Tuesday, 31 October 2017

End of season feeling!

 Sooty Shearwater  seen at Folkstone shortly after
07.00-08.30 thanks to AJG for collating the numbers:
Brent Goose: 11 down
Shelduck: 12 down
Wigeon: 4 down
Teal: 10 down
Goldeneye: 1 down
Eider: 3 up
Common Scoter: 51 down  5 on
Velvet Scoter: 1 down
G C Grebe 7 down
Great-crested Grebe: 7 down
Red-throated Diver: 2 down
Great Northern Diver: 1 down
Sooty Shearwater: 1up
Gannet 556 down
Merlin: 1 around
Great Skua: 1 down
Arctic Skua: 1 down
Common Gull: 256 down
Mediterranean Gull: 2 down
Kittiwake: 1020 down
Guillemot 11 up, 3 down
Razorbill 4 up, 5 down
Auk sp 104 up, 36 down
Starling 10,300 down        80 in
A few each of Redpoll and Siskin over
A walk around the area with AJG found it to be very quiet, apart from 2 Dartford Warblers, 3 Stonechats and 2 Goldcrests very little was seen.
The usual Great White Egrets could be seen on the ARC and New Diggings from the causeway, but the Cattle Egret was not seen today though is probably still around.
 1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
  1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
  1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
 1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
A very slow watch this afternoon enlivened by the brief appearance of a 1w Caspian Gull:
14.00-15.45 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 6 in
Common Scoter: 16 up    2 down
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Gannet: c40 around
Turnstone: 2 around
Mediterranean Gull: 2 around
Caspian Gull:  1  1w around
Kittiwake: 25 on sea
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Auk sp:  13 up      4 down
Harbour Porpoise: 2

Monday, 30 October 2017

Dartford Warblers!

 Brent Geese over the turning circle
07.10-09.00 from the turning circle:
Brent Goose: 22 up       51 down
Shelduck; 6 down
Common Scoter: 14 up
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Gannet: c40 around
Cormorant: 343 flew into Lade Bay
Sparrowhawk: 1 large female in, 1 male hunting over beach.
Kittiwake: c20 around
Auk sp: 17 down
Pied Wagtail: 4 around    8 in
Skylark: 3 in    2 on beach
Meadow Pipit: 24 in
Fieldfare: 1 in
Starling: 3,300 in
Brambling: 2 in
Goldfinch: 120 in
Linnet: 30 around
Siskin: 4 in
Redpoll: 17 in
Tree Sparrow: 1 in
 Dartford Warbler
A long walk around The Point and The Desert and along the beach was fairly uneventful, though 3 Dartford Warblers were good, 5 Stonechats, 2 Goldcrests and 2 Redwings were the highlights.
 Dartford Warbler
 Stonechat gleaming in the afternoon sun
14.00-16.00 from the fishing boats with RW
Brent Goose: 36 up     84 down
Pale-bellied Brent Goose: 1 down
Shelduck: 15 down
Goldeneye: 1 down
Common Scoter: 12 up
Red-throated Diver: 2 up
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Gannet: c80 around
Turnstone: 7 around
Great Skua: 1 down
Mediterranean Gull: 2 around
Kittiwake: 25 around
Guillemot: 2 around
Auk sp: 37 up
Harbour Porpoise: 2
Grey Seal: 1
Heavily cropped over exposed image of Pale-bellied Brent Goose passing the fishing boats today

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Young male Sparrowhawk trapped and ringed by Lee yesterday
08.30-10.00 from the turning circle:
Brent Goose: 26 down   7 up
Wigeon: 1 down
Common Scoter: 14 up   
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Gannet: c400 off shore
Curlew: 1 down
Mediterranean Gull: 14 off shore
Kittiwake: c500 off shore
Sandwich Tern: 2 around
Razorbill:  5 up
Guillemot: 8 up   4 on sea
Auk sp: 137 up      21 down
Swallow: 1 out
Starling: 270 in
Grey Seal: 1
 juvenile Arctic Skua
A walk around the area found nothing of note. On the reserve the usual Great White Egrets and Cattle Egret, also a Ring Ouzel still by the entrance track per PB.
 1 of the 200+ Mediterranean Gulls past the fishing boats today

Brent Goose: 18 up        38 down
Shelduck: 1 down
Common Scoter: 23 up 
Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Gannet: 78 up   15 down
Little Egret: 1 up
Common Buzzard: 1 in
Turnstone: 16 around
Dunlin: 7 up
Arctic Skua: 1 up (the usual Juvenile)
Mediterranean Gull: 194 up
Kittiwake: 143 up
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 around
Sandwich Tern: 27 up
Razorbill: 6 up        2 down
Guillemot: 18 up    3 down
Little Auk: 1 down
Auk sp: 279 up
Grey Seal: 1
Dutch ship Thalassa close inshore this morning

Friday, 27 October 2017

A Slow Days Birding!

Steve G photographing this mornings sunrise. An iphone image.
Clear skies, a light North wind, what could possibly go wrong? Myself, SG, AJG and MH waiting from before dawn at The Point for the avalanche of Finches, Pipits, Larks, Starlings etc, well only a handful of birds turned up so another failed attempt for a Dungeness Hawfinch, despite Owen having one fly over his garden heading our way early morning.  
Stonechat north end of The Desert
Several hours plodding around The Desert and bushes only came up with a Dartford Warbler, a Wheatear, a few Stonechats, Skylarks and Goldcrests. At the observatory a Swordgrass, Cosmopolitan and Red-headed Chestnut were all on display and all new moths for me.
Long-tailed Duck Pett Pools
A sea watch from the fishing boats 14.00-14.30 with AJG was so poor he suggested we go to Pett Pools  to see a Long-tailed Duck, needless to say I readily agreed and was very pleased to see the duck very well.

Kingfisher from Hanson late afternoon very high iso required
Very late afternoon from Hanson in very poor light, a Kingfisher came onto to it's perch, 10 Great White Egrets, were around the lake, 10 Black-tailed Godwits on an island, c150 Golden plovers present, 4 Pintail along with usual wildfowl.
Great White Egret from Hanson late afternoon

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Starlings, Finches and 3 Ducks!

Early morning at The Point vis migging saw small numbers of Goldfinches, Linnets, Chaffinches, Redpolls, Siskins, Alba wagtails and Skylarks. The stars were c16,000 Starlings that came in from France including a flock of c6,000. A Great Northern Diver that appeared from the NW that presumably cut across the back of The Point and went south between the lighthouses was a surprise, all very nice but still no Hawfinch.  
While at The Point a couple of hundred Brent Geese went west as did 2 Great Skuas, an Arctic Skua, 3 Eider, a few Mediterranean Gulls, Kittiwakes and Sandwich Terns and the usual several 100s on Gannets.  
 Bullfinch 1 of 4 of this scarce at Dungeness species trapped today
Around the bushes many Goldcrests, at least 2 Firecrests, c20 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Ring Ouzels, 10+ Song Thrushes and a Redwing. 4 Bullfinches were trapped and processed the first I have seen on the peninsular. A late Hobby was seen early morning per LG.
1 of 2 Dartford Warblers near The Brittania
 Newly rung Goldcrest
 Chiffchaff lighthouse garden
 Cattle Egret doing what they do this afternoon
This afternoon a quick dash to Burrowes to see 3 distant Mandarin Ducks, quite pathetic really, but they are the first I have ever seen at Dungeness, also several Great White Egrets showing well on Burrowes. On the way out by the entrance track the Cattle Egret was showing well.
3 very distant Mandarin Ducks on Burrowes a drake and 2 ducks.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Caspians Gulls!

1w Caspian Gull X594 photographed yesterday but still present today 
Ringing data for X594 showing it was rung on the 29th May this year in Germany near the Polish border. Unfortunately does not say whether both parents were pure Caspian as there has been some queries with this birds purity.
1w Caspian Gull photographed yesterday but still present today

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Little Gull!

 Manx Shearwater this morning past the fishing boats
07.30-10.00 from the fishing boats with SG, MH & AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 38 down
Gadwall: 4 down
Wigeon: 37 down/in
Common Scoter: 17 down
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 down
Red-throated Diver: 1 down
Manx Shearwater: 1 down
Gannet: 1,045 down
Oystercatcher: 1 up
Turnstone: 21 on beach
Dunlin: 19 down
Great Skua:1 down
Arctic Skua 4 down
Pomarine Skua: 1 down
Mediterranean Gull: 1 down
Kittiwake: 54 down
Little Gull: 21 down
Razorbill: 259 down
Guillemot: 64 down
Auk sp: 597 down
Swallow: 4 down
Harbour Porpoise: 2
Grey Seal: 1
A couple of hours wandering around The Desert and Long Pits in near constant drizzle looking for grounded migrants found 3 Ring Ouzels, 10+ Song Thrushes, a few each of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest but little else of note.
Juvenile Little Gull about to grab its prize
This afternoon at the fishing boats 14.00-16.30 with MH, SG, AJG, LG, MF, PT.
Brent Goose: 129 down
Common Scoter: 18 down  1 up
Red-throated Diver: 3 Down
Great-crested Grebe: 1 around
Gannet: 242 down
Dunlin: 2 down
 Bar-tailed Godwit: 2 down
Arctic Skua: 2 around
Caspian Gull: 2 x 1w around
Little Gull: 2 down    1 around
Kittiwake: 11 down
Sandwich Tern: c20 around
Guillemot: 11 down
Razorbill: 26 down
Auk sp: 32 down
Swallow: 5 down
Harbour Porpoise: 4 
Grey Seal: 1
A beautiful juvenile Little Gull put on a superb show at the fishing boats this afternoon, it's a pity that the light was so poor
Juvenile Little Gull
                                                                Juvenile Little Gull
Juvenile Little Gull
                                                                 Juvenile Little Gull
 Juvenile Little Gull and Black-headed Gull showing size comparison
 Juvenile Little Gull
 Juvenile Little Gull
 Juvenile Little Gull
                                                                 Juvenile Little Gull
On the reserve the Red-necked Grebe, Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Little Stints were all still on the ARC per PT. Also the Cattle Egret still present and the usual Great White Egrets.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Caspian Gull!

07.30-10.00 at The Point vis migging with SG & MH saw small numbers of Goldfinches, Linnets, Siskins, Redpolls, Chaffinches, Pied Wagtails, Skylarks, Wood Pigeons, Swallows and a Merlin but still no Hawfinches.
A damp walk around the trapping area found 7 Ring Ouzels, Great spotted Woodpecker, more Swallows, several each of Goldcrest and Chiffchaff, 4 Stonechats, a noticeable increase in Song Thrushes and Blackbirds.
 German ringed 1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats
  German ringed 1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats
  German ringed 1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats
14.00-16.30 from the fishing boats and turning circle:

Red-necked Grebe: 1 down
Great-crested Grebe: 4 around
Gannet: 362 down
Cormorant c 60 off shore
Turnstone: 6 on beach
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 adult around
Caspian Gull: 1 1w around yellow ring X594
Little Gull: 1 adult around
Kittiwake: 17 down
Sandwich Tern: 8 around
Common Tern: 1 down
Arctic Tern: 1 down
Auk sp: 14 down
 Gannets showing well at the fishing boats today
 Red-necked Grebe past the fishing boats this afternoon
 Arctic Tern 
An Arctic Tern flew over the beach this afternoon while we were sheltering from the rain in my car, I was rather slow in getting out with the camera, so only managed a rear end shot. 
A colour ringed Herring Gull at the fishing boats, waiting for a reply on this one.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Disappointing Brian!

A drake Eider was frequenting the fishing boats just before Storm Brian arrived also a summer plumaged Black-throated Diver went west. Storm Brian hasn't so far brought anything unusual to Dungeness. Yesterday the regular Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua with a few Brent Geese, Common Scoter, 6 Grey Plover and the usual Gannets and Sandwich Terns, also a Great Northern Diver which went west before I arrived. This morning the sea was fairly quiet with c150 Gannets and 20+ Sandwich Terns milling around offshore, a single juvenile Arctic Skua and few finches around.
Eider past the fishing boats
Brent Goose battling through the spray from storm Brian
At the ARC from Hanson 2 Little Stints, the Red-necked Grebe, 4 Pintail and a Great White Egret were noted, a Curlew Sandpiper appeared after I left per Steve G. A nice male Ring Ouzel was in the Hawthorns near the Water Tower along with a couple of Song Thrushes, so no big arrival.
On Burrowes 12 Great Whit Egrets and 8 Little Egrets were noted, the Cattle egret was with the cattle in Boulderwall fields. 
Ring Ouzel near the water tower
14.05-15.05 from the fishing boats with RW & AJG who collated the numbers:
Brent Goose 51 down
Wigeon: 6 in
Common Scoter: 4 down   2 up
Red-throated Diver: 1 down
Gannet: 164 down
Turnstone: 21 on beach
Mediterranean Gull: 1 down
Kittiwake: 17 down
Sandwich Tern 3 down
Guillemot: 2 down
Razorbill: 4 down
Auk sp: 7 down
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
adult Yellow-legged Gull
Late afternoon around the the boats a Merlin came in, 2 more Mediterranean Gulls were seen, an adult Yellow-legged Gull was around the puddles and more unusual 2 Shags quite distant off shore first spotted by Barry Wright, we watched them for a few minutes before they flew off towards Hythe. As the light faded a 1w Caspian Gull came into the puddles only to flushed by walkers.
1w Mediterranean Gull
Red-green Carpet the first for my MV