Monday, 31 August 2015

Icterine Warbler!

On my way to the beach this morning I stopped on the causeway, seeing that the 2 juvenile White-winged Black Terns were still present, also 3 Black Terns and many Sand Martins and Swallows hawking over the lake.
The sea was very quiet this morning, I was thankful that after 20 minutes of watching it started raining giving me the excuse to leave and visit the observatory fridge to look at some bugs.
Back at the ARC from Hanson of note c100 Golden Plover, 7 Ruff, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, a Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, the Marsh Terns and a Bittern that dropped into the reeds near the hide.
A call from MH telling me of an Icterine Warbler found by SB by the visitor centre on the reserve.
I arrived just as the heavens opened, the bird had disappeared and was forced to shelter in the VC then in Firth hide. From the hide a Great White Egret showed well, also 2 Ruff and 2 Redshank in front the hide, on the distant islands several Common Sandpipers, 2 Avocets and Spotted Redshank.
When the rain stopped 2 Hobby's spooked the hirundines on Burrowes and a Swift flew through, but still no sign of the Icterine Warbler. 
I went back to the reserve after it closed and was quiet, I met CT and SO there and we manged to locate the Icterine Warbler at c18.45 in the Sallows at the back of the dipping pool where it showed on and off till c19.00 and presumably roosted there. 
 Image does not do the bird justice, but it shows the pale wing panel of an Icterine Warbler.
 Great White Egret from Firth
Ruff from Firth

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Honey Buzzards and 2 White-winged Black Terns!

At Galloways area this morning several each of Whinchat, Stonechat, Wheatear, Common Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Meadow Pipit also a Hobby and Marsh Harrier there.
 Yellow Wagtail Galloways.
 1 of 5 Honey Buzzards seen from the garden today 
I spent a few hours sitting in the garden sky watching 100s of Swallows and Sand Martins moving through, Yellow Wagtails were calling as they flew over and fed in the field opposite. 3+ Hobby's, 4+ Marsh Harriers, 4 Kestrels, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk 5+ Common Buzzards and at least 5 Honey Buzzards.
This evening there were 2 White-winged Black Terns (6 this year at Dungeness) on the ARC, they appeared to go to roost on whats left of the islands in front of Hanson hide, along with 4 Black Terns and a Common Tern. 
 2 of the 5 Vestals in the MV this morning + a Jersey Tiger and Bordered Straw, mercifully only 119 Setaceous Hebrew Characters today.
Pine Hawkmoth in the MV this morning

Friday, 28 August 2015


No proper birding done today as I had a day of domestic stuff, I did manage c20 Yellow Wagtails from the garden , also a Tree Pipit over and the usual Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards.
 Some of the 247 Setaceous Hebrew Characters in the Plodland MV this morning.
 Scarce Bordered Straw a first for the Plodland MV
 Crescent another first for the Plodland MV this morning
 Old lady, an infrequent visitor
Cynaeda dentalis one of the most attractive micros 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Another excellent Day at Dungeness!

06.00-10.30 + 14.15-15.55 from the fishing boats with AJG who collated the numbers DW,MH,SO,
Shelduck: 11W
Great-crested Grebe: 20+ around
Fulmar: 6W
Balearic Shearwater: 50W
Sooty Shearwater: 2W
Gannet: 468W
Grey Heron: 1 out
Oystercatcher: 1W
Ruff: 2 in
Turnstone: 4 around
Pomarine Skua: 2W
Arctic Skua: 19W 2 around
Kittiwake: 2W
Mediterranean Gull: 1 juv/1w
Black Tern: 19W
Sandwich Tern: 271W
Common Tern: 223W
Arctic Tern: 1 down
Swift: 3 out 
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 4+

Arctic Skua

Balearic Shearwaters

Ruff a first for me on a sea watch at Dungeness
1w Mediterranean Gull
White-winged Black Tern with Black Terns
At the ARC the 5th White-winged Black Tern of the year dropped in with c25 Black Terns after a heavy rain shower. The Temminck's Stint was still present along with a Little Stint, a Wood Sandpiper, c 50 Golden Plover, 2 Red-crested Pochards, c15 Swifts, many Hirundines and a Spotted Flycatcher. Sadly the islands are greatly diminished due to the recent rain.
 White-winged Black Tern
Sptted flycatcher from Hanson
Sickle-bearing Bush Cricket found by David Walker in The Desert

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Excellent Sea watch!

Black Tern
08.15-14.20 + 17.10-18.40 from the fishing boats and Point
Common Scoter: 3E
Great-crested Grebe: 7 around
Fulmar: 10W
Balearic Shearwater: 66W
Sooty Shearwater: 8W
Gannet: 394W
Turnstone: 1 on beach
Great Skua: 3W
Arctic Skua: 18W
Pomarine Skua: 5W
Kittiwake: 13W
Black Tern: 12W
Sandwich Tern: 597W
Common Tern: 431W
Arctic Tern: 5W
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 3+

Some migrant moths from the Plodland MV 
 Convolvulous Hawkmoth
Bordered Straws

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Well it's probably a Wader!

A thoroughly miserable day at Dungeness. I joined DW and AJG at The point for a sea watch: The numbers below were kindly collated by AJG from the time he started at 05.45-08.10
Common Scoter: 18E  1W
Fulmar: 3E
Gannet: 249E
Dunlin: 25E
Arctic Skua: 4 around
Sandwich Tern: 57E
Common Tern 22 down
Black Tern: 2 around
Arctic Tern: 1W
Yellow Wagtail: 302 coasting East
From a very wet Hanson 2 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Little Stints, 3 LRPs, 28 Golden Plover(no juveniles) a Greenshank, 2 Redshank, Ruff, 3 Black Terns and 100s of Sand Martins. In a break in the weather a walk saw  to the pines a few each of Willow Warblers, Lesser Whitethroats, Common Whitethroats, Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers with large Tit flock. From the pines the 2 Red-crested Pochards could be seen also c20 Yellow Wagtails there.
In the light house garden a Pied Flycatcher was showing quite well and more Yellow Wagtails over.
Taken at 260x Digital when the rain cleared and the light improved.
A message from Dan to say he thought there was a Temminck's Stint on the Cormorant island persuaded me to go back there. On arrival through a curtain of rain a Little Stint, Common Sandpiper and what appeared to be Temminck's Stint could be seen on the Cormorant Island. I alerted the locals, a seed of doubt was sown in my mind when when Least Sandpiper was mentioned. The bird was certainly considerably smaller than the Little Stint adding to my doubts and causing confusion over it's identity. Still it wouldn't be a proper Autumn if I didn't mess up a Peep or 2, there is plenty more time left for more mistakes.

Black Tern bathing at the ARC

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Pied Flycatchers!

First thing this morning lots of Yellow Wagtails in the fields in front of the garden with many more over, also many Hirundines and c30 Swifts.
At the ARC from Hanson this morning 4 Wood Sandpipers, 6 Ruff, a Little Stint, 60+ Golden Plover (no juveniles), 4 Common Snipe, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Redshank, c200 Lapwing all the usual wildfowl including the 2 Red-crested Pochards. 
A walk down Galloways with CP found 2+ Pied Flycatchers, a brief Redstart, 4+Whinchats, 4+ Stonechats, more Yellow Wagtails, Common Whitethroats, Meadow Pipits and a Marsh Harrier. 
 Pied Flycatcher, Galloways.

When the rained cleared I joined AJG who kindly collated the numbers at the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 5E
Fulmar: 2W
Balearic Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 27W
Greenshank: 4W
Redshank: 5W(in flock with above)
Pomarine Skua: 1E
Arctic Skua:  c12around
Kittiwake: 2E
Sandwich Tern: 174W
Common Tern: 31W
Arctic Tern: 1W
Swift: 82 out

Sand Martin: 4 out
This evening a Pied Flycatcher still in the Light House garden, also c30 Yellow Wagtails around.
In the Desert in the company of DW,OL,AJG and DB the newly discovered Tree Cricket colony gave part of the Desert a Mediterranean feel as the Crickets were singing all around us.
Last nights moth catch was poor by recent days but still had a Small Mottled Willow and 62 Setaceous Hebrew Characters.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Busy MV

A fairly quiet day on the peninsular avian wise. Very few migrants around the trapping area this morning per AJG. A sea watch this afternoon left the notebook empty. Fortunately there were at least a dozen Harbour Porpoises and Grey Seal to entertain us. (at least there were 2 Balearic Shearwaters yesterday).
An afternoon visit to the ARC thanks to a tip off from SO, saw 2 elusive Pied Flycatchers near the Screen Hide and Spotted Flycatcher at the pines. Hanson Hide was packed and with the temperature in the high twenties I gave it a miss. Yesterday from Hanson among all the usual birds that have been around for a while I counted 68 Golden Plovers, which is not unusual, what was remarkable was that there was only 1 juvenile among them, which does not bode well.
This evening from Springfield Bridge 2 Great White Egrets, a Bittern, 3 Marsh Harriers, 6 Swifts and c40 Yellow Wagtails of note.
At Galloways this evening 2 Pied Flycatchers on the bend, also 3 Whinchats, 2 Wheatears and several each of Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat.
 Grey Seal
 Pied Flycatcher
 Ni Moth
A very busy MV this morning with 344 macros of 54 species including Ni Moth and Gem both new for me, another 5 Small Mottled Willows, a Bordered Straw,double figures of Noctuella and a whopping 111 Setaceous Hebrew Character. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

All at Sea!

With the paucity of passerine migrants on the peninsular, thank god we have the sea to watch. This morning I joined AJG(who collated the numbers) for a very entertaining watch, we were later joined by MH,DW and BC
07.30-10.10 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 22E   61W
Fulmar: 3W
Balearic Shearwater: 1W
Gannet: 83W
Oystercatcher: 4W
Ringed Plover: 2W
Grey Plover: 17W
Knot: 111W
Turnstone: 3 on beach
Dunlin: 15W
Bar-tailed Godwit: 110W
Whimbrel: 2W
Arctic Skua: 2W (both light phase)
Little Gull: 5W
Kittiwake: 8W
Little Tern: 7W
Sandwich Tern: 108W
Common Tern: 204W
Arctic Tern: 11W
Black Tern: 44W
Sand Martin: 31 out 
Swallow: 2 out
Common Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
No migrants around the observatory but I did see the superb Bedstraw Hawkmoth that DW found in the observatory MV last night.
 Juvenile Arctic Tern
Another sea watch this afternoon 13.55-16.30 with BM,AJG and MH was not as good as this morning, but the good light did allow me to take a few snaps:
Common Scoter: 9E
Fulmar: 3E
Balearic Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 21W
Cormorant: 12 around
Grey Heron: 1 out
Oystercatcher: 1E  2W
Kittiwake: 2W
Sandwich Tern: 58W
Little Tern: 2W
Common Tern:  86W
Arctic Tern: 2W
Sand Martin: 77 out + c150 over beach as we were leaving
Grey Seal: 1

Harbour Porpoise: 6+
 Juvenile Common Tern
 Juvenile Sandwich Tern
 Balearic Shearwater honest!!!!
 Red Underwing by the entrance to Hanson 
At the ARC from Hanson there was very little change from yesterday, 5 Wood Sandpipers, Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff, 3 LRPs, 20 Golden Plover and the usual 150+ lapwings.
Jersey Tiger and a late Elephant Hawkmoth in the Plodland MV last night 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Quiet Day!

A very quiet day around the peninsular today. Early morning at the ARC 5 Wood Sandpipers, a Ruff, 2 Common Snipe, 3 Little Ringed Plovers and 15 Golden Plovers among the c150 Lapwing, so basically the same birds as the as the last few days also many Sand Martins and Swallows.  The trapping area was virtually bird less, DW only caught 2 birds in 4 hrs.
At Scotney, the 2 Spoonbills still, 3 Egyptian Geese among the hordes of other feral geese, a flock of c60 Yellow wagtails north of the farm, 6+ Common Sandpipers around the complex and large numbers of Sand Martins.
 Dunlin and Sanderling roosting by the fishing boats
This afternoons sea watch from the boats was also slow, a single Balearic Shearwater the highlight, though it was nice to see the roosting Dunlin and Sanderling until they were flushed by a Herring Gull.
13.45-16.00 joined by AJG:
Common Scoter: 2W
Balearic Shearwater: 1W
Gannet: 1E    3W
Cormorant: 9 around
Oystercatcher: 2W
Dunlin: c20 on beach
Sanderling: c25 on beach
Sandwich Tern: 53W
Commic Tern: 45W
Sand Martin: 124 out
Swallow: 2 out
Harbour Porpoise: 8+
 Dunlin and Sanderling
 Herring Gull with Whiting
 Great Black Backed Gull with a large Whiting

 Late afternoon back at the ARC Wood Sandpiper numbers had risen to 7 and a Garganey appeared.
Scarce Chocholate Tip(3rd this year) 
The MV was much quieter than of late with only half the number of macro's as yesterday. Though my 3rd Scarce Chocholate Tip was a surprise.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

A Gloomy Damp Day!

This morning from Hanson in the rain 5 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper, 15 Golden Plover, 2 Common Snipe, c150 Lapwing and c1,000 Sand Martins were the highlights.
 Juvenile Arctic Tern at the fishing boats this P.M.
14.40-16.40 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 10E   4W
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Gannet: 87W
Ringed Plover: 1W
Dunlin: 2W
Sandwich Tern: 148W
Commic: Tern: 44W
Arctic Tern: 2W
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 3+

 Another very good night for the Plodland MV 228 macros of 54 sp + 24 micro sp
 2 Jersey Tigers, Bordered Straw, 4 Small Mottled Willows, 2 Pine Hawkmoths, Noctuella and more.
Maidens Blush the first for the Plodland MV