Thursday, 14 June 2012

Little of note

Remains of the hide at The Patch after winter storms
At The Patch this morning still 2 Roseate Terns, c50 Common Terns, c15 Sandwich Terns, 2 Portlandica type Terns, a Black Tern through, 16 Common Scoter E, 7 Fulmars E and c 40 Gannets tooing and froing. A plod along the shingle to Dengemarsh Gully found 1 pair of Ringed Plovers with at least 1 young, a family of Wheatears, c20 Linnets the Peregrines being very vocal  and little else of note.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Rosy Patch

I started this morning at Botolphs Bridge Road, West Hythe finding BM and GC already on site hoping that the recent Marsh Warbler would still be singing, but no sign today.
Next stop a plod down to the The Patch. Scanning the terns on the beach a Roseate Tern stood out and a few metres further on another among c80Common Terns, c10 Sandwich Terns and a couple of Portlandica type, both Roseates were still present at 16.00hrs.Off shore a Black Tern dipping and a Little Tern. Photography was virtually impossible with the heat haze from the beach.
Roseate, Common and Portlandica Terns

2 Roseate Terns and Common Terns
 At the south end of the ARC 3 Ringed Plovers, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Redshank. Numbers of duck have stated to increase with10 Shoveller, 15 Gadwall, 8 Pochard, 7 Tufted Duck. The Oystercatcher nest looks like it has been predated and no sign of any birds. In the ARC car park a Tree Sparrow posed on the information board and on the track to Hanson Hide Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Little Grebe on one of the small pools, Cuckoo and Hobby over.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Monday, 11 June 2012

Cute Killer

Arriving at The Point this morning in heavy rain which quickly eased, allowing me to reach the sea watch hide without getting to wet. From there a few Gannets and a couple of Kittiwakes tooing and froing. At The Patch 40+ Common Terns, 10+ Sandwich Terns and a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull among the resident gulls.
At the south end of the ARC Pit, 40+ Swifts, 3 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and the Oystercatcher still sitting tight.
As the weather improved I moved on to try and get some pictures of some Lizard Orchids and Bee Orchids which was successful, but when I tried to down load them the computer say NO! 
At Scotney hundreds of Herring Gulls and Greylag Geese, the only birds of note were 3 Wigeon.
Next stop Dengemarsh. An hour on Springfield Bridge with 16+ Hobby's with some giving spectacular aerobatic displays, the others loafing on the anti-predator fence, up to 5 Marsh Harriers, 2 Curlews(returning birds?), a Bittern booming and plenty of Common Terns. No sign of the Purple Heron today although in truth I did not really look for it, as I spent most my time admiring the Hobby's.    
 Plodding round the anti predator fence Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers singing as were a couple of Reed Buntings and Bearded Tits heard in the ditch but not seen.
 As I came out of Dengemarsh hide a Stoat dashed across the path into some brambles. I decided to wait a while in case it came back out, ten minutes later my patience was rewarded when it reappeared darting hither and thither playing and looking so innocent, always alert, inspecting holes, insects and sniffing sheep droppings. For what seemed an age this cutest of killers took no notice of me or the camera shutter then disappeared into the undergrowth. 

Sunday, 10 June 2012


Red Eyed Damselfly
Little of note around The Point today. At The Patch a few Common Terns amongst the resident gulls and a single 1st summer Mediterranean Gull. In the power station compound the family of Black Redstarts and a Wheatear.
At the south end of the ARC Pit 2 Little Ringed Plovers, the Oystercatcher amazingly still sitting tight and a Hobby.
The north end of the trapping area seemed devoid of avian life, but a few Dragons and Damsels kept me busy with the camera for a while though most the images were rubbish in the poor light.
A plod along the RM Canal Ruckinge to Bilsington for yesterdays 2 Whooper Swans (BB) drew a blank. Plenty of young Starlings in the fields, a family of Great Spotted woodpeckers, another of Green Woodpeckers, 4 Yellowhammers, a singing Blackcap, 2 Common Whitethroats and 3 singing Reed Warblers were some compensation.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Wild Flower Education

With very little happening at Dungeness on the avian front, I willingly took up the offer from GH and DW to try and educate a Philistine like me, by introducing me to some of the wild flowers around the marsh and giving me a very enjoyable afternoon.
Rosy Garlic

Burnet Rose

Bee Orchid

Greater Butterfly Orchid

Greater Butterfly Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid

White Common Spotted Orchid

Marsh orchid

Pyramid Orchid

Friday, 8 June 2012

Wild Weather

The gale force winds today made birding on shore a non starter, so a sea watch from The Point in the comfort and shelter of the car was the order of the day.
Manx Shearwater: 10W
Fulmar: 18W
Gannet: 226W  56E
Common Scoter: 3W
Common Tern:  c300+W
Sandwich Tern: c70+W
Arctic Skua: 1E
Great Skua: 1E
Kittiwake: 12W
Auk sp: 10W
Swift: c300 out
Ring Plover: 1 by the car most the day
Harbour Porpoise: 2+ off shore

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Hobby's and Purple Heron

As I pulled up at Dengemarsh this morning the Purple Heron made a short flight landing near Springfield Bridge. Waiting on the bridge for it to hopefully show again, it was hard to believe that it was June as I was wearing 2 Fleeces, hat and gloves. After a short wait the Purple Heron stalked from behind the tall reeds, showing its head and neck and the top of its back for next hour giving great scope views before briefly stepping into full view though still difficult to photograph through the waving reeds. Shortly after it flew to Christmas Dell then back to Dengemarsh and continued to be seen in flight on and off all day.

 Hobby's were much in evidence until the clouds rolled in with c10 hunting over the reserve, also 3+ Marsh Harriers, a Bittern was seen on several occasions flying over the reed bed, several Bearded Tits, a Greenshank over, 2 Yellow Wagtails and the Red-crested Pochard.

At the viewing ramp this Hairy Hawker eating a bee.(probably one of the introduced ones) 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Purple Heron

At sea off The Point this morning a few very distant Manx Shearwaters, the usual Common and Sandwich Terns tooing and froing, a feeding flock of c60 Gannets, a few Fulmars, 2 Sanderling E, 19 Common Scoter W and a Black Tern at The Patch.
Whilst I was at the north end of the trapping area trying to photograph Dragons and Damsels, CT called me to say, that as he was driving down Dengemarsh road, he thought he had seen a Purple Heron drop into the reed bed near Springfield Bridge, but was not 100% certain. 15 minutes later I was standing on the bridge with him, PT and Barney watching up to 5 Hobby's acrobatically catching insects over the reed beds, up 4 Marsh Harriers and the female Red-crested Pochard. After an hour there was only CT and myself left looking for the Purple Heron and we were rewarded with a very short flight view. After another hour a 1st summer Purple Heron flew out of the reed bed for a more prolonged flight allowing record images to be taken and to the obvious enjoyment of DW who had just ambled to the bridge seconds earlier. Then the rain started.

Monday, 4 June 2012


Waking up to heavy rain, I took the opportunity of being stuck at home to finally do the paperwork involved with Nightingale survey. The final tally was 22 singing males in one tetrad and 4 in the other.
Black Tern over The Patch
Mid morning the rain eased and made my to Dungeness. At the south end of the ARC Pit 2 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, an Oystercatcher sitting on its nest very close to where the Lapwings nest was predated. Also c300 Swifts, c50 Swallows, c10 House Martins, 2 Sand martins hawking over the ARC Pit, New Diggings and The Point.
In 2.75 hours watch from the fishing boats and from the sea watch hide 11.45-14.30 with DB.
Manx Shearwater: 58W   2E
Fulmar: 9W
Gannet: c200  milling around off shore
Common Scoter: 2W
Sanderling: 5E
Sandwich Tern: c25 off shore
Common Tern: c200 off shore
Black Tern: 1 at The Patch
Guillemot: 1E
Auk sp.: 13W
Kittiwake: 2W