Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Redpoll Problems

This mornings watch from the fishing boats was again disappointing. c350 Brent Geese , c100 Wigeon , a few Teal and 32 Common Scoter moving west. 3 Red-throated divers were off shore as were c50 Gannets and few Sandwich Terns. c250 Goldfinches flew over as did 29 Carrion Crows and 190 Starlings came in.
Round the lighthouse this morning 1 Wheatear, 1 Black Redstart, 2 Stonechat and a Whinchat. In a lunchtime visit there were 2 Winchat, 3 Black Redstart, 2 Firecrests and 2 Ravens.
At the observatory 5 Firecrests were trapped and some Redpolls, a couple of which were Common Redpolls or not, depending on which learned scholar wrote the book or paper you read. They  don't look like Cabaret's to me, but I screw Little Stints up.  

A stroll around The Desert and trapping area with TG was also somewhat disappointing, seeing just a handful of Chiffchaffs, a few Tits, a Firecrest and 2 distant Ravens.
An afternoon visit to The Pines at the ARC found a Spotted Flycatcher, a Common Redstart and superb male Black Redstart presumably yesterdays birds also several Chiffchaffs and another Firecrest in the car park.
In Dengemarsh Gully 2 more Firecrests, a Stonechat and Common Buzzard over.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A few migrants

Just a half an hour sea watch this overcast morning as it was still very quiet:
Red-throated Diver: 2 off shore
Gannet: c30 off shore
Brent Geese: 25w  9E
Arctic Skua: 1 off shore
Guillemot: 2 on sea
Auk sp: 6w
Swallow: c80w
Goldfinch: c120w
The Lighthouse garden held just 2 Goldcrests.
A plod around The Desert and the trapping area found 1 Wheatear, 6 Skylark over, 5 Jays flew north, 7 Reed Buntings, c150 Goldfinches, c50 Linnets, also a few Siskins and Redpolls, c150 Hirundines over, 6 Chiffchaffs 3 of which were part of a mobile Tit flock, 14 Jackdaws flew north and a Raven over the power station.
 A visit to Dengemarsh Gully with MH found a Black Redstart, 2+Firecrests, 1 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5+ Chiffchaffs, 3+Continental Song Thrushes and 4+ Blackbirds. In another visit later on a Wheatear and a Peregrine. On Dengemarsh wandering down to Hayfield 3, I flushed the Great White Egret which flew to one of its usual feeding spots, also 2 Marsh Harriers there.
At the ARC a Little Stint, 8 Dunlin, c200 Golden Plover, 2 Marsh Harriers and the usual wildfowl.
By the track to Hanson Chiffchaffs and 2+ Cetti's Warblers, 2 more round the Willow Trail with 4 Chiffchaffs + a Goldcrest. The Pines late afternoon held c10 Chiffchaffs, a Common Redstart and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Gloomy Morning

With Cap Gris Nez clocking up 10,000 Brent Geese, 200+ Bonxies and more yesterday in a Northerly wind. A forecast of south easterly winds and overcast for this morning at Dungeness my hopes for good sea watch were very high. Arriving just after 07.00 it was very gloomy and stayed liked that, TG was already on site and DW arrived shortly after. It soon became apparent that we would not rival Cap Gris Nez and at 10.00 in  rapidly deteriorating weather we gave up.
 Our Totals:
Red-throated Diver: 3 on sea                                      Little Gull: 2w
Gannet: 80+ off shore                                                Kittiwake: 193w
Brent Geese: 446w                                                    Sandwich Tern: 50+ off shore
Common Scoter:                                                       Common Tern: 16w
Wigeon: 77w                                                             Arctic Tern: 4w
Gadwall: 8w                                                              Razorbill: 1w
Teal: 3w                                                                   Guillemot: 2+ off shore
Shoveler: 5w                                                             Auk sp: 47w
Pintail: 1w                                                                Swallow: 91 out
Grey Plover: 1w                                                        Rock Pipit: 3w                                              
Arctic Skua: 2+ off shore                                           Meadow Pipit: 3 in
Mediterranean Gull: 2w                                             Goldfinch: 24w
Probably a Sand Martin (Very heavily cropped)
At the ARC c150 Hirundines among them an almost white one, which was probably a Sand Martin unfortunately it never came close in the hour I was watching it. Also seen of note a single Hobby, 2 Marsh Harriers, 8+ Chiffchaffs and 12 Tree sparrows in the car park.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Pines

With a light north wind I gave the sea a miss this morning and went for a tramp around The Point ,The Desert and trapping area. Plenty of finches moving overhead, mainly Goldfinches, Linnets and Siskins with a few Redpolls, Meadow Pipits, Hirundines 2 Bramblings. I probably missed a lot more because of my poor hearing. In the bushes c20 Chiffchaffs and I flushed a Snipe from a newly formed pool. 
At The Patch just 2 Common Terns among the Black Headed and Herring Gulls and a Black Redstart behind the shelter. 
At the ARC by the track to the pines c10 Chiffchaffs with another 10 in the pines also a Common Redstart and a Pied Flycatcher courtesy of CT. Back by the car park c10 Tree sparrows.
On Dengemarsh from Springfield Bridge the Great White Egret strutting around with 5 Little Egrets, 2 Marsh Harriers and a flock of c150 Linnets.
At Scotney the Barnacle Geese still present with c200 Golden Plover and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits.  

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.