Saturday 31 March 2018

This morning at the sea watch hide just a trickle of birds which dried up completely as the showers moved in.
07.45-09.45 with RW &DW,

Brent Goose: 17 up
Common Scoter: 305 up
Velvet Scoter: 1 up
Red-breasted Merganser:
Red-throated Diver: 15 up  7 down
Great-crested Grebe: 23 around
Fulmar: 11 down
Gannet: 143 up
Cormorant: present n/c
Great Skua: 1 up
Black-headed Gull: present n/c
Common Gull: present n/c
Herring Gull: present n/c
Lesser Black-backed Gull: present n/c
Great Black-backed Gull present n/c
Little Gull: 5 up
Kittiwake: c25 around
Sandwich Tern: 86 up
Common Tern: 2 up.  1 down
Guillemot: 2 up   6 down    8 around
Auk sp: 67 down
Harbour Porpoise: 1+
A long wander around the back of Scotney GPs was a disappointment, the highlights being Little Owl, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harriers, 3 Corn Buntings and 3 Grey Plover.
Early evening I added Black Redstart and Wheatear to the from the garden list year list.

Friday 30 March 2018

First Common Terns!

Part of party of 7 Eider past this morning
06.45-11.15 with SO,OL,CP,PT & DW.

Brent Goose: 99 up
Shoveler: 22 up
Teal: 26 up
Eider: 8 up
Common Scoter: 978 up     27 down
Velvet Scoter: 1 up
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 down
Red-throated Diver: 84 up      11 down
Great-crested Grebe: 7 on    3 up
Fulmar: 5up.    4 down
Gannet: 410 up
Cormorant: present n/c
Sanderling: 26 up
Dunlin: 1 up
Arctic Skua: 3 up
Black-headed Gull: present n/c
Mediterranean Gull: 3 up
Common Gull: present n/c
Herring Gull: present n/c
Lesser Black-backed Gull: present n/c
Great Black-backed Gull present n/c
Little Gull: 26 up
Kittiwake: 43 up    5 down
Sandwich Tern: 78 up      22 down
Common Tern: 3 up
Guillemot: 27 up
Auk sp: 169 up
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
The rest of the day was washed out by heavy rain.

Thursday 29 March 2018

Another new Glaucous Gull!

07.35-09.00 from the sea watch hide:
Brent Goose: 207 up
Common Scoter: 58 up
Red-throated Diver: 47up
Great-crested Grebe: 6 up
Fulmar:1 down
Gannet: 71 up
Arctic Skua: 1 up DP
Kittiwake: 25 up 
Sandwich Tern: 8 up  8 down
Auk sp: 104 up
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
The point was very quiet today with a distinct lack of Firecrests and Black Redstarts but still a a few Reed Buntings.
The Black-necked Grebes were still at south end of the ARC, no sign of the Smew on Tanners or White Wagtails on Cooks Pool.  
 Sparrowhawk on my garden fence lunchtime, taken through a window.
13.30-14.45 from the fishing boats with MH & CP
Common Scoter: 19 up
Red-throated Diver: 20 up  1 down
Great-crested Grebe: 28 around
Fulmar: 2 down
Gannet: 11 up
Oystercatcher: 5 up
Sandwich Tern: 57 up  14 down
Guillemot: 4 around
Auk sp: 11 up
Harbour Porpoise: 4
 Snow white juvenile Glaucous Gull
Late afternoon as the contractors building the bund at The Patch had finished for the day, I decided to have a brisk walk down there and check the Gulls despite the deteriorating weather. As it was raining I didn't take my camera, which was a decision I regretted within moments of going into the hide. As I opened a viewing slat the first thing I saw was very large all white Gull, a quick look at the bird in the scope ruled out albino Herring Gull & Iceland Gull, I could see it had a dark eye making it a juvenile Glaucous Gull. With no camera I tried phone scoping it without success, how people mange to get good phone scoping images is beyond me. With the rain battering down I went back to the car to collect my camera getting a soaking, hoping the bird would stay until I got back which fortunately it did. The weather made for poor images, so hopefully it still be around tomorrow.

Wednesdays 1w Caspian Gull at The Patch

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Western Sahara March 2018!

 Sudan Golden Sparrows, one of four of my target species at Oued jenna

 Cricket Longtails another target species was common around our camp at Oued jenna

 Dunn's Lark third target species, c20 birds seen

Torch reflection in the eye of a Golden Nightjar my main target species, through sheer incompetence not checking the flash gun settings I missed probably my only chance of ever photographing the species. Every time I look at the above image I feel terrible! Had the flash worked I could have hoped for an image similar to the one below of a melanistic Montagu's Harrier taken in similar circumstances. 
Melanistic Montagu's Harrier photographed at night with flash gun 
The same bird still present the next morning
 Jerboa taken with a properly set flash gun

 Many Temminck's Horned Larks were seen
  Temminck's Horned Lark 

 Flocks of 50-100 Black-crowned Sparrow Larks were around our camp at Oued jenna but were incredibly difficult to photograph in the time we had, this was the only bird I managed to capture.

 Thekla Larks were reasonably common

 Bar-tailed Desert Larks were common but usually camera shy.

Hoopoe Larks were fairly common
 Probably our most surprising find was 5 Pharaoh's Eagle Owls 2 of which were by the sea at Dakhla

Pharaoh's Eagle Owl being mobbed by a Hoopoe at Oued jenna
Where I would expect to find a Pharaoh's Eagle Owl, peeping out of hole in high rock face in the hills south of Oued jenna.
1 of c100 Black Kites seen migrating over our camp at Oued jenna
A female Montagu's Harrier found roosting late afternoon in the desert 
 Fulvous Babbler common around the camp
 Migrant Subalpine Warblers were common at the camp
A Tree Pipit spent a couple of days feeding around the camp
 Great Grey Shrike(elegans) common everywhere
Several migrant Woodchat Shrikes were seen
 Desert Warbler only 1 bird seen
 Cream-coloured Coursers were fairly common
 Only 4 Red-rumped Wheatears were seen
A few Red-throated Pipits were seen at water holes
White-crowned Wheatear a few seen mainly from the vehicles
  5th new species for me was African Royal Tern
 Caspian tern and African Royal Terns
Caspian Tern

Tuesday 27 March 2018

A Miserable Day!

A fairly miserable and damp watch this morning with rain blowing straight through the slats into the hide.
08.00-10.30 from the sea watch hide with JTM:
Brent Goose: 125 up  2 down
Shelduck: 3 up
Shoveler: 2 down
Pintail: 4 up
Common Scoter: 15 up
Red-throated Diver: 6 up  13 down
Great-crested Grebe: 5 up    4+ on
Fulmar: 18 up
Gannet: 206 up
Cormorant: present n/c
Oystercatcher: 9 up
Great Skua: 1 u[
Arctic Skua: 2 up
Kittiwake: 37 up
Sandwich Tern: 26 up
Guillemot: 47 up
Auk sp: 214 up
 Juvenile Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats today

 Firecrest in the scrub by the beach car park this afternoon. Still plenty around.
At least 3 Brambling at the visitor centre feeding station today
Late afternoon a Merlin flew over Burrowes towards the Open Pits, at Cooks Pool 2+ White Wagtails of note. From the screen hide a bittern booming half heartedly.