Saturday, 30 September 2017


Early morning there were 1,000s of Hirundines gathering on the peninsular getting ready to depart to warmer climes. Alba, Grey and Yellow Wagtails all passed over along with at least 2 Tree Pipits, a few Meadow Pipits, Goldfinches, Siskins and Redpolls and few Wheatears were around the Broome.
 Wing Tagged Marsh Harrier
Late morning early afternoon around the back of Scotney, the Little Owl was on its usual perch, 6+ Yellow Wagtails were still around the farm with 10+ Pied Wagtails. Now that the Maize has been cut c500 Greylag Geese were grazing in the stubble with at least 18 Egyptian Geese and many Canada Geese. A wing tagged juvenile Marsh Harrier was hunting the ditches, this bird was apparently tagged in North Norfolk. In the rough field a flock of c100 Linnets, many Meadow Pipits and a few Skylarks. A couple of Common Buzzards were around the wind turbines and the Osprey was seen distantly going into the pines on the ranges. 
Little Owl, Scotney
 Yellow Wagtail, Scotney
A short sea watch mid afternoon saw the near resident 6+ Arctic Skuas with a few each of Sandwich Terns and Gannets, along with 7 Brent Geese and 7 Common Scoter past.
 Kingfisher from Hanson
On my way home I heard a Wood Sandpiper had been seen from Hanson which is quite late, a couple of minutes later I walked into the hide where a Kingfisher was on a perch that was purposely placed a couple of years ago by PB. In the many times I have been in the hide a Kingfisher has never performed for me though this autumn it has for several others who have taken great delight in showing me the images on there cameras. Hopefully it will perform me again in much better light conditions. The Red-necked Grebe and Black Tern were still present though the Wood Sandpiper was gone.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Wash Out!

Sparrowhawk coming out of the gloom this morning
A better watch this morning for visible migration, unfortunately I missed the Pomarine Skua by a couple of minutes.
07.00-09.45 from the fishing boats with CP,MH & AJG:

Brent Goose: 1 down
Wigeon: 7 down
Common Scoter: 8 down   4 up
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Red-throated Diver: 1 down
Gannet: 282 down
Grey Plover: 3 down
Turnstone: 1 on beach
Kestrel: 1 around (chasing Linnets)
Sparrowhawk: 1 around
Great Skua: 1 down
Pomarine Skua: 1 tailless adult down CP + MH
Arctic Skua:  usual 6 around
Sandwich Tern: 104 down
Arctic tern: 1 down
Commic Tern: 2 down
Guillemot: 2 down
Razorbill: 1 down
Sand Martin: 8 out
House Martin: 256 out
Swallow: 5,492 out
Alba Wagtail: 22 out
Meadow Pipit: 513 out
Linnet: 320 out
Goldfinch: 163 out
Siskin: 32 out
Harbour Porpoise 4+
Grey Seal: 1

By 10.00 hrs the weather had closed in for the day. A couple of visits to the ARC saw of note 2 Black Terns, an Arctic Tern, the Red-necked Grebe, a Curlew Sandpiper, a Little Stint, a Ruff , a Kingfisher and all the usual wildfowl.

A very wet hour 14.00-15.00 from the fishing boats:
Gannet: 213 down
Arctic Skua: usual 6 around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 down
Kittiwake: 2 down
Sandwich Tern: 95 down
Guillemot: 2 down

Thursday, 28 September 2017


I joined AJG at the sea watch hide this morning for what was one of the poorest watches I have had at Dungeness, the highlight being a single Great Skua that passed up channel.
 Goldcrest in Observatory garden
A wander around the bushes was equally poor with very little noted considering the date and the weather, though I did record my first 3 Siskins of the Autumn.
 Black Redstart at West beach
Another sea watch this afternoon was again a non event with 3 Wheatears behind the boats being the best.
 6 of 8 Great White Egrets from Hanson
3 visits to Hanson today was definitely worth the effort seeing 8 Great White Egrets, the Osprey on 2 visits, the Red-necked Grebe, Arctic Tern, 2 Black Terns, 6 Little Stints, Curlew Sandpiper, 18 Knot, 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 45 Dunlin, c60 Golden Plover, 6 Ruff, 2 Common Snipe, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Sparrowhawk, a Common Buzzard all the usual wildfowl and 2 Spotted Flycatchers in the Willow Trail.
Elsewhere there were 2 Curlew Sandpipers on Burrowes and 19 Ruff as well as the Osprey per PB & BB.
 Osprey from Hanson
 Marsh Harrier from Hanson
 Knot, Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwits from Hanson
 Arctic Tern from Hanson
 Black Terns from Hanson
 Black Tern catching insect from Hanson
Black Tern from Hanson

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

A few migrants!

06.35-08.05 from the fishing boats with AJG who kindly collated the numbers: 
Brent Goose: 327 down
Shelduck: 1 up
Wigeon: 52 down, 46 in
Pintail: 16 down
Common Scoter: 3 down, 7 up
Gannet: 14 around
Ringed Plover: 2 up
Dunlin: 1 up
Arctic Skua: usual 6 around
Meadow Pipit: c150 out
Alba Wagtail: 11 out
Yellow Wagtail: 2 out
Swallow: 49 out
Reed Bunting: 3 over  heard only
Wheatear 1 of  a minimum 27 around The Desert area
I spent most of the rest of the day wandering around The Desert where for a change every bush seemed to have birds in. My totals as follows, 5 Firecrests, 3 Goldcrests, 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Common Redstarts, 3 Black Redstarts, 12 Stonechats, 27 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, 21 Skylarks, 17+ Reed Buntings  c150 Meadow Pipits, 200+ Hirundines, 127 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 9 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warblers, 2 Grey Wagtails, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 35 Alba Wagtails, 3 Common Buzzards, 5 Kestrels and a Hobby.
Chiffchaff 1 of at least 127 around The Desert area

Reed Bunting in The Desert
1 of at least 5 Spotted Flycatchers around The Desert area
A very pale Common Buzzard over The Desert area
2 Curlew Sandpipers from Hanson
Late afternoon at the ARC from Hanson 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Little Stints, 38 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Dunlin, 50+ Golden Plover, 2 Black Terns, a Red-necked Grebe, an adult male Merlin and the usual wildfowl. 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Maybe Tomorrow!

Birding can be very cruel, with a light S.E breeze blowing yesterday, all night and this morning with cloud cover I was hoping for a day of non stop sea passage and lots of grounded migrants, maybe tomorrow.
06.45-08.45 from the fishing boats with AJG who collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 148 down
Wigeon: 86 down
Teal: 10 down
Shoveller: 8 down
Common Scoter: 24 down,
Gannet: 72 around
Kestrel: 1 out
Oystercatcher: 3 up
Great Skua: 2 up
Arctic Skua: between 5 and 8 around
Mediterranean  Gull: 2 around(1 adult, one first winter)
Sandwich Tern: 198 down
Common Tern: 7 down
Swallow: 875 out
House Martin: 3 out
Meadow Pipit: 420 out
Alba Wagtail: 14 out
 Spotted Flycatcher in The Desert
Around the Desert and bushes today, 4 Wheatears, a Spotted Flycatcher, 14+ Blackcaps, a Common Whitethroat, 3 Firecrests, 2 Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, 2 Skylarks, 100+ Meadow Pipits, 16 Pied Wagtails, 3 Black Redstarts, 6 Stonechats also c800 Swallows and c200 House Martins all moving SE.
 2w Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats
A very poor sea watch this afternoon.
14.30-16.00 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 51 down
Common Scoter: 2 up
Great-crested Grebe: 1 around
Gannet: 17 up
Dunlin: 3 down
Arctic Skua: 4 around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 around
Kittiwake: 1 down
Sandwich Tern: c30 around
Harbour porpoise: 4+
Grey Seal: 1
 Red-necked Grebe from the causeway
At the ARC late afternoon the red-necked grebe was showing well from the causeway. At Hanson a Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Little Stints, 12 Dunlin among the Lapwings and wildfowl, also 2 Black Terns, 2 Great White Egrets and 2 little Egrets. 
 Clancy's Rustic
Some nice moths in the MV this morning including my first Clancy's Rustic.
 Delicate 1 of 3 today
 Four Spotted Footman

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Red-backed Shrike

At the ARC this weekend the Red-necked Grebe was the star but always distant. Also there up to 5 Black Terns, a Black-necked Grebe, 3 Little Stints, a Curlew Sandpiper, up to 38 Black-tailed Godwits, 20+ Dunlin, a Ruff, a Hobby, an Osprey and much more including 8 Great-white Egrets which roosted Saturday evening. 
 Red-backed Shrike
Today Dave Bunney found his second Shrike of the year from his garden, this time a showy juvenile Red-backed Shrike. Elsewhere in The Desert  migrants were few and between though there was some quality in the form a Pied Flycatcher and a few Firecrests.
  Red-backed Shrike
  Red-backed Shrike
 Brown Hare in The Desert
 Brown Hare in The Desert
 Pied Flycatcher in The Moat
Firecrest at the observatory
 Arctic Skua at the fishing boats
At the fishing boats 6+ Arctic Skuas have been hanging around for a couple of weeks terrorising the Sandwich Terns, a few Great Skuas have been passing including one that dropped on to a Lesser Black Backed Gull, drowned it and started to eat it. Brent Geese and Wigeon have started to move west, a Shag was in front the sea watch hide this morning a Dungeness rarity. 
 Arctic Skua at the fishing boats
 Arctic Skua at the fishing boats
 Common Tern at the fishing boats
 Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats
 juvenile Gannets at the fishing boats
 Brent Geese pass the fishing boats
 Distant Red-necked Grebe Saturday morning

Friday, 22 September 2017

 Wheatear in The Desert
I joined AJG in a walk around The Desert this morning seeing 5 Wheatears, 15 Chiffchaffs, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Firecrest, a Goldcrest, a Hobby, 2 Yellow Wagtails over, and a few Meadow Pipits and Hirundines over. 
 Sandwich at the fishing boats
13.00-16.00 from the fishing boats with AJG:
Brent Goose: 13 down
Teal: 6 down
Wigeon: 15 down
Common Scoter: 12 up
Red-throated Diver: 1 around (summer plumaged bird)
Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Gannet: 62 down
Turnstone: 3 on beach
Great Skua: 2 down
Arctic Skua: 7+ around
Sandwich Tern: 270 down
Guillemot: 2 down
Sand Martin: 7 out
House Martin: 154 out
Swallow: 3,821 out
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Grey Seal: 1
Juvenile Hobby at the ARC
In 3 visits to the ARC today 3 Little Stints, a Curlew Sandpiper, 28 Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Black Terns, a Black-necked Grebe, a Red-necked Grebe, an Osprey, a Hobby, 2 Marsh Harriers, 4 Great White Egrets, 2 Water Rails and the usual wildfowl.
The Red-necked Grebe can sometimes be seen distantly from Hanson at the south end, if viewing from the south end please park in the gate way at the southern end of the ARC and walk back to view as the police will move you on. 
Juvenile Hobby at the ARC