Wednesday, 11 May 2011

An early meeting gave me the oppotunity to spend an hour on Ashdown Forest. Redpolls seemed to be everywhere and every Birch appeared to have a singing Willow Warbler  2 Tawny Owls were calling along with at least 2 Cuckoo's. The Stonechats were very obliging,  a few Tree Pipits were singing as was 1 Dartford Warbler unfortunately i ran out of time before i could locate Woodlark and Redstart.

As i drove into Dungeness RSPB this afternoon i received a text telling me about a Red-Rumped Swallow at Boulderwall Farm (thanks Bernard) 2 minutes later i was watching it and later 2 together. 1 had broken streamer and tatty wing the other was pristine and they disappeared for periods especially when the Hobbies came through,  they did not lend themselves to photography hence the rubbish pics. 

Monday, 9 May 2011

Rye Harbour and the ARC Pit

At Rye Harbour early morning a Cuckoo flew over the car park and a Mistle Thrush was singing from the  tower. On the Scrape an Avocet, 2 Ringed Plover and a Rock Pipit. By the track to the harbour entrance a pair of Wheatears several Oystercatchers and Common and Sandwich Terns  screeching overhead along with Mediterean Gulls mewing as flew back and forth to the Ternery Pool. On the beach road another pair of Wheatears and another Cuckoo. The highlight of the beach road was 20+ Little Terns screamimg as flew back and forth to the sea. In the rough field adjacent to The Quarry 2 Grey Partridges and several pairs of Sky larks. 

On the Ternery Pool numerous pairs of Blck Headed Gulls some with chicks. The med Gulls are difficult to count as most cant be seen but there appears to be good numbers. The Common and Sandwich Terns are trying to squeeze into spaces left by the Gulls.  Soon after i left the Ternery Pool a text from Bernard about a Red Backed Shrike at the ARC Pit. So plodded back to the car park straight to the ARC and the Shrike duly obliged. 

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Stubby Tail now into his sixth month stay
 A very quiet sea watch this morning 07.50-09.15 with only 1 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Black Throated Diver, 2 Sanderling, 4 Swifts, 1 Little Tern and a few each of Gannets, Common Terns, Sandwich Terns and Kittiwakes. The most unusual sighting was of 2 Mute Swans flying east off shore.
At the ARC Pit up to 5 Hobbies, 1 drake Garganey, 4 Little Egrets, Little Ringed Plover. Still plenty of Brown  Tail Moth caterpillars around Dunge.
Brown Tail Moth Caterpillar
Broad Bodied Chaser
A walk around a different part of Orlestone Forest this evening found 4 more singing Nightingales, 3 Garden Warblers, 2 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs and another purring Turtle Dove. Around a dirty pool several Broad Bodied Chasers.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

168 and the Poms are still running

Dungeness 06.45-10.00 (Under orders again)

18 More Poms today along with 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Black Tern, 6 Little Terns, 78 Commics, 2 Shovellor, 2 Pintail,  44 Common Scoter, 3 Barwits,  a Raven Cronking behind the beach, 3+ Harbour Porpoises and 5 Whimbrel over as i walked to the car. A walk round the Moat saw only 1 Willow Warbler, at the ARC Pit beach 1 Black Tern and 1 Little Ringed Plover.
In a great walk around Orlestone Forest this evening, apart from not seeing another person in 2.5hrs,   produced 6+ Nightingales, 6+ Garden Warblers, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 pairs of Mistle Thrushes,  8 Bullfinches, 1 Nuthatch, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Long-tailed, Coal, Great and Blue Tits and best of all a Turtle Dove Purring and doing its flight display

Friday, 6 May 2011

Purple end to the day

Seawatch at Dungeness 06.45-08.30 and 11.00-18.00
17 Pomarine Skuas, 3Arctic Skuas, 4 Black Terns, 430 Commic Terns, 5 Little Terns, 7 Black-throated Divers, 598 Common Scoter, 1 Eider, 4 Shelduck, 26 Knot, 41 Whimbrel, 25 Sanderling, 4 Med Gulls and few Gannets, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Auks.
A look at the ARC Pit on the way home was productive, as I walked to the screen hide a Purple Heron flew in and landed on one the bushes infron the hide and remained there for about 20 minutes  then dropped into the reeds.
A rubbish pic of 11 of a flock of 13 Poms that were probably nearer the French coast

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Poms still coming

Another good  seawatch (07.30-11.00) 18 Pomarine Skuas,(flock of 3 flying high above the horizon) 7Arctic Skuas, 24 Little Gulls, 3 Black Terns, 5 Black-throated Divers, 22 Brent Geese, 44 Little Terns, 485 Commic Terns, a superb close of 17 Velvet Scoters, 168 Common Scoter, 3 Shovellor, Wader numbers were much lower with only 4 Sanderling, 1 Barwit, 14 Whimbrel and 4 Curlew.  But normal numbers of the usual suspects Kittiwake,Fulmars, Gannets,  Sandwich Terns and Auks. A visit to the Pannel Valley early evening found 4 Garganey, 51 Avocets, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Barwits, 2 Common Snipe  but no Med Gulls breeding this year. The reed beds and sewer were full of Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, 6+ Cetti's Warblers, Bearded Tits calling  and a Water Rail Squealing.   

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Dungeness and Walland

Arrived at the car park by the power station to be greeted by  this Whitethroat in full song. Walking out to the beach the local male Wheatear was singing on the power station wall. Started sea watching at 06.50- 0.900 As soon as i was settled the first of 8 Pomarine Skuas (1,3,2,1,1) powered its way past also seen  were 21 Little Gulls, 25 Little Terns, 78 Commic Terns, 27, Barwits, 29 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 4 Black Terns and the usual Gannets, Auks and Sandwich Terns off shore.  
A Visit to fishing boats found stubby tail still on the beach stuffing its self with putrid fish.   
On the Reserve both Purple Herons showed occasionally from the viewing ramp and the back of Hookers Pit, also seen 1 Bittern, 2 Bearded Tits, there were good numbers of Swifts, Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows around, 2 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Cuckoo and 3+ Hobbies.  
Next a visit to Scotney GP where there were still at least 400 Barwits,(several with colour rings) 100+ Whimbrel, 10 Grey Plover, 58 Knot, 2 Common Sandpipers, 1 Ruff and a Yellow Wagtail most the birds in there summer finery. A Peregrine put on a terrific show put everything up revealing all the waders that were hidden under the banks.  
A look around Walland Marsh found 6 Tree Sparrows by the feeders, A Little Owl showing well with a Corn bunting and 2 Red-leegged Partridges at Marsh Farm. A very good days birding

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Magnificent Poms

 Another superb seawatch 07.25-11.05 included 38 Pomarine Skuas(5-10-4-1-5-5-5-2-1)1 Arctic Skua, 1 Velvet Scoter, 2 Black Terns, 3 Little Gulls, 8 Shovellor, 3 Teal, 45 Common Scoter, 1 Black Throated Diver, 116 Barwits, 88 Whimbrel, 12 Grey Plover, 3 Sanderling and a steadt passge of Auks, Gannets, Common Terns and Hiundines in off. 
Majestic Poms
 At the ARC Pit 4 Greenshank, 4 Knot, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Barwits, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Ringed Plover. Waders were dropping in and leaving each time i stopped there today.   
At the Midrips this afternoon 3 Curlew Sandpipers, 400+ Barwits dropping in and leaving as were 150+ Whimbrel. Nearby at Scotney GP many more Barwits and Whimbrel also dropping in and leaving. 
1 of 3 Curlew Sands at the Midrips today

Monday, 2 May 2011

North East wind still blowing

Whimbrel ARC Pit
Another four hours on the beach at Dunge was again productive. My only Pom of the day was flying by as i arrived. Also seen 4 Arctic Skuas, 4 Black-throated Divers, 5 Red-throated Divers, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Velvet Scoter,  85 Common Scoter, 412 Barwits, 1 Greenshank, 18 Grey Plover, 84 Knot, 39 Sanderling, 78 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, 12 Turnstone, 6 Kittiwake, 4 Fulmars, 8 Little Terns, 2 Little Gulls, 2 Black Terns and flow of Common Terns, Sandwich Terns and Swallows. At  the ARC Pit from the road 4 Barwits, 1 Greenshank, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Whimbrel 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 4 Arctic Terns. A call from Bernard enabled me to see the Red-rumped Swallow this evening but i was unable to get any worth while pics. 

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Another Pom day in the making

As i was under orders i could only spend 3 hours sea watching this morning. In that time i still saw 6 superb Poms, 6+ Velvet Scoter, 3+ Black Terns, hundreds of waders mainly Bar-tailed Godwits but also Whimbrel, Knot, Turnstone, Dunlin, Sanderling and Grey Plover, Oystercatchers, 100+ Common Scoter, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers,  1 Black-throated Diver, 2 Red-throated Divers another just off shore, a flock of 13 Shovelor, 12 Shelduck, 3 Teal, 20+ Little Terns, Common Terns , Sandwich Terns and Gannets moving through and feeding off shore, at least 1 Arctic Tern and few Guillemots off shore along with the near resident Harbour Porpoises,