Friday, 29 June 2018

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve!

The paved track was covered in 100s of smashed Mussels, this Herring Gull showed me why.
Walking along the beach track towards the Ternery Pool I heard a couple of Little Terns but saw none, apparently they are having a poor breeding season so far. I did see a pair of Wheatears taking food into there nest site. 
It would seem Black-headed Gulls, Mediterranean Gulls and Sandwich Terns are all doing well this year.
 Lots of juvenile Mediterranean Gulls on the Ternery Pool
 This Mediterranean Gull appears to have have snatched another Mediterranean gull chick

 A ringed adult
A colour ringed adult, but as I was to lazy to carry my scope around today it went unread.
 A constant stream of Sandwich Terns bringing in Sand Eels
 A juvenile Sandwich tern
 The Sandwich Terns seem to have had a good breeding season at Rye
 Another Sand Eel arrives
Good numbers of juvenile Sandwich Terns on the Ternery Pool
Not so many Common Terns
 Juvenile Redshank
Female Tufted duck trying to protect her young from a very persistent Common Gull
Late afternoon a summer plumage Ruff and 3 Black-tailed godwits were on the ARC

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

 Great Tit in the moth trap at 04.30 this morning!
I got up extra early to cove the moth trap this morning but the Great Tit still beat me, it had eaten at least 1 Elephant Hawk moth and a Privet Hawk Moth before I could chase it out along with a lot of the moths.
 A Whitethroat singing by the beach car park
From the sea watch hide this morning again very little of note, just a handful each of Gannets and Sandwich Terns and few Harbour Porpoises.
1s Mediterranean Gull from Firth
On the reserve the Little Gull still present along with a few Ringed Plovers and a 1s Mediterranean Gull. The Common terns seem to have at least 6 young at present.
This afternoon I had the beach at the fishing boats all to my self, allowing me to scan the sea whilst basking in the glorious sunshine and listening to the France V Denmark match, which was probably the most boring match of the world cup.
Common Scoter: 11E
Great-crested Grebe: 1 around
Gannet: 6E    6W
Cormorant: 7around
Shag: 1E
Oystercatcher: 6E    1W
Black-headed Gull: 42E
Mediterranean Gull: 7 around (4 x ads, 2s, 2 x 1s)
Sandwich Tern: 44E   2W
Swift: 1 out
Swallow: 1 out
Skylark: 1 singing behind beach
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Grey Seal: 1
Common Seal: 1

Monday, 25 June 2018

Sunny Days!

Common Seal
This morning from the sea watch hide, a few Gannets, Common and Sandwich Terns milling around offshore along with 2 Mediterranean Gulls and a few juvenile Black-headed Gulls my first this year, also 46 Common Scoter flew East. A Common Seal in the scum along the shore line and Grey Seal along way out.

Common Buzzard getting the Herring Gull welcome
An hour lunchtime scanning from the garden saw little of note, though a Common Buzzard straying over some nesting Herring Gulls livened things up.
Napoleon's Column at Wimereux from Dungeneness this afternoon
2hrs on the beach at the fishing boats saw very few birds, the highlight being 6 Mediterranean Gulls feeding along the colour change, 4+ Harbour Porpoises and a party of 12 Gannets that were were probably in French territorial waters moving down channel. In this afternoons excellent visibility Boulogne 27 miles away was clearly visible, I could even make out vehicles moving along the roads there.
Boulogne Cathedral Dome from Dungeness this afternoon
In this warmer weather the moth trap catch is improving but still very immigrants.
 Evergestis Limbat
 LIme Hawk Moth
Swallowtail Moth

Friday, 22 June 2018

Bittern Garden Tick!

Mediterranean Gull at The Patch
The Patch has been very quiet this week, with just a few Mediterranean Gulls and Common Terns of note there. A male Black Redstart was behind the hide this morning.
Common Seal at The Patch
Late morning JTM alerted me to some Common Buzzards moving around the peninsular, I set my scope up in the front garden and quickly located 4 Common Buzzards and 2 Marsh Harriers, while scanning for more I picked out a Bittern flying over Hookers and followed it all the way to the Tower Pits, a long awaited and welcome from the garden tick.
14.15-15.15 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 12 drifted west along the colour change
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Gannet: 7W     1E
Cormorant: 4 around
Sandwich Tern: 6W
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
Grey Seal: 1
 Young Dunnock in the garden for the last couple of days
Juvenile Goldfinches have started to appear at the garden feeders this week
The moth trap has been generally poor lately due to the cold windy nights, but has pulled in one or two nice moths.
The first Cynaeda dentalis of the year in my trap, one of my favourite micros
First Leopard Moth of the year, a gorgeous beast.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Curlew Sandpiper!

After sorting through another disappointing haul from the moth trap, (a Flame Wainscot my second this year was the highlight) I made my way to the reserve. Where in the dull, damp windy conditions yesterdays Curlew Sandpiper was still present, also 4 ringed Plovers of note. Over the lakes a few Swifts and House Martins. 100s of eclipse Duck including 100s each of Pochard, Tufted Duck and Gadwall can be found around the lakes, also a few pairs of breeding Common Terns.
 Curlew Sandpiper
 Curlew Sandpiper

 Curlew Sandpiper and Ringed Plover 
 Curlew Sandpiper

Shy Reed Warbler from Firth
At The Patch a few Common Terns and Gulls over the boil, but few on the beach due to to fisherman setting up at The Patch. Among the Gulls on the beach were 3 Pisea/Rainham colour ringed birds, yesterdays X2DT was still present, also F8ZT last seen by me on 20/03/2018 and K7LT last seen by me on 18/05/2018.
A couple of hours sea watching this afternoon in the company of MH, RW & LG was a rather slow affair.
14.00-16.00 from the fishing boats:
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Fulmar: 1E
Gannet: 21W   2E
Cormorant: 6 around
Curlew: 2W
Oystercatcher: 5W
Mediterranean Gull: 1W  1s bird
Kittiwake: 1W
Sandwich Tern: 35W
Common Tern: 2W.  E
Swift: 2W
Harbour Porpoise: 2+  

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

At The Patch this morning just 2 Mediterranean Gulls and a handful of Common Terns among the usual Gulls there. Pitsea ringed Herring Gull X2DT seen regularly around Dungeness, also a new colour ringed Black-headed  Gull (black ring, white Alpha Numeric) R90T which was probably ringed in northern France in 2006/2007.
A call from MH telling me a Curlew Sandpiper was showing on Burrowes Pit, by the time I arrived it had gone missing, though after a few minutes I located on a distant island.
 Gulls trailing a trawler that passed close inshore this afternoon
14.00-16.40 from the fishing boats with MH till the fog came in again.
Common Scoter: 38E
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 36W   2E
Oystercatcher: 4E
Mediterranean Gull: 2W  both ads
Kittiwake: 15W
Sandwich Tern: 76W   1E
Common Tern: 2W
Guillemot: 1E
 Sandwich Terns past the fishing boats

 Teal from Firth
A late afternoon visit to Burrowes found no sign of the Curlew Sandpiper, the first Common Tern chicks were seen, the Little Gull had reappeared, 20 Curlew and 2 Avocets had dropped in.
 Reed Bunting from Firth
 Little Gull from Firth

Common Terns from Firth