them, well done to Doug and Wendy for finding them. Unfortunately they were all flushed by a Marsh Harrier, but one was re-found on New Excavations where it spent the afternoon distantly on the reedy causeway.

 A evening stroll around the reserve could find no sign of the Stilt at 19.00hrs, but there was an obliging Wheatear that obviously likes the anti predator fence, a Greenshank, several Whimbrel, 4 Bearded Tits, 3 Marsh Harriers, a booming Bittern and several each of Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers singing.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Skuas, Geese and a pair of Partridges.

Another good sea watch this morning with 16 Arctic and 10 Great Skuas, plus a sprinkling of Terns waders and Scoter  also 1 Pomarine Skua which went through before I arrived. Once again the Pomarine Skuas that went past Splash Point and Beachy head failed to cross the border into Kent.
Bean Geese at Scotney showing the injured wing.
Late morning wandering around the trapping area 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcaps were seen. A message from PT that 2 Bean Geese were at Scotney gave me the excuse to leave the trapping area. On arrival it was obvious that one of the Bean Geese had an injured wing, the reason that they have not gone.
 On the way to The Midrips a Yellow wagtail posed at Jurys Gap, At The Midrips a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Redshank, 2 Avocet, 2 Whimbrel, 10 Dunlin, a Greenshank, 36 Shelduck, 2 Wheatears and 2 Grey Partridges a real rarity on the marsh these days.
Little Ringed Plover at The Midrips
The highlights of another sea watch this evening 16.55-18.30 saw 7 Arctic Skuas, 2 Great Skuas, 5 Red Throated Divers, 76 Common Scoter and 464 Common Terns.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Purple Heron and Skuas

Most of the day was spent sea watching except for the Purple Heron twitch.
Totals for watches: 05.30-10.00, 14.35-15-45, 16.50-19.00 Thanks to AJG for collating the totals. 
Red throated Diver 10E 
Fulmar 9E 
Gannet 107E 
Brent Goose 125E
Scoter 1,082E     40W
Velvet Scoter: 2E
Eider 7 females E
Garganey 1E
Knot 15E
Oystercatcher 137E
Whimbrel 13E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 14E
Razorbill 1W
Guillemot 2 on
Auk sp 22 E
Arctic skua 25E 
Bonxie 16E 
Med Gull 2
Kittiwake 3E    6W
Little Gull 21E
Common Tern 1,247E
Arctic Tern 2 E
Little Tern 17 E
Black Tern 10E
Sandwich Tern 235E
Swallow 13 in
Harbour Porpoise: 8+ 
Grey Seal: 1
Purple heron
 A call from the joker at c10.40 alerted me to a Purple Heron he had seen drop into the Hookers reed bed viewed from the ramp. The Heron was not showing when I arrived but a Sedge Warbler giving regular song flights helped to pass the time, along with 2 Marsh Harriers, a Greenshank and a couple of Swallows. The Heron eventually gave good flight views before landing partially obscured in the reeds where it caught a huge fish.  A Cuckoo showed quite well on the way back to the car as did a Dunlin and a Greenshank in the Dengemarsh Flood. My first Lesser Whitethroat of the year was singing in a traditional spot near the Dengemarsh hide.
Purple Heron
Sedge Warbler in song flight

Monday, 21 April 2014

The calm before the storm! Hopefully.

Very little sea passage this morning. In the hour I was there just a few Scoter, Gannets, Common Terns, Sandwich Terns and 4 Little Terns.
A wander around the bushes was also very poor, the highlight being 2 Red-legged Partridges.
At the ARC still 2 Little Gulls hawking of note.
Another visit to the point this afternoon was aborted before I arrived due to the volume of tourists.
So I spent another short while with the Badger snuffling around at 15.30!
This evening I walked from Springfield Bridge to Hookers viewing ramp via the hay fields. In hayfield 3 a Greenshank, 8 Shelduck, 6 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 2 Lapwing and worryingly 39 Carrion Crows mainly perched on the posts of the anti predator electrified fence. Even the appearance of 2 Peregrines did not seem to bother them to much so I don't expect to see any Lapwing chicks this year.
At the viewing ramp a Bittern was booming, Reed, Sedge and Cetti,s Warblers were all singing, 2 Marsh Harriers were quartering the reed bed, a Whimbrel flew over and my first Cuckoo of the year was calling from the Sallows. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

When the sun shines

Sea watching today in the shelter of the hide 06.50-09.20 & 14.50-16.50 produced:

Red-throated Diver: 1E
Fulmar: 8E
Gannet: 71E     22W
Common Scoter: 10E     6W
Oystercatcher: 6E
Grey Plover: 8E
Whimbrel: 6E
Bar Tailed Godwit: 82E
Great Skua: 3E
Black Tern:  1 on The Patch
Little Tern: 4E
Common Tern: 182E
Arctic Tern: 1+E
Sandwich Tern: 28E
Little Gull: 4E
Kittiwake: 2E
Mediterranean Gull: 2E
Auks: 5E
Grey Seal: 1 o/s

Harbour Porpoise: 8+ o/s

When the sun came out late afternoon I couldn't resist another a look at the young Badger at the entrance to its set.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Badger makes the day!

Very little passage at sea again this morning as was expected and no grounded migrants around the point.
At the ARC 8+ Little Gulls hawking with the Black-headed Gulls, also 30 each of Swallow and Sand Martin that moved off as soon as the rain cleared.
 At Scotney 15+ Yellow Wagtails, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Dunlin, 4+ Avocet, a Greenshank, a fly over Whimbrel, 2 Little Gulls but again I could not find the Long-tailed Duck.
Galloways was so enthralling I fell asleep! later while chatting to MS and RS an adult male Marsh Harrier gave us a superb view.

 This afternoon was the first time I have ever had the chance to photograph a Badger in broad daylight. Many thanks to D and G for the call.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Garganey and Baltic Gull!

07.50-08.20 from the sea watch hide was predictably slow considering the fresh north wind. Indeed after half an hour and a grand total of 8 Gannets west, c20 Comic Terns over The Patch and the highlight of 3 Little Egrets coming in at 08.05. 
At the ARC a drake Garganey showed well at the south end, From the causeway 7+ Little Gulls and 3 Black-necked Grebes could be seen.
I was unable to locate the Long-tailed Duck on a wind swept Scotney, but 2 Little Gulls could be seen.
 Garganey southern end of ARC
 A plod around the reserve found the Hookers Bittern still booming, several Bearded Tits and Sedge Warblers and 7 Black-tailed Godwits on Hayfield 3.
 A call early evening from DW about a very good candidate for Baltic Gull on Burrowes from Makepiece, saw me watching it a few minutes later. It was as usual for Burrowes fairly distant, but my poor images show just how small and black this bird is against a Great Black Backed Gull but lacks detail, I believe it to be a Baltic Gull.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sea Watching

From the sea watch hide 05.40-10.00 and 13.45-16.00 with AJG, BB, DW, PT. Thanks to AJG for collating the totals.

Red-throated Diver: 39E 
Black-throated Diver: 1E
Fulmar: 10E
Gannet: 93E 
Brent Geese: 674E including a partly leucistic bird
Common Scoter: 1420E
Velvet Scoter: 3E
Red-breasted Merganser: 9E 
Shoveler: 2E
Garganey: 2E
Oystercatcher: 2E
Curlew: 1E
Whimbrel: 1E
Great Skua: 5E
Arctic Skua: 11E 
Sandwich Tern: 473E
Common Tern: 103E
Little Tern: 3E
Kittiwake: 12E 
Little Gull: 62E
Mediterranean Gull: 1E 2 on sea
Auk sp: 1E 2E

Swallow: 1 in
a Mid morning visit to Scotney found the Long-tailed Duck still on the pit immediately east of the main pit, 4+ Avocet, 2 Little Gulls, 5 Curlews and 2 Egyptian Geese. On Hayfield 3 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bearded Tits, 10+ Sedge Warblers and a booming Bittern were the highlight of a wander around the reserve. 
The Hume's Leaf warbler is still present in the trapping area per OL.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A small sea passage!

An hour from the sea watch hide before a dental appointment this morning was relatively productive as I managed 2 new birds for the year with a flock of 7 Whimbrel and 9 Little Terns, but otherwise it was fairly quiet with a couple of Arctic Skuas, a few Scoter, Divers and Waders,  2 further watches late morning and late afternoon were just as quiet.
 At Scotney the Long-tailed Duck was still present on the east pit also a Little Ringed Plover on that pit. On the main pit 4+ Avocets and the 2 Egyptian Geese. Scotney Court Farm held 4 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Corn Buntings and a pair of Swallows.

Monday, 14 April 2014

A Slow Day

A very slow hour at the sea watch hide this morning with a Bonxie being the highlight, though I did just miss an Iceland/Glaucous Gull drift west just before I arrived.
A wander around the lighthouse area found 9 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap, also a couple more Willow Warblers in the moat.
A walk along the fishing boats failed to find the mystery gull, even though the fish man had been and thrown boxes of discarded fish on to the beach for gulls to feast on.
No sign of last nights Black Terns on the ARC this morning, just a Common Tern among the Black Headed Gulls, 2 Mediterranean Gulls over and 7 Little Egrets at the south end of note.
The turf at Scotney held only 5 Curlew, 2 Ringed Plover with 2 Avocets on the edge and 2 more at the Sussex end of note. The Long-tailed Duck was once again on the pit immediately east of the main pit.  
Another walk along the fishing boats this afternoon once again failed to locate the mystery gull, but a duck Eider flew by close inshore eastwards.
A look down Dengemarsh Gully was unrewarding, I would have done better to have spent the time in my sun chair in the garden watching Marsh Harriers. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Black Terns!

3 early Black Terns hawking insects over the ARC this evening.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bitterns and Beardies!

 Once the mist cleared the reserve this morning it resounded to the sound of numerous Sedge Warblers, Cetti's Warblers, Reed Buntings and Linnets blasting out there song, accompanied by several Bearded Tits and Chiffchaffs, a Common Whitethroat and a Blackcap. A flyover Green Sandpiper relocated briefly behind Christmas Dell and a pair of Marsh harriers did some food passes. A bittern was booming at Hookers and another at the ARC, 4 Swallows flew through, 4 Yellow Wagtails were in the fields by the path to Lydd, a Raven was back and forth taking food to its young and the Long-tailed Duck was on Burrowes.

 Sedge Warbler in song flight.
 At the Scotney complex this afternoon 4 Little Gulls on the main pit, 22 Ringed Plover, 18 Dunlin and 2 Curlew on the turf, round the farmyard 20 Yellow Wagtails, 2 stunning White Wagtails and 2 Corn Buntings. On the back pits 46 Avocets.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Redstarts, Ring Ouzels and a Gropper!

20 minutes at the sea watch hide was enough time to know that no sea passage was happening today although a few passerines were seen to come in. The highlight on the sea was 6 Gadwall drifting by, the Glaucous Gull was seen down by The Patch.
Around The Point a Black Redstart, 30+ Willow/Chiffs, 3+ Blackcaps, a male Redstart trapped in The Moat, 2 Ring Ouzels dropped into The Desert and a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling along the Pilot Path. The Hume's Leaf Warbler was seen again today along the Pilot Path. A Raven and 3+ Swallows flew over.
 Redstart held by DW.
 Ring Ouzels in The Desert.
 Early afternoon in Dengemarsh Gully highlights were a Wheatear and a female Redstart.
 Male Redstart Galloways.
Rubicola Stonechat Galloways.
Mid afternoon at Galloways, the highlights were 2 more Redstarts, 7 Stonechats including a Rubicola and 6+ Willow Warblers.
At Scotney 5 Little Gulls, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 8 Ringed Plovers, 14 Dunlin and 6 Curlew, the Long-tailed Duck was in its usual spot on the lake immediately east of the main pit. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A few migrants

As I arrived at the car park this morning BB was driving away, which told me everything I needed to know about the state of the sea passage. I met SO and we had wander around the bushes and trapping area seeing c20 Willow Warblers, c15 Chiffchaffs, 1 Swallow and 2 Blackcaps along with the resident Wheatears and Black Redstarts. 
Black Redstart at the power station
At Scotney the Long Tailed Duck still present, 6 Ringed Plover, 14 Avocet, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Swallows, a Common Buzzard, 6 Corn Buntings and 6 Tree Sparrows.
A couple of hours this evening wandering around the deserted reserve was very pleasant, plenty of Sedge Warblers, Cetti's Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Little Egrets, Shelducks, Shoveler, Tufted Ducks with a few Teal, 3+ Marsh Harriers, a Raven, a Peregrine, 2 more Swallows and best of all a Bittern booming regularly and not another person to be seen. 2 more Swallow on the wires opposite Plodland tonight.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

At least the weather was good!

Sea watching from the point this morning was very poor with just a handful each of Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Brent Geese, Scoter and Sandwich Terns. A Serin was to high for me hear, though DW heard it at least twice.
A wander around the reserve with SB and BP saw a couple of Swallows through, a Raven over, a Wheatear and good numbers of Sedge Warblers.
At Scotney the Long-tailed Duck has reappeared on the pit immediately east of the main pit, by the farm 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Corn Buntings and c50 Linnets. On the back pit 16 Avocets and the 2 Egyptian Geese, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard over the fields.  
 Marsh Harriers from Christmas Dell this evening.
This evening a wander round Dengemarsh saw the Raven again taking food back to its nest while doing battle with a Peregrine but little else of note. 2 Marsh Harriers from Christmas Dell and a Water Rail squealing were the highlights there.