Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Honey Buzzard!

 Avocets from Firth Hide
After sorting through a very full MV finding only a Shoulder Striped Wainscot of any quality, I went straight to the reserve. From Dennis's 3 of the nest boxes were occupied by Common Gull and another by an Oystercatcher. From Firth and Makepiece the 2 Avocets still also a Ringed Plover and 2 Hobby's there. A walk up to Christmas Dell found the usual species but nothing of note. 
 Oystercatcher taking over a nest box
At the ARC from Hanson 2 more Avocets, a Little Ringed Plover, c50 House Martins, 2 Cuckoo's and 2 more Hobby's. As I walked back to the car park and was admiring some Southern Marsh Orchids, when a Crow alerted me to the presence of a large raptor that I immediately lost sight of as it flew behind Boulderwall Farmhouse, fortunately it reappeared and came straight and low over the car park heading towards the Water Tower and lost to view behind the water works.
As the fog rolled in late morning I spent a couple of hours sky watching from home where I saw 8+ Common Buzzards, squadrons of Hobby's were hawking high over the fields and the usual Marsh Harriers were hunting the ditches. 
An early evening visit to the reserve was pleasant but saw little of note.
 Honey Buzzard over the ARC car park
 Honey Buzzard

 Honey Buzzard

 Southern Marsh Orchids
Shoulder Striped Wainscot

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

A foggy start at the observatory this morning with little avian activity, from Harry's Bench 10 Swifts and Peregrine. A superb Purple Cloud moth had been caught overnight at the Long Pits and was on show at the observatory.
On the reserve this morning  2 Avocets and a couple of Hobby's were noted. 
 Guillemot with a broken lower mandible
A watch from the fishing boats 14.05-14.35
Gannet: 17 down
Sandwich Tern: 12 down most carrying small fish
Common Tern: 5 feeding along the colour change
Guillemot: 3 around including the bird above.
The watch was cut short by a report of an Alpine Swift on the reserve at Hookers, I joined SG & MH at the viewing ramp but no sign of the Alpine Swift or who ever reported it. There were plenty of Common Swifts and 5+ Hobby's there. we moved over to the ARC where there were more Common Swifts and Hobby's, also 100+ House Martins and smaller numbers of Swallows.
 Bordered White a first for the Plodland MV
Purple Cloud caught at the Long Pits 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Distant Black Kite over Lydd from the garden
First thing this morning I went to Burrowes to see what goodies last nights thunder storms may have put down. 2 Hobby's were perched up by the entrance track, on Burrowes it quickly became apparent that nothing new had arrived on the reserve.
At the observatory it was also apparent that no new arrivals had been noted except for 2 Great White Egrets that flew west seen early morning by AJG.
As the morning warmed up I went home and set my scope up in the drive and spent next 3 hours scanning the sky in front my house hoping for a Honey Buzzard. It wasn't long before the usual resident Marsh Harriers started appearing, c18 Common Buzzards were seen over 3hrs some were more than likely migrants, 6+ Hobby's and while watching a couple of these over the airport pits I picked up a Red Kite going south east. I called SG & MH who were on the reserve to let them know, a short while later SG called telling me that a Black Kite was now heading in my direction, a scan of the sky in front of me found just Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier, the next scan though picked up the Kite heading towards me, I grabbed my camera thinking I was going get to good images but for some reason the Kite veered away towards Lydd Wood, it gained height and began to circle roughly over the church allowing me to get very distant record images. In all I saw 8 species of raptor from the garden including the 2 Kites, Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzard, Hobby, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Peregrine, also Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mediterranean Gulls, Yellow Wagtails, S Skylarks and more, a thoroughly enjoyable morning.
 Mediterranean Gull Lydd over the garden
At Scotney this afternoon the Little Owl was in its usual spot, Yellow Wagtails and Corn Buntings were calling from the fence posts and crops, on the islands at least 10 Avocet chicks with attendant and very protective parents and another 11 birds that appeared to be sitting on eggs. Another set of Kite Surfers were on the main lake disturbing the nesting Gulls and wildfowl.
Firethorn Miner found in the MV

Sunday, 28 May 2017

First thing this morning at The ARC a Bittern was booming, a Hobby was hawking Damselflys, 2 Cuckoo's chasing and calling, several Reed Warblers were chuntering, Sedge Warblers and Common Whitethroats were singing and parachuting, 2+ Lesser Whitethroats were rattling and a couple of Cetti's Warblers were shouting from deep cover.
 2nd year Iceland Gull at a very scummy Patch
 Iceland Gull over the scum at The Patch
Visibility was very poor at The Patch but the 2nd cal year Iceland Gull was still present this morning also 3 Mediterranean Gulls (adult, 1st Summer, 3rd cal year) 3 Harbour Porpoises were just outside the boil, Meadow Pipits were feeding young on the perimeter wall. 
 Rest Harrow 
A moth twitch late morning when a couple of Rest Harrow moths were found on the peninsula, a new moth for me. 
2 of 3 Avocets in front of Firth this evening
This evening again quiet on the reserve, 6 Sanderling from Dennis's and 3 Avocets at Firth were the highlights.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Curlew Sandpiper from Dennis's
I went to the reserve first thing this morning and saw a superb summer plumage Curlew Sandpiper unfortunately it had a damaged leg, it was still present this evening. Had I gone straight to the point I would probably have seen the Bee-eater which was flying around the point while I was looking at the Sandpiper, the second one I've missed this year.
The reserve was generally quiet with 6 Ringed Plovers, 6 Sanderling, 2+Hobby's, Marsh Harriers, and the usual Warblers and Hirundines.
an early Pine Hawkmoth in the trap this morning

Friday, 26 May 2017

Herring Gull Larder!

At Dengemarsh this morning the Herring Gull still sitting tight, now with a built in larder for when it's eggs hatch. There will be tasty fresh Tern eggs and chicks for the reserve visitors to watch being fed to the Herring Gull chicks.   
 Herring Gulls larder!
MH spotted the above Garganey that showed briefly on Dengemarsh, also there hopefully the first 2 of many returning Great White Egrets. 
 1 of 2 Great White Egrets
11.40-13.10 from the sea watch hide:

Common Scoter: 129 up
Gannet: 17 up
Oystercatcher: 2 up
Whimbrel: 1 up
Bar-tailed Godwit: 5 up
Mediterranean Gull: 1 1s around
Kittiwake: 5 up
Sandwich Tern: c15 around
Common Tern: 6 up
Swallow: 1 in
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
The Pom must have disappeared in the Beachy Head Triangle!
The MV catch has started to improve since the warmer weather arrived.
 Grass Rivulet scarce here first for my trap
Silver Hook scarce here for for my trap

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Somme!

On Monday myself AJG & LG had a day trip to the Somme. Starting at Sailly Braie a Black Redstart, several Song Thrushes and the first of several Turtle Doves. On the marsh there 3 Bluethroats, 3 Stonechats, Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, Great White, Little and Cattle Egrets, White Storks, Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzards and a superb Honey Buzzard, White Wagtails, Grey Partridges a singing Melodious Warbler and much more, LG put us on to a distant singing Savi's Warbler and AJG located 2 singing Marsh Warblers. 
 Cattle Egret
 Grey Partridges
 Black-winged Stilt


 Honey Buzzard
 Blue-headed Wagtail
On a marsh near Le Crotoy we found another Savi's Warbler, White Storks, Blue-headed and White Wagtails and more Egrets.
At La Basse pools a pair of Garganey showed well, a Scaup, 2+ Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Black-winged Stilts, lots of breeding Black-headed Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull more Cattle Egrets and a Musk Rat, while there many of the large Carp were spawning.
 Musk Rat
 Peek a boo
At Marquanterre a Crested Tit showed nicely by the very packed car park also a Short-toed Treecreeper. Inside the usual showy White Storks, Spoonbills, Egrets and Avocets. Willow Warblers, Garden Warblers, Blackcaps, Lesser Whitethroats and a Nightingale were singing around the trail. Several Black-necked Grebes were seen but few waders as most have gone through.
 White Stork
 Black-necked Grebe
A short visit to to Crecy Forest in the afternoon showed us 2 more Melodious Warblers, Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper, Marsh Tit, Bullfinch and 2+ Honey Buzzards.
With an hour to spare before the ferry sailed we visited a beach near Calais, there we found Little and Sandwich Terns, Dunlin, Kentish and Ringed Plovers, a Hobby, Skylark, Stonechat and more Spoonbills. An excellent day out where in great company we managed 116 species, finally many thanks to AJG who did all the driving.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Very poor visibility out to sea this morning so no sea watch. A walk down to The Patch found just a 1s Mediterranean Gull of note with no sign of the Iceland Gull. 
The bushes were around the lighthouse were avian free. On Burrowes a late Common Sandpiper of note, otherwise just a couple of Common Terns and a few loafing and nesting Gulls.
 Common Sandpiper, Makepiece hide
 Marsh Harrier in front of garden
As Red Kites were being reported in good numbers at various sites I spent 2 hrs sky watching from the garden. Highlights were 16+ Hobby's, 14+ Common Buzzards, 5 Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, a Little Egret and 2 Yellow Wagtails.
 Bittern at the tower pit
This afternoon at The ARC a Bittern flew from the Tower Pit towards Boulderwall, 10+ Hobby's some which gave good close views, A Cuckoo, a Little Ringed Plover and a Black-tailed Godwit. Also some Southern Marsh Orchids.
 Hobby at the ARC
Southern Marsh Orchid
One of the Little Owls could be seen at Lydd Camp, at Denge Marsh more Hobby's and Marsh Harriers.

Monday, 22 May 2017

05.45-07.45 + 08.30-09.45 with AJG who collated the numbers:
Shelduck: 2 up
Common Scoter: 554 up
Velvet Scoter: 3 up
Great-crested Grebe: 8 around
Fulmar: 7 up
Manx Shearwater: 1 up
Gannet: 126 up
Oystercatcher: 21 up
Ringed Plover: 6 up
Sanderling: 72 up
Iceland Gull: 1 1s around
Kittiwake: 29 up
Sandwich Tern: 48 up
Common Tern: 5 up
Guillemot: 1 up
 Common Gull making use of 1 of the nest boxes on Burrowes
A quick look at Burrowes from Dennis's saw of note a single Grey Plover, a Ringed Plover, 6 Hobby's, a Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzzard.
 Yellow Wagtail Scotney
At Scotney plenty of Yellow Wagtails and corn Buntings, 40+ Avocets with at least 17 still sitting, also at least 6 young. The Little Owl was in it's usual spot.
 Corn Bunting Scotney
 Little Owl Scotney
Not so welcome the new addition to the Dungeness RSPB breeding list!
Around Dengemarsh 10+ Hobby's, Egyptian Geese with a youngster, several pairs of Lapwings and Redshanks in the hay fields though not sure if they are breeding. 6+ Corn buntings were in the set aside.