Thursday, 31 October 2019

Shorelark Again!

I spent most of the day on and around the beach much of it in the company of the superb Shorelark which with patience is a real star. A short video of this little beauty preening can be seen HERE it also calls as 2 Skylarks fly overhead.

First thing this morning the Shorelark was in the company of a partial albino Pied Wagtail, I was too slow off the mark to get an image but I believe James got one. While I was on the beach 720 Goldfinch flew East, as did a Greenfinch and 4 Swallows, late this afternoon a Great Spotted Woodpecker alighted briefly on Mr T before disappearing east along the beach past the sea containers.
Around the new lighthouse area at least 3 Firecrests and 9 Goldcrests in the Broome, but no sign of any of the hoped for scarce Wheatear or Pipit. 2 More Firecrests and 2 Black Redstarts in the Station Gorse with at least 10 more Goldcrests in there and the Brittania Broome,
Good to see a few a Gulls over the small boil at The Patch
On the way to The Patch there were a minimum of 4 Black Redstarts, 2 Robins and 2 Wrens feeding along the wall. Many Gulls at The Patch but I found nothing unusual.
1st cal year male Black Redstart by the wall 
Robin among the sea containers
A walk along the beach this afternoon up to the Lifeboat Station still looking for a Wheatear or Pipit found just a Robin, maybe the big one will be there tomorrow for me.
Looking out to sea produced
Brent Goose: 14W
Shelduck: 3W
Red-breasted Merganser: 2W
Great-crested Grebe: 7 o/s
Gannet: c30 o/s
Cormorant: c100 o/s
Kittiwake: 9W
Little Gull: 1 o/s
Black-headed Gull: 93E in 30 minutes
Mediterranean Gull: 2 o/s
Common Gull: 18 o/s
Razorbill: 3W
Grey Seal: 1
Mid afternoon another Swallow flying around the old lighthouse, 4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrests.
Late afternoon back at the fishing boats the Shorelark was still performing.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Lesser Whitethroat (halimodendri) and a Shorelark!

 Early this morning after doing some domestic stuff I checked my phone and found several missed calls and texts, all regarding a Lesser Whitethroat that had been trapped in the Heligoland at the observatory. I unhurriedly made my way to the observatory thinking I'd missed the bird and arrived just as the bird was about too be released, so many thanks are due to David and Jacques for allowing me to take some quick images before they released the bird back into The Moat where it quickly disappeared into the thick cover of Blackthorn. I believe the bird shed a couple of feathers whilst being extracted from the catching box, so hopefully DNA sample will prove its ID conclusively.
 Lesser Whitethroat (halimodendri)?
  Lesser Whitethroat (halimodendri)?
  Lesser Whitethroat (halimodendri)?
 Lesser Whitethroat (halimodendri)?
I joined Jacques and Richard on a wander around the trapping area mid morning, where a few Firecrests, Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits were mainly heard by the others, as I struggle to hear them these days, very little else of note was seen or heard.
Shorelark at the puddles today
Late morning I received another call from Jacques telling me had relocated yesterdays Shorelark back at the fishing Boat puddles. I was quickly on site along with most of the other locals. I stayed at the puddles for the rest of the afternoon using my car as a hide, I was eventually rewarded with superb views of the Shorelark

 Late afternoon as the last of the visitors was leaving Jacques deployed a couple of baited traps, within minutes the Shorelark trapped itself. It was quickly processed and released at the same spot. When I left at dusk it was still happily scratching around the puddles picking up seemingly microscopic seeds.
While I was at the puddles the yellow ringed Caspian Gull put in an appearance, a few Brent Geese flew east and a few Mediterranean Gulls and Kittiwakes were offshore. I heard of no news from the reserve today or anywhere else on the peninsular.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Tuesday 29/10/2019

07.30-09.30 from the sea watch hide with GS & AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 2,632W     43E
Snow Goose: 1W presumably a feral bird
Shelduck: 5W     26E
Gadwall: 2W
Wigeon: 144W    26E
Teal: 10W
Shoveler: 13W
Common Scoter: 154W
Red-breasted Merganser: 12W     1E
Red-throated Diver: 6W
Great-crested Grebe: 6 o/s
Gannet 84 around
Great Skua: 1E
Kittiwake: 14W    10 o/s
Mediterranean Gull: 4 o/s
Sandwich Tern: 3W
Razorbill: 16W
Auk Sp: 70 down
Skylark: 9 in
Starling: 53 in
Parking by the lighthouse there were 2 Firecrests flitting around in the gloom on the sheltered side of the garden.
 While having breakfast late morning the regular male Sparrowhawk came on to the fence in the hope of another Goldfinch.

The rear end of a Stone Curlew, honest!
John Young found a Stone Curlew on the shingle between the Water Tower and the concrete mirrors an excellent find, unfortunately it was very flighty and I never saw it on the ground, though Colin Turley managed some excellent digiscope images, after I had left to see the Shorelark found by David Walker at the fishing boats puddles which was another disaster. I parked beside Davids car and saw the Shorelark c10mts in front of me, I lifted my binoculars to look at it, just as a fisherman drove round the corner flushing the bird and all I could do was to watch it fly off into the distance out of sight! Time for another sea watch.
13.25-14.25 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 165W
Common Scoter: 3E
Great-crested Grebe: 6 o/s
Gannet: c40 feeding off shore
Great Skua: 1E
Kittiwake: c30 feeding off shore
Little Gull: 4 feeding off shore
Razorbill: 2W
Auk sp: 133W
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2 

Monday, 28 October 2019

Monday 28/10/2019

I spent very interesting day around the observatory where 80+ birds were trapped and ringed. At least 2 Woodcocks were seen, 1 in The Moat and another came in off the sea and flew past me at the lighthouse and disappeared towards the observatory. A Merlin flew over The Moat, 2 Swallows, a Fieldfare and a Mistle Thrush flew over The Desert, also several Brambling, Siskin and Redpoll flew over the observatory.
A short sea watch by AJG was a complete non event.
A very nice P collybita tristis ringed late morning
 P collybita tristis

 P c tristis alongside a P collybita with dark and light background

 A gorgeous Yellow-browed Warbler was among lots of Goldcrests ringed and seen today

This smart lad was huge with a wing of 70mm, probably a continental bird. I believe 25+Blue Tits were ringed today, a single flock of 32 flew NW over the observatory this morning with many more being seen.
 1 of at least 5 ringed today
 The Firecrests in the bushes were very uncooperative today

 The only Redwing caught today
This big lad probably of continental extraction found its way into the Heligoland late afternoon

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Sunday 27/10/2019

A very lazy day today, a long lay in but up just in time to watch the rugby, followed by a full English.
Fortunately AJG was up and about sea watching from the hide this morning.
Gadwall: 1W
Common Scoter: 5W
Gannet: 55W
Kittiwake: 24W
Mediterranean Gull: 14W
Sandwich tern: 6W
Razorbill: 4W
Auk sp: 196W
Late morning at Scotney where 1,000+ Golden Plover were again on the sward but very flighty, so difficult to scrutinise properly, among them were 2 Curlew, 2 Redshank, 2 Ruff and c200 Lapwing, the usual feral geese were also present.
 Ruff in front of Firth late afternoon
A late afternoon visit to Burrowes saw the Red-throated Diver and Long-tailed Duck but both distant, a Ruff and and 2 Greenshank were other highlights. Very Gulls came in to roost on Burrowes this evening, the only notable bird was a 2w Yellow-legged Gull.
Greenshanks over Burrowes this afternoon

Friday, 25 October 2019

Friday 25/10/19

 Adult Mediterranean Gull gleaming in the early morning light
07.15-09.15 from the fishing boats, many thanks to AJG for collating the numbers:
Common Scoter: 5W
Red-throated Diver: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 15 o/s
Gannet: 729W
Cormorant: present n/c
Turnstone: 3 on Beach
Great Skua: 1E
Arctic Skua: 4W
Kittiwake: 186W
Little Gull: 1W juvenile
Mediterranean Gull:  27 o/s
Sandwich Tern: 26 o/s
Guillemot: 8W
Razorbill: 66W
Auk sp: 124 o/s
Very few grounded migrants around the peninsular today. Around Dengemarsh Gully a single Swallowon its way south was the I could find there.
On the sward at Scotney I spent a long time scanning back and forth through a flock of c1,000 Golden Plover but could only find 2 Curlew, 3 Ruff and a Turnstone among them, the usual feral geese were present.
 1st calendar year Caspian Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon.
13.30-15.00 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 2W
Common Scoter: 3W
Great-crested Grebe: 13 o/s
Gannet: 56W     20 o/s
Grey Plover: 1W
Arctic skua: 2 o/s
Kittiwake: 41W    23 o/s
Mediterranean Gull: 6o/s
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 1st cal year bird present
Caspian Gull: 1 1st cal year bird un-ringed present
Sandwich tern: 14W    8 o/s
Razorbill: 4W
Auk sp: 41E           9W
2w Caspian Gull in the roost next to the reserve entrance track
On Burrowes the Long-tailed Duck and Red-throated Diver still present but can be amazingly elusive.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Thursday 24/10/19

Brambling on the power station fence on Tuesday
07.30-09.30 from the fishing boats, numbers kindly collated by AJG:
Brent Goose: 2W
Shelduck: 4W
Wigeon: 14W
Teal: 2W
Pintail: 1W
Common Scoter: 6W       5E
Red-breasted Merganser: 1W
Red-throated Diver: 2W
Gannet: 620W
Cormorant: present n/c
Knot: 11W
Dunlin: 2W
Curlew: 1W
Arctic Skua: 3W
Kittiwake: 18W
Mediterranean Gull: 5 o/s
Sandwich Tern: 27W
Razorbill 54 down
Guillemot 2 down
Auk sp: 66W
Pied Wagtail: 38W
Starling: 700 in
A soggy Firecrest
A walk around The Point this morning saw 9 Firecrest, 37 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 8 Swallows through, 11 Black Redstarts, 220 Goldfinches, 16 Siskin and 2 Brambling over, a few Meadow Pipits, 4 Stonechats, 3 Song Thrushes, singles of Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Collared Dove, Grey Wagtail and Merlin, a party of c20 Blue Tits came out of the lighthouse Garden and headed off west, also 2 Brown Hares.
14:30-15:30 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 2E
Gannet: 9E   48W
Arctic skua: 1 around
Kittiwake: 4W
Mediterranean Gull: 11E
Sandwich Tern:  24W

Monday, 21 October 2019


Juvenile Sabine's Gull at the puddles by the fishing boats this afternoon
07.30-09.00 from the sea watch hide thanks to AJG for collating the numbers:
Brent Goose: 62W
Wigeon: 20W
Tufted Duck: 3E
Common Scoter: 3E
Eider: 3E
Gannet: 102W
Cormorant: present n/c
Merlin: 1 in
Curlew: 1W
Great Skua: 1W
Arctic Skua: 1W
Kittiwake: 3W
Mediterranean Gull: 6E
Sandwich Tern: 13W
Razorbill: 1E   1W
Auk sp: 3E
I joined JTM on a walk around the trapping area and Moat where we saw 9 Ring Ouzels (OL saw 11 more at the top end) c30 Song Thrushes, c10 Redwing, c120 Fieldfare, flushed a Woodcock from The Moat, Brambling, Siskin, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, House Martin and many Robins.
 3 of at least 8 Black Redstarts around today

Merlin trapped inside the wheelhouse of Joe's fishing boats!
Not a happy Merlin (a very large juvenile female)
Short video of the Merlin turn the volume up
These Barnacle Geese came in off the sea then flew east
Juvenile Sabine's Gull at the fishing boats
I just spotted it time to stop the car and take a snap
The regular German 1w Caspian Gull
The following is from The Patch, Sea Watch hide and Fishing Boats:
Brent Goose: 31W   19E
Barnacle Goose: 6 in then East
Common Scoter: 8E
Red-throated Diver: 2 o/s
Great-crested Grebe: 17 o/s
Gannet: c150W
Cormorant: present n/c
Merlin: 1
Turnstone: 5 on beach
Dunlin: 2E
Sanderling: 1E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 1E
Woodcock: 1 in and landed in power station car park
Great skua: 2W
Arctic Skua: 2W
Kittiwake: c30 o/s
Sabine’s Gull: 1 around
Black-headed Gull: c200 at The Patch
Mediterranean Gull: c30 o/s
Herring Gull: c500 at The Patch
Yellow-legged Gull: 2 on beach ad + 1w
Caspian Gull: 2 on beach both 1w
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 6+ at The Patch
Great Black-backed Gull: c100 at The Patch
Razorbill: 4W
Guillemot: 1W    2 on sea
Auk sp: c60W
Black Redstart: 1 in + 5 at The Patch, 2 more at the lighthouse
Starling: 260 in
Brambling: 2  1 at The Patch & 1 at the boats
A newly arrived Brambling feeding by the puddles