Friday, 31 August 2018

Cattle Egrets at Boulderwall taken yesterday
First thing this morning at Boulderwall at least 6 Cattle Egrets were still present, as yesterday they were always distant.
While walking around The Desert with SG seeing very little, news of a Terek Sandpiper being seen  by BW flying around the reserve but now lost in the Dengemarsh area came through. As the reserve and ARC were going to be searched others I decided to check The Midrips for the Terek. Yellow Wagtails were calling all around and a stream of Swallows were coasting eastwards. On the pools 34 Teal, 12 Shelduck, 15 Mallard and a Shoveler were feeding with 7 Greenshanks, 3 Spotted Redshanks, a poor video of 2 of Spotted Redshanks can be seen HERE also 2 Common Redshanks, 3 Dunlin, a Grey Plover, 15 Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel and 6 Curlew. 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Marsh Harriers flew through but no sign of the Terek Sandpiper. 
 Many thanks to Dave Bunney for inviting me into his private garden to see this very confiding Pied Flycatcher this afternoon, also a Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Reed Warbler.

Late afternoon I met AJG at the fishing boats where he had seen 2 Black Terns, a few Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua and Swallows leaving our shores. We decided to have a look around the back of Scotney for the Terek Sandpiper but only saw more Yellow Wagtails, a Little Owl and a couple each of Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier but not a single wader.
When I got home a kettle of 14 Common Buzzards was overhead, MH and SG had seen 37 nearby over Dengemarsh this afternoon.
Cetti's Warbler trapped at the obs yesterday 

 A beautiful Orache caught by Barry Banson last night
Common Darter

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Juvenile Osprey!

Aythya sp/Hybrid at Pett pools yesterday (image by C Turley)
As the weather this morning ruled out any wanderings around The Point, I went to Pett Pools with CT who had seen an interesting Aythya duck there yesterday. On arrival we could not find the bird on the close roadside pit where he first saw it, eventually through the rain we found it at the back of the neighbouring lake viewed from the gate. In the time time we were there it was constantly diving but stayed at the back of the lake the whole time giving poor views in in poor light in poor weather, leaving us none the wiser but assuming some sort of hybrid.
 As I was clearing out the MV this afternoon DB called me saying an Osprey was over Hookers Pit, a quick scan over the fields in front of the house and the bird came into view, thanks Dave for the call. A 3 minute drive to Springfield Bridge  and the bird was now perched on a telegraph pole. A short while later it started fishing appearing to catch and devour 2 small fish, eventually after flying around the peninsular a couple of times it caught another fish which was to large for this young bird to handle. 2 Hobby's were also present and few Yellow Wagtails.
Juvenile Osprey
The strike
Struggling with the over size fish
Osprey about to drop its catch
Migrant Hawker Springfield Bridge
Pied Flycatchers
A late afternoon visit to the trapping area found 6 Pied Flycatchers though probably more were present, 2 Common Redstarts, 4 Whinchats, several each of Willow and Reed Warbler, Common and Lesser Whitethroat and Wheatear.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Early morning walk around the trapping area, Desert and Long Pits with AJG was a disappointment avian wise as very few migrants were found, just small numbers each of Wheatears, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Whinchats, 3 Cetti's Warblers were noted along with 5 Green Woodpeckers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, with a trickle of Sand Martins overhead.
Clouded Yellow
A visit to The Patch found a Danish ringed Lesser Black Backed Gull but little else. A Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady on the Valerian by the perimeter wall.  
 Painted Lady
 Danish ringed Lesser Black Backed Gull V:3F7
Sexton Beetle covered in Mites
In the Plodland MV this morning another Convolvulus Hawkmoth, the first Red Underwing to make it into the trap and not so nice a Sexton Beetle covered in Mites.
Convolvulus Hawkmoth
Red Underwing
Wasp Spider
An afternoon walk around the back of Scotney was very pleasant but once again quiet bird wise, a Black-necked Grebe on the western lake, dozens of Yellow Wagtails and several Common Buzzards around the fields were the Avian highlights, but the real highlight was a super Wasp Spider.
 Great White Egret
On the reserve this evening the American Black Tern was still present with c10 Black Terns, 6 Great white Egrets, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Little Ringed Plovers and a Hobby of note.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

6 out of 7!

 Red-backed Shrike
Most of my time today was spent sea watching but I did leave the sea long enough to admire the Red-backed Shrike that found it's way into the Heligoland Trap at the observatory.
On the sea once again 100s of Sandwich and Common Terns, Gannets and Kittiwakes also 50+ Black Terns through today, 4+ Arctic Skuas were offshore, a party of 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Little Tern a few Fulmars and Arctic Terns, the highlight being 2 Balearic Shearwaters moving through. 
This evening on the reserve 100s of Terns were present including the American Black Tern but no sign of the Roseate Tern that was present earlier today, I really should have made the effort to see it earlier but the thought of crowded hides kept me away, my loss, so I only managed to see 6 of the 7 species of Tern recorded at Dungeness today.
Red-backed Shrike
Balearic Shearwaters
 Bar-tailed Godwits
 Black Tern
Arctic Tern

Friday, 24 August 2018

 Grasshopper Warbler at the Observatory
Despite all the nets being deployed this morning surprisingly few birds were caught, this Grasshopper Warbler was the pick of the bunch.
A walk around the Desert area found 5 Whinchats, 2 Common Redstarts, a few each of Common Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Wheatears. 
 Willow Warbler near The Patch
At The Patch 100s each of Sandwich and Common Terns in a feeding frenzy offshore with 2 Arctic Skuas in attendance. Along the track to The Patch another Common Redstart and 2 Willow Warblers.
At the top end of the Long Pits a Spotted Flycatcher and a few more Willow Warblers, (3 Spot Flys and a NIghtingale earlier per AJG).
Many Migrant Hawkers around today
 Little Tern at the fishing boats this afternoon
 13.30-16.00 from the fishing boats:
Balearic Shearwater: 1E
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 32E     18W
Turnstone: 1 around
Arctic Skua: minimum of 3 around
Kittiwake: 3W
Sandwich Tern: 479W
Common Tern: 226W
Little Tern: 1 around
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Grey Seal: 1
Common Seal: 1
Arctic Skua about to grab it's prize
 A couple of Porpoises
Common Seal
Turnstone at the boats this afternoon

Thursday, 23 August 2018


 Distant Black-necked Grebe from Hanson early morning
Early morning at the ARC the juvenile Black-necked Grebe appeared among the islands, also there of note 4+ Garganey, 112 Golden Plover, 2 Wood Sandpipers, the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper. A Cuckoo flew across the lake into the Willow trail, a Great White Egret was at the southern end and 100s of Sand Martins were hawking over the lake.
Across the road on Burrowes the American Black Tern was still present but frustratingly staying by the far bank from Makepiece, also a few Black Terns present and 100s of Sand Martins.
Gannet at The Patch
Mid morning a feeding frenzy at The Patch, with Gannets diving for presumably Mackerel, many Terns and Gulls present also and a single Mediterranean Gull.
Around The Point at least 3 Pied flycatchers with 1 in the Moat that had been ringed earlier, another in the Lighthouse garden though very elusive and another this afternoon in a private garden.
This afternoon the Wryneck was still present at Galloways per BW & DB.
 Fulmar at the fishing boats
A long sea watch from the fishing boats this afternoon with joined by AJG, JTM, DW & PT.
Fulmar: 5W    2E
Gannet: 41W    18E
Sanderling: 3W
Dunlin: 8W
Turnstone: 2W
Arctic Skua: 4+ around
Yellow-legged Gull: 2 around
Kittiwake: 13W
Sandwich Tern: 1,071W
Common Tern: 889W
Arctic Tern: 4W
Little Tern: 5W
Black Tern: 2W
Sand Martin: 86 out
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
Grey Seal: 1
 Fulmar at the fishing boats

Little Tern at the fishing boats
Little Tern at the fishing boats

 American Black Tern
After the sea watch I went to the reserve, as I pulled up in the car park DW beckoned me over to Dennis's hide where he had seen the American Black Tern fly to, sure on enough on a small island we found the Tern which then proceeded to give us good prolonged views. 5 Great White Egrets and a Common Sandpiper were also seen from Dennis's of note.
 American Black Tern
 American Black Tern
 American Black Tern with Common Terns

American Black Tern