Monday, 30 November 2015

Stormy Dungeness!

08.00-09.30 from the fishing boats on another very stormy Dungeness morning:
Red-throated Diver: 1 NE  1 on sea
Great Northern Diver: 1 SW
Great Crested Grebe: 34 o/s
Gannet: 186 SW     
Cormorant: 326 o/s
Oystercatcher: 1 NE
Turnstone: 3 on beach
Kittiwake: 24 SW   4 on beach
Herring Gull:    P1BT  on beach
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 5 NE
Great Northern Diver from the fishing boats this morning

 Kittiwake in the surf
On the reserve the Long-eared Owl was still showing well behind the dipping pond. From Makepiece hide 3 Goosander and 3 Smew along with all the usual wildfowl. Despite scrutinising 100s of Gulls on Burrowes I could find nothing of note.
On Walland Marsh 3 Bewick Swans at Horsebones Farm and another 15 at Swan Farm, Swamp Road.
At Brett's Marina 4 Great White Egrets and 4 Little Egrets, another Great White Egret on the New Diggings. A Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler in the Willow Trail and 3 Marsh Harriers from Hanson Hide.
On the beach this afternoon 43 more Gannets moved SW. A call from DW who was at the other end of the beach curtailed my watch with news of a 3w Caspian Gull was coming to bread.
 3w Caspian Gull near the fishing boats this afternoon
3w Caspian Gull
3w Caspian Gull
Late afternoon an adult Caspian Gull dropped into the beach roost, despite watching it for ages it refused to lift its head for the camera and as soon as I looked away it was flushed by a dog walker. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was also in the roost.
Adult Caspian Gull in the beach roost

Friday, 27 November 2015


08.00-09.00 from The Point, just enough to keep me entertained. The Purple Sandpiper being the highlight.
Red-throated Diver: 1 NE   15 SW
Black-throated Diver: 2 SW
Great-crested Grebe: 7 around
Gannet: 10 NE      13 SW
Cormorant: c150 around
Purple Sandpiper: 1 SW
Kittiwake: 5 SW      3 around
Auk sp: 6 SW       2 NE
On the New Diggings a Great White Egret and 2 Goosander, the Long-eared Owl still showing at the back of the dipping pool, 4 Smew now on Burrowes, also 2 Goosander, a Kingfisher and 2 Brambling over. 
After a full English at home I had a run around a very windswept Walland Marsh, plenty of Tree Sparrows in the usual spots, a flock of c100 Fieldfare with a few Redwing, also pleasingly Greenfinches seemed to be plentiful but most birds had there heads down.
At Scotney ad adult Caspian Gull and 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, but little else of note. 
 Ad Caspian Gull + ad Yellow-legged Gull (preening)
3w Caspian Gull from Makepiece
An early afternoon visit to the fishing boats was cut short by a deterioration in the weather, so I retired to the VC for a cup of tea with MH in the OFC. We decided to investigate a report of Red-necked Phalarope from Makepiece, where we found another adult and a 3w Caspian Gull also 2 more adult Yellow-legged Gulls but no Phalarope. The Long-eared Owl was still present at dusk.
Couldn't resist another image of yesterdays Glossy Ibis at Pett.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Glossy Ibis!

First thing this morning the sea was very quiet, just a few Red-throated Divers, Common Scoter and 240 Starling in, not a single Gannet in 30 minutes. At the back of the sea watch hide 2 Black Redstarts fly catching from the perimeter wall and 3 1w Little Gulls over The Patch. 

 On the reserve the Long-eared Owl was still sat behind the dipping pool. The Polish ringed 1w Caspian Gull was on the Island in front of the VC and an adult was out from Makepiece. 3 red head Smew from Scott, a Kingfisher and 100s of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler with a few Pintail all pushed towards Scott as the wardens were doing necessary vegetation clearance on the islands. From the viewing ramp a Bittern, Bearded Tits, a Kingfisher, 3 Marsh Harriers, Great White Egret, 4 Egyptian Geese, Cetti's Warblers, a Chiffchaff and several Goldcrests.
 Glossy Ibis Pett Pools.
This afternoon following a call from Roger H, I took a rare excursion away from Dungeness to Pett Pools where a Glossy Ibis was giving superb views close to the road. While there Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Raven, were seen, also a few Common Scoter on the sea and a few Brent Geese among the Greylags in the fields.

Adult Caspian Gull on Burrowes this morning. Taken at 130x on the bridge camera.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

L.E.Owl and a Gull!

An uninspiring watch this morning 08.00-09.00 from The Point:
Brent Goose: 1 NE
Common Scoter: 6 NE
Red-throated Diver: 14 NE
Gannet: 14 NE  46 SW
Cormorant: 478 came out of the bay
Turnstone: 6 around
Kittiwake: 7 SW
Guillemot: 2 around
Auk sp: 15 NE       4 SW
Starling: 130 in
From the sea watch hide with Phil B. 2 Little Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull over The patch, a juvenile Pomarine Skua drifted past and 2 Peregrines around.
 On the reserve more or less the first bird I spotted through the visitor centre window was 65P5 the Polish ringed 1w Caspian Gull. From Makepiece Hide 2 red head Smew, 4 Goosander (1 drake) and the usual wildfowl. At Hookers 2+ Bearded Tits, Great White Egret and 2 Marsh Harriers. While there we were told about a Long-eared Owl showing at the back of the dipping pool, which we duly saw. Well done to the couple that spotted it. On the way Raven, Green Woodpecker and Stonechats were seen.
 Bearded Tits

Long-eared Owl  at the dipping pool.
This afternoon I went back to the beach for another sea watch but was distracted by a gorgeous adult Caspian Gull.
 Adult Caspian Gull

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


Polish Ringed Caspian Gull 65P5 dropped onto the beach during the sea watch
An interesting watch this morning despite the rain, poor visibility and the fog horn.
08.00-11.00 joined by MH
Brent Goose: 2 NE
Teal: 6 SW
Common Scoter: 4 SW
Red-throated Diver: 8 SW
Fulmar: 26 SW
Gannet: 2 NE       25 SW
Cormorant: 230+  Around
Turnstone: 2 around
Great Skua: 1 SW
Pomarine Skua: 1 SW
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 adult around
Caspian Gull: 1  1w around
Kittiwake: 27 SW
Little Gull: 5 SW
Guillemot: 2 on sea
Auk sp: 18 SW       6 NE

 The poor light and rain does not do this bird justice.
1w Caspian Gull

Monday, 23 November 2015

Still no Dovekie!

This 1w Caspian Gull was this mornings highlight, it appeared on the beach as DW and I were sea watching from the fishing boats, unfortunately it flew off before we get near it.
08.30-11.00 & 13.45-15.30
Brent Goose: 36 NE   15 SW
Shelduck: 2 NE
Gadwall: 3 SW    2 in
Wigeon: 9 NE
Shoveler: 2 NE
Teal: 5 SW
Common Scoter: 12 NE   5 SW
Eider: 2 SW drakes
Red-breasted Merganser: 4 SW
Red-throated Diver: 28 SW    38 NE
Great-crested Grebe: 31 around
Gannet: 149 NE     23 SW
Peregrine: 1 around
Oystercatcher: 14 SW
Dunlin: 3 SW
Knot: 1 SW
Turnstone: 6 around
Curlew: 1 in
Kittiwake: 51 SW    41 NE    8 around
Caspian Gull: 1w on beach
Guillemot: 8 on sea
Auk sp : 275 NE     15 SW
Starling: 302 in

JT129 appeared when the fish offal was dumped this morning
A visit to Scotney found all the usual feral geese, as well as few Dunlin and Redshank on the Pools, most of the usal duck were present albeit in small numbers.
Burrowes hosts 3 Goosander (1 drake) and 2 Red head Smew per MH & PB but was generally quiet.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Another Sea Watch!

A couple of interesting sea watches from the fishing boats today, nothing outstanding but enough to keep me interested but no Little Auks.
08.30-10.30 & 13.15-14.45
Brent Goose:  152 NE   121 SW
Shelduck:  59 NE     27 SW
Pintail: 2 NE   1 SW
Wigeon: 62 NE       148 SW
Teal: 6 SW
Shoveler: 2 SW
Common Scoter: 73 NE      41 SW
Velvet Scoter: 1 drake SW
Eider: 1 drake NE
Great-crested Grebe: 39 around
Red-throated Diver: 5 NE   27 SW
Black-throated Diver: 4 SW
Great Northern Diver: 1 drifted SW
Gannet: 402 NE     33 SW
Cormorant: c200 around
Oystercatcher: 2 NE
Turnstone: 22 around
Great Skua: 4 NE
Kittiwake:  27 NE
Guillemot:  2 SW  4 on sea
Razorbill: 1 SW  1 on sea
Auk sp: 18 SW   49 NE
Skylark: 7 in
Starling: 395 in
Goldfinch: 3 in
Harbour Porpoise: 1
Grey Seal: 1
Late afternoon/early evening at the ARC Egret roost: 5 Great White Egrets and 20 Little Egrets came in. Also seen there of note a Bittern, 3 Marsh Harriers and 2,000+ Starlings roosted.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Should have gone to France!

Polish 65P5 still present this afternoon
A reasonably good sea watch today at Dungeness, though it seems north Kent did very well. Just 27 miles from Dungeness as the Crow flies, Cap Gris Nez had another brilliant day, 7,000 Little Gulls yesterday only 2,400 today along with many Auks and Skuas and more, see HERE these numbers are by no means exceptional there.
08.30-10.00 & 13.45-15.15
Brent Goose: 74 SW
Pintail: 2 NE
Wigeon: 2 NE
Teal: 35 SW
Goldeneye: 2 SW  both drakes
Common Scoter: 20 SW   9 NE
Red-breasted Merganser: 7 SW
Red-throated Diver: 11 SW   1 NE
Gannet:  1,000+
Common Snipe: 1 in
Kittiwake: 200 + NE
Mediterranean Gull: 8 SW
Guillemot: 8 SW
Auk sp: 1,000+ SW
Skylark: 1 in
Starling: 3,500 + in

Thursday, 19 November 2015

A few Little Gulls at last!

With the weather continuing stormy and wet sea watching was the only option.
08.00-10.30 & 14.30-15.45 with MH & DW & BW
Brent Goose: 11 SW
Wigeon: 2 SW
Common Scoter: 32 SW
Red-breasted Merganser: 2 SW
Red-throated Diver: 6 SW
Black-throated Diver: 2 SW
Great Northern Diver: 2 SW
Great-crested Grebe: 41 around
Sooty Shearwater: 1 SW
Gannet: 77 SW
Cormorant: 250+ around
Turnstone: 23 around
Oystercatcher: 1 SW
Grey Plover: 1 SW
Great Skua: 3 SW  1 NE
Mediterranean Gull: 3 SW
Kittiwake: 298 SW
Little Gull: 27 SW
Guillemot: 6 SW
Razorbill: 1 SW
Auk sp: 61 SW
Goldfinch: 64 over
Linnet: 9 over
While having a cup of tea in the VC a 1w Caspian Gull came into Burrowes to Bathe. Great White Egrets could be seen on the New Diggings from the causeway.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


The strong winds this morning meant that looking into bushes for a skulky Dusky Warbler was not an option for me. I'd rather be staring out to sea for what might come past and duly went to the fishing boats and did quite well there.
07.45-09.15 & 12.30-15.00 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 6 SW
Shelduck: 1 SW
Common Scoter: 36 SW
Velvet Scoter: 1 SW
Red-throated Diver: 2 SW  1 on sea
Black-throated Diver: 1SW
Great Northern Diver: 2 SW  (very scarce at Dungeness)
Gannet: 217 SW
Grey Plover: 2 SW
Dunlin: 3 SW
Great Skua: 3 SW
Kittiwake: 81 SW
Mediterranean Gull: 1 SW
Guillemot: 5 SW
Auk sp: 21 SW
Stock Dove: 1 SW
Goldfinch: 132 over
Greenfinch: 1 SW
Linnet: 22 SW

A mid morning visit to the reserve looking for Caspian Gulls was unsuccessful indeed I couldn't find Smew or Goosander either today, though both were present yesterday also 2 2w Caspian Gulls. The Dartford Warbler was seen again on the return trail by BB and the Dusky Warbler was reported as still being present by others.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Great Northern Diver!

2 hrs sea watching this morning at the boats 08.00-10.00 was somewhat unproductive, but with the strong winds and rain it was the only viable option.
Common Scoter: 17W
Great-crested Grebe: 29 around
Gannet: 272W
Cormorant:76 around
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Kittiwake: 3W
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 19W
Goldfinch: 35W
Linnet: 24W
An hour or so chatting in the comfort of VC where an adult Caspian Gull came in to bathe, a Goosander swam by and 10 Knot flew through.
Back on the beach this afternoon a 3w Caspian Gull was in the roost. The sea was still very quiet but a Great Northern Diver flying west was a nice surprise.  
 3w Caspian Gull 

Adult Caspian Gull on Burrowes. Taken through the VC window.

Sunday, 15 November 2015


After yesterdays impressive totals at Cap Gris-Nez I was expecting at least a Sooty Shearwater or two at the fishing boats this morning, unfortunately it was not to be, just a few each of Gannets, Auks, Kittiwakes, Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants, the only notable bird was Peregrine which coasted west.
On the reserve from Makepiece hide a 3w Caspian Gull was joined briefly by an adult bathing out among the islands, an adult Yellow-legged Gull also dropped in. From Scott a Smew and Goosander were sheltering under the Sallows.
This afternoon I joined Mick and Richard at the beach, it wasn't long before there Popcorn and fish offal pulled in the Polish ringed 1w Caspian Gull 65P5. For some of superb images of it please look at and
 Where is it???
 There it is!! (Mick and Richard getting head shots of the Caspo)
 65P5 1w Caspian Gull

 A slow, probably painful death awaits this Great black Backed Gull due to careless fisherman
JZ235 Great Black Backed Gull
Late afternoon at the airport Harrier roost just 2 Marsh Harriers came in. 12 Little and a Great White Egret flew over the airport from New Romney presumably heading for the ARC roost, also of note a party of 24 Pied Wagtails over along with a Common Buzzard and many Corvids.   

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Miserable Day!

1 of 2 Black-necked Grebes on The New Diggings this morning
08.45-10.15 from the fishing boats.
Brent Goose: 3W
Common Scoter: 3W
Red-breasted Merganser: 2W
Red-throated Diver: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 117 on sea (my first 3 figure count this winter)
Sooty Shearwater: 1W
Gannet: 66W   13E
Cormorant: 27 on sea
Turnstone: 8 on beach
Mediterranean Gull: 9W  ( of 5)
Kittiwake: 12W     4E
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Razorbill: 6W       1 on sea
Auk sp: 36W
Grey Seal: 1
Goosander in the rain on The New Diggings as I went home for breakfast.
Another sea watch this afternoon in appalling conditions 13.30-15.00 
Red-breasted Merganser: 4W
Great-crested Grebe: N/C
Gannet: 141W   17E
Cormorant: N/C
Turnstone: N/C
Kittiwake: 31W
Guillemot: 4W
Auk sp: 34W

Friday, 13 November 2015

Egrets and Corvids!

A very brief look at the sea this morning from a windswept point before moving to the relative shelter of the reserve. Despite looking at all the gulls there I could find none of of note. On Burrowes the Goosander and 2 Smew still also a Kingfisher before the wind and rain forced me home to a late full English.
As the rain cleared I spent the afternoon at the beach with RS and DW, despite copious amounts of fish offal, popcorn and bread the only Gull of note attracted was a colour ringed Great Black Backed Gull.
JT302  Great Black Backed Gull
This evening at the ARC roost 9 Great White Egrets and 19 Little Egrets came in for the night. Of note several 1,000s of Corvids mainly Jackdaws and Rooks came across the ARC and New Diggings to roost in the Oppen Pits.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Late Swallows and more Caspians!

2 relatively quiet sea watches though this afternoons was great enlivened by the arrival of 2 1w Caspian Gulls.                                       
                                               08.00-09.00                             13.30-14.30
Common Scoter:                  1E       5W                                    2 on sea
Red-throated Diver:                                                                  1W
Great-crested Grebe:            44 around                                   N/C            
Gannet:                                 33W                                            19W
Cormorant:                           49 around                                    N/C
Sparrowhawk:                        1 out
Oystercatcher:                        4E
Turnstone:                            16 around                                    N/C
Kittiwake:                              2W                                             56W
Mediterranean Gull:              1 around                                       3W
Caspian Gull:                                                                             2 around
Guillemot:                             3 on sea                                        2 on sea
Razorbill:                              5W                                                1 on sea
Auk sp:                                41W                                             68W
Pied Wagtail:                         5 on beach
Starling:                             120 in                                           105 in
Goldfinch:                            90 over
Grey Seal:                              1
I haven't been drinking there seems to be a problem with the tabs on blogger!!!
1 of 2 Swallows over the return trail
The 2 Black-necked Grebes were still on the New diggings as was a Great White Egret.
On the reserve of note, 2 1w Caspian Gulls came into Burrowes for a wash and a preen, also there 2 red head Smew, a Goosander, and plenty of the common duck species, 2 Great White Egrets, a Kingfisher and 2 Marsh Harriers. Around Dengemarsh 2 more Great White Egrets, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine, a Stonechat, Cetti's Warblers, Bearded Tits, Water Rails and 2 Swallows over the the return trail.
Polish ringed 1w Caspian Gull
Un-cropped image!

This 1w Caspian Gull put in a brief appearance at The Point this afternoon and declined the bread I through out for it, unlike the Polish bird which greedily filled it's crop.