Thursday, 31 August 2017

Cattle Egrets!

I joined AJG who kindly collated the numbers in the sea watch hide 06.00-07.30:
Common Scoter: 11 up
Gannet: 146 up
Dunlin: 2 down
Arctic Skua: between 14 and 24(?) max flock size 9, so much harrying of Sandwich Terns very difficult to be sure, almost certainly some overlap.
Kittiwake: 5 down
Little Tern: 1 down
Sandwich Tern: 1574 down   51 up
Common Tern: 3 down
Juvenile Peregrine on Power station pylon this morning
A walk around the lighthouse bushes and The Desert area saw of note 4 Whinchat, 14+ Wheatear, 2 Redstarts, 20+ Common Whitethroat, 7+ Lesser Whitethroat, 6+ Blackcap, 8+ Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, 2 Black Redstarts, a Sparrowhawk and an adult and juvenile Peregrine on the pylons.
 Cattle Egret with a Water Vole
As MH had seen 4 Cattle Egrets drop into Denge Marsh I called into the reserve on my way home for breakfast. From the entrance track 5 Cattle Egrets could be seen. I watched an adult bird catch a what I believe was a Water Vole, it shook it violently, and beat it on the ground before swallowing it whole.
In several visits to the ARC the Pectoral Sandpiper was still present, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 24 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Dunlin, 2 Common Snipe, 3 Garganey, 22 Little Egrets, 4 Great White Egrets, small numbers of Hirundines and a single Swift. In the Willow Trail 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

 Cattle Egret
 Cattle Egrets

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull
14.15-15.15 from the fishing boats with AJG
Gannet: 18 up
Arctic Skua: 6+ around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juv/1w around
Little Tern: 1 down
Sandwich Tern: 98 down
Common Tern: 26 down
Whinchat: 1 around
Wheatear: 3 around
Grey Seal: 1 
Harbour Porpoise 8+

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Balearic Shearwater:

Balearic Shearwater
06.00-08.45 from the sea watch hide with AJG who collated the numbers:
Teal: 1 down
Shoveler: 2 down
Common Scoter: 2 up
Fulmar: 1 up
Balearic Shearwater: 1 around
Gannet: 78 around
Oystercatcher: 1 up
Dunlin 3 up
Common Sandpiper: 2 around
Great Skua: 1 up
Sandwich Tern: 263 around
Common Tern: 11 around
Willow Warbler: 4+ by perimeter wall
Chiffchaff: 1+ by perimeter wall
Wheatear: 1 by perimeter wall
Balearic Shearwater
On the reserve an influx of Common Sandpipers late afternoon with 14 on the ARC and at least 8 on Burrowes, also 26 Black-tailed Godwits, 36 Dunlin, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Redshanks, 2 Greenshanks, 6 Ringed Plovers, the Pectoral Sandpiper still present, 3+ Garganey, 6+ Great white Egrets and still plenty of Swallows, Sand and House Martins along with all the eclipse wildfowl.
 A somewhat worn Ni Moth from last night

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

White Storks!

I joined AJG in a walk around The Desert, the highlights were 8 Wheatears, 3 Whinchats, a few Meadow Pipits and Yellow Wagtails over and 4 Black Redstarts  around West Beach. 
With news of 2 White Storks at St Mary's in the Marsh but no location, I contacted CP who lives out that way, within a few minutes he called back with the location having found them. They took little notice of the plough and spent there time strutting around devouring worms. Both were colour ringed, one sported a green colour ring Z9404 it would seem they have escaped from a rehabilitation centre in Norfolk, but they are still nice to see.    

 A few primaries missing

Pectoral Sandpiper on the ARC from Hanson
This afternoon 12 Common Buzzards drifted south over Lydd. Late afternoon from Hanson the Pectoral Sandpiper was still showing along with 42 Black-tailed Godwits, 4+ Garganey and the usual wildfowl.
Small Mottled Willow from the MV today

Monday, 28 August 2017

A short video of the juvenile Dotterel from 23rd August 2017 can be seen HERE It doesn't like the machine guns in the back ground.
 Female Hen Harrier on its way to France.
Very quiet avian wise around The Point, my wander around The Desert saw just a few Common Whitethroats, 3 Wheatears, 4 Black Redstarts, 6 Yellow Wagtails, a Ringed Plover over a handful of Swallows and the out bound female Hen Harrier.
 Sparrowhawk about to attack a Hobby
I spent several hours sky watching from home where 19 Common Buzzards, 3 Marsh Harriers, 6 Sparrowhawks, 4 Hobby's, a Kestrel and several Yellow wagtails were noted.
When news of Melodious Warbler just down the road from me in Denge Marsh Gully late afternoon  broke, I was quickly on site, sadly there were no further sightings of the bird, just a couple of Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and a Common Whitethroat.
 1 of 19 Common Buzzards over Plodland today
A Yellow Wagtail fly catching from my neighbours roof today

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Honey Buzzard Incompetence!

 Whinchat in The Desert
I joined AJG & SO in walk around The Desert when the mist lifted this morning, it was very quiet seeing only 3 Whinchat, 4+ Wheatear, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 14 Meadow Pipits, a few Swallow over, a few each of Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler and a Hare.
 Honey Buzzard (mega crop)
 Same Honey with 2 Common Buzzards
With Dungeness being full up with day trippers today I spent several hours at home sky watching from the front garden. Over the fields and often over my house myriads of Swallow, House and Sand Martins and even a couple of Swifts, 10+ Yellow Wagtails were constantly present as were Goldfinches and Greenfinches. 2 Hobby's were chasing the Hirundines being joined by a Kestrel and 3+ Sparrowhawks. Common Buzzards started appearing overhead with a maximum of 18 in one loose flock, just a couple of kilometers south of me Honey Buzzards were being seen but all I could find were common Buzzards, a few more Common Buzzards came over the garden then a group of 8 very high but still I could only see Common Buzzards, that is until I reviewed some images this evening and found that a Honey Buzzard had flown right above the garden, albeit very high and I had over looked it through sheer incompetence. In all 31 Common Buzzards over flew the garden this afternoon all heading towards The point.
 Pity the Honey didn't come over like these Common Buzzards

 Swallow over the garden today
 House Martin over the garden today
 Sand Martin over the garden today
 Swift over the garden today

Pectoral Sandpiper from Hanson this afternoon
A tweet from Mike Puxley got me out of the garden late afternoon to see the Pectoral Sandpiper he'd found on the ARC from Hanson, also there 5 Garganey, 34 Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Tern of note.

Saturday, 26 August 2017


 Spotted Flycatcher in the trapping area 
This morning 6 Wheatears at the lifeboats station. In the trapping area a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Wheatear, a handful each of Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroats, 9 Tree Sparrows, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard were the highlights.
 Swallows, House & Sand Martins behind Plodland
From home once again myriads of Swallows, House and Sand Martins joined by at least 5 Swifts.A couple of hours scanning the skies towards the power station saw good numbers of raptors, 4 Marsh Harriers, 6+ Common Buzzards, 4+ Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, a Peregrine and a Hobby and a frustratingly distant view made worse by the heat haze of a probable Honey Buzzard heading towards The Point. I made the mistake of not doing an afternoon sea watch due the hordes of holiday makers around the beach and duly missed an out going Montagu's Harrier.
The numbers below kindly supplied by a happy AJG.
14.30-15.45 from the fishing boats:
Montagu's Harrier. Adult female 200m offshore heading down at 1450
Great Skua 1 down
Arctic Skua 1 down
Gannet 27 down
Sandwich Tern 188 down
Kittiwake 1 down
Guillemot 1 on sea

 Swallow at Plodland
Yellow Wagtail at Plodland

Friday, 25 August 2017


A few Willow, Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers along the track from the ARC car park to Hanson this morning. Very little of note in front the hide this morning, but late afternoon 4 Garganey, 30 Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Great White Egrets and all the usual wildfowl.
 Common Redstart in The Desert
This mornings walk around The Desert saw of note a Common Redstart, 4+ Willow Warblers, 5+Common Whitethroats, 7 Wheatears, 5 Stonechats, 15+ Yellow Wagtails, a Sparrowhawk and a Marsh Harrier.
 Stonechat in The Desert
Juvenile Linnet in The Desert
 Wheatear in The Desert
1 of many Hummingbird Hawkmoths seen in The Moat recently
 Swallow from Plodland
While emptying my MV Yellow Wagtails were calling virtually non stop as they dropped into the field opposite to feed. Over the fields the sky was full of 1,000s of Swallow, Sand and House Martins, also a couple of Swifts many Gulls attracting the attention of Peregrines, a Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Marsh Harriers while all feasting on what I assume were flying ants, Some of the Swallows and Sand Martins settled on wires in front my house allowing me to get some images from my small balcony. 
 Sand Martin from Plodland
 Juvenile Cuckoo at Scotney
This afternoon at the back of Scotney I spent a lot of time with a juvenile Cuckoo which eventually gave superb views, many Yellow Wagtails there, 6+ Wheatears, a Whinchat, many Hirundines, a Peregrine, 2+Marsh Harriers and a kettle of 10 Common Buzzards. On the lakes a Greenshank, a few Dunlin and the horrible sight of many 100s of feral geese.
  Juvenile Cuckoo at Scotney
  Juvenile Cuckoo at Scotney
1 of many Yellow Wagtails at Scotney today
1 of 2 Turnstones at the fishing boats this afternoon
At the fishing boats this afternoon very little offshore, a Fulmar was the highlight among an handful each of Gannets and Sandwich Terns, 2 Turnstones fed along the shore line. I cut short the sea watch due to the volume of holidaymakers and anglers there. I did see a first for me there someone fly fishing! Needless to say he didn't catch anything while I was there. I think I'll hibernate for the next 3 days.  
At Galloways late afternoon of note just 2 Whinchats, 5 Stonechats, a few Common Whitethroats and Willow Warblers.
Clifden Nonpareil courtesy of the DBO

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


This mornings sea watch was very uninspiring and consequently a short one. A wander around the lighthouse, station bushes and out to the eastern end of The Desert saw just a handful of Common Whitethroats, a few Meadow Pipits, 9 Wheatears, 17 Yellow Wagtails, a Marsh Harrier, a few Swallows over and a Hare, when I reached the Pilots Path a movement nearby caught my eye and the shingle morphed into a juvenile Dotterel which showed very well for just over an hour before flying off towards the ARC.
 Juvenile Dotterel
 It did several wing stretches

 Blending in with the shingle as it spots overhead danger
On my way back to my car this Black Redstart popped up in front of me
I went to Scotney to check an odd report of an Ibis sitting on a fence by the main road, needless to say I found no sign of an Ibis. The sward around the lakes was literally smothered with what I estimated to be c2,000 feral geese of 5 species.
An excellent couple of hours at the ARC this afternoon where 2 Spoonbills showed well, as did 4+ Garganey, 31 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Dunlin, 6 Redshank, a Golden Plover, 4 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull 2+ Marsh Harriers, a Great White Egret, 5 Little Egrets and a photogenic Spotted Flycatcher, also a superb display by a juvenile Peregrine. Also present all the usual wildfowl and the usual many Sand Martins.
 Spoonbills from Hanson

 Juvenile Peregrine from Hanson

 A very photogenic Spotted Flycatcher in front of Hanson (my first this year)
A quick look late afternoon from Firth to see how the islands are progressing saw 40+ Dunlin, 10+ Ringed Plovers and a Sanderling running around within a few feet of the working digger.