Wednesday, 31 August 2016

 Willow Warbler
This morning around the lighthouse area a single Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and an adult male Redstart. Also a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. At the Observatory another Redstart was ringed along with a couple Lesser Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler. In the Desert 5 Wheatears, a couple of Common Whitethroats and few Swallows over all very quiet. Another 6 Wheatears opposite Jarmans.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth
 Common Redstart
 Common Redstart at the Observatory
 Small Coppers in the observatory garden
An hour at the fishing boats late afternoon was again very quiet:
Common Scoter: 1E
Great Crested Grebe:1 off shore
Gannet: 1E
Cormorant: present n/c
Black-headed Gull: present n/c
Common Gull: 3W
Herring Gull: present n/c
L.B.B Gull: 4 around
G.B.B Gull: present n/c
Sandwich Tern: 40+ feeding o/s
Common Tern: 10+ feeding o/s
Swallow: 14 S
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Early evening at the southern end of the ARC of note, a Wood Sandpiper ands a Ruff. On  Burrowes of note 2 Little Stints, 5 Common Sandpipers, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlin, a Ruff, a Black Tern and a Garganey.
 Common Sandpiper from Firth
Lapwing from Firth

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

 Waders on the reserve were the main feature at Dungeness this weekend unless you are a Larophile of course.
Up to 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Little Stints, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 6 Ruff, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Ringed Plovers, 3 Green Sandpipers, 7 Common Sandpipers, a Wood Sandpiper, 5 Turnstone, 80 Golden Plover, 6 Common Snipe, 20 Dunlin, 5 Garganey, 5 Great White Egrets, a Glossy Ibis and more.
Passage on the sea however was very poor, though 2 Sooty and a Balearic Shearwater were seen by others.
Redstart at the Old Lighthouse this morning
This morning around point, 2 Redstarts, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Pied Flycatcher, several each of Whinchats, Wheatears, Common Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethoats and Willow Warblers but nothing special. The lakes held the same waders as the weekend. A wander around the hay fields produced more Snipe and Green Sandpipers and c20 Yellow Wagtails. 
An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon was very enjoyable sitting in the warm sunshine, but avian wise a non event with just 36 Common Scoter flying east, a single Kittiwake and few each of Sandwich and Common Terns off shore, 102 Swallows with a Sand Martin going south, also several Harbour Porpoises off shore.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

A quick look at the sea this morning showed it to be very quiet, likewise the Lighthouse area.
At the reserve a Black Tern on Burrowes along with 4 Great White Egrets, 2 Garganey, a Wood Sandpiper, 7 Common Sandpipers, a Ruff, a Common Snipe, a party of 18 Ringed Plovers and 4 Dunlin of note.
 Wood Sandpiper in horrible light from Firth this morning
2 visits to the ARC found 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpipers, 5 Little Stints, 5 Little-ringed Plovers, 3 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 2 Common Snipe, a fly over Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit also 8 more at the Southern end and myriads of Sand Martins.
A Glossy Ibis was seen by RO heading towards Boulderwall fields.
  Curlew Sandpipers from Hanson this PM
2nd Vestal of the year in the MV this morning
A busy bight in the MV produced a Vestal of note among the many more usual species, also plenty of Mico's whch will keep me busy this evening trying to ID them.

Friday, 26 August 2016


 This morning I parked at the old lighthouse hoping that the garden would hold some migrants, whilst staring into an avian free garden, a young male Sparrowhawk zipped over my shoulder and landed on the fence a few metres  away until it heard the camera. A pity that the position of the ring gave me no chance to read it.
With the bushes being virtually devoid of birds I joined AJG in Hanson Hide, where a Ruff, 4 Little Ringed Plovers and a Black-tailed Godwit were the highlights.
An early afternoon sea watch was very slow with just a handful of Sandwich Terns, a Grey Seal and 6+ harbour Porpoises.
Late afternoon at Galloways and Dengemarsh Gully, 14 Whinchats, 8 Wheatears, 3 Stonechats, 4 Sedge Warblers, 8 Common Whitethroats, a Raven and the Diamond Dove by the chicken sheds.
Barred Red
The MV was busy this morning with 274 macros of 38 species. But no surprises. 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Pied flycatchers!

Around The Desert this morning a Pied Flycatcher, (another trapped) 1+ Spotted Flycatchers, 20+ Common Whitethroats, 10 Willow Warblers and a few Swallows over, also 3 Whinchats per AJG.
After doing some domestic stuff I spent 2 hours this afternoon at the fishing boats in the company of BC, PT and MH where the highlights were 2 Arctic Skuas that have been around a while and a single Fulmar and very little else.  
 Pied Flycatcher, Galloways.
 Late afternoon at Galloways another Pied Flycatcher, 6 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, 5 Willow warblers and 20+ Common Whitethroats. This evening at Scotney 32 Golden Plover, a Common Sandpiper, the usual feral geese and a Barn Owl.
Whinchat, Galloways

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


A short watch this morning from by the sea watch hide saw no offshore movement. A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was warming its self on the power station wall. 
A stroll around the desert saw of note 9 Common Whitethroats, 3 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, 14 Yellow Wagtails,  42 Swallows and 4 Sand martins over, also a Marsh Harrier was hunting over the trapping area.
At the ARC of note 9 Golden Plover, a Ruff, a Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plovers and Common Sandpiper. In the bushes a Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Cetti's Warblers.
A walk around the hay fields saw of note 20+ Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wheatears, a Great White Egret, 4 Little Egrets, 3 Green Sandpipers and 2 Bearded Tits. By hay field 3 a Diamond Dove flew up from a puddle it had been drinking from and posed on the fence. 
 Diamond Dove at hay field 3
 A party of 12 Balearic Shearwaters passing the fishing boats this afternoon (imagination required)
This afternoon I joined AJG at the fishing boats. After yesterdays 3 hours of nothing I certainly wasn't expecting to see Shearwaters this afternoon on flat calm sea.
14.10-16.15 many thanks to AJG for collating the numbers:
Common Scoter: 3E
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Balearic Shearwater: 14W (2 +12)
Cormorant: present
Ringed Plover: 1 over
Turnstone: 1 around
Dunlin: 23W
Sanderling: 18W
Arctic Skua: 2 around
Kittiwake: 1W
Black-headed Gull: present
Herring Gull: present
Lesser Black-backed Gull: present
Great Black-backed Gull: present
Black Tern: 2 present
Sandwich Tern: 133W
Common Tern: 14W
Swallow: 814S
Sand Martin: 27S
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Clouded Yellow: 4 in

2 more Jersey Tigers today 1 in the trap and this one by the trap (28)
A washed out Gem

Monday, 22 August 2016

Sand Martins!

A 30 minute sea watch from The Point early morning was very slow, just a handful of each of Common and Sandwich Terns, the highlight being a single Balearic Shearwater west.
 Another doomed Herring Gull, seems to be a near daily occurrence at Dungeness.
On Burrowes 2 Black Terns, 2 Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Redshank, 2 Garganey, 3 Great White Egrets and 100s of Sand Martins were the highlights. On the ARC from Hanson 13 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Ringed Plovers and 100s more Sand Martins were the highlights there. 
Fulmar from the fishing boats
13.15-17.15 from the fishing boats joined by MF,MH,RW & AJG.

Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Fulmar: 8W
Balearic Shearwater: 6W   (3 at 14.02 + 3  at 16.25)
Gannet: 38W    7E
Cormorant: 19 around
Ringed Plover: 4E
Arctic Skua: 2 around
Little Gull: 1W Juvenile first of the autumn for me.
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Roseate Tern: 1W
Sandwich Tern: 358W
Common Tern: 466W
Sand Martin: 7S
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Grey Seal: 1

Sunday, 21 August 2016

With gales blowing most of my birding this weekend was done from the shelter of the fishing boats.
Numbers over the weekend were:
Teal: 4W
Common Scoter: 16W    3E
Fulmar: 15W
Blue Fulmar: 1W
Balearic Shearwater: 23W     8E
Gannet: c150
Osprey: 1S
Dunlin: 25W
Turnstone: 2 around
Black-tailed Godwit: 8W
Great Skua: 1W
Arctic Skua: 4-6 around
Kittiwake: 6W
Black Tern: c15W
Little Tern: 6+W
Commic Tern: 200+W
Sandwich Tern: 200+W
Swift: 14S
Sand Martin: 26S
For full details see
Passerines were virtually non existent in the gales, while the islands on the reserve held a few each of Ruff, Common Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plovers, Ringed Plovers, Redshank, Dunlin, a Little Stint also at leat 4 Great white Egrets around the reserve.  

Friday, 19 August 2016

Yesterdays Stone Curlew
 1 of 3 Hummingbird Hawkmoths on the power station wall
 Little-ringed Plover from Firth
In 3 visits to the ARC today, saw of note 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 15 Golden Plover, a Great white Egret and c500 Sand Martins. 
 Colour ringed/flagged Spotted Redshank
2 Visits to Burrowes and Dengemarsh saw of note 11 Grenshanks, 8 Redshanks, a Spotted Redshank, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 15 Ringed Plovers, 6 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpipers, 7 Common Snipe, a Ruff, 4 Great White Egrets, 3 Garganey, a Mediterranean Gull, c40 Yellow Wagtails and several 100s of Hirundines.
 ANNJ, juvenile Mediterranean Gull
13.30-16.00 from the fishing boats joined by MH,PT & DC.
Common Scoter: 11W
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 52W    6E
Grey Plover: 1W
Dunlin: 10W
Arctic Skua: 4 around
Kittiwake: 1W
Little Tern: 4W
Black Tern: 106W
Sandwich Tern: 84W    17E
Common Tern: 210W    13E
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Grey Seal: 1

3 Garganey at Firth this evening

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

First thing this morning at the ARC from Hanson hide of note 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Golden Plover and a Dunlin among c100 Lapwing and many feral geese. A Hobby was chasing the 100s of Sand Martins over the pit. On Burrowes of note 5 Common Sandpipers, a Ruff, a Knot, 2 Dunlin, and a Ruff.
An hours sky watching from Plodland produced 2 Common Buzzards, a Hobby, a Kestrel, a Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk, also 3 Yellow Wagtails over.
 Great Black Backed Gull
This afternoons sea watch from the fishing boats joined by AJG 14.00-15.55:
Common Scoter: 9E
Gannet: 1E
Cormorant: 3 around
Oystercatcher: 1E
Arctic Skua: 4+      1 LP + 3 DP together
Caspian Gull: 1 juvenile
Sandwich Tern: 47 into Lade Bay most carrying fish
Common Tern: 18 o/s
Sand Martin: 192 N
Harbour Porpoise: 10+

Harbour Porpoises

Monday, 15 August 2016

Enjoying The Sun!

As I drove to the observatory 2 Wheatears flew across the road in front of me by the lighthouse, giving me hope of more migrants. That hope was  short lived. After doing some domestic stuff I went to the reserve and twitched a Ruff!!! unbelievably it is the first I have seen on the peninsular this year, however there was little else to be seen with it.
 Juvenile Herring Gull attached to a what looks like a balloon
While sea watching from the shelter of the fishing boats and basking in the gloriously warm sunshine made for a very pleasant afternoon. A probably doomed Herring Gull flew trailing what looked like a child's balloon, that appeared to either swallowed or entangled around its bill.  appeared.There was was very little moving offshore just a handful of Gannets and Sandwich Terns, a single Fulmar flew east and 70 Sand Martins flew south, 14+ Harbour Porpoises and Grey Seal were also seen. As it was slow going I threw a couple of slices of bread onto the beach, seconds later the juvenile Caspian Gull appeared showing brilliantly, also at least 1 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull appeared.
 Juv.Caspian Gull

 Juv.Caspian Gull
 Last nights moth haul was abysmal, below are a couple of unusual micro's caught recently.
 Horse-chestnut Leaf Miner a common micro but rare on the peninsular
Metalampra italica another very scarce micro on the peninsular made its way  into the Plodland MV

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Juvenile Caspian Gull!

 The Gull Boys (Mick Southcott and Richard Smith) attracted this superb juvenile Caspian Gull onto the beach late this afternoon, with there mixture of fish offal, popcorn and bread. There will without doubt be much better images on the their blogs &

 This morning around the peninsular small numbers of Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroats, a Whinchat in the trapping area and 3 more at Galloways per PB, though I could only find one later on. The ARC is getting better with 3 Little Ringed Plovers, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank among the Lapwings, also 3 Ruff seen by KP.
A very unseasonal sighting from the fishing boats of a Little Auk by AJG & RW, which drifted out to sea before I could get there.
 The Plodland MV was very busy this morning with 46 species of macros, including an n amazing 7 Jersey Tigers, 6 of which behaved the other was off before I could photograph it, also of note a Gem.

Friday, 12 August 2016


 Early morning on the reserve a tame Wheatear in the car park greeted me as I arrived. On the islands a couple of Common Sandpipers and 3 Dunlin, the 2 Garganey were still in front of Firth. By Scott hide I noticed 2 Great white Egrets which quickly moved to Christmas Dell. MH later confirmed that there was another at Dengemarsh so presumably the new birds had only just arrived. As I drove out a Hobby dashed over the track.
A visit to the observatory where I learn't that the trapping area was very quiet, so after having breakfast I decided  to visit The Midrips which is open all weekend. On arrival the water levels looked good but barely a bird in sight. I can only assume that the pools are so polluted by 100+ years of the army shooting on it that little can survive. I can't recall seeing a Heron, Little Egret or even a Cormorant on the pools so presumably there are no fish or mollusc's.
Walking to the end of the concrete sea wall i did mange to see 4 Avocets and a Curlew on the beach, a flyover Hobby and Peregrine, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wheatears, a Willow warbler on the see wall and a Clouded Yellow.
An hours sea watch this afternoons from the fishing boats was a very slow affair:
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 4 around
Cormorant: 7 around
Turnstone: 1 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Sandwich Tern: 12 around
Common Tern: 3 around
Sand Martin: 97S
Harbour Porpoise: 4+

 Flame Carpet new for the trap
Chocholate-tip new for the year

Thursday, 11 August 2016

 1w Mediterranean Gull at The Patch (RK65)
Early morning at The Patch found 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, a French colour ringed Mediterranean Gull and 12 Common Terns among the many Black-headed and Herring Gulls.
Between the Lighthouse and the Observatory just a single Willow warbler and single Common Whitethroat.
 House Sparrow with Migrant Hawker in the observatory garden
The southern end of the ARC held 2 Little Egrets and Common Sandpiper While in 2 visits to Burrowes of note 3 Sanderling, 4 Little-ringed Plovers, 4 Common Sandpipers, 4 Dunlin and 2 Garganey.
Little-ringed Plovers from Firth hide
An early afternoon sea watch from The point was very poor, just a handful each of Gannet, Sandwich and Common Tern.
2 visits today to the ARC Screen and Hanson found of note 3 Black-tailed Godwits, a Dunlin, 4 Golden Plover, a Hobby and a Peregrine.