Saturday, 31 October 2015

Bat Rescue!

 Sunrise over Dungeness from Plodland
 Dusky Warbler
As a SE wind was blowing all night I was expecting a good sea watch this morning, unfortunately it was a non event, with a few Brent Geese, Sandwich Terns, Gannets and a Merlin the highlights. At the observatory both Goldcrests and Firecrests were trapped and processed, a Yellow-browed Warbler in the NE corner of The Desert per OL, 4 Woodcock and Continental Coal Tits in The Desert per PT. The Dusky Warbler still present and showing well at times.
 Dusky Warbler
 Dusky Warbler
As Dungeness seemed packed with tourists this afternoon, I opted for a walk from Scotney out to the wind farm and back with Sally. Walland Marsh was windless and warm which is unusual, it was also very quiet avian wise.
On the walk out the low sun made seeing anything in front of us very difficult, consequently little was seen, though a White Wagtail in the sheep paddock was a surprise. Around the wind turbines 3 Common Buzzards were soaring around with a Marsh Harrier. Coming back 2 Tree Sparrows, several Reed Buntings and a couple of Stonechats were seen. I found a Bat impaled on the barbed wire fence. Having never handled a Bat before I was unsure as how to release it with out injuring it. I managed to gently hold it, while unhooking its wing from the barbs, having done that I released it, only to find one of its claws was jammed in the wire, taking hold of it again I unrolled the barb releasing the claw and getting bitten for my trouble, I then released the Bat which flew off strongly. As we walked through the farm yard a Barn Owl flew out landing briefly on a post before heading off towards Bretts. 
 Bat sp???
 Barn Owl
 White Wagtail
A fairly busy night in the Plodland trap with 5 Feathered Thorns which are new for the trap, a Vestal, Large Wainscots, Angle shades etc.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I do like to be beside the seaside!

A steady passage of Kittiwakes today
3 sessions at the fishing boats today with AJG, SG & KR. 06.30-08.30, 09.30-10.30, 13.50-16-20
Brent Goose: 23E   22W
Gadwall: 1W
Pintail: 15W
Shoveller: 10W
Common Scoter: 142W
Great-crested Grebe: 7 around
Red-throated Diver: 8W
Black-throated Diver: 1W
Gannet: 1,086W
Cormorant: c40 around
Dunlin: 9W
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Pomarine Skua: 2W
Arctic Skua: 1W
Mediterranean Gull: 13W
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 on beach
Kittiwake: 1,226W
Sandwich Tern: 40W
Guillemot: 187W
Razorbill: 18W
Auk sp: 49W
Swallow: 1 out
Pied Wagtail:12W
Skylark: 4W
Starling: 14 in
Goldfinch: 240 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
c60 Common Scoter
The Dusky Warbler was still present and still as skulky in the windy conditions. No sign of the Yellow-browed Warbler or much else in the lighthouse garden today.
On the reserve 4+ Great White Egrets and 2 Black-necked Grebes also the leucistic Bittern per MH & SG. In the gull roost by the access track 3 Caspian Gulls (DW) and at least 2 Yellow-legged Gulls. 
A tatty Palpita vitrealis only my second
Mottled Umber first for me (Scarce here)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Another Dusky!

08.00-08.40 from The Point with AJG:
Brent Goose: 13E   25W
Pintail: 32W
Wigeon: 37W
Teal: 146W
Tufted Duck: 4W
Red-throated Diver: 2E
Gannet: 32W
Kittiwake: 9W
Guillemot: 6 on sea        3W
Razorbill: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 1E   7W
Pied Wagtail:  3 on beach
At  08.40 a call from Steve Gale who was less than 100yds away telling me he was looking at a Dusky Warbler brought a sudden end to our sea watch. A couple of minutes later we watching the bird, which was a little more showy than Mondays bird, though getting photographs of it was still very difficult. While watching and trying to photograph it there was a constant flow of Goldcrests coming in over the beach, while overhead, Siskins, Redpolls, Tree Sparrows, Chaffinches, a Brambling and Goldfinches. Another call came through from AJG saying that SO had found a Yellow-browed Warbler in the lighthouse garden was enough to make me leave the Dusky Warbler and head for the lighthouse. Once again minutes later the Yellow-browed Warbler popped up in the Sycamore but giving no chance of photographing it. Also in the garden many Goldcrests with arriving, a minimum of 2 Firecrests, several Chiffchaffs, also at least 3 Black Redstarts that literally dropped out of the sky. 
 Dusky Warbler an excellent find by Steve Gale
 Dusky Warbler
 Dusky Warbler

Black Redstart
After a quick lunch I visited Scotney where a Slavonian Grebe was new in, also there of note c400 Golden Plover and several 100s of Wigeon.
On the New Diggings the 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Great White Egret , while a quick late afternoon look at the sea produced a flock of c80 Brent Geese, a flock of 15 Kittiwakes and 2 Harbour Porpoises of note. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Polish Caspian Gull!

An excellent start to the day this morning when I opened the door, a superb male Black Redstart was perched on the aerial of my car. 
On my way to The Point I stopped at the south end of the New Diggings where the 2 Black-necked Grebes were still in residence.
I cut my sea watch at The Point short, when after 15 minutes I'd only seen a single Gannet go west and 2 Starlings arrive in from the sea. 
 1 of c15 Black Redstarts I saw around the peninsular today.
Goldfinch by the old lighthouse
 A walk around the area with AJG gave the distinct feeling of after the Lord Mayors Show. There appeared to be far fewer grounded migrants today, just the 1 Ring Ouzel in The moat, 3 Firecrests, c30 Goldcrests. Goldfinches, Siskins, Redpolls, Chaffinches and Brambling continued to pass overhead there were fewer of them.
 Polish ringed Caspian Gull
Late afternoon I was with David Walker near the fishing boats, he through out a couple of slices of stale bread for the gulls, within seconds a Polish colour ringed 1w Caspian Gull appeared. It was difficult to photograph as it so tame, coming close enough for us to read the metal ring. It was a pity it was so late in the day as the light was fading rapidly, hopefully it will still be around tomorrow.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Dusky Warbler!

06.30-08.00 from The Point with AJG who collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 47W
Shoveller: 4W
Red-breasted Merganser: 1W
Common Scoter: 11W
Red-throated Diver: 1E  3W
Sooty Shearwater: 3W
Gannet: 56E
Mediterranean Gull: 2W
Kittiwake: 1W
Sandwich Tern: 4E
Guillemot: 3W
Auk sp: 3E   4W
Pied Wagatil: 9E
Skylark: 1 in
Starling: 55 in
Goldcrest: 1 in
Goldfinch: 194 E
Redpoll: 10 over
Next stop was the observatory where DW was busy ringing some of the 100+ of newly arrived Goldcrests which seemed to be everywhere. There was also an arrival of Black Redstarts with a minimum of 40 around.
A walk out into The Desert was relatively quiet apart from Goldcrests and Black Redstarts, also few Skylarks, Siskins, Bramblings and Redpolls which flew over. As I reached the northern end of The Desert news came through of a Duky/Radde's Warbler in front the power station seen by Paul Trodd.
With no sign of the bird when I arrived, those looking started to check other areas. I was by the lighthouse garden, where more Goldcrests, a Firecrest and Chiffchaffs were seen, when MH who was with SG called from c50yds away pointing to a small patch of Broom. We quickly made our way there, shortly after the bird called then flew to another patch of cover, a pattern it repeated several times before disappearing into a private area. It certainly wasn't a poser. Also seen 2 Wheatears and 3 Stonechats by the Britannia also a Ring Ouzel in The Moat.
A short video of yesterdays 1w Caspian Gull can be seen HERE
 A skulking Dusky Warbler (217)
Another walk around The Desert this afternoon with SG was very pleasant and rewarded with a Dartford Warbler (218) and another 16 Black Redstarts, though we failed to see the Great Grey Shrike that flew in front of AJG, who also had a flock of 14 Continental Coal Tits in his garden today.
Dartford Warbler

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Caspian Gull!

A lovely warm autumn day on the peninsular but fairly quiet avian wise. Around the trapping area a few Finches over including Siskin, Redpoll and Brambling. In the bushes a few Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs. A Marsh Harrier and a Great Spotted Woodpecker also flew through. Of note a dartford Warbler seen by SG.
Late morning I was joined by Sally on walk out to the back of Scotney to the wind turbines, which stood stationary with not a breath of wind to stir them. We saw most of the usual birds out there, including 6 Common Buzzards, 2 Short-eared Owls and a Merlin, also the Rough-legged Buzzard which was over Cheyne.
This afternoon I joined Mick and Richard on the beach for an afternoon of Gulling. See HERE how they pull in the Gulls.
At least 2 1w Caspian Gulls came in this afternoon.
 1w Caspian Gull by the fishing boats

 JZ235 Great Black Backed Gull
Turstones making the most of a free meal

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Another Shrike!

07.30-09.30 from The Point with MH and AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Common Scoter: 9E    4W
Red-throated Diver: 4W
Gannet: 677 W
Merlin: 1 along beach
Great Skua: 1E
Arctic Skua: 1W
Kittiwake: 174W
Little Gull: 6W
Mediterranean Gull: 1 adult W
Sandwich Tern: 5 around
Guillemot: 11W   4E
Auk sp: 8W   6E
Starling: 400 in
Goldfinch: 50W
The rest of the morning was taken up with domestic stuff, but I did have a party of 24 Goldfinches on the Plodland feeders.
 Distant Great Grey Shrike
My plans of an afternoon sea watching changed on news of a Great Grey Shrike behind Hookers Pit. A few minutes after getting the news I was having distant views of the Shrike which was quite mobile. Walking around Hookers several Bearded Tits could be heard even above the honking of 100s of Greylag Geese.
When I arrived at the beach, Richard Smith text me to say a 1w Caspian Gull was on the beach, unfortunately it flew off as I arrived but was replaced by a 2nd w Caspian Gull. 
2nd w Caspian Gull this afternoon.
At the ARC Egret roost this evening 8 Great White Egrets and 19 Little Egrets came in. While waiting 2 Black-necked Grebes appeared at the southern end of the New Diggings.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Barred Warbler!

A quieter morning around The Point, though still a few each of Siskins, Redpolls, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Linnets, Bramblings and 4 Swallows over. A single Fieldfare in The Desert, 2 Redwing and 2 Song Thrushes flushed from the Broom, 3 Mistle Thrushes and a Ring Ouzel in The Moat along with a number of Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs and 2 Firecrests. 
The highlight of the day was Barred Warbler (216) which found its way into a mist net in the trapping area.
Fieldfare on the edge of The Desert
Goldcrests in the Broom

 Barred Warbler

 Kestrel opposite Lloyds
Great White Egret at the south end of the ARC
A visit to Galloways this afternoon was again disappointing, no Owls, just a couple of Stonechats.
The Rough-legged Buzzard is still showing on and off at Scotney though usually distant.
With the number of Short-eared Owls around, I spent the late afternoon early evening at home scanning the fields opposite Plodland. No Owls were seen, however 2 Ravens flew over, 2 Marsh Harriers were hunting the ditches, 3 Little Egrets flew over along with 100s of corvids going to roost. 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Scotney revisited!

 First thing this morning a Great Spotted Woodpecker trying out the sleepers on the edge of The Desert. A wander around The desert was much quieter than of late, Thrushes were virtually non existent, though finches could be heard flying over but remained mainly unseen.
I joined Steve Gale in a walk around the back of Scotney where the Rough-legged Buzzard performed for the best part of 40 minutes for us, though distant for photographic purposes before it disappearing out onto Walland Marsh. We also saw a Raven a couple of Marsh Harriers, many Golden Plover and Lapwings, a few Skylarks, Corn and Reed Buntings, Swallows and a Stonechat.
Yellow-legged Gull
A walk from the ARC car park to The Pines and out the back of the water works saw of note a Merlin, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Sparrowhawks, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 4 Swallows.
The sea was very quiet this afternoon, just a handful of Gannets and a Sandwich Tern. The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the roost.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Great Grey Shrike!

Merlin just after grabbing a Goldfinch for Breakfast 
07.30-09.00 from the Point                           09.30-11.00 The Desert
Brent Goose:             4E      39W
Gadwall:                    2 on sea
Goldeneye:                1W
Red-breasted Merganser: 2E
Gannet:                      c15 around
Merlin:                       1 around
Sparrowhawk:            2 around                            3
Oystercatcher:            3E
Golden Plover:           1 in
Curlew:                                                                 1 over
Sandwich Tern:          3 around
Skylark:                     6                                         4
Swallow:                  44                                       11
House Martin:          33
Meadow Pipit:          21                                       15
Pied Wagtail:            17                                        4
Stonechat:                   2
Long-tailed Tit:                                                    6
Great Grey Shrike:                                            1
Starling:                 500 in                                 210 in
Brambling:                1
Linnet:                     83                                        15
Redpoll:                   14+                                       4+
Goldfinch:              360                                        70+
Siskin:                      11+                                     28+
Reed Bunting:            4                                          1
Eurasian Treecreeper trapped and ringed at the observatory (214)

This Great Grey Shrike (215 local patch year) flew past me as I was working The Desert, fortunately it landed on some bushes c400mts away. It was quite flighty and gradually moved north, crossed the road, then lost to view near the ARC. Fortunately it was around long enough for about dozen other observers to see it.  
Stonechat, Scotney
This afternoon I spent 4hrs at the back of Scotney waiting for Rough-legged Buzzard to show, It didn't. It was seen around midday and probably caught a Rabbit, and spent the rest of the day sitting around digesting it. While I was there c3,000 Lapwings and c500 Golden Plovers were out on the fields along with 100s of feral geese. The set aside held many Reed Buntings, Linnets and Goldfinches along with a few Corn Buntings and Yellowhammer.
3 Merveille du Jour recently in the Plodland trap
Cypress Carpet

Monday, 19 October 2015

Some good birds but dodgy images!

The sea was again very unproductive this morning:
O7.30-08.00 from The point:
Common Scoter: 20E
Gannet: c25 around
Kittiwake: 1W
Sandwich Tern: 2E
Guillemot: 2 on sea
Auk sp: 13E
Harbour Porpoise: 2
I spent the rest of the morning around The Desert and Long Pits. Good numbers of Siskin, Redpolls Goldfinches and 3+ Brambling flew over, 44 Ring Ouzels including a flock of 37 that dropped in as bad weather approached, Fieldfares, Redwing, Song Thrushes and a Mistle Thrush flew through. More details of numbers can be found D.B.O.Web Site A Jack Snipe was flushed, also 2 Common Snipe and up to 5 Short-eared Owls were in the area.
 Jack Snipe at The long Pits
 Short-eared Owl in The Desert
I met MH at Brickwall farm who pointed out this superb male Brambling. Pity about the image.
I walked both sides of Dengemarsh Gully and barely a bird was seen. Galloways was opened early this afternoon. I spent 90 minutes there and was very surprised not to see a Short-eared Owl there considering the numbers around the peninsular, I did see 6 Stonechats, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Meadow Pipits but little else.
I had just arrived home when David Walker called to say he had a Rough-legged Buzzard at Scotney. A couple of minutes later I was there and the Buzzard soon appeared hovering over the fields north side of the lake viewed from the double bends. A Short-eared Owl, 2 Marsh Harriers and  2 Sparrowhawks were also there.
 Rough-legged Buzzard over the border in Sussex.
 Rubbish long distance images but you can see what it is. Hopefully it will still be around tomorrow when I will be able to get around the to the back of the lake for better views