Monday, 29 April 2019

06.20-08.20 &13.00-18.00 from the sea watch hide joined by CF, JTM & NG
Shelduck: 4W
Common Scoter: 44E.   48W
Red-throated Diver: 3E
Black-throated Diver: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 7W   3 on
Fulmar: 1W   2E
Gannet: 63E    21W
Cormorant: present n/c
Hobby: 1 in
Oystercatcher: 1E
Curlew: 2E.  1W
Whimbrel: 19E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 1,173E
Great Skua: 1E
Pomarine Skua: 1E @16.40
Arctic Skua: 3E
Kittiwake: 2W.  5E
Common Gull: 27E
Little Tern: 2E
Sandwich Tern: 165E    45W
Common Tern: 528E
Arctic Tern: 23E
Guillemot: 1E
Razorbill: 1E
Auk sp: 10E
House Martin: 4 in
Swallow: 19 in
Carrion Crow: 1 in
Harbour Porpoise: 10+
Grey Seal: 1
The Cattle Egret continues its stay at Dengemarsh and a Spoonbill flew over the reserve per PT.
Migrant passerines are still scarce but there are plenty of Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Sedge and Reed Warblers on territory around the peninsular.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

It can only get better!

 An abysmal weekend birding wise at Dungeness in the cold strong West to North West winds. Even sea watching which should be good at this time of year was abysmal, the highlight being a flock of 16 Manx Shearwaters Saturday morning. Todays early morning sea watch figures listed below show how bad today was.
05.35-07.35 kindly collated by AJG:
Common Scoter: 92W
Great-crested Grebe: 7W
Fulmar: 3W
Gannet: 142W
Oystercatcher: 9W
Arctic Skua: 1E
Sandwich Tern: 2E
Common Tern: 3W
Guillemot: 3W
Auk sp: 6W
Swifts arrived this weekend along with Hobby's, but wader passage has been poor. On Burrowes this morning 16 Dunlin, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 5 Ringed Plovers and a Garganey. On Boulderwall fields 6 Whimbrel and a Curlew, the remaining Cattle Egret is still around the Hay Fields.
A Serin spent the afternoon in the lighthouse area but was flighty and disappeared for long periods, Black Redstart, Stonechats and Peregrines were also to be seen in this area.   
 Not my best ever image of a Serin!
A Currant Pug on the wall at home

Friday, 26 April 2019

Eider passing the marker Bouy this morning
Sandwich Terns passing the fishing boats this afternoon
In today's SW wind the sea was not very productive.
06.00-08.30 & 13.40-16.40
Brent Goose: 2E
Eider: 15E
Common Scoter: 188E     31W
Red-throated diver: 14E
Fulmar: 9E   8W
Gannet: 107E   93W
Cormorant: present n/c
Peregrine: 1 around
Hobby: 1 in
Oystercatcher: 2E
Whimbrel: 2E
Mediterranean Gull: 2E
Kittiwake:  4E    10W
Sandwich tern: 368E   379W
Commic Tern:  8E  21W
Great Skua: 4E
Arctic Skua: 4E
Auk sp:67E
Swallow: 4 in
Harbour Porpoise at the fishing boats today
Common Whitethroat at Denge Marsh
There was no sign of the Common Crane in Caldecott Lane today, but the Little Owl, Corn Buntings and Yellow Wagtails were still present.
At Dengemarsh no sign of the Blue-headed Wagtail, but summer plumage Cattle Egret was still present and at least 2 Garganey though not seen by me, also plenty of Common Whitethroats, Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers, as well as Reed buntings and Bearded Tits. There were plenty of raptors at Denge Marsh despite the cool weather including 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Hobby's, 3 Common Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Peregrine.
Reed Bunting nest building at Denge Marsh
Small Coppers at Denge Marsh
Meadow Pipit feeding young on the beach
Wheatear on the beach

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Another day at the Seaside!

I dragged myself away from the sea watch hide just long enough to see the Yellow-browed Warbler, a surprise find in The Moat
05.30-19.30 from the sea watch hide with AJG, CP, OL, DW, JTM, SM, MH et al
Brent Goose: 51E
Shelduck: 7E
Shoveler: 2E
Teal: 2E
Common Scoter: 1,010E   319W
Velvet Scoter: 18E
Red-breasted Merganser: 1E
Red-throated Diver:42E
Black-throated Diver: 7E
Great-crested Grebe: 57 around the Bouy
Fulmar: 29E   5W
Manx Shearwater: 9E   72W
Gannet: 1,046E    84W
Cormorant: Present n/c
Peregrine: 1 around
Oystercatcher: 7E
Whimbrel: 9E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 64E    37 in
Dunlin: 2E
Sanderling: 5E
Great Skua: 45E
Pomarine Skua: 9E
Arctic Skua: 54E
Little Gull: 114E
Mediterranean Gull
Kittiwake: 26E   7W
Black Tern: 5E
Little Tern: 11E
Sandwich Tern: 955E    73W
Common Tern: 190E
Arctic Tern: 49E
Common/Arctic Tern: 1,323E
Guillemot: 9E
Razorbill: 3E
Auk sp: 194E    17W
Dolphin sp: c10
Harbour Porpoise: 10+
Grey Seal: 1
A poor image of the aberrant Common Scoter that was tracked from Portland today
A quick look for the Blue-headed Wagtail at Denge Marsh this evening ended in failure, though a summer plumage Cattle Egret was some consolation.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Lesser Whitethroat at the observatory courtesy of DW during a sea watch break.
05.30-08.00 & 10.00-16.15 with AJG, BC, RW, JTM, MH, BW et al
Brent Goose: 56E
Greylag Goose: 2W
Shelduck: 16E
Mute Swan: 3W
Shoveler: 2E
Common Scoter: 74E   24W
Red-throated Diver: 9E
Fulmar: 21E   6W
Gannet: 148E   31W
Cormorant: present n/c
Oystercatcher: 5E    12W
Whimbrel: 19E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 10E
Great Skua: 27E
Pomarine Skua: 4E
Arctic Skua: 15E
Little Gull: 25E
Kittiwake: 14E
Mediterranean Gull: 19E
Common Gull: 68E
Sandwich Tern: 670E  110W
Common Tern: 72E
Guillemot: 11E
Razorbill: 1E
Auk sp: 90E
Swallow: 2 in
Harbour Porpoise: 10+
Lesser Whitethroat at the observatory courtesy of DW during a sea watch break.
 Common Crane Caldecott Lane
During our sea watch break I joined AJG in short trip to Caldecott Lane, where the Common Crane now resides. The little Owl showed well along with Yellow Wagtails, Corn Buntings, Reed Buntings and my first Red-legged Partridge of the year which is now getting very scarce on the peninsular.
 Little Owl Caldecott Lane
Red-legged Partridge Caldecott Lane

Busy Afternoon!

05.30-09.00 from the sea watch hide and 12.00-19.00 from the fishing boats: with AAJG,CP,MH, DW,JTM,DS,JTM et al. Most of the Terns & waders came past this afternoon.
Brent Goose: 28E
Greylag Goose: 2 in
Shelduck: 2W
Pintail: 3E all drakes
Velvet Scoter: 5E
Common Scoter: 327E   297W
Red-breasted Merganser: 1E
Red-throated Diver: 21E
Great-crested Grebe: 7 around
Fulmar: 4E   2W
Manx Shearwater: 2E
Gannet:199E  7W
Cormorant: Present n/c
Oystercatcher: 22E   8W
Grey Plover: 32E
Curlew: 2E
Whimbrel: 67E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 714E
Knot: 33E
Sanderling: 18E
Great Skua: 3E
Pomarine Skua: 1E.  @ 08.40
Arctic Skua: 28E
Little Gull: 27E
Mediterranean Gull: 12E
Common Gull: 36E
Kittiwake: 7E
Little Tern: 28E
Black Tern: 2E
Sandwich Tern: 813E
Common Tern: 1,603E
Arctic Tern: 1,223E
Common /Arctic Tern: 526E
Guillemot: 14E
Razorbill: 2E
Auk sp: 89E    11W
Swallow: 30 in

The Common Crane was still in the ploughed field at Caldecott Lane today.
Late news of a Savi's warbler singing at Dengemarsh, also the Black-winged Stilts still there this evening with 3 Garganey and the Blue-headed Wagtail, all per JH.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Excellent Day on The Beach!

Oystercatchers past the fishing boats
05.40-18.00 with AJG, SO, MH, SM, DW, JTM, BW, NB et al.
Brent Goose: 214E
Mute Swan: 3E
Shelduck: 3E
Garganey: 5E
Shoveler: 4E
Gadwall: 2E
Teal: 2E
Velvet Scoter: 3E.    7W
Common Scoter:2591E.   410W
Red-breasted Merganser:7E
Red-throated Diver: 10E
Black-throated Diver: 14E
Great-crested Grebe: 45 on
Fulmar: 6E.  4W
Manx Shearwater: 1W
Grey Heron: 3E
Gannet: 207E
Cormorant: 128 on
Oystercatcher: 29E     7W
Avocet: 5E
Whimbrel: 117E
Curlew: 5E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 437E
Sanderling: 28E
Dunlin: 4E
Great Skua: 34E
Pomarine Skua: 13E
Arctic Skua: 23E
Kittiwake: 16E
Little Gull: 51E
Mediterranean Gull: 30E
Common Gull: 49E
Yellow-legged Gull: 1E
Sandwich Tern: 619E
Little Tern: 51E
Common Tern: 199E
Common/Arctic: Tern: 297
Arctic Tern: 124E
Guillemot: 7E
Razorbill: 1E
Auk sp: 42E
Carrion Crow: 7 in
Swallow: 7 in
Greenfinch: 1E
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Arctic Skua off the fishing boats
 3 Grey Herons passing the sea watch hide early morning
  Mute Swans not often seen on a Dungeness sea watch 
Mediterranean gulls passing the fishing boats
Black-winged Stilt at the ARC this afternoon

Sunday, 21 April 2019

The First Pomarine Skua of the Season!

The first Pomarine Skua of the season
05.45-07.15 &13.30-17.15 AJG, RW, OL, JTM, AP.
Brent Goose: 45E
Common Scoter: 76E.  29W
Red-throated Diver: 13E
Black-throated Diver: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 19 around
Fulmar: 3E   1W
Gannet: 77E    5W
Cormorant: 79 around
Sparrowhawk: 1E
Oystercatcher: 8E
Grey Plover: 1E
Whimbrel: 28E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 32E
Great Skua: 2E
Pomarine Skua: 2E
Arctic Skua: 5E
Little Gull: 15E
Mediterranean Gull: 9E
Common Gull: 68E
Kittiwake: 3E.  2W
Sandwich tern: 428E.  10W
Common Tern: 170E
Arctic Tern: 69E
Auk sp: 3E
Swallow: 4 in
Jackdaw: 2 in
Carrion Crow: 3 in
Harbour porpoise: 5+
Grey Seal: 1
Common Seal: 1
Peregrines mating on the Pylons this morning

 Wheatears around The Moat this morning

1 of 2 superb Whinchats at the top end of the Long Pits
 4 of the 5 Cattle Egrets that are frequenting Denge Marsh

 The Common Crane along Caldecott Lane
My new noisy neighbour

Saturday, 20 April 2019

All the long legs!

A very uninspiring sea watch this morning, the highlight being watching a Merlin chase and catch a Meadow Pipit just off shore. Then the day just got better and better.
06.00-07.30 with RW
Brent Goose: 3E
Shelduck: 1E   4W
Common Scoter: 25E.    12W
Red-throated diver: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Fulmar: 4E.  1W
Gannet: 66E.  18W
Cormorant: 38 around
Merlin: 1 in
Oystercatcher: 1E. 3W
Great Skua: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 38E
Common Gull: 37E
Little Tern: 3E
Sandwich Tern: 85E
Common Tern: 14E
Carrion Crow: 1 in
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 5
Willow Warbler at the observatory this morning
After I left the observatory to get some breakfast, I was driving past Boulderwall when I spotted a familiar looking white blob out in the field by Cooks Pool, I pulled into the muddy lay by and got my scope onto the blob to reveal an immature Spoonbill, I turned the car round and drove into the reserve to get a better look.
The Spoonbill with Plodland in the background
From Cooks Pool the Spoonbill was still distant but nicely lined up to get it onto the house year list.
As I was watching the Spoonbill 2 Black-winged stilts flew into Cooks Pool stopping just long enough for MH, DG and OL to see them before disappearing towards Dengemarsh.
We made our way to Denge Marsh to look for them without success. 
 Greenland Wheatear
Around the hay fields we saw a handsome Greenland Wheatear, 5 Cattle Egrets and Yellow Wagtails, we also heard Bearded Tits, but there was no sign of yesterdays 5 Garganey.
1 of 5 Garganey at Denge Marsh yesterday.
We had just got back to Denge Marsh hide when a call fro PB alerted us to a Red Kite flying around the back of the power station, we managed distant views of the Kite and also saw a Hobby my earliest ever.
Bittern over Tanners Pool
Making our way back to Boulderwall a Bittern flew past us, also Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards were seen.
After my late  breakfast I spent some scoping the skies in front my house for raptors. Common Buzzards were plentiful, a Peregrine flew over and at least 3 Marsh Harriers were seen, I watched a Red Kite soaring over Denge Marsh for several minutes, a Grey Heron and Little Egret flew into the nearby Heronry, I picked out a grey blob which was the Common Crane, also the Spoonbill and at least 3 of the Cattle Egrets though all rather distant. A phone call from PB and CT alerted me to the Black Winged Stilts flying towards the Go Cart track allowing me to add the Stilts to my garden list, not a bad haul from an hour of sky watching from the garden.
 1 of many Yellow wagtails at Scotney
I went along to Scotney in the hope of relocating the Stilts and had just reached the farm when OL text me that 6 Spoonbills had flown into the back lakes. I made my way there seeing lots of Yellow Wagtails and Mediterranean Gulls and few each of Corn Bunting, Tree Sparrow and Reed Bunting, arriving a few minutes later the Spoonbills were gone leaving 28 Avocet, 4 Redshank and a couple of Dunlin. After a couple of minutes either 3 of the original 6 or 3 more Spoonbills flew in from Camber.
3 of the 6 Spoonbills at Scotney 
Late afternoon Fiona Grant  messaged me after she relocated the Black Winged Stilts at the southern end of the ARC where they showed very well with a Great White Egret. 

Great White Egret 

Yesterdays Spoonbill after it flew off S.E.