Tuesday, 30 July 2019


As a South Easterly wind was blowing I was hoping for a good sea watch this morning, unfortunately it was not as good as hoped for.
06.45-0845 from the hide with CP, JTM and AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Shelduck: 1E
Teal: 3E
Tufted Duck: 1E
Common Scoter: 25E  1W
Great-crested Grebe: 1W
Fulmar: 9E
Gannet: c75 around
Kittiwake: 71E
Mediterranean Gull:1E
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 Juvenile at The Patch
Sandwich tern: c40E
Common Tern: c40 around
Auk sp: 1E
Sand Martin: 21 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 15+
 A little twitch to see the Eclipse drake Red-crested Pochard at Hookers this morning first for the year
 Greenshank from Firth early afternoon (a party of 11 dropped in briefly per DC)
 Excellent views of waders and Terns can be had from Firth Hide especially from Midday onwards when the sun has started to move round to the west.
 Polished colour ringed Black-headed Gull TXUW at the ARC this afternoon, I saw this bird almost a year ago on 27/07/2018. Also in 3 visits to Hanson up to 5 Wood Sandpipers, 6 Common Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, 8 Dunlin, 4 Ruff, 4 Redshank, a Turnstone, a Peregrine, Mediterranean Gull, 4 Garganey, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Great White Egrets and many of the usual wildfowl. This evening 100s of Swifts and Sand Martins over it and New Diggings viewed from the causeway. There were no reports of yesterdays lovely summer plumaged Cattle Egret from the reserve today, I will have do an Egret roost count in case it is feeding elsewhere.
A sea watch by AJG from the fishing boats 13.05-15.45:
Common Scoter: 11W
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Fulmar: 2W
Gannet: 15W
Kittiwake: 5W
Mediterranean Gull: 1 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Common Tern: 42W
Sandwich Tern: 18W
Swift: 84 out
Sand Martin: 5 out
 Green Sandpipers
 The Green Sandpipers joined by a Common Sandpiper

 Little Ringed Plovers

Monday, 29 July 2019

Colour Ringed Little Tern!

Lat Saturday evening Owen Leyshon called me to say that there was a colour ringed Little Tern in front of Firth Hide, by luck I was driving down the entrance track to the VC, within minutes I joined Owen and was attempting to read the ring. We originally read it as Y18 but after an email exchange with Ulf in Denmark we realised it was actually Y1B. Remarkably this is only the 5th foreign ringed Little Tern of any ringing scheme to have been reported in the UK.
 Colour ringed Little Tern at Firth  on Saturday 27/07/2019
 The known history

This image was taken on its breeding grounds by Ulf M.Berthelsen

Sunday, 28 July 2019

The Day After!

The first Willow Warbler of the Autumn
The first Willow warblers of the autumn were trapped today along with a few Common Whitethroats, a few Swifts went south and a Peregrine was on the pylons.
The reserve was very quiet after yesterdays excitement as most the waders cleared out over night.
Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
A predictably quiet sea watch this afternoon, but at least it was pleasantly warm on the beach.
14.15-15.30 from the fishing boats with RW, JTM & JK.
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 16E  4W
Cormorant: 11 around
Oystercatcher: 4W
Kittiwake: 1W
Mediterranean Gull; 1 Juvenile around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 Juvenile around
Little Tern: 9W
Common Tern: c15 around
Sandwich tern: c10 around
Pied Wagtail: 1 around
Harbour Porpoise: 10+
Grey Seal: 1
Common Seal: 2
 Juvenile Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
This evenings visit to the reserve found nothing of note from Firth, at Hanson in the company of Joe there were 4 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Ruff and 3 Garganey of note.
 Owens stunning Orache at the observatory 
Mine and Jacques Pale Shoulders at the observatory
Barry's lovely Dewick's Plusia

Saturday, 27 July 2019

I Live for Days like Today!

 Flock of Greenshanks over Burrowes this morning
Todays weather brought what I believe to be unprecedented numbers of waders of at least 22 species down onto the peninsula throughout the day. Redshank were most abundant with a day total of c600, I even had a flock of 100+ over my house, 60+ Greenshank, c30 Spotted Redshank, c40 Curlew Sandpipers, c20 Wood Sandpipers, c20 Common Sandpipers, c10 Green Sandpipers, 7 Ruff, 7 Knot, 15 Dunlin, 2 Temminck's Stint, Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Whimbrel, Avocet, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Common Snipe. 
Even at 20.00 this evening Wood, Green and Common Sandpipers were dropping into Burrowes from the Dennis's picnic area, with Greenshank overhead. A most memorable day at Dungeness, I'm afraid the images aren't brilliant due mainly to the dull conditions and my incompetence, but I don't really care I had a brilliant day and to make things the better the moths have been superb. A Little Tern at Burrowes this evening was probably ringed in Denmark but could have been ringed in Senegal, I will update when I get a reply from the ringers.
 Mainly Redshanks over Burrowes this morning
  Redshanks and Curlew Sandpipers at Firth this morning
 Temminck's Stints at Firth

 Wood Sandpiper at Firth
Common Sandpiper at Firth
Wood Sandpipers at the ARC
The recent warm weather brought a brilliant array of goodies to my moth trap along with 100s of the common moths, there has been several Plumed Fan-foot, Jersey Tigers, 100s of Xylostellas and double figure numbers of Silver Y. 
 A gorgeous Tawny Wave only the 13th Dungeness record
 Small Purple-barred only the 8th Dungeness record and the second since 2010 
 Ancylolmia tentaculella the 3rd Dungeness area record 1in1935 another in 2003, probably only the 10th British record
 Cydia amplana a scarce migrant
Pale Shoulder the 9th or tenth Dungeness are record

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Splendid Brocade!

Splendid Brocade the first one to find its way into my trap
No improvement in the sea watching today.
07.10-08.10 from the sea watch hide with CP:
Common Scoter: 31W    1E
Gannet: 10E   9W
Cormorant: 9 around
Mediterranean Gull: 3E  2 x Juv + 1st summer
Sandwich tern: 14E    2W
Common tern: c15 feeding o/s
Auk sp: 1E
Harbour porpoise: 5+
 The Great White Egrets being mobbed by Common Terns at the ARC
Also on the ARC 4 Ruff, a Wood Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Redshank, 5 Dunlin along with all the 100s of eclipse wildfowl.
 Another new moth for my trap today was this Pale Oak Beauty
Only my 3rd Beautiful Hook-tip that has seen better days rather like me

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Still in the Doldrums!

Dungeness is still very quiet going through the summer doldrums, especially as the power station is still shut down so there is no Patch for Gulls and Terns, it is I believe to come back on line next month but I wont hold my breath. Fortunately the moths are keeping me fairly busy. The first returning Willow Warbler was seen yesterday so hopefully over the next few days things will start to liven up. 
This juvenile Mediterranean Gull that was on Burrowes yesterday was ringed as a chick in Leipzig at Rehbach Gravel Pit, Germany on 11th June 2019.
This mornings sea watch was a little better than of late with the first Shearwater of the Autumn.
06.45-08.45 from the sea watch hide with AJG & CP:
Common Scoter: 2E  48W
Fulmar: 2W
Manx Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 149W.  6E
Cormorant; 7 around
Turnstone: 1W
Whimbrel: 1W
Kittiwake: 2W
Sandwich tern: 5E    11W
Common Tern: 16W   3E
Swift: 1 out
Sand Martin: 22 out
Swallow: 8 out
Black Redstart: 2 around
Harbour Porpoise:4+
Grey Seal: 1
 Adult Spotted Redshank from Hanson this morning
At the ARC today in 3 visits a Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, 17 Ruff, 6 Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and 2 Little Gulls of note
Little Gulls from Hanson
This afternoons sea watch was very poor but good for the sun tan!
14.00-16.00 from the fishing boats with AJG & JTM.
Common Scoter: 14W
Great-crested Grebe: 1 around
Gannet: 2W
Mediterranean Gull: 1E
Sandwich Tern: 9W
Common Tern: 3W
Guillemot: 1 around
Sand Martin: 31 out
On Burrowes this evening a 4th calendar year Great Black-backed Gull bearing a black colour ring coded 628 which I have not been able to track down, its not the usual Norwegian/Danish or a Normandy bird.
 It's been a poor year for Jersey Tigers so far, this is only my second this year
 Sussex Emeralds seem to be having a bumper year as I now into double figure numbers this year

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Roseate Tern!

 Whimbrel from Firth this morning looking into the sun
Both the ARC and Burrowes were disappointing early morning in the fact that very few new waders appeared to have dropped in by last nights the thunder storms, however Sand Martins carpeted the ARC.  The Roseate Tern later in the morning was very nice
Juvenile  Green Woodpecker by the visitor centre entrance track
 Roseate Tern From Firth this morning thanks to Joe
 Roseate Tern
 Roseate Tern
 Roseate Tern
 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
 14.00-17.00 from the fishing boats with JTM & CP.
Common Scoter: 7E
Fulmar: 3W
Gannet: 11E    58W
Kittiwake: 3W
Yellow-legged Gull: 5 x juveniles around
Sandwich tern: 6E.    11W
Common Tern: 62W
Sand Martin: 15 out
Auk sp: 1E
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
Grey Seal: 1

 Adult Curlew Sandpiper from the Dennis's Hide picnic area this evening
The Silver Barred was definitely a nice surprise new addition to the trap list this morning