Sunday, 9 September 2012

Monty's and a Pec.

A wander around the point and desert and moat this morning found just 8 Wheatears, 4 Common Whitethroats and a few Swallows over. Wondering where to go next a text from CT telling me the Montagu's Harrier was still at The Midrips solved my dilemma, especially as there is no more access until Friday 21/09/12. A few minutes later I was parking at Jurys Gap and plodding the c1000mts out to the third pool, where the Harrier was showing non stop for the couple of hours I was there catching Dragonflies and possibly Grasshoppers. At one point it was being harassed by 2 Hobby's ,but never came close for the camera and with the heat haze any image was difficult. Also seen a Merlin which flew through 20+ Yellow Wagtails, a few Wheatears and some Swallows and Sand Martins moved through. There was a distinct lack of waders despite the pools looking brilliant, just 3 Curlews, 2 Ringed Plovers and a Dunlin were seen (TG) and c200 Sandwich Terns roosting on the beach.

Hazy Monty's
 As we got back to the cars a text from SB alerted us that the Pectoral Sandpiper was back in front of Firth hide. A few minutes later we were watching it until a Little Egret flushed it and flew out of sight behind vegetation. From Hanson 200+ each of Golden Plover and Lapwing, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, a Little Stint, a Curlew Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, 5+ Dunlin, 3 flyover Whimbrel and a Black-necked Grebe.
Pectoral Sandpiper

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Red-backed Shrike

A late morning visit to the ARC pit from Hanson found very little of note 100+Golden Plover, 1 Pintail, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2+ Marsh Harriers and few Phylloscs in the bushes. A plod up to the pines with TG and PB was unrewarding apart from a flock of 6 probable migrant Herons.
An early afternoon visit to The Midrips was very disappointing with c200 Sandwich Terns roosting on the beach and only 5 Dunlin and 1 Ringed Plover on the pools being watched over by a Common Buzzard. While there I received news of  a Red-backed Shrike in The Desert. On my arrival it  was quite elusive and flighty, certainly not allowing close approach. While watching the Shrike news of a Pectoral Sandpiper on Burrowes was received, but it had disappeared by the time I arrived on site. 


A Dowitcher and a Monarch (Friday 7/09/12)

With Dungeness being so very quiet an offer of a trip to Dorset to see a Short-billed Dowitcher was very appealing. Sometime around 13.00 GH,DW,DB and myself found ourselves at Lodmoor staring way into the distance through a terrible heat haze at 2 clumps of reeds, waiting for a brown smudge to walk between them. The smudge duly did this on several occasions. After a couple of hours and with news of Monarch Butterfly at Weston, we decided to go on to Portland and admire this beauty (which must have struggled gazillions of miles over land and sea?) for our viewing delight.
After viewing this beauty and stopping for GH to have her photo taken with a golden post box, we made our way back to Lodmoor. Where we once again looked at a brown smudge occasionally appearing between 2 clumps of reeds though the heat haze had lessened considerably. About 19.00 as we were preparing to leave, the brown smudge suddenly appeared much closer to us. After viewing the bird for a few minutes confirming its identity, we made the decision to dash about half a mile so that we could get 50 yds closer. This was successful and allowed me to get some record pictures of it just before the sun went down. Another great day out in good company and many thanks to GH for driving.   

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Little Owl

Little Owl being mobbed by Black Redstart
 Little change at The Patch this morning with 2+ Arctic Terns and 1 Little Gull among 40+ Common Terns. Off shore a few Gannets, a single Arctic Skua west and 3+ Harbour Porpoises.
On the power station behind The Patch a Little Owl was unusual, also 3 Black Redstarts, 1 Whinchat, 4 Wheatears, 4 Pied Wagtails, 1 Yellow Wagtail and c30 Linnets. At the rear of the power station 2 Peregrines.

A plod around The Desert found it virtually bird less with just 1 Wheatear, 1 Common Buzzard, 39 Swallows and 14 Sand Martins over.
At the ARC  highlights were 60+ Golden Plover, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Dunlin, 1 Pintail and 6 Garganey from the Screen.
Kerton Road Pit held 200+ Oystercatchers and 30 Knot in the high tide roost. On the shingle 10 Wheatears and 20+ Yellow Wagtails.
From the fishing boats this afternoon the Yellow-legged Gull, a few Common and Sandwich Terns and Gannets fishing with 3+ Harbour Porpoises off shore.
At Scotney c200 Golden Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Curlew and a Ruff.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

No Change

My Nemesis. Lesser Weever Fish courtesy of DW thumb still throbbing.
In the continuing glorious sunshine 2 Little Gulls, a Black Tern and 3+Arctic Terns among c40 Common Terns and a Wheatear on the hide roof  at The Patch this morning. Also a Spotted Flycatcher on the fence per DW.4
Little of note around the bushes,. From the Obs. a Common Buzzard, 2+ Marsh Harriers, 3 Sparrowhawks and a Peregrine.
On the ARC from Hanson 1 Little Stint, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, c30 Golden Plover among c200 Lapwing.
Had a wander around the reserve with MT, the Great White Egret still at Dengemarsh also 2+ Marsh Harriers and 8+ Yellow Wagtails with another 6+ on the entrance track and a Spotted flycatcher. Also a Common Redstart(MT). The paucity of birds meant neither of us took a single photo    

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A Quiet Day

The Patch Hide still being built
 At The Patch this morning of interest just the 1 Arctic Tern among the c40 Common Terns, 306 Swallows out in 10 minutes and 4+ Harbour Porpoises. The track to the hide held 3 Wheatears, 2 Black Redstarts and c25 Linnets.
View from the top of The Moat
Most of the morning was spent around the obs skywatching where 7 Sparrowhawks, 2 Peregrines, 3 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard and steady stream of Swallows with a few Sand Martins were seen.
In couple of visits to ARC pit highlights were 2 Avocet, 70+ Golden Plover, 2 Common Sandpipers 1 Little Stint, 1 Turnstone, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Garganey and 2 Marsh Harriers. Also 6+ Willow Warblers in the bushes.
At Scotney c150 Golden Plover, 2 black-tailed Godwits, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlews and 20+ Yellow Wagtails.
Dengemarsh Gulley held 7 Wheatears, 2 Common Whitethroats, 4 Willow Warblers and 10+ Yellow Wagtails.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Roseate Tern

First stop this morning The Patch where almost the first bird I picked out was a fine adult Roseate Tern. Before I could get to the waters edge with the camera it moved off east but apparently returned an hour later. Also there 3+ Arctic Terns among the Common Terns but no Black Terns or Little Gulls. On the track to The Patch 5+ Wheatears.

 In the lighthouse garden a single Willow Warbler another at West beach with 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 more Chiffchaffs in the station gorse and 10+ Willow Warblers around The Moat. In The Desert 4 more Willow Warblers, 3 Whinchats, 4 Common Whitethroats, a Marsh Harrier and constant trickle of Swallows south.
 On the reserve at Boulderwall 3 Marsh Harriers, 10+ Tree Sparrows, 2 Whinchats and the Great White Egret at Dengemarsh.
 On the ARC from Hanson a little Gull, 3 Little Stints, 8 Knot, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Dunlin, 100+ Lapwing, 5 Garganey, a Sandwich Tern and 7 Little Egrets. In the bushes around the pit 10+ Willow Warblers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, also the Swallows still trickling through.
An hour this afternoon at the fishing boats found the usual Common and Sandwich Terns off shore feeding being harassed by 2 Arctic skuas, the adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the beach, also 22 Greylag Geese flew south unfortunately for the french hunters 5 minutes later they came back in 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A few migrants

At The Patch this morning highlights were 6 Black Terns, 2 Arctic Terns, 1 Little Gull, and 1 Juv Mediterranean Gull among the Common Terns and Black Headed Gulls, very few large gulls present this morning.
Around the bushes and The Desert 8 Wheatears, 4 Whinchats, 1 Spotted flycatcher, 12 Common Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Willow warblers and 2 Chiffchaffs. Also seen some miniscule Autumn Ladies Tresses. 

Autumn Ladies Tresses
 At the ARC from Hanson 5 Avocet, 5 Knot, 8 Dunlin, 4 Little Stints, 50+ Golden Plover among the many Lapwing, 5 Garganey, 2 Marsh Harriers and 1 Hobby.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Back to reality

A midday visit to the ARC Pit found 4 Little Stints, 10+ Dunlin, 9 Knot, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 20+ Golden Plover, a Garganey and 200+ Sand Martins.
The point was very quiet with a few Willow Warblers, 2 Common Whitethroat and a Lesser Whitethroat.
A late afternoon Spotted Redshank twitch on the reserve was successful and shows how desperate things are.

Cap Gris Nez 31/08/2012

Sea watching from Cap Gris Nez

I picked TG and CP up at around 03.00 to get the 04.25 ferry to Callais, then a short drive to Cap Gris Nez get settled for a brilliant sea watch at 07.00. 
Long-tailed Skua
Red-throated Diver: 1
Manx Shearwater: 2
Sooty Shearwater:6
Fulmar: 43
Gannet: 2000+
Shelduck: 1
Wigeon: 8
Pintail: 1
Teal: 9
Common Scoter: 129
Bat-tailed Godwit: 174
Oystercatcher: 4
Ringed Plover: 27
Turnstone: 2
Pomarine Skua: 7
Arctic Skua: 126
Long-tailed Skua: 14
Great Skua: 209
Mediterranean Gull: 6
Little Gull: 3
Kittiwake: 64
Black Tern: 3
Little Tern: 2
Common Tern: 4000+
Sandwich Tern: N/C
Rock Pipit: 1
After the sea watch we looked at couple of other sites (Le Slack, Cap Blanc Nez, and Oye Plage)
Passerines were very thin on the ground. As we were approaching Oye Plage TG spotted 2 birds moving towards us across the field. He thought at first that they might be raptors, in a quick glance (I was driving) I thought they might be juvenile Gulls, as they approached it was obvious they Long-tailed Skuas and gave us the best views we have ever had as they came overhead and away across the field the other side of the road.
On the beach at Oye Plage 7 more Arctic Skuas were seen as well as a superb Pomarine Skua, but no Kentish Plovers could be found.
 Pity about P & O cancelling our ferry home, a great day out eventually arriving home at 01.45.