Friday, 13 April 2012

80 without really trying

As I arrived at the car park at The Point  at c07.30, I could see TG on his way back from the sea watch hide, which could only mean the sea was dead avian wise. A plod around the light house and bushes found 2 Wheatears, the Rubicola Stonechat, 20+ Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 singing Black Redstarts, 4 Swallows, numerous Linnets and Mr Ashton.
On the reserve The Long-tailed Duck from Dennis's Hide, 2 Garganey on Dengemarsh. Round the trail 11+ Sedge Warbler singing, 8 Cetti's Warblers, 9 Willow warblers, 1 Chiffchaff. From the view point the Bittern was occasionally booming, 2 Bearded Tits, 2 Common Buzzards moved south and 4 Marsh Harriers were displaying. While I was there, I decided I would  list all the species I saw today on the peninsular for no particular reason. An hour and half sea watch this afternoon, saw 4 Red- throated Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Gulls, 3 Red- Breasted Mergansers, a few Common Scoter, Sandwich Terns and Gannets. Stopping at the south end of the ARC Pit on the way home 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Ringed Plovers and 2 Dunlin made today's total on the peninsular 80 without really trying.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Willow Warblers

Minimal avian passage at sea past Dungeness this morning. The highlight was a pod of c8 White Beaked Dolphins making huge splashes making there way east c1 mile out, also good numbers of Harbour Porpoises off shore.
Pale Chiffchaff ??

On the land reasonable fall of Willow Warblers c50+ around the point,also a few Chiffchaffs including the pale individual above. With them several Blackcaps, at least 2 Common Redstarts, 6 Black Redstarts, 5 Northern Wheatears and 12 Swallows.
Willow Warbler
On the reserve a Raven carrying food, more Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, plenty of Sedge Warblers a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Swallows and 6 Marsh Harriers. Also seen by others the Ring Necked Duck, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and a Ring Ouzel.
Common Redstart 1 of at least 2 on The Point
Highlights of an hour and half sea watch this afternoon was 1 Black-throated diver, 1 Red-throated Diver and Kestrel in off. Also spectacular storms inland left the hills looking as though it had been snowing.
Late afternoon look at the south end of the ARC Pit found 4 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and a Curlew. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

April Showers

Seawatch from the hide 07.45-10.30:                              From the point 14.45-16.00:
Red-throated Diver: 2E                                                    Red-throated Diver: 4E
Black-throated Diver: 3E                                                 Black-throated Diver: 4E
Gannet: 114E                                                                   Gannet: 10+ off shore
Brent Geese: 33E                                                             Little Gull: 4E
Common Scoter: 126E                                                    Common Scoter: 6E
Red-breasted Merganser: 4E                                           Sandwich Tern: 14+ off shore
Little Gull: 6E                                                                  House Martin: 1 in
Sandwich Tern: 1000+ E
Common Tern: 124E
Kittiwake: 2E
Arctic Skua: 1E
Merlin: 1 in
Swallow: 9 in
 Around the reserve good numbers of Sedge Warblers singing, Bearded Tits and booming Bittern at Hookers pit along with displaying Marsh Harriers, The Ring-necked Duck still present on Dengemarsh(not seen by me) also 2 Garganey still. LRP on Burrowes and the Long-tailed Duck.  On the the entrance 4 Hares chasing one another and 2 Swallows over. At the south end of the ARC Pit 3 Yellow Wagtails and 2 LRPs.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Very little on the sea in short watch this morning. Highlight was an Arctic Skua chasing a tern. A walk around the bushes and the lighthouse with BB found 1 Chiffchaff and the Rubicola Stonechat.
Next stop the south end of the ARC Pit where the Long-tailed Duck was showing relatively close and 5 Little Egrets were on New Diggings. Moving on to Hanson Hide where a Swallow flew around the pit, a fine drake Pintail was resting out on the pit, 2 Common Snipe were flushed by Marsh Harrier on the far side. While we there MH got a call about a Ring-necked Duck on Hookers Pit from the viewing mound, so we quickly decamped to MH car and were very soon watching the superb Drake Ring-necked Duck in the company of some Pochard and Tufted Duck. Also from the mound singing Sedge Warblers, 2 Bearded Tits,  2+Cetti's Warblers, 3+ Marsh Harriers and the Bittern was booming. Another look at The New Diggings revealed a summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe.

By the main track to the reserve a Fox  was sleeping and just about managed to raise its head before going back to sleep taking no notice of the passing cars.
Round the reserve 4+ Sedge Warblers and 8+ Cetti's Warblers were singing, a Swallow was over Christmas Dell and on Dengemarsh 2 Garganey were showing and several Lapwing were displaying on the new floods.

 Another sea watch from the fishing boats 15.05-16.15 was slow with Highlights of:
Manx Shearwater: 1w
Red-throated Diver: 4E
Common Scoter: 30E
Kittiwake: 27w 1E
Sandwich Tern: c12 off shore
Common Tern: 3 off shore
Harbour Porpoise: 1 off shore
Stopping at the south end of ARC on the way home where CT and BH pointed out a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Little Ringed Plovers.

Friday, 6 April 2012

2w Iceland Gull

As I arrived at the car park TG phoned to say an Iceland Gull was on the beach by The Patch which I was soon watching even though I left my binoculars in the car. It was fairly distant and with the heat haze from the beach made pictures virtually impossible. The bird was soon flushed by fisherman but was later relocated on Burrowes Pit. Very little else on the sea the highlights being 1 Common Tern at The Patch , 8 Brent Geese moving east and a Common Buzzard in.
2w Iceland Gull on Burrowes Pi
From screen the Spoonbill could be seen in its usual pose asleep also 3 Little Ringed Plovers. The Long-tailed Duck was also reported from there.
In Dengemarsh Gully all I could find was 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Meadow Pipits, 1 Wheatear and 2 Ravens over.
Am off to the midlands tomorrow for rest of the weekend for a family get together so no posts till Tuesday.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Cold and Windy! it must be Dungeness

A slow sea watch from the hide 06.45-09.45 TG me from 08.00.
Red-throated Diver: 4W
Gannet: 16W
Fulmar: 3E
Brent Geese: 41E
Common Scoter: 57E
Red-breasted Merganser: 15E
Pintail: 2E
Teal: 5E
Shoveller: 2E
Curlew: 12E
Avocet: 4E
Sanderling: 8E
Knot: 38E
Dunlin: 7E
Grey Plover: 5E
Auk sp. 4E
Sandwich Tern: 5W
Warehorn Church feeding station

 As passerines were non existent at Dungeness I spent most the day plodding around the 2 tetrads I am covering for the Nightingale Survey looking for access to likely habitat especially on private land.
One of the paths took me Warehorn Church feeding station where dozens of Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Jackdaws, Collared Doves and at least 3 Tree sparrows were all making the most of the feeders.
Crossing nearby fields 4 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Corn buntings, 4 Yellow Hammers and 2 Common Buzzards.
Faggs Wood and the surrounding woodland make up the biggest part of the 2 tetrads, last year there were lots of Nightingales in this area. Today whilst plodding around the paths of the area, Crossbills were very much in evidence with one flock of c100 birds and several smaller flocks. Also seen were all 3 Woodpeckers, 5 species of corvid, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, several Nuthatches and Treecreepers, Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrests, 6 Bullfinches, 4 Redwing  and Tawny Owl heard  
Part of a flock of C100 Common Crossbill at Faggs Wood

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Slow going at Dungeness

Sea watching this morning and again this afternoon was very poor with nothing of note.
Round the Lighthouse 2 Wheatears and 2 Black Redstarts.
At the ARC Pit 5 Marsh Harriers over the car park and 10+ Tree Sparrows in the surrounding bushes. A singing Sedge Warbler by the track to Hanson. From the hide the Spoonbill was distant as was 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Curlews and 4 Little Egrets. On the Willow trail 2 Chiffchaffs, a Water Rail and 2 Green Woodpeckers also at least 6 Cetti's Warblers singing around the pit.
On the reserve the Long-tailed Duck still on Burrowes Pit and 3 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler in the adjacent bushes. From the viewpoint 6 Marsh Harriers displaying, Bearded Tits calling in the reeds and 2 of another 6 Cetti's Warblers heard around the reserve, On Dengemarsh 3 Garganey (2 drakes) and a White Wagtail on the hayfield flood.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

More Brent Geese

07.30-09.00 from the sea watch hide:                              13.30-16.00 from the fishing boats:
Red-throated Diver: 43E  1w                                            Red-throated Diver:  3E  1w
Gannet: 16E                                                                      Gannet: 34E
Fulmar: 2E                                                                        Fulmar: 1w
Brent Geese: 399E                                                            Brent Geese: 263E
Mallard: 2E                                                                       Common Scoter: 137E
Teal: 2E                                                                             Red-breasted Merganser: 4E
Shoveler: 2E                                                                      Oystercatcher: 6E
Wigeon: 6E                                                                        Mediterranean Gull: 2w
Eider: 10E  7+3                                                                                                                               
Common Scoter: 54E 2w                                                   Kittiwake: 2w
Red-breasted Merganser: 6E                                              Bonxie: 1E               
Oystercatcher: 15w                                                            Sandwich Tern: 82E   26w
Sandwich Tern: N/C numerous off shore                          Harbour Porpoise: 3+

Round the lighthouse 4+ Northern Wheatear, 4+ Black Redstart, 12+ Chiffchaff and 1 Redwing. The Spoonbill still on ARC Pit from Hanson.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Slow day at Dungeness

Sea watch from the hide 08.00-0845:
Red-throated Diver: 26E
Sandwich Tern: 5E
Around the lighthouse 4 Northern Wheatear, 4+ Black Redstart, the "Rubicola" Stonechats and a Redwing.
At Galloways just 9 Red-throated Divers on the sea.
Dengemarsh Gully just 1 Northern Wheatear, 1 Black Redstart and good numbers of Linnets.
On the ARC Pit the Spoonbill from Hanson Hide, 1 Marsh Harrier and some very vocal Marsh Frogs.
At the south end 2 Little Ringed Plovers.

Marsh Frog
From the fishing boats 14.00-16.00:

Red-throated Diver: 20+E
Gannet: 6E
Eider: 13E
Common Scoter: 4E
Sandwich Tern: 65E
Mediterranean Gull: 2E

Sunday, 1 April 2012

First adult Pom of the year

This morning a short sea watch from the hide 08.00-08.45:
Red-throated diver: 12E 1w
Fulmar: 1E
Gannet: 11E
Shelduck: 2w
Red-breasted Merganser: 2E
Sandwich Tern: 6E
Mediterranean Gull: 2E
Common Seal: 1 off shore.
Around the lighthouse 2 Wheatears and a Black Redstart and little else of note.
The walk to Dengemarsh produced 2 Chiffchaffs, several Cetti's Warblers and numerous Reed Buntings, the highlight was 4 Bearded Tits and a Raven that flew over but I missed the 2 Garganey. At the viewing point more Cetti's Warblers and 4 Marsh harriers putting on display of aerobatics also a Bittern which I missed.  

 On the path to Dennis's Hide several Bee Flys. From the hide the Long-tailed Duck.
An Afternoon sea watch from the fishing boats with TG 13.30-16.10:
Red-throated Diver: 11E   1w
Common Scoter: 61E
Red-Breasted Merganser: 6E
Pomarine Skua: 1E full adult
Mediterranean Gull: 2w
Kittiwake: 6E
Sandwich Tern: 57E
Common Tern: 1E
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Harbour Porpoise: minimum of 3 off shore.