Sunday, 13 November 2011

Here comes The Sun

At The Point this morning the sea was very quiet with just a few Auks and Gannets and the resident Great-crested Grebes. On the Beach a Lapland Bunting flew through and the 2w Glaucous Gull and Yellow-legged Gull showed well as did 1 Snow Bunting on the concrete road.
Just can't resist snapping this beauty
 At the Observatory more Redpolls were being trapped (1000+) this autumn, a Sparrowhawk trapped itself in the Heligoland Trap and 3 Blackcaps were in The Moat.
Trapped in the Heligoland

Sun bathing in The Moat
At the Arc Pit 10+ Goldeneye were seen from the road, a Great White Egret was showing well from the Screen Hide, 3+ Chiffchaffs were in the Sallows and 2 Marsh Harriers were hunting the Tower Pits. Hanson hide was full as was the reserve car park so short drive to West Hythe to see the Rough Legged Buzzard again, which eventually appeared over the quarry but frustratingly kept its distance from my camera, a Green Sandpiper flew over while I was waiting. No sign of the Short-eared Owls at Littlestone Golf Course this afternoon.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Winter Gloom

 Another very dull and gloomy and foggy morning at The Point with a surprising chilly SE wind.  A few Kittiwakes and Gannets moving west, 3 Skylarks came in and 24 Lapwing went out. On the beach  7 Snow Buntings brightened things up, the Glaucous and Yellow Legged Gull were on there usual stations and a Golden |Plover was running among the fishing boats. 
 At the ARC Pit 2+ Marsh Harriers, the Long-tailed Duck and 6+ Goldeneye kept there distance, 200+ Wigeon, 200+ Shovelor, 50+ Teal, 40+ Gadwall, 3 Pintail also Tufted Duck and Pochard. On the islands 1 Little Stint, 4 Dunlin, 50+ Golden Plover briefly and a Snipe. 30+ Tree Sparrows around the car park and Boulderwall Farm.
On the reserve Plenty of wildfowl on most the pits and on Dengemarsh 2 Great White Egrets, 500+ Golden Plovers, 1 Dunlin and 2+ Marsh Harriers.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Golden Plovers

 A drive around Walland first thing this morning looking for the Golden Plover flock and hopefully the Dotterel drew a blank.
Next stop the fishing boats 08.15-09.15 a slow hour:
Gannet: 40+ fishing off shore
R B Merganser: 7W
C Scoter : 6W
Great Skua: 1W
Kittiwake: 217W
2w Glaucous Gull and Y L Gull on the beach.
No sign of the Snow Buntings this morning.
At the observatory 100+ Redpolls trapped, mostly Common Redpoll. In the Moat 30+ Blackbirds and 1 Wheatear and far fewer finches moving today.
At Scotney 1000+ Golden Plover but could not find the Dotterel, also there 1000+ Lapwing, the feral flock of Barnacle and Emperor Geese with 1 Dark Bellied Brent Goose, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Merlin chasing Meadow Pipits.
Dengemarsh Gully held only 3 Redwing and a Skylark. On Dengemarsh 3 Marsh Harriers, 200+ Golden Plover, 4 Dunlin and 1+ Great White Egret.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A Very Good Day

Very little at sea from the fishing boats this morning 08.00-09.00:

R T Diver: 7W                                           Kittiwake: 15W & 5E
Gannets: no count                                      Y L Gull: 1 on beach
R B Merganser 2W                                    2w Glaucous Gull : on beach                                     
C Scoter: 27W 4E                                      Swallow: 3W
Gadwall: 3W                                              Goldfinch: 500+ S
Brent Geese: 12W & 13E                          Redpoll: 20+ N
G L Geese: 7W                                          Siskin: 10+ N
Great Skua: 1E                                           Snow Bunting: 4 on beach
Auks: 44W & 32E
A plod along the beach to the research station and back looking for Snow Buntings was fruitless until I got back to the car where they running around and under it giving me the opportunity to snap away at them. 

 As the sun came out I made the short trip to Hythe to see the Rough-legged Buzzard which showed very well though kept its distance from my lense. While I was there 2+ Cetti's Warblers were heard, 3+ Chiffchaffs were in the sallows round the sewage works with a large flock of Long-tailed Tits, 2+ Sparrowhawks hunted the Quarry and mid afternoon 2 Whooper Swans flew West over. As I was leaving I was told of 2 Short-eared Owls hunting over Littlestone Golf Course, a few minutes later I was watching 2 them Superb! Next stop the Woolpack Harrier roost where a minimum of 15 Marsh Harriers came in and a Common Buzzard flew through. Sadly no Hen or Pallid Harriers came in.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Slow Day

Another very dark dull and dreary morning at The Point. The sea was very quiet with just a few Brent Geese moving up and down the channel, 100+ Gannets and 100+ Auks mainly moving East, 2 Red-throated Divers West. The Snow Buntings were still around first thing and the Glaucous and Yellow-legged Gull still there, overhead 1000+ Goldfinches, c100 Redpolls, c30 Siskins. A plod along the back of the beach to research station and back beyond the old fishing boats found a 3 grounded Redwings, 4 Blackbirds and a Robin. Also a Stoat by the fishing sheds chasing a tired Redwing
12 still present this morning

Redwing fresh in at the fishing boats

Hunting tired migrants among the fishing boats?
 Dengemarsh Gully this afternoon held only 2 Redwing (one with an apparently broken wing), 1 Skylark, 6 Blackbirds and Wheatear. The Great White Egret could be seen from Dengemarsh Road along with 2 Marsh Harriers.
The last of the year?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Snow Buntings

1 of 12+ very flighty Snow Buntings on The Point today
 Sea watching from the fishing boats 08.00-10.00:
R T Diver: 6E & 2W & 2 on sea                Kittiwake: 21E & 24W
G C Grebe: 30+ on sea                               Y L Gull: 1 on beach
R N Grebe: 1W                                           2w Glaucous Gull on beach
Gannets: 357E                                            Great Skua: 3W & 1E                                           
Brent Geese: 34E & 71W                           Pomarine Skua: 1W                           
Shelduck: 4W                                             Auks: 48E & 120W
Wigeon: 5W                                               Starling: 800+ in off sea
Teal: 50W                                                  Goldfinch: 600+ overhead
Eider: 3E & 1W all adult drakes                Siskin: 6+ overhead
C Scoter: 17E & 256W                              Redpoll: 1+ overhead
Goldeneye: 1W                                          Snow Bunting 5 + 7 in off sea
Peregrine: 1 hunting off shore                    Swallow: 1E
Sanderling: 3E

Just along the coast at West Hythe the Rough-legged Buzzard was showing well but distantly. The gloomy weather not helping photography.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Excellent Sea Watch

When I arrived at the fishing boats at 08.15 TG was there. The following is our combined sightings from 07.00-13.45:
R T Diver: 6                                      Little Gull: 2
Gannets: c250                                    Med Gull: 2
G L Geese : 250                                 Glaucous Gull: 1
Brent Geese: 1978                             Y L Gull: 1
Shelduck: 36                                      Kittiwake: 117
Mallard: 12                                        Great Skua: 12
Pintail: 14                                           Pomarine Skua: 7
Wigeon: 455                                       Arctic Skua: 3
Shoveller: 32                                      Auks: 691
Teal: 233                                            Skylark: 19
Pochard: 4                                          Blackbird: 65 See pics below.
C Scoter: 283                                     Redwing: 19
Goosander: 17 in one flock                Fieldfare: 38
R B Merganser: 88                            Song Thush: 3
Curlew: 2                                           Starling: 999
Knot: 2                                               Goldfinch: 600
Sanderling: 8                                      Redpoll: 1
Dunlin: 18                                          Lapland Bunting: 3
Lapwing: 71                                       Snow Bunting: 3 in one flock

Lapland Bunting came in landed briefly then off again

First Attack

Second attack

Third attack

Final attack

All over

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.