Saturday, 6 October 2012

On the Marsh

A short and disappointing sea watch this morning, 2 Arctic Skuas and a few Terns and Gannets off shore, 10 Brent Geese flew west and 4 Common Scoter east.
 At the ARC a stroll around the Tower Pits found  of note 2 Common Whitethroat, 24 Chiffchaffs, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Merlin chasing Goldfinches and c150 Golden Plover over. From Hanson most the islands have disappeared along with most of the birds, but still 1 Black-necked Grebe still present and a few Hirundines. At Scotney the Barnacle Geese still present, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and c 300 Golden Plover.
 Across Walland Marsh a Little Owl sunbathing on the chicken shed, 4 Mistle Thrushes at Hawthorn Corner, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Jays and a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Midley, several Tree Sparrows in a mixed finch flock near the feeders.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Maybe Tomorrow

Wet and wild at The Point this morning. Through the gloom 4+ Arctic Skuas chasing the few Terns that could be seen, a few Gannets further out and 20+ Common Scoter moved west. Several flocks of Swallows and House Martins didn't seem to know whether they coming or going.
A wander round The Desert and trapping area with TG found 2 Wheatears, 2 Reed Warblers , c25 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, c200 Goldfinches, a few Siskins and another c200 Hirundines.
On the ARC from Hanson 2 Black-necked Grebes, a Ruff, a Little Stint, 2 Golden Plover, a Water rail, 5 Little Egrets, 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Hobby and the usual water fowl.
At Springfield Bridge the Great White Egret put in a fleeting appearance, 4+ Little Egrets, 3 Marsh Harriers and a flock of c150 Linnets.
At Scotney c600 Golden Plover, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew and the Barnacle Geese.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Spoonbill Finale

This mornings sea watch from The Point only took 15 minutes before I was sure there was no off shore movement, but there were finches moving on shore.
While plodding around The Point,The Desert and the southern half of the trapping area c600 Goldfinches, c200 Linnets, c50 Meadow Pipits, c30 Chaffinches,c20 Siskins, 3 Brambling and steady trickle of Hirundines flew over. Also seen 46 Chiffchaffs, 6+ Blackcaps, 5 Song Thrushes(Continental)1 Reed Warbler,1 Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 1 Merlin, 2 Sparrowhawks.
At The Patch 7 Arctic Terns, c20 Common Terns, 5 Sandwich Terns and 1 Little Gull among the usual gulls, also 2 Arctic Skuas off shore.
At the ARC a Garganey among the dabblers, the Black-necked Grebe distant as usual, c300 Golden Plover and a Common Sandpiper.
10 very distant Spoonbills off Dungeness 
An afternoon sea watch from the fishing boats with DW, CT and BH  found 4+ Arctic Skuas chasing Terns, a 1w Mediterranean Gull, a few Gannets and a the Yellow-legged Gull on the beach.
On the way out DW stopped to look at some gulls and spotted 10 Spoonbills out at sea. I had already got as far as the ARC when CT called me. I dashed back to see them struggling in the wind a long way out hence the stunning shot of 10 dots.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dodging the Showers

 Once again little moving at sea from The Point this morning. 2 Arctic Skuas a few Terns and Gannets off shore, 15 Auks, 12 Common Scoter and 5 Wigeon moved west. Overhead a westward trickle of Goldfinches, Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Alba Wagtails, House Martins, Swallows a few Sand Martins.
Over The Patch while sheltering from the downpours in the lee of the new hide 3 Little Gulls (2juv+1ad), 2 Mediterranean Gulls(2w+1w), 8+ Arctic Terns, c20 Common Terns among the usual Gulls also 2 Arctic Skuas chasing Terns off shore.
A plod around the bushes taking in The Lighthouse, The Station, The Desert, The Moat, Lloyds, West Beach while spending a considerable time sheltering in the bushes, found just 2 Wheatears, 4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Sparrowhawks. Not really worth the effort or the drenching.
At The ARC from Hanson the Black-necked Grebe showed distantly, a Garganey was asleep on an Island among the usual wildfowl and 6 Little Egrets were dotted around.

This afternoon on wind and rain swept reserve birds were even harder to find than usual. From Firth 2 Grey Plovers and a Dunlin were of note, from Makepeace 2 Marsh Harriers flew over Burrowes. Approaching Dengemarsh a Bittern the first I have seen in a while flew to Christmas Dell. At the southern end of Dengemarsh The Great White Egret flew across the lake. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Same as yesterday

An hour and half sea watching from The Point this morning was unproductive with 3+ Arctic Skuas chasing the few Terns that were off shore and few Gannets passing. On the beach a Juvenile Kittiwake and an adult Yellow-legged Gull roosting.
At the ARC highlights were 1 Garganey among the dabblers loafing on the islands and 100s of Hirundines over the lake. 2 Hobbys over the tower pits hawking the many Migrant Hawkers also 20+ Chiffchaffs.
Several Arctic and Common Terns feeding at The Patch along with 2 Little Gulls.
At Scotney the Barnacle Geese still, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew and c100 Golden Plover.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Wet and Windy

A wet and windy morning at Dungeness sea watching in comfort from the car 08.00-12.00:
Red-throated Diver: 1E
Sooty Shearwater: 2W
Gannet: c200+ Predominately W
Common Scoter: 5W 31E 1 on sea
Grey Heron: 1 out
Arctic Skua: mimimum 4 off shore 3DP + 1LP
Great Skua: 1W
Little Gull: 1 off shore
Mediterranean Gull: 1ad off shore
Kittiwake: 1 juv off shore
Sandwich Tern: c40 off shore
Common Tern: c25 off shore
Arctic Tern: 2+ off shore
Swallows: 742 out
Harbour Porpoise: 3+ off shore
From a wind and rain swept Hanson Hide the ARC was not at its best with little of real note. 2 Sparrowhawks were trying and failing to catch any of the 100s of hirundines feeding over the lake, 2 Marsh Harriers flew over flushing most the duck, there were no waders to flush. 2 noisy Water Rails close to the hide refused to show them selves in the newly cut area of reeds neither did a Cetti's Warbler or the several Chiffchaffs calling in the bushes. 
At Scotney the feral Barnacle Geese flock still present as was 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ruff and c150 Golden Plover.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Back from summer break

A morning visit to Orlestone Forest found all the expected woodland species including a small party of Crossbills in the car park.
On arrival at the Dungeness Obs. to be told some Ring Ouzels had been seen had me plodding round The Moat out past Lloyds to SE corner of The Desert and up to the north end of trapping area and back down the western side of The Long Pits. Several small parties of Siskins, Goldfinches and linnets flew over, 21 Chiffchaffs were seen along with 5 Stonechats, 1 Whinchat, 1 Reed Warbler, 4 Sparrowhawks, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and a trickle of Hirundines but no Ring Ouzels.
Very little movement again on the sea from the fishing boats. The Yellow-legged Gull was posing there with some Great Black Backed Gulls.

 At the ARC from Hanson just a couple of Golden Plover and Dunlin among the usual ducks and 100s of feral Greylags, also a Hobby chasing the Hirundines and Migrant hawkers.
Back from there summer quarters
At Scotney the first signs of winter with the return of the 60+ Barnacle Geese flock and the accompanying hybrids, also 100+ Golden Plover there, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew and 2 Marsh Harriers.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Barred Warbler

At The Point after a late start this morning very little sign of any sea passage. 2 Arctic Skuas were probably the same birds seen for the last couple of weeks and a few Gannets and Terns off shore. On the beach the adult Yellow-legged Gull in the small roost.
After parking in the ARC car park and plodding out to Denge Marsh, where the Great White Egret was in its usual place and a Whinchat was on the fence at Hayfield 3, I received a call from DB about a Barred Warbler trapped at the obs. I was a 20 minute walk from my car but fortunately SB was able to pick me up and get me to the obs before the bird was released. After the bird was released it showed after a while and was on show on and off most of the afternoon. Unfortunately most the time it was partly obscured by vegetation and I spent the rest of the afternoon filling 2 cards.  

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Patch

An hour at The Point looking at a virtually empty sea this morning. Although many 100s of birds were moving offshore 99% of them were Swallows. The rest were 2 of the virtually  resident Arctic Skuas a few Terns and Gannets. This afternoon things had not improved  

Dark winged juvenile Little Gull
2 visits to The Patch found 4 Little Gulls(3 Juvs and an adult) including the almost black winged  individual, 4+ Arctic Terns, 20+ Common Terns, 20+ Sandwich Terns and 3 Mediterranean Gulls among the usual Gulls. Behind the new Patch hide a Chiffchaff, a Wheatear and wren was unusual.  
 The bushes were much quieter today with just a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. At the ARC from Hanson the Pectoral Sandpiper still present with 5 Dunlin, the Black-necked Grebe, 2 Marsh Harriers, 8 Little egrets and 100s of Hirundines.
Arctic Tern

Thursday, 27 September 2012


A short sea watch this morning produced nothing of note on the sea. Overhead 2 Grey Wagtails several small flocks of Siskins, Goldfinches, Linnets and Meadow Pipits, also large numbers of Hirundines moving. 
One of many on the peninsular today
 In the bushes around The Point and Desert/trapping area 3 Firecrests (2 Lighthouse and 1 Lloyds), a Great spotted Woodpecker, 3 Redstarts, c25 Blackcaps, 3 Common Whitethroats, 1 Garden Warbler and at least 50 Chiffchaffs.
Aberrant Teal?
 On The ARC the Pectoral Sandpiper, 50+ Golden plover, 4 Dunlin, 2 Black Terns, a Black-necked Grebe, 1+ Garganey, an unusual plumaged Teal, a Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier. In the Willow Trail c20 Chiffchaffs, c15 Long-tailed Tits and a water rail. The track to and round The Pines held at least 100 Chiffchaffs, 10+ Blackcaps, 2 Common Whitethroats and Spotted Flycatcher.
Sunset at The Patch
At Scotney c200 Golden Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Curlew. While there a call from DW about juvenile Sabines Gull at The Patch. Although I was on site a few minutes later the gull had moved on. Compensation in the form of 4 Little Gulls, 3+ Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Black Terns, 2+ stunning juvenile Arctic Terns and several Common Terns over The Patch. Also a brilliant sunset.