Saturday, 5 November 2011

Damp morning on Walland

Spent the best part of a wet morning at various stops around Walland Marsh with RP and CT looking for the Pallid Harrier without success. But we did see 3+ Marsh Harriers, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Rough-legged Buzzard, 2 Common Cranes, 3 Corn Buntings, 3 Yellowhammers, 30+ Skylarks, Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail were heard and small party of Crossbills were also heard over head with a Redpoll and Siskin, good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing, several Mistle Thrushes and 20+ Tree Sparrows at the usual spots.
Record shot from Hanson Hide 
At the ARC Pit 20+ Tree Sparrows in the car park bushes, on the pit the Long-tailed Duck kept its distance, 3+ Goldeneye and the usual wildfowl, 2+ Water Rail were squealing, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Bittern flew past the hide and 25 Golden Plover dropped in.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Pallas's Surprise

08.00-10.00 from the fishing boats: R.T.Diver 1, Gannet 171, Brent Geese 48, Shelduck 3, C Scoter 8, Kittiwake 94, Arctic Tern 2, Sandwich Tern 1, Y L Gull 1, Glaucous Gull and Goldfinch c4000.

When i went in to Hanson hide 3 other birders at the far end were watching and photographing tits in the bushes, so I settled down to scan the pit and islands from the front of the hide, after a few minutes I overheard one of the other birders say its a Firecrest as it has a bright eye stripe. Thinking I may get some good pics of the crest I walked to their end of the hide and they pointed out the bird, to my surprise there was a superb Pallas's Warbler which they had been watching since before I arrived at the hide not realising what it was. Also present on the pit 3+ Goldeneye and a Long-tailed Duck.

 News this afternoon that at West Hythe just a short drive away the Rough-legged Buzzard was showing. As soon as I arrived I saw the bird distantly and fortunately had better views later on though the light was failing.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Leach's Petrel

Sea watching at The Point 08.00- 13.00 was quite productive with the following totals. 
R T Diver: 5 
B T Diver: 2
Leach's Petrel: 1
Gannet: 457
Brent Geese:99
Wigeon: 1
Common Scoter: 120
R B Merganser: 19
Sanderling: 4
Dunlin: 5
Knot: 1
Curlew: 5
Great Skua: 1
Little Gull: 3
Kittiwake: 442
Med Gull: 1
Y L Gull: 1
Glaucous Gull: 1
Common Tern: 1
Auks: 381
Black Redstart on roof of visitor centre
On The Reserve 2 Black Redstarts by the visitor centre. On Dengemarsh the Great White Egret, 2 Marsh Harriers, 5 Golden Plover, 10 Dunlin, 1 Little Stint and 3 Swallows over.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Dull end to October

Very quiet on the sea and around the point today with 4 Swallows out, c400 Goldfinches with a few Redpoll and Siskins over. 2 Black Redstarts and a Stonechat by the experimental station.
A plod around the Water Tower Pits was even less productive apart from a few Crests, 2 Marsh Harriers and flushing a Bittern.
Once again Dengemarsh Gully was virtually devoid of bird life.
At Scotney 640 Golden Plover and the feral flock of Barnacle Geese and Emperor Geese, 2 Stonechats and 1 Marsh harrier.
Mid afternoon from the Woolpack 3 Marsh Harriers and a flock of 150 Fieldfare.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A slow dreary day

From the fishing boats this morning a slow 1.5 hrs with highlights of 4 Red-throated Divers, 1 Bonxie, 193 Gannets, 97 Great Crested Grebes, 15 Swallows out, 1 Rock Pipit, 275 Goldfinches, a few Auks, Brent Geese, Scoter, Siskins and the adult Yellow-Legged Gull on the beach.
The only bird that gave it self up.
Round the Lighthouse a Black Redstart, 2 Skylarks, 1 Stonechat, 175 Goldfinches and a Merlin.
An hour spent at Galloways produced only 1 Kestrel, 2 Skylarks, 1 Stonechat and a few Meadow Pipits.
Dengemarsh Gully appeared to be devoid of bird life.

Friday, 28 October 2011


With very little movement on the sea half an hour at the fishing boats was enough. In that time 1 Bonxie, 2 Red-throated Divers, 1 Common Tern, a few Kittiwakes, Scoter and Gannets, also a Grey Seal and a few Porpoises. 

 At the Obs a Yellow-Browed Warbler was trapped along with Lesser and Common Redpolls. The YBW was seen a couple of times after release into The Moat.
Around the trapping area and Moat 6+ Firecrests, 6+ Goldcrests, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Ravens, several hundred Goldfinches overhead mixed with Redpolls and Siskin. Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Robins were more conspicuous today.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Pallas's makes the day

This morning from the fishing boats was the first time for a few weeks that no Skuas or Shearwaters were recorded. Highlights were 2 Merlin with another at lunch time, 1 Arctic Tern, 1 Black-throated Diver, 4 Red-Throated Divers, a trickle of Auks, Kittiwakes and Gannets and a few hundred Goldfinches over.
Pallas's Warbler

Pallas's Warbler

Pallas's Warbler
In the trapping area a Yellow Browed Warbler popped up and was gone before i got the camera on it. Also seen there 2 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff and a few Redpolls and Siskins.
Dengemarsh gully was devoid of birds except for 1 Merlin. The Great White Egret  was on Dengemarsh.
Galloways was open this afternoon but only held 2 Stonechats and another Merlin.
At Scotney 70+ Golden Plover and little else. While I was there DW alerted me to a Pallas's Warbler that had been seen by Hookers Pit. In a few minutes I was there with a small gathering of birders but Pallas's. As it began to get dark just before 17.00 there was only Barry and myself left and with little help from Xeno Canto the  Pallas's appeared allowing me to take some terrible images at 1600 ISO. On the way back to the car we flushed a Ring Ouzel.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Common Redpolls

As doubts have been raised over Common Redpolls trapped at Dungeness recently, please look at the Dungeness Bird Observatory web site to hopefully allay these doubts. 

Fire in The Desert

From the fishing boats 08.00-09.45:

Red-Throated Diver: 1w                        Little Gull: 1w                                                                    
Great-Crested Grebe: 70+ off shore      Med Gull: 2w           
Balearic Shearwater: 1w                        Kittiwake 40w
Gannet: 80w                                           Goldfinch: 1600+
Wigeon: 9w                                            Redpoll: 30+
Teal: 1w                                                 Siskin: 20+
Common Scoter: 7                                 Grey Seal: 1 off shore  
Hen Harrier: 1 ring tail out                    Porpoise: 3+
Curlew: 1w
Dunlin: 2w
Grey Plover: 2w
 In the trapping area and Desert 6+ Firecrests, 100+ Redpoll, 50+ Siskin.
At the ARC Pit: 3 Goldeneye, 1 Merlin, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Water Rail (heard) and the usual wildfowl.
On the reserve 1 Merlin, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Bittern, 1 Great White Egret, 2 Water Rail (heard).

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Busy Seawatch

Arctic Tern
From the fishing boats 08.00-10.30

Red-Throated Diver: 4w
Great-Northern Diver: 1w (Superb Summer Plumaged)
Black-Necked Grebe: 1w
Great-Crested Grebe: 20+os
Manx Shearwater: 1w
Balearic Shearwater: 1w
Shearwater sp: 1w
Brent Geese: 60
Shelduck: 3w
Mallard: 2w
Shoveler: 1w
Teal: 1w
Eider; 1w Adult Drake
Common Scoter: 105
Red-Breasted Merganser: 6w
Merlin: 2 out
Knot: 1w
Dunlin: 12w
Sanderling: 14w
Gannet: 85w
Pomarine Skua: 6w
Med Gull: 4w
Kittiwake: 160w
Yellow-Legged Gull: 1 On the beach
Little Gull: 3w
Sandwich Tern: 2w
Arctic Tern: 3w
Auks (Guillemots and Razorbills): 100s w
Swallow: 3 out
Skylark: 15 out
Goldfinch: Several hundred out (with a few Siskin,Redpoll, meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail)

At the ARC again quiet with highlights of 2 Avocet, 3 Sparrowhawks, 3 Marsh Harriers, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Stonechats and 5 Goldcrests.

Coming home across Walland Marsh a flock of 100+ Fieldfare and 2 Mistle Thrushes Hawthorn Corner.