Sunday, 31 July 2016

After emptying the the MV, 2 Jersey Tigers and a Fen Wainscot the highlights I  went to the sea watch hide, apart from a c25 Gannets feeding and 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls over The Patch there was very little of note. A couple of suicidal fisherman sharing a single life jacket, launched a small rubber inflatable, I last saw them drifting east past the buoy. 
 Willow Warbler by the Lighthouse
A look around the Gorse and  lighthouse found a single Willow Warbler and 3 Common Whitethroats. At the observatory a few waders had flown over early morning but only a Chiffchaff found the nets.
Red Underwing
 At Hanson hide of note 2 Red Underwings on the outside of the hide and 5 Copper Underwings inside. From the hide 2 Redshanks, c100 Lapwing, 100s of Gadwall, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Shoveler and Coot, with smaller numbers of the other common wildfowl.
 Copper Underwing
Redshank from Firth Hide
Early evening on Burrowes of note 12 Dunlin, 7 Common Sandpipers, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Whimbrel flew through and 2 Garganey among the 100s of common eclipse wildfowl.

Friday, 29 July 2016

 Feeding frenzy of c500 Herring Gulls, c200 Black-headed Gulls, with smaller numbers of Gannets, Common and Sandwich Terns, 6 Black Terns, 2+Yellow-legged Gulls and c10 Harbour Porpoises all feasting on presumed  Whitebait shoals moving along the colour change.
14.00-17.05 from the fishing boats joined by MH, AJG, OL & DW.
Common Scoter: 1E    7W
Fulmar: 1W
Manx Shearwater: 1W
Gannet: c100 o/s
Cormorant: 17 around
Arctic Skua: 1W
Mediterranean Gull: 1 Juvenile around
Yellow-legged Gull: 2+ Juveniles around
Herring Gulls: 500+ at Whitebait feeding frenzy
Kittiwake: 27W
Black Tern: 6 o/s
Common Tern: 108W
Sandwich Tern: 28W
Grey Seal: 3
Harbour Porpoise: 10+
 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull
 Juvenile Common Tern
 Grey Seals
A very impressive Dutch Clipper

Thursday, 28 July 2016

A wander around The bushes on The Point this morning found just a single Willow Warbler at Lloyds, a party of 12 Meadow Pipits behind the sea watch hide, 6 Common Whitethoats and disappointingly very little else. At the Observatory a juvenile Green Woodpecker found its way into a net.
 Juvenile Green Woodpecker
 The highlight of a walk along the beach to the Lifeboat Station was 2 Fulmars flying over the beach.
At the ARC all the usual eclipse wildfowl and 10 Little Egrets with 10 more at Dengemarsh per MH.
Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at the fishing boats
13.45-16.00 at the fishing boats joined by MH, AJG, BH and AH.
Common Scoter: 2E
Gannet: c100 feeding and sitting on the sea along colour change
Cormorant: 11 around
Sanderling: 2 on beach
Mediterranean Gull: 1 feeding along colour change
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile on beach
Common Tern: c20 feeding
Sandwich Tern: c20 feeding
Swift: 38S in a single party
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpose: 10+

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

After emptying a surprisingly full MV I made my way to the sea watch hide 08.35-09.35:
Common Scoter: 5E
Gannet: 37E   76W
Cormorant: 16 around
Black-headed Gull: c250 o/s
Common Gull: 5 o/s
Herring Gull: c400 o/s
Lesser Black Backed Gull: 9 o/s
Great Black Backed Gull: c50 o/s
Sandwich Tern: 2E
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
A late morning stop at the ARC found c400 Sand Martins and c15 Swifts over the lake, still 100s of eclipse Pochard and Gadwall, 2 Marsh Harriers and 3 Little Egrets, I was about to wander up to the Water Tower but the rain started and I came home for lunch.
 Juvenile Mediterranean Gull near the fishing boats

 As the rain stopped mid afternoon I went to the fishing boats for a very successful sea watch:
14.45-17.00 from the fishing boats
Common Scoter: 6W all drakes
Balearic Shearwater: 3E @16.25
Fulmar: 2W
Gannet: c50 o/s
Cormorant: 12 around
Turnstone: 2 around
Sanderling: 1W
Oystercatcher: 2W
Arctic Skua: 1W
Mediterranean Gull: 2 juveniles around
Yellow-legged Gull: 2 juveniles around
Black Tern: 4W
Common Tern: 42W
Sandwich Tern: 16W
Guillemot: 1E
Swift: 13S
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 6+


 A probably doomed Gannet with a plastic bag!
 Another Jersey Tiger in the MV also this one on the nearby Budleia
 A very tatty Sussex Emerald made into my MV
A very smart Large Emerald in the MV this morning

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Getting Better!

First thing this morning I visited the RSPB reserve. From Dennis's hide the light was awful, looking into the low sun a Turnstone and Common Sandpiper could be made out on the islands but little else. Approaching Makepiece Hide a Stoat ran across the path in front of me, I stood still as it trotted through the Sea Buckthorn and Bramble towards me. As it appeared from the Bramble I took a couple of images, the sound of the shutter made it curious and it slowly approached me through the undergrowth appearing just a few feet away, I took some more images before a couple of Magpie's took umbrage and started mobbing the Stoat chasing it over the bank. Reviewing the images a Tick can clearly be seen on the Stoat.

 Tick on the Stoat
 Migrant Hawker
From Makepiece hide a Black-tailed Godwit was on the newly exposed islands but little else of note.
At Dengemarsh a Migrant Hawker was posing by the path, a Great White Egret and 3 Little Egrets were on the lake, also the neck collared Mute Swan (6UA0).
Around the trails plenty of Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, along with many Reed Buntings and Linnets. 
 Great White Egret
 Mute Swan
 Grey Seal in the scum at The Patch
A late morning visit to The Patch saw just a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of note also the Grey Seal feeding in the scum.
A sea watch from the fishing boats with MH was marginally better than of late:
Gannet: 7W   2E
Cormorant: 13 around
Redshank: 1W
Sanderling: 3W
Great Skua: 1E
Common Tern: 5W
Sandwich Tern: 17 o/s
Harbour Porpoise: 8+
Grey Seal: 2
Late afternoon at the ARC from Hanson c500 Sand Martins feeding over the lake and some newly appeared islands which hopefully will start to attract waders and terns.
Below some of the moths from this mornings catch in the Plodland MV.
 Jersey Tiger
 Sitochroa palealis
Small Ranunculus

Sunday, 24 July 2016


From Hanson hide 4 Redshanks on a newly appeared island, many Coot, Gadwall and Pochard, along with a few Tufted duck, Teal and Shoveler. On the islands from the VC this morning 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Dunlin, a Turnstone, a Barnacle Goose, and 2 Egyptian Geese among the Canada Geese. Over the lake a steady trickle of Sand Martins.
Late afternoon I joined Mick and Richard on the beach, where a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull among the Herring and Great Black Backed Gulls had been attracted by the fish offal and popcorn. Offshore just a handful of Sandwich Terns, a single Oystercatcher flew west and a single Gannet flew east. Just before I arrived a mixed flock of c30 Dunlin and Sanderling alighted on the beach before moving west. 
Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull
 A split second before wipe out!
 Taking on a Great Black-backed Gull

 Herring Gull TU3.T on the beach at Dungeness this afternoon. It's hind claw is trapped inside the colour ring making walking very difficult and probably painful. The left leg is slightly emaciated, maybe this caused the hind claw to get trapped or the trapped claw is the reason for the emaciation I have no idea. I photographed the same gull in December 2012, it was fine then. I have seen several North Thames coloured ringed gulls now, where the colour ring has slipped down over the foot impeding the bird in walking.
TU3.T Dungeness December 2012

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Still Quiet!

Four-spotted Footman in the Plodland MV this morning
Another good night in the Plodland MV. After I had sorted through them and taken some to the Observatory for ID confirmation I joined AJG at The Patch where we saw 4 Yellow-legged Gulls (3 juveniles and a 3rd year bird) among 100s of Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls but not a single Tern or Gannet was seen.
 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull
Another very slow watch this afternoon 14.15-15.30 from the fishing boats:

Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 4E    5W
Cormorant: 11 around
Mediterranean Gull: 1E   1W
Black-headed Gull: 6W
Sandwich Tern: 6W
Sand Martin: 14S
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Great Black-backed Gull with a Dab.
Late afternoon at the ARC c200 Sand Martins feeding high over the railway line, on the lake 2 Redshank on newly exposed island. c300 Pochard and c100 Gadwall along with many Coot and Mute Swans loafing around. As long as it doesn't rain several islands will be exposed in front of Hanson in a matter of days. Only problem is the vegetation in front the hide is so dense and high most of the islands will be obscured, the vegetation cant be cut back yet as there are Reed Warblers nesting there. 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A stroll around the reserve with AJG this morning was very quiet and very hot, a single Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpipers and a Little ringed Plover all on Burrowes were the highlights. 
1 of 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls past the fishing boats this afternoon
14.45-16.00 from the fishing boats with MH
Common Scoter:  8E  2W
Gannet: 4W
Oystercatcher: 4E
Cormorant: 9 around
Mediterranean Gull: 5 o/s
Yellow-legged Gull: 3 juveniles around
Sandwich Tern: 14 around
Swift: 2N
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 8+

Monday, 18 July 2016

Enjoying the sunshine!

 2 adult Harbour Porpoises with a calf off the fishing boats yesterday
 1 of 2 juvenile Redshank from Makepiece
Early this morning at The Patch lots of Gulls including 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, though not a single Tern. There were no Gulls on the beach as our far eastern friends were fishing there for non existent Mackerel. 
 Common Tern
On the reserve islands are beginning to show, I'm sure a few more days of this glorious weather will be enough to get some islands on the ARC as well as Burrowes. The only waders I saw were a couple of Redshanks, a Whimbrel and a Curlew, apparently 5 Black-tailed Godwits flew in after I left. I spent a bit of time watching the Common Terns fishing in the mill pond like New Excavations, although they only caught tiddlers it seems they are catching enough to raise young on the Tern rafts on Dengemarsh. As I walked towards Christmas Dell a Brown Hawker was posing and a Little Egret flew over. At Dengemarsh I met MH and we wandered around the hay fields where c20 Yellow Wagtails were feeding, a Raven and a Hobby flew over and a couple of Water Rails were squealing. From Dengemarsh hide 3 Marsh Harriers and 2 Bearded Tits were the highlights.
This afternoon at The ARC the only notable things were the Swallows nesting in the screen hide and the Gulls an Lapwings actually standing in the water where the islands should be.
I met MH again at the fishing boats this afternoon where in 45 minutes just a single Gannet flew west, 2 Cormorants were fishing a single Great Black Backed Gull sat on the beach and several Herring Gulls loafed, got to be the worst sea watch I have had at Dungeness! But hey sitting basking in the glorious sunshine sure beats the hell out of working. Retirement rocks!! 
 Common Tern
 Common Tern
 Common Tern
 Common Tern
 Brown Hawker
Little Egret
The last few nights the moth trap has been very busy, a lot of my time has been spent going through the 100s of moths, nothing very unusual so far. A few of them below.
 Dingy Footman
 Coleophora trifoli
 Lozotaeniodes formosana
 Batia lambdella
Bordered Beauty