Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Balearic Shearwaters and Swifts!

 A cool breezy SW ind this morning at The Point.

Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Balearic Shearwater: 8W   (5 at 07.48  +  3 at 08.02)
Gannet: 51E   47W
Cormorant:  8 around
Marsh Harrier: 1 over beach then NW
Oystercatcher: 3E
Arctic Skua: 1W
Mediterranean Gull: 1W   3rd cal yr  
Black-headed Gull: 17W
Herring Gull: present n/c
Lesser Black Back Gull: 2 on beach
Great Black Backed Gull: 19W   6 around
Swift: 7 in
Sand Martin: 3S
Stock Dove: 2 on Beach
Wood pigeon: 5 on beach
Linnet: 4 on beach

 The first 5 Balearic Shearwaters (a little imagination needed)
and 3 makes 8
Where's those Shearwaters!
This afternoon I joined MH, CP & PT in the shelter of the fishing boats arriving just after 2 Manxies went through but in time to see swarms of Swifts going south.
14.30- 16.30 from The Fishing boats. With MH, CP & PT.
Manx Shearwater: 2W
Gannet: 32W     5E
Kittiwake: 1W
Common Tern: 3 o/s
Sandwich Tern: 6 o/s
Swift: 1,764 out

This evening at Scotney the Spoonbill was sheltering from the strong westerly wind below the causeway bank, as 100s of Swifts were moving towards the sea.
Looking out of my window now at 20.45 I can see many more Swifts heading south through the driving drizzle.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Leaping Shark!

Sea watch this morning from The Point on a mill pond like sea, was greatly enlivened by the fantastic sight of shark sp breaching vertically about 3-4 feet from the sea, this was the first time I have ever seen this.
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Gannet: 21E     134W
Cormorant: 23 around
Sandwich Tern: 2E   5W
Black-headed Gull: 17W
Herring Gull: c100 feeding around fishing boat at sea
Great Black Backed Gull: 6 around
Auk sp: 1W
Swift: 6N
Meadow Pipit: 2 on beach
Pied Wagtail: 2 on beach
Linnet: 4N
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Grey Seal: 2
Shark sp: 1 breached vertically fully clear of the sea 4 times c500mt off shore

 Mid morning at Scotney the Spoonbill was showing well along with several Egyptian Geese, which now seem to be resident at Scotney.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Spoonbill brightens the day!

A cold strong westerly wind was blowing which didn't inspire me as I  wandered down to The Patch this morning.  
 08.05-09.10 saw a very meagre fayre:
Great-crested Grebe: 1
Gannet: 28E   6W
Cormorant: 21 around
Peregrine: 1 around
Black-headed Gull: c200
Herring Gull: c150
Lesser Black Backed Gull: 3
Great Black Backed Gull: 14
Common Tern: 1
Sandwich Tern: 3
Harbour Porpoise: 2
On Burrowes from Dennis's Hide c100 Swifts over the lake in drizzly weather, though all had gone by lunch time as weather cleared, also the eclipse drake Wigeon still there, a Hobby and 3 Ringed Plovers  but little else as the islands seem to be disappearing again.
From the ARC car park 3 more Hobby's and several Tree Sparrows of note.
Early afternoon at Scotney found a Spoonbill on the causeway between the 2 eastern lakes, still present at 17.00. At the back of the lakes at least 5 sitting Avocets, also the usual Yellow Wagtails and Corn Buntings, an Oystercatcher took offence to me walking along the path as its young was hidden several metres away. Around the barns a Little Owl was in its usual spot, also a Tree Sparrow was notable there. The farmers are already cutting the grass for silage so no doubt many Skylarks and Meadow Pipits nest will be destroyed. 

 Another sea watch from the fishing boats this afternoon in the company of MH was very slow. Though it gave us the chance to ponder the folly of Brexit
Gannet: 18E   2W
Cormorant: 6 around
Kittiwake: 2W
Common Tern: 6W     6E
Sandwich Tern: 14W
Harbour Porpoise: 1+
Grey Seal: 1

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Good to be back!

After being in West Sussex for most of the last 3 weeks, it was good to be back out in the fresh air of Dungeness even nursing a hangover.
09.10-10.10 at The Patch
Gannet:  26W       2E
Cormorant: 16 on beach
Mediterranean Gull: 2  1st summer + 3rd cal yr
Black-headed Gull: c150
Herring Gull: c150
Great Black backed Gull: 7
Lesser Black backed Gull: 3
Common Tern: 3
Swift: 2 in
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
Grey Seal: 1
Late morning at Scotney a Little Owl at the barns also 2 Yellow Wagtails. I didn't get round the back as rain storm forced me back to the shelter of the car.
Early afternoon at Dengemarsh c50 House Martins and a few Swifts and Swallows over the lake, 5+ Hobby's and the usual Marsh Harriers. No sign of the Cattle Egret in the hay fields though several could hide in the tall vegetation of hay field 3. A Yellow Wagtail at Springfield Bridge and another by the Go Cart entrance.
Another sea watch from fishing boats late afternoon was also very quiet.
Gannet: 7W   4E
Cormorant: 5 on sea
Kittiwake: 1 feeding o/s
Sandwich Tern: 4 feeding o/s
Harbour Porpoise: 4+

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Balearic Shearwater

I managed to get just over an hour sea watching late afternoon today from The Point:

Common Scoter: 1E
Great Crested Grebe: 2 o/s
Balearic Shearwater: 1W
Gannet: 31W   14E
Cormorant: 6 o/s
Arctic Skua: 1E  DP
Sandwich Tern: 12 feeding o/s
Common Tern: 67 feeding o/s
Guillemot: 3W
Auk sp: 6W
Swift: 43 in
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 4+

Friday, 17 June 2016

I've not been able to get out birding much lately due to family illness. The Plodland MV has been fairly busy lately with 1,000's of Plutella Xylostella and a first for trap in the form of a Toadflax Brocade.
 Toadflax Brocade
 Eyed Hawk Moth
 Barred Red
Ghost Moth from the Shoreham trap.
As I have been spending a lot of time in Shoreham, West Sussex, I have been running the MV there. Plenty of Plutella Xylostella there as well. 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Old Haunts

Due to domestic issues I have spent the last few days in West Sussex, which gave me the opportunity to re-visit some of the sites I used to go to when I was a Shoreham resident. Ambersham Common, Iping Common and  Lavington Common were all visited,  Dartford Warblers, Tree Pipits, Woodlarks, Crossbill, Siskin, Redpoll, Stonechats, Nightjars, Hobby's, Red Kite and countless Common Buzzards were seen with relative ease, surrounding woodland was fairly quiet but I did manage a single Marsh Tit.
A morning spent at The Burgh was superb with at least 5 Red Kites possibly up to 10 and numerous Common Buzzards, Corn Buntings, Yellowhammers, Common Whitethroats and numerous Chaffinches. I only saw 1 Grey Partridge but heard several more and I'm sure many more were unseen in the crop fields, also screaming parties of Swifts and many Swallows hawking over the fields, from a photographic point of view it was a pity that the skies were grey while I was there.    
 Nightjar. Almost dark very high ISO
 Red Kites at The Burgh

 Corn Bunting
Orange Tip

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Back on the Peninsula.

After being away from the Peninsula for a couple of days it was good to get out this morning especially as it was such a glorious summer morning at last. Stopping off at Cockles Bridge I was surprised to see a Polecat/Ferret trotting down the lane towards me, on closer inspection the animal was injured below the neck perhaps by a harness or a snare, as soon as I moved towards it darted off into the under growth and lost. Also of note by the bridge 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Corn Bunting, 4 Stock Doves, Marsh Harrier and Little Egret.
 The injury to the neck clearly visible in this image.
 Spoonbill at Scotney
At Scotney an immature Spoonbill at the Kent end of the main lake with 5 Avocets. At the back of Scotney farm 5+ pairs of Avocets, on the island with the Black-headed Gulls, 2 Mediterranean Gulls also on the island. In the fields plenty of Yellow Wagtails, Corn Buntings and Skylarks but no Tree Sparrows. Over the fields several Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards one in very heavy moult, also 1 of the Little Owls showing well by the barns.
 Little Owl, Scotney.
A bit of moult going on.
Lunchtime in the garden a procession of 14 Mediterranean Gulls over, 2 Oystercatchers and a Common Buzzard.
This afternoon on Burrowes 2 Pintail and 2 Wigeon still, 3 Ringed Plovers, a distant Peregrine but little else of note.
After a huge thunderstorm last night The Plodland MV was stuffed with more Plutella Xylostella and the first Barred Red of note. 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Gang
A family of 5 Stoats playing on the approach road to Dungeness Observatory Saturday morning.
Looking for mischief

2 of c1,000 Plutella Xylostella in the Plodland MV this morning 
Pebble Hook Tip
Cream Spot Tigers

Friday, 3 June 2016


A cold hungry 1st yr Hobby by the entrance track to the reserve.
Another cold miserable day on the peninsula. An hour at The Patch this morning plenty of birds but little of note. On the reserve Burrowes was covered by a myriad of Swifts as were all the other lakes, a Redshank and Ringed Plover were on the gradually appearing islands, also the pair of Wigeon still present. By the entrance track 2 miserable looking Hobby's no doubt looking forward to the expected warmer weather and plenty of food. At Scotney more Swifts and 100s of Greylag Geese, the weather doesn't seem to affected their breeding success.
Checking the Plodland MV late morning I stopped counting Diamond Backs when I reached 100 there was at least double that in the trap. 
As 2 Roseate Terns were seen at The Patch lunchtime, I went back there early afternoon but no sign of the Roseate's though 11 Mediterranean Gulls and that Gull were present, also  a Great Skua, 2 Fulmars and several Gannets off shore.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Laughing Gull again!

Yet another day of cold strong NNE winds howling across the peninsula. 
07.00-09.00 at The Patch:
Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Fulmar: 3E
Gannet: 221W (many more must have passed unseen while scanning through the Gulls)
Kittiwake: 3W
Black-headed Gull: c150 around
Herring Gull: c400 around
Lesser black Backed Gull: present N/C
Great Black Backed Gull: present N/C
Little Tern: 1 around
Sandwich Tern: present N/C
Common Tern: c200 around
Guillemot: 3W
Razorbill: 1 on sea
Once again 100s of Swifts over the pits but little else of note seen.
This afternoon back at The Patch 13.30-16.45:
While scanning through the Gulls on the beach for the umteenth time a dark backed gull came into view. Knowing straight away it was a Laughing Gull I grabbed my camera and took some long range record images, then tried to get the news out which is easier said than done at Dungeness where you have more chance of a French signal than British. The Laughing Gull was around The Patch and on the beach for about 30 minutes before it was flushed by dog walkers when it flew off west towards Sussex. While waiting in vain for it to return 4+ Mediterranean Gulls were around the boil, 37 Swifts came in and THAT White Winged Gull appeared.
 Laughing Gull around The Patch this afternoon

 That White Winger again!

Fox flushing the gulls as well as the dog walkers!