Thursday, 31 March 2016

Black-necked Grebe!

Much quieter around The Point today, but still a few Firecrests, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and Wheatears around. A Brambling flying over the observatory was my first for the year.
On the New Diggings 2 Slavonian Grebes and 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Swallow through. At the back of Scotney my first 2 Yellow Wagtails of the year, also of note a couple of Corn Buntings, some Skylarks, 2 Common Buzzards and Peregrine. On the walk back 2 more Yellow Wagtails flew over.
 Yellow Wagtails, Scotney.
An afternoon wander around Dengemarsh from Springfield Bridge saw of note, 2 Rock Pipits, a White Wagtail, 4 Bearded Tits, another Swallow and a Great White Egret.
Late afternoon following a tip off from Tony and Brenda I got superb views of a Black-necked Grebe on the reserve, also my 150th patch species this year a Merlin.

Keeping the Wheatear count up for Mr Gale!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016


First thing this morning as I came out the door this Swallow was flying round in front the house.
Firecrest 1 of an amazing 78 seen by me today!
An excellent morning spent plodding around the bushes at The Point and in the Desert also the very north end of the Long Pits. My personal total of Firecrests was an amazing 61, if only my hearing was as good as DW then I'm sure it would have been 100+. For the cumulative total of Firecrests seen in the DOB recording area see also seen were 37 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, a Continental Coal Tit, 4+ Wheatears, 4+ Black Redstarts, a Cetti's Warbler and a Sparrowhawk.
Black Redstart at Lloyds
1 of at least 37 Chiffchaffs in the recording area
Singing Wheatear opposite Jarmans
Small Tortoiseshell at the Long Pits
Partial Summer Plumage Slavonian Grebe
On the New Diggings 2 partial summer plumage Slavonian Grebes and a Black-necked Grebe. Nearby on the Boulderwall Pools a drake and duck Smew.
Bearded Tit ARC
A walk from the ARC car park to the pines saw another 2 Firecrests, 5 Chiffchaffs, a Swallow, 2 Bearded Tits which flew over the track and 2 more Black Redstarts around the water tower.
A distant Tundra Bean Goose 
Dengemarsh Gully and the road side gorse was positively jumping with birds, at least 15 more Firecrests, 40+ Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a Blackcap, 2 Wheatears, a Raven and 2 Marsh Harriers. The Tundra Bean Geese was trying to distance itself from the Greylags in the fields opposite the chicken sheds.
Galloways was very disappointing with just a single Chiffchaff, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Stonechats and a Red-legged Partridge.
Possibly a victim of storm Katie.
Late afternoon at Scotney a Black-necked grebe on the main lake, 3 Brent Geese on the sward, along with 2 Redshank, a Curlew, 6 Oystercatchers, 7 Ringed Plovers and 23 Wigeon. By the cycle track fence the remains of a Barn Owl which may have been a victim of storm Katie by being blown into the fence.

Monday, 28 March 2016

As the Lydd to Dungeness road was closed between Cockles Bridge and the reserve entrance by fallen power lines for most of the day I visited Scotney. Storm Katie's was still blowing hard. The sward was virtually birdless apart from a few Wigeon and the wing shot Geese that cant get away. Herring Gull was awash, just a handful of Gulls were hunkered down on it.
 Unsurprisingly little to be seen at Scotney today!
My next stop was Galloways where at the bottom a mass of Gulls fed along tide line, though I couldn't find anything of note among them.  
1 of at least 3 Firecrests in Dengemarsh Gully.
Dengemarsh Gully did offer some protection from the wind, 3 Firecrests were seen along with 4 Linnets and the usual Dunnocks, Robins, Wrens.
This afternoon at Dengemarsh viewed from the Chicken Sheds, the Tundra Bean Goose wasn't doing its credentials any favours by associating with 2 Egyptian Geese, 7 Barnacle Geese, 6 Canada Geese and c40 Greylag Geese.
It would seem that there was an arrival of Sand Martins on the peninsula today, not that I saw any, though I'm sure by the end of July I may have seen 1 or 2.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

A couple of sea watches

Strong WSW wind this morning with occasional blustery showers didn't inspire me to an early start.
09.00-10.00 from The Point Dungeness:
Brent Goose: 440E
Red-throated Diver: 9E     1 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: present n/c
Gannet: 6E     3W
Cormorant: present n/c
Curlew: 2E
Great Skua: 1E
Sandwich Tern: 3E

Brent Goose: 23E
Red-throated Diver: 2E
Great-crested Grebe: present n/c
Gannet: 3W
Cormorant: present n/c
Kittiwake: 5W
Sandwich Tern: 12W  presumably back to Rye to roost.

On the reserve The Spoonbill, Great White Egrets, Smew, Bitterns, Black-necked Grebes, Tundra bean Goose and more all seen today.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Southerly Blow!

1w Iceland Gull past the sea watch hide this morning.
Brent Goose: 620E
Shoveller: 6E
Common Scoter: 429E
Velvet Scoter: 1E
Red-throated diver: 52E
Great-crested Grebe: 6E       13 on sea
Fulmar: 27E      6W
Gannet: 204E    11W
Cormorant: present
Oystercatcher: 5E
Arctic Skua: 3E
Kittiwake: 25E
Mediterranean Gull: 12E
Iceland Gull: 1 o/s
Yellow-legged Gull: 1   2w o/s
Sandwich Tern: 19E   1W
Guillemot: 6E
Auk sp: 6E
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
After an entertaining 4hrs in the hide I was numb with cold, so I went home for a warming cooked breakfast and coffee then promptly nodded off for an hour.
Early afternoon at Boulderwall the remaining Spoonbill was awake and had a little fly around, 6 Smew there including 2 drakes and 2 Little Egrets.
 Firecrest in the lighthouse garden.
In the lighthouse garden Firecrests were showing well, it seemed every bush or piece of scrub around the peninsula held at least 1 Firecrest. A text from BM telling of a Common Tern at The Patch, I arrived at the hide shortly after seeing 2 Common Terns there.
Another sea watch mid afternoon 15.45-16.45:
Brent Goose: 6E
Common Scoter: 10E
Red-breasted Merganser: 2E      1W
Red-throated Diver: 5E
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 65E
Great Skua: 1E
Kittiwake: 5E
Little Gull: 1E
Auk sp: 2E
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
Late afternoon 2 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Slavonian Grebes were on the New Diggings. A Tundra Bean Goose was in the fields behind Dengemarsh with 7 Barnacle Geese, 2 Egyptian Geese and several Greylag Geese.  
Early Grey from the Plodland MV this morning.

Friday, 25 March 2016

More Migrants!

 A bit of a lay in this morning as a light northerly wind was forecast. My first stop was the Boulderwall Pools to see if the Spoonbill was still present, as I scanned the pools I was pleasantly surprised to see 2 adult Spoonbills at the far end of the second pool, 5 Smew including 2 drakes(the first time I have seen 2 drakes here this winter) were swimming around in front of the Spoonbills. On the banks of the pools a Great White Egret and 3 Little Egrets also c40 Wigeon, 12 Curlew, a Common Buzzard was sitting on a fence post and 2 Marsh Harriers were hunting the ditches.
On the New Diggings 2+ Black-necked Grebes still.
 Firecrest feeding on the grass
In the lighthouse Garden 4+ Firecrests, 3 of which were feeding on the grass with 3 Chiffchaffs.
 Chiffchaff in the lighthouse garden
 Continental Coal Tit
While watching the Firecrests and Chiffchaffs 2 Continental Coal Tits appeared, stayed for a short while before apparently flying off south. In the lighthouse area 4+ Black Redstarts mainly around the research station. Around the rest of the scrub another 12+ Firecrests, 6 Chiffchaffs, 5 Goldcrests and another 2 Black Redstarts.
 Firecrest at Lloyds
A text from SO had me twitching my first Wheatear of the year, a female on the beach near Jarmans. The Gorse and Broom beside the entrance road held at least another 5 Firecrests and 2 more Black Redstarts. While wandering around the beach c270 Brent Geese flew east.
My first Wheatear of the year (picture for Steve Gale)
At Scotney still 2 Black-necked Grebes still and the Little Owl showed briefly otherwise very quiet there.
A scan of the fields in front of Plodland put Spoonbill on the house year list as it had a little fly around, also Great White Egret, 3 Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzard, Peregrine, Raven and 2 Red Legged Partridges.
A mid afternoon sea watch was very slow, 3 Red-throated Divers and 2 Gannets flew east in 30 minutes.
Late afternoon at the pines 2 more Black Redstarts but no sign of the male Wheatear seen by SO.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

A few Migrants!

Sea watching today 07.20-09.30
Brent Goose: 1,165E
Teal: 8E
Gadwall: 2E
Common Scoter: 43E
Eider: 1E
Red-throated Diver: 24E       1W
Great-crested Grebe: 4E          5 on sea
Fulmar: 2E
Gannet: 33E     3W
Cormorant: present
Oystercatcher: 5E
Kittiwake: 1E
Sandwich Tern: 1W
Auk sp: 2E
Carrion Crow: 2 in
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
1 of 3 Woodcocks flushed from the scrub
In the scrub and bushes around The Point some migrants at last, 12+ Firecrests, 5+ Goldcrests, 6+ Chiffchaffs and 3 Woodcocks. Several Wheatears were reported, I managed to miss them all.
2 Black-necked Grebes still on the New Diggings. On Dengemarsh a Great White Egret, a Bittern briefly and the usual Marsh Harriers, in the fields 7 Barnacle Geese and 2 Egyptian Geese and no sign of any of the Wheatears reported there.
This afternoon sea watch was very slow:
14.00-16.00 from the turning circle: with a merciful break to twitch a Spoonbill on Boulderwall Pool where 2 Peregrines were seen along with a red head Smew.
Brent Goose: 360E
Red-throated Diver: 4E
Gannet: 3E
Guillemot: 1E
The Plodland MV caught 6 Hebrew Characters and 4 Common Quakers.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Across the Channel!

Sea watching from the top of Cap Gris Nez.
Another brilliant day out in northern France with MH,CP and PT. We started with a surprisingly good sea watch at Cap Gris Nez in hazy, still, warm conditions.
Brent Goose: c150N
Garganey: 1N
Common Scoter: c100N
Red-breasted merganser: 7N
Red-throated Diver: 204N
Great-crested Grebe: c25 on sea
Fulmar: c30N
Gannet: c100N
Cormorant: present N/C
Curlew: 4N
Dunlin: 8N
Kittiwake: c100N
Mediterranean Gull: 5N
Little Gull: c30N
Sandwich Tern: 6N
Razorbill: 1N
Auk sp: 9N
Rock Pipit: several present
Yellowhammer: several present.
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Grey Seal: 1
Several Grey Partridges seen in nearby fields.
Our next stop was Guinnes where in now gloriously warm sunshine we saw several each of Short-toed Treecreepers, Nuthatches, Marsh Tits, Long-tailed Tits a couple of Common Buzzards soared over the wood and Chiffchaffs were singing but woodpeckers were notable by there absence. Also 2 Hawfinches were seen by one of us, not me.  Nearby a Kingfish, Great-white Egret and more Short-toed Treecreepers and Chiffchaffs singing, a Water Rail scuttled along a ditch and others were calling. The ditches around the board walk held plenty of Toads and Frogs.
Next stop was Oye Plage, around the car park 5+ Chiffchaff, from the hide 5 Garganey and plenty of Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, and Mallard, c30 Common Snipe, 15+ Golden Plover, many Lapwing and Little Grebe. At The Escardines c70 Avocet, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Spoonbills, c100 Pintail and more Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck.
 Another good day out in great company with a total of 100 species seen today.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Very little change in the birds around Dungeness in the last couple of days. The first Sand Martin appeared at the ARC this afternoon per BH, also this afternoon a Spoonbill flew around Dengemarsh being seen from the ramp by TH and from Springfield Bridge by RW. A Garganey was seen from the ramp per RO.
Slavonian Grebes and Black-necked Grebes can still be seen on the New Diggings,  5 Smew were on the Boulderwall Pools, also 2 Hares there and 3+ Great White Egrets could be seen. Yesterday by hayfield 3 7 Rock Pipits (4 Littoralis) a surprisingly scarce bird on the ground at Dungeness were feeding by the track. Bitterns, Bearded Tits and Cetti's warblers have been seen frequently around Dengemarsh, even some half hearted booming being heard. By Scott hide 4 Redpolls. 
While walking around Dengemarsh and Scotney today c500 Brent Geese moved east along the coast, 2 more Black-necked Grebes were on Scotney with 48 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plovers, 2 Redshanks and a Curlew.
Rock Pipit, Dengemarsh
This mornings sea watch 08.00-0845:
Brent Goose: 475E
Tufted Duck: 1E
Common Scoter: 36E   3W
Red-throated Diver: 21E
Great-crested Grebe: present N/C
Gannet: 16E    2W
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
Black-necked Grebe, New Diggings

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Yet another cold dull occasionally drizzly day in a brisk NE wind.
Still 2 Slavonian and 1 Black-necked Grebe on the New Diggings as I made my way to the beach this morning.
07.00-09.00 from the sea watch hide:
Brent goose: 1E
Common Scoter: 43E
Red-throated diver: 151E
Great-crested Grebe: present N/C
Fulmar: 12E  1W
Gannet: 64E
Cormorant: present N/C
Oystercatcher: 5E
Black-tailed Godwit: 7E
Mediterranean Gull: 1 around
Sandwich Tern: 4E
Auk sp: 5E
Starling: 1 in
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
After spending a few hours doing domestic stuff I joined SO at the fishing boats for another sea watch.
Probably the worst sea watch I have had at Dungeness:
Red-throated Diver: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: present N/C
Cormorant: Present N/C
Gannet: 7E
Oystercatcher: 3W
100+ Brent Geese moved east just before I arrived.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Black-necked Grebe on the New Diggings this morning
A walk this morning from the ARC car park to The Pines produced my first Bittern booming of the year near the water tower albeit half heartedly. A Great White Egret from the screen and 2 Marsh Harriers but no migrants.
On The New Diggings a single Black-necked Grebe, a single red head Smew and a single Slavonian Grebe(2 were present later in the morning).
I joined AJG and DC in the sea watch hide. They'd had quite a good session before I arrived, details can be seen on the DBO web site. We saw a male Black Redstart in the power station compound as we went back to the car park.
At Scotney 4 Black-necked Grebes on the main lake along with c100 Wigeon and few each of Tufted Duck and Pochard. On the sward 33 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, Curlew and a Redshank.
Another sea watch from the Point this afternoon with AJG:
Brent Goose: 103E
Common Scoter: 4E
Red-throated Diver: 36E        3W
Great-crested Grebe:  18 on sea
Gannet: 40E
Cormorant: present
Kittiwake: 3E
Sandwich Tern: 1E
Guillemot: 1E      1 on sea
Meadow Pipit: 2 in
Harbour Porpoise: 3
Grey Seal: 1

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Crecy and Le Crotoy!

This morning I met up with MH,CP and AJG then we caught the 05.45 chunnel train to Calais then drove straight to Crecy Forest. Although it was only 2C the sun was shining and just a mere zephyr of a breeze. Several Short-toed Treecreepers were seen, as were Nuthatches, many Marsh Tits, several Firecrests, Jays, a couple of Common Buzzards and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls flew over. At least 3 Middle Spotted Woodpeckers were heard as well as Green and Great spotted Woodpeckers, Redwings and Chaffinches were moving through the tree tops and Blackbirds were positively abundant. Unfortunately we were a little early for Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps.
We then drove through Sailly Braie seeing several Great White Egrets, 2 Avocets on a small pool, a flock of c70 Black-tailed Godwits put on a superb aerial display, also several more Common Buzzards, Mistle Thrush, Skylarks and 2+ Brambling among a flock of Chaffinches were seen. Great White Egrets were numerous in a scan of the Somme estuary from the sea wall, also 2 White Storks with another sitting on its nest.
In Le Crotoy harbour a flock of 171 Avocets, c100 Redshank c20 Dunlin, several Great-crested Grebes and 2 Little Grebes.
 Garganey at Le Crotoy pools
At Le Crotoy pools a gorgeous drake Garganey was sleeping, also there  Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Pochard, more Redshank, several Snipe, a Mediterranean Gull, several White Wagtails, a Water Pipit, 4 more White Storks, Several Great White Egrets, Little Egrets, 2 Cattle Egrets and superb pale Common Buzzard. Once again I found myself wishing I had my DSLR.
The pale Common Buzzard also had completely white breast and white underwing with dark trailing edges. The photograph does not do it justice.
Great White Egret Le Crotoy pools
Crested Tit, Marquanterre
We moved on to Marquanterre for lunch where a Crested Tit performed for us and a Siskin flew over.
Making our way back towards the A16 we came across some Grey Partridges. A real treat to see these days.
Many thanks to CP for doing the driving, also to MH for supplying the transport and entertaining us with loads of jokes that we've only heard a couple of times before, also to AJG for just being there, he knows what I mean.  All in all excellent day out in great company with a respectable 89 species. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Another day of cold north easterlies blasting across the Dungeness peninsula today. Before having my annual check up with the doctor I had a quick look at the New Diggings,where the 3 Black-necked Grebes were associating with c25 Tufted Duck and Coots, a single Slavonian Grebe was feeding under the bushes at the south end. At the south end of the ARC c100 each of Shoveler and Gadwall, c50 each of Tufted Duck and Pochard, a few Teal and 3 Goldeneye, also a Marsh Harrier hunting the railway line.
At Scotney 2 more Black-necked Grebes, the feral flock of Barnacle Geese still on the sward along with 2 Curlew and 3 Ringed Plover. Around the lakes c250 Wigeon with smaller numbers of Teal, Tufted Duck and Pochard.
Late morning at Cockles Bridge a Common Buzzard hunched on a post, 2 Red-legged Partridges, c100 Golden Plover and 200 Lapwing running around the fields and flock of 20 Stock Doves all being harassed by a couple of Marsh Harriers, also 2 Great White Egrets sheltering from the wind in the ditches.
From the visitor centre a drake Smew still, 4+ Goldeneye along with 100s of Shoveler and Gadwall sheltering under the far bank. From Dennis's a red head Smew.
A sea watch this afternoon from The Point in the comfort of my car:
Brent Goose: 281E    (flock of 250 at 14.40)
Common Scoter: 6E
Red-throated Diver: 5E
Great-crested Grebe: 12 on sea
Gannet: 44E    9W
Cormorant: present N/C
Dunlin: 1E
Snipe: 2E  (along the beach)
Auk sp: 1E   2W
Stock Dove: 2 in
Harbour Porpoise: 3+

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

 The strong bitter cold easterly yesterday made the peninsula virtually unbirdable so I gave up and got on with some over due decorating finishing it off this morning.
A midday wander around the hayfields and Dengemarsh failed to find any of the Garganey, though I dare say I will bump into them soon. A lone Black-tailed Godwit on hayfield 3 with 3 Ringed Plovers, 6 Lapwing, 4 Shelduck, 4 Teal, and 2 Gadwall. Around Dengemarsh 7 Barnacle Geese of unknown origin, 2 Great White Egrets, 3 Marsh Harriers, a Bittern. c150 Wigeon and c30 Gadwall. Plenty of Reed buntings seen but no Bearded Tits today.
3 Black-necked Grebes late afternoon
2 Slavonian Grebes early afternoon
I stopped at the south end of the New Diggings on my way to Greatstone and saw the 2 Slavonian Grebes and a red head Smew. Opposite Greatstone  caravan park, c150 Knot, c100 Dunlin, 20+ Sanderling, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits(my first this year) also several 100s of Oystercatchers all of which were showing well on the incoming tide.
A short sea watch this afternoon from the car was poor.

Common Scoter: 3E
Red-throated Diver: 3E
Great-crested Grebe: 26 on sea
Gannet: 4E
Kittiwake: 1E

As I drove back across the causeway I spotted 3 Black-necked Grebes tucked under the bank of the New Diggings. By the time I got the happy snapper onto them they were heading out to the centre of the lake. Apparently my DSLR and lens will take another 2 weeks to repair, so it was just as well I put them in for service early, otherwise I might not have had them for my up coming Moroccan trip.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Still Foggy!

Another very foggy morning on the peninsula. After a full English and emptying the Plodland MV of it's 2 Hebrew Character's, I made my way to the New Diggings where 1 Slavonian and 1 Black-necked Grebe could be seen through the lifting fog. A short wander around the shingle opposite Jarman's found a couple each of Skylark and Meadow Pipit but no Wheatears.
A mill pond calm Scotney still held 3 Black-necked Grebes, of note an adult Mediterranean Gull and 2 Great White Egrets were seen there but little else.
 A happy snapper image of 1 of this afternoons Common Buzzards.
On Walland this afternoon Common Buzzards seemed to be everywhere, a couple of Marsh Harriers were seen, 6 Mistle Thrushes and a few Fieldfare and Redwings are still around the marsh. At Baynham Farm 40+ Tree Sparrows and 4 Yellow Hammers otherwise the marsh was very quiet.
Tomorrow the Lydd  half marathon is taking place on the Walland Marsh lanes so expect delays if driving around there. 
This mornings 2 Hebrew Characters

Friday, 11 March 2016

A benign day!

Dense fog on the peninsula this morning, put paid to any thoughts of sea watching which was probably a mercy. As the fog lifted a wander around the bushes on The Point found very little, a smart male Sparrowhawk unsuccessfully swooped on the House Sparrows at West Beach. The Lighthouse garden seemed to be an avian free zone apart from Wood Pigeons, Magpies and a Crow.
Even the Black Redstarts were hiding from me today. A Peregrine was around the power station and apart from the resident Robins, Dunnocks and Blackbirds I saw very little.
On the New Diggings the 2 Black-necked Grebes were joined briefly by the drake and 2 duck Smew before they went back onto Burrowes to join 6+ Goldeneye and the usual wild fowl also a Great White Egret there.
A walk up the track from the ARC car park to the pines saw 3 Marsh Harriers, one of which tussled with a Bittern right in front of me (still no camera), a Snipe flushed from beside the path, a red head Smew on the top pit and a Chiffchaff was fly catching around the Bamboo.
Another plod around the Scotney complex found 3 Black-necked Grebes and a Goldeneye of note on the main lake. Around the back a Green Sandpiper, 2 Avocet, 4 Pintail, 6 Little Grebes and a few each of Skylark, Corn and Reed Bunting. On the sward 16 Ringed Plovers, 14 Dunlin, 4 Curlew, 3 Redshank,  6 Oystercatchers and 7 Brent Geese among the feral Barnacle Goose flock.
Springfield Bridge round to Dengemarsh this afternoon, saw a Bittern over the reed bed, 10+ Reed Buntings, c40 Lapwing on Hayfield 3 which must very soon host a Garganey, 2 Bearded Tits chasing along the ditches, 3+ Marsh Harriers and a Peregrine putting up all the Wigeon and Greylags.
This evening a Slavonian Grebe was on the New Diggings along with the Black-necked Grebes and the drake Smew again.
6 Great White Egrets and 26 Little Egrets roosted at the ARC this evening.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

An Excellent Sea Watch!

I joined the new Dungeness Bird Observatory assistant warden David Campbell in the sea watch hide this morning for a cold, damp, windy but truly memorable sea watch. We were later joined by MH, PT and Barney.
Brent Goose: 246E
Gadwall: 1E
Pintail: 12E
Shoveler: 4E
Teal: 2E
Eider: 11E
Common Scoter: 306E    1W
Red-throated diver: 45E   6W   2 O/S
Great-crested Grebe: present
Fulmar: 412E   3W (inc. 17 Blue Fulmar all E)
Gannet: 875E    3W
Cormorant: present
Oystercatcher: 71E
Avocet: 6E
Curlew: 14E
Dunlin: 1E
Great Skua: 2E   1W
Kittiwake: 718E
Mediterranean Gull: 5E
Sandwich Tern: 1E
Guillemot: 53E   2W
Razorbill: 1E
Auk sp: 156E   2W
Meadow Pipit: 2E
Starling: 6E
Harbour Porpoise: 1
Grey Seal: 1

Very frustratingly several of the Blue Fulmars came past very close but my camera is still being repaired.

A lunchtime stop at the southern end of the New Diggings found 3 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Slavonian Grebes.

At the fishing boats this afternoon normal service resumed:
Common Scoter: 1E
Red-throated Diver: 1W
Gannet: 2E
Oystercatcher: 10E
Mediterranean Gull: 1W ad
Guillemot: 3E
Auk sp: 3E

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

2 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes and 2 red head Smew seen on The New Diggings this morning while on my way to the beach. 
Black-necked Grebe, New Diggings taken with the happy snapper this morning.
In 2 sea watches today 07.45-09.00 & 13.50-15.40:
Brent Goose: 47E
Common Scoter: 12E     6W
Velvet Scoter: 3E
Eider: 3E
Red-throated Diver: 32E      3W     2 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: 105 on sea
Gannet: 19E      2W
Cormorant: present N/C
Oystercatcher: 8E
Kittiwake: 10E     3W
Guillemot: 8E       15 on sea
Auk sp: 67E     2W
Black Redstart: 2 on perimeter fence
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
A wander around Scotney found 2 Great White Egrets on the back lakes, also 2 Avocet, 4 Pintail and a few Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall and Shoveller. On the fields several each of Skylarks, Corn Buntings, Reed Buntings and a Marsh Harrier.
Another Great White Egret from the entrance track of the reserve, while on Burrowes 3 more Smew, 8+ Goldeneye, 100s of Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck and Pochard.

Monday, 7 March 2016

1 of 3 around the car park
Another day of cold Northerly winds with sleet, hail and rain showers. A stop at the New Diggings on my way to the beach saw both Slavonian and both Black-necked Grebes.
At The Patch the bulk of the c1,000 Gulls was made up of Black-headed Gulls, I was unable again to find any of the more unusual Gulls. On the sea the usual Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants, with a few Red-throated Divers and Gannets tooing and froing. Back at the car park 3 Black Redstarts were chasing around. At least 1 was ringed so they probably resident birds. Very little in the lighthouse garden though 2 Blue Tits dropped out of the sky pausing briefly before heading off north along the peninsula.
A walk from the ARC car park to the pines saw of note 2 Marsh Harriers, 4 Common Snipe, 3 Cetti's Warblers, a Chiffchaff and a red head Smew on the top tower pit. 
At a bleak Scotney a few Ringed Plovers and Meadow pipits on the sward was a poor highlight. 
Most the rest of the day was taken up with domestic stuff, though a short visit to Dennis's hide saw 7 Goldeneye, 3 Smew including the drake and a couple of Marsh Harriers.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

 Still showing well.
A quick spin around the reserve this morning the Long-eared Owl was still insitu at the Dipping Pool, on Burrowes 4 Smew including the drake and 10 Goldeneye, Great White Egret at Christmas Dell, another at Dengemarsh and another at Boulderwall, 3+ Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards and a Peregrine probably accounted for the lack of waders and wildfowl in the fields. Cetti's Warblers were singing all around the reserve also 2 Chiffchaffs noted.
 Missing my proper camera & lense!
On the new Diggings the 2 Slavonian Grebes were showing well by the causeway this morning, this afternoon the 2 Black-necked Grebes were there as well.
Herring Gull U5NT
This morning and again this afternoon the northerly winds meant the sea was very quiet. The usual Grebes and Cormorants, with a few each of Guillemot and Gannet. A North Thames ringed Herring Gull U5NT was a new bird for me.
An early afternoon walk around Scotney was pleasant in the sunshine, avian wise it was very poor, there were 4 more North Thames ringed Herring Gulls on the eastern causeway, unfortunately just to far away to read in the windy conditions. 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Another day of cold North Westerlies. As expected nothing moving at sea but still plenty of Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants with a sprinkling of Red-throated Divers off shore.
Very quiet still around the trapping area, a single Firecrest seen and 2 Song Thrushes of note. Around the power station a Peregrine and a male Black Redstart.
At the south end of the New Diggings 2 Slavonian Grebes and a Black-necked Grebe of note.
A Peregrine sitting on the Sward at Scotney meant that there were no waders or wildfowl there.
A walk along the sea wall from Jurys Gap to Galloways and back was bracing and not very productive, c70 Wigeon, 32 Shelduck, 14 Shoveler, 8 Teal, 3 Pintail, 17 Mallard and 6 Redshank on the Midrips/Wicks. Passerines were few and far between with only 4 Meadow Pipits, 3 Reed Buntings and 5 Pied Wagtails. A Marsh Harrier livened up a very damp walk back.
The new sea defences from Jurys Gap to Camber.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

 Wind Farm behind Scotney
As a brisk North West wind was blowing first thing this morning I gave the sea watch a miss, instead I walked around the back of Scotney in the glorious sunshine though without any expectations. A pair of Peregrines were feeding on what looked like a Wood Pigeon, a Raven was feeding on a dead Sheep while fending off the attentions of several Crows and Magpies, 2 Marsh Harriers were hunting along the ditches and flushed a Green Sandpiper, several Skylarks and Corn Buntings were chasing around and singing, Reed Buntings were singing from the Reed fringed ditches, a pair of Stonechats were flycatching. Around the derelict buildings 8 Tree Sparrows, a charm of 30+ Goldfinches being watched by a male Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel caught a Vole and a Peacock butterfly was basking by the barn.  
 Peacock at Scotney
Around the reserve 2 red head Smew on Boulderwall Pools, 2 more on Burrowes also a drake, another at the South end of the ARC and 2 more on New Diggings with 2 Black-necked Grebes. The Long-eared Owl was again showing very well behind the Dipping Pool while 2 Sparrowhawks were duelling overhead.
An afternoon walk out the back of the ARC out to the mirrors was hard going, the highlights being a Jack Snipe, 4 Common Snipe, 2 Marsh Harriers another Sparrowhawk, a pair of Stonechats and a sleepy Fox.
A short watch from the fishing boats saw absolutely nothing moving but plenty of Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants on the sea.
Late afternoon at Scotney 30+ Golden plover on the sward with c150 Lapwing, 6 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 4 Curlew and 2 Redshank also the feral Barnacle Goose flock.
Sleepy Fox neat the Mirrors