Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Hungry Birds!

First thing this morning around the ARC a Firecrest and Chiffchaff in the Tit flock in the Willow trail. From the screen 22 Black-tailed Godwits, a Dunlin, a Ruff, a Redshank, 4 Golden Plover among the Lapwing and brief views of a Bittern, At the Pines several Song Thrushes and Blackbirds feeding under them, despite searching several places where I've previously found Woodcock and Jack Snipe in cold weather none were found today.
2 visits to The Patch today found the regular 1w Glaucous Gull on both occasions among the 1,000s of Gulls there, also  4+ Mediterranean Gulls of note. c30 Guillemots offshore with a few Gannets, 5 Red-throated Divers flew east as did a party of 7 Pintail and 3 Kittwakes but little else of note today.
 Stonechat at Cockles Bridge
Stonechat at Cockles Bridge
At Cockles Bridge the birds have lost their wariness in their search for food in the cold weather, Stonechats, Lapwing and Golden Plover appearing exceptionally tame today. The highlight though was spotting a pair of Red-legged Partridges there, now very scarce on the peninsular, I've seen more Glaucous Gulls here this year. 
 Stonechat at Cockles Bridge
Golden Plover at Cockles Bridge
Lapwing at cockles bridge
 A peninsular rarity at Cockles Bridge
A bitterly cold and windswept Scotney was devoid of birds today. On Brett's Marina a couple of Great white Egrets were sunning themselves with Grey Herons and Cormorants in the shelter of the island, also a few Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Pochard there.
Great white Egrets at Bretts Marina

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

A bit of Winter!

 Fieldfare at the beach car park
At the beach car park a single Fieldfare, 3 Meadow Pipits and 5 Wood Pigeons feeding with resident Starling flock.
 Glaucous Gull at The Patch
I spent most this morning at The Patch where there was 1,000s of Gulls to scan through, I managed to locate the regular 1w Glaucous Gull and at least 6 Mediterranean Gulls, as well as a number of colour ringed Gulls including the Lesser Black-backed Gull shown below. It appears to be sporting a black and a green colour ring both made of velcro, I could only read the numbers 612 on the metal ring, this is first Gull I have seen marked in this way and I have no idea of its origin. 

Lesser Black-backed Gull with 2 what appears to be velcro rings
 1,000s of Gulls at The Patch this morning
A walk around the trapping area in the hope of finding a Woodcock or 2 found nothing of note.
 Fox by The Patch this morning 
 Lapwing at Cockles Bridge
 Lapwing at Cockles Bridge
Golden Plover at Cockles Bridge
This afternoon Lapwing and Golden Plover were showing well at Cockles Bridge gleaming in the bright sunshine. 
On the reserve one of the new Glaucous Gulls came into roost. 3 Smew  and a Slavonian Grebe were at Christmas Dell per PT.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

1w  Glaucous Gull at The Patch
Another bitterly cold morning found me at The Patch again looking at Gulls. The regular 1w Glaucous Gull was hunkered down on the beach though it did eventually give a fly by, a few colour rings were noted from amongst the roosting Gulls but no sign of any other white wingers. Offshore a couple of Gannets and Kittiwakes, 3 Oystercatchers flew up.

 Skylark at the fishing boats
At the fishing boats this afternoon still nothing moving offshore. A pair of Skylarks feeding around the tracks, in the roost a very nice adult Yellow-legged Gull and a couple of Norwegian ringed Great Black-backed Gulls.
 Adult Yellow-legged Gull in the beach roost
 JC349 Great-Black-backed Gull in the beach roost
JK556 Great-Black-backed Gull in the beach roost
Mid afternoon on the reserve the 1w Glaucous Gull came into roost but no sign of yesterdays 2w Iceland Gull while I was there.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

More Gulling!

I joined Ray O'Reilly who Kindly did all the driving on a successful trip to Weymouth on Friday to see the gorgeous adult Ross's Gull at Ferrybridge. It flew in soon after our arrival, then spent c30 minutes on the mud before flying off over Chesil Beach. We moved to Lodmoor hoping it would repeat Thursdays pattern by turning up there, but after 5 hours out in the freezing wing and no show by the Ross's Gull we headed home.

 Ross's Gull
Ross's Gull
Ross's Gull
Ross's Gull
Photo bombing Fox at The Patch
The long stayer at The Patch
The Gulls at The Patch and on the reserve are still the main attraction, though there is still a couple of Smew around, a Slavonian Grebe, a Black-throated Diver, a couple of Goosander, a couple of Great White Egrets and the usual wild fowl, as well as the Boulderwall Tree Sparrows and the flocks of Golden plover and Lapwing in the fields.
2 new arrivals today in the form of a 2w Iceland Gull and a 3rd Glaucous Gull in a week.
Herring Gull taking up the challenge

2 x 1w Glaucous & and 2w Iceland Gull
 Note the pink billed Great Black-backed Gull between the 2 x 1w Glaucous Gulls
2w Iceland Gull

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Dull Day at Dunge!

1w Glaucous Gull
A very damp morning at Dungeness but I still wandered down to The Patch where the long staying 1w Glaucous Gull was feeding inside the power station, it often disappears behind the portacabins for long periods. The Gull roost was disappointing considering that it was low tide, as I was expecting there to many Gulls there but there was only a couple of hundred present. Apart from large numbers of Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants off shore very little could be seen off shore though the visibility was very poor.
1w Glaucous Gull at the power station
Brent Geese
Mid morning at the fishing boats a party of 35 Brent Geese flew up channel close in shore and a Norwegian ringed Great black-backed Gull was there.
Norwegian Great Black-backed Gull JC782
Great White Egret in the constant drizzle
Late morning at a very quiet reserve saw the usual Tree Sparrows at Boulderwall, a Great White Egret in the fields along with c500 Golden Plovers. With work being done on Burrowes there was very little to be seen there.
Another visit to the reserve after lunch saw the the new Glaucous Gull put in a brief appearance on one the islands on Burrowes before it flew off towards the beach. 
 1w Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats
This afternoon at the fishing boats the new Glaucous Gull put in appearance that was short lived due to a dog walker. Offshore the usual hordes of Cormorants, another 8 Brent Geese flew up channel, small numbers of Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbills and Kittiwakes feeding along with a couple of Mediterranean Gulls and a Red-throated Diver.
  1w Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats
  1w Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats
Some of the c400 Cormorants at the fishing boats

Sunday, 18 February 2018

 Ross's Gull, Vlissingen.
On Friday I joined DW & GH on trip to Vlissingen to see the Ross's Gull. It was a successful trip in the fact we saw the Gull on number of occasions through the day, unfortunately the bird refused to perform for the camera.
 Mistle Thrush by the new lighthouse yesterday
A sunny weekend at Dungeness brought out all the tourists and fishermen wandering along the beach flushing the Gulls, causing me to sulk and wish for bad weather. Yesterdays highlight was a newly arrived Mistle Thrush around the new lighthouse, the Glaucous Gull was feeding in the power station as it was this morning. As I was out on Walland this afternoon I missed seeing the 2 Glaucous Gulls that came to Mick & Richards offerings, though I'm not to disappointed as it seems the second bird was the same bird I bumped into at Ramsgate Harbour.
On Walland plenty of Tree Sparrows to be seen as well as Fieldfare and Redwing, while waiting for the Harriers to come to roost 2 Barn Owls were seen along with Peregrine, Merlin, Sparrowhawk and 2 Common Buzzards. A least 16 Marsh Harriers flew over the reed bed I was watching but none roosted.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

4 yrs ago today!

Very quiet at Dungeness again today with no sign of any migration. 4 yrs ago today the Penduline Tit below was posing in front of Hanson Hide.
 Penduline Tit from Hanson 15th February 2014 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A day at The Patch!

With the continuing gales the only real option was to spend most of the day in 2 visits either side of high tide at The Patch.
There were plenty of Gulls to look and a few colour rings to note.
Offshore a few each of the usual suspects.
 3w Caspian Gull 
 1w Glaucous Gull
JK586 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 Ad Yellow-legged Gull
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
 1w Great Black-backed Gull 
Not sure about this one hunkering down in the teeth of a force 8 gale, first thoughts were adult Caspian Gull but doesn't seem quite right.