Monday, 9 September 2013

Dungeness Tick

Sea watching from the hide this morning was very slow: 2 Arctic Skuas chasing Terns,1+ Black and 2 Arctic Terns over The Patch and 3 Common Scoter east.
Little change to the birds on the ARC and reserve.
Scotney still hosts 2 Ruddy Shelduck and 14 Egyptian Geese at the Kent end.
Scotney, Burrowes, The ARC and New Diggings all held 200+ Sand Martins.
 From the fishing boats this afternoon with DW,PT,RS: 16+ Arctic Skuas, 2 Arctic Terns, a Little Gull and a few Sandwich and Common Terns. Also a Sanderling flew west but bird of the day was a Purple Sandpiper that flew past us and landed on the beach and posed for the camera during a squall. It eventually flew back east past us. This is a very scarce bird at Dungeness and the first I have seen there.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

The one that got away!

4 Grey Herons flew south at 08.00 approx
08.30-09.30 very slow this morning:
Fulmar: 1W
Common Scoter: 3E
Arctic Skua: 1W
Bonxie: 1w
Little Gull: 1 at The Patch
Black Tern: 3 at the Patch
Sand Martin : 35 S
Tree Pipit: 1 S my first of the year!
Wheatear: 2 on beach

At the South end of the ARC just the Black-necked Grebe of note.
Midday from Hanson 3 Curlew and 4 Dunlin among the Lapwing and Golden Plover.
Little Gull
 14.00-15.30 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 8E
Wigeon: 2E
Redshank: 2W
Knot: 8W
Grey Plover: 1W
Turnstone: 12 on beach
Commic Tern: 22W
Sandwich Tern: 158W
Little Gull: 2W
Arctic Skua: 6W
Grey Seal and 3+Harbour Porpoises off shore
Common Tern

3 Harbour Porpoises
This evening on the reserve 12 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 3 Ruff, 6 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Common Sandpiper.
While I was in Makepiece with BM an unseen presumed large raptor put up everything all over the reserve. c200 Sand Martins balled up high over Burrowes, most the duck and waders on Burrowes took flight, c200 Greylag Geese with same number of duck were flushed from Dengemarsh along with a Great White Egret at the same time. Despite both of us leaving the hide and scanning all round the culprit could not be seen. Probably another missed Osprey!   

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Geese and Yellow Wagtails

From the sea watch hide this morning 3 distant Balearic Shearwaters W, c6 Arctic Skuas W, a Bonxie W, 12 Common Scoter E, 2 Fulmars W, most of the time there was at least 3 Arctic Skuas molesting the Terns.
After I left at least 8 more Balearics Shearwaters were seen including a flock of 6 with another 5 from the fishing boats per PH.(Thanks from the info)
At The Patch 3+ Black Terns and at least 2 Arctic Terns among the other Gulls and Terns over the boil.
A Great White Egret was on new diggings also a Red-crested Pochard.
In 2 Visits to the ARC of note 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Greenshank, 3 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 4 Yellow Wagtails and c100 Sand Martins.
At Scotney 10 Tree Sparrows, c20 Yellow Wagtails and 4 Corn Buntings around the farm, on the lake 2 Ruddy Shelduck and 16 Egptian Geese among c1000 Greylag and Canada Geese.
From Plodland of note 2 Marsh Harriers, a Hobby and Sparrowhawk flushing 10+ Yellow Wagtails from the field.  
 This evening from Firth hide the light was superb to view the 2 Ruff, a Greenshank, 4 Common Snipe, a Garganey, Lapwing on the near islands. The other side of the lake 4 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover and a Sanderling. From Makepiece the Little Stint was distant as ever also a Common Sandpiper from there. By the track back to the centre a Wheatear posed.
This afternoon 2 Yellow-legged Gulls near the fishing boats per MS.




Friday, 6 September 2013


This morning from the sea watch hide  4 Black Terns and a Little Gull could be seen over The Patch. Off shore a small eastward movement of Gannets, 2 Arctic Skuas chasing a few Terns,  a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver feeding by the buoy was my first of the autumn and a Wheatear on the perimeter wall. Also 2 Fulmars east flew over the power station and the old lighthouse.
Round Lloyds and The Moat 3 Black Redstarts, 1+ Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 6+ Common Whitethroats. 
In 2 visits to the ARC from Hanson 4 Garganey and a Pintail among the commoner wildfowl, 3 Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 6 Common Snipe, a Common Sandpiper,10+ Dunlin, a Greenshank, 3 Redshanks, 3 Curlew, 50+ Golden Plover and 150+Lapwing. In front the hide a very vocal Cetti's Warblers and 2+ Reed Warblers.
A sea watch from the the car at the fishing boats during the rain saw 3 Arctic Skuas chasing Terns and little else mainly because I fell asleep!
On the reserve in an afternoon and an evening visit from Firth and Makepiece 4 Ruff, 9 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Stints, 10+ Dunlin, 14 Curlew Sandpipers made an all to brief visit, 2 Common Sandpipers, 7 Common Snipe, 8 Ringed Plovers, 40+ Golden Plover, 50+ Lapwing, 2 Garganey and c100 Sand Martins.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Much the same!

I went to Galloways first thing this morning , seeing of note 6+ Whinchat, 7+ Wheatear, 15+ Common Whitethroat, 10+ Yellow Wagtails over and a Spotted Flycatcher. 
Next stop The Midrips which promises much but yields little, today was no exception with 58 Golden Plover roosting on the shingle ridges, 22 Dunlin, 14 Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank, 1 Curlew, 4 Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers, 7 Shelduck, 6 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Wheatears. RN had a Wood Sandpiper there later in the morning.   
 A stop off at Scotney on the way back found the 2 Ruddy Shelducks and 30+ Yellow Wagtails of note.
 Next stop the reserve where of note 2 Little Stints, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 4 Ruff, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper, a Little Gull, a Black-necked Grebe and 5 Common Buzards could be seen from the reserve centre.
Migrant hawker
 Back on the reserve this afternoon a Lesser Emporer at New Excavations, pity it wasn't as obliging as the above Migrant Hawker. At the ARC from Screen hide the Water rails still showing and a Greenshank.
At Hanson some of the reeds have been cut in front the hide to open up the viewing, but viewing is still difficult to the left of the hide.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A pleasant evening in Firth Hide

At The Patch this morning 12 Black Terns and 1 Little Gull were the highlights.
In the bushes around The Point a few Common Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.
At the ARC a single Black-necked Grebe at the south end, from Hanson apart from 2 Garganey, very little of note to be seen peering through the reeds.
An hour sky watching from Plodland at lunchtime was very disappointing with not a single raptor just of note 5 Yellow Wagtails.
Late afternoon at the fishing boats once the sea fog had receded found a flat calm sea, 6 Commic Terns and a Little Gull were foraging off shore and 3 Turnstone on the beach.
In 2 visits(morning and evening) to the reserve  2 Great White Egrets, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Garganey, a Little Gull, a Black Tern, 3 Little Stints, 11 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Ruff, 16 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, a Knot, a Redshank, 6 Common Snipe, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Whimbrel over, 50+ Golden Plover and 100+ Lapwing. Most of these were seen from Firth hide this evening.  
Little Gull, Black Tern and Ruff from Firth Hide

Monday, 2 September 2013

Raptors and a Pectoral Sandpiper

First thing at The Patch 19+ Black Terns, 2 juv Arctic Terns among many Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls over the boil. Along the perimeter fence 4 Wheatears, a Black Redstart, 4 Pied Wagtails and c30 Linnets.
At the south end of the ARC not a single wader but a Black-necked Grebe on the lake. From Hanson the islands were virtually devoid of avian activity after a Peregrine flew through as I made my way to the hide. 
Yellow Wagtail
 On the track to Firth Hide 4 Yellow Wagtails by the discovery pool. From Firth hide 4 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Dunlin and a Greenshank.
Green Sandpiper
 From Makepiece a Green Sandpiper foraged below the hide,  on the other side of the hide a Garganey was unusually tame, unfortunately the light was atrocious. On the islands c50 Golden Plover, a Redshank, 12 Dunlin, c150 Lapwing, the leucistic Teal, also a Little Gull and another Black-necked Grebe around the islands. 4 Willow Warblers on the plod to Dengemarsh where the 2 Great White Egrets were in the usual spot but little else. From Dennis's Hide a c500 Sand Martins moved through in a couple of minutes.  
Garganey in poor light
 An hour watching from plodland saw 2 Hobby's and 2 Sparrowhawks spiralling together over the fields, 2 Marsh Harriers hunting the ditches and 8 Yellow wagtails foraging the field edge.
 This afternoon I went back to the ARC, from Hanson virtually the first bird I saw was a Pectoral Sandpiper, the views were awful trying to scope through reeds that are now so tall some of the islands are completely obscured, if anything did decide to come close to the hide it would never be seen.
A few minutes after I found the bird and before the local bird watchers arrived a Peregrine appeared and spooked all the birds. As the locals arrived another Peregrine appeared and tussled with the first one, then both landed on the islands making sure the Pec would not return, just to make really sure it would not return a Marsh Harrier started cruising around and a Sparrowhawk came across the lake. Sometimes flushed birds move to the south end of the ARC, but apparently an Osprey was spiralling over the lake there unseen by us in Hanson Hide.
The reason the Pectoral Sandpiper left the ARC

Sparrowhawk after the Pec left
A short visit to Makepiece late afternoon added a Knot and 2 Little Stints to the days tally.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Flat Battery

At The Patch this morning 5+ Black Terns over the boil, 3 Arctic Skuas chasing Terns off shore, 3 Teal west and an adult Yellow-legged Gull among the roosting Gulls and Terns, also a colour ringed Gull which I think is of Belgian origin. 4 Wheatears on the power station fence.
A slow plod around the lighthouse, West beach Lloyds, station Gorse, The Desert and The Moat found just 6 Common Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers and a Pied Flycatcher which had been trapped in the Heligoland Trap. 
 At the ARC (south end) 5 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and a Black-necked Grebe. From Hanson 4 Curlew Sandpipers, a Little Stint, 5 Ruff, 50+ Golden Plover, 4 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Snipe and a Garganey.
The Water Rails were still performing in front the Screen Hide.
This afternoon the Wryneck was showing well at Galloway. I took some quick shots of it then slowly maneuvered my car to a few feet away lifted the camera and nothing happened. I had committed the cardinal sin of letting the battery go flat.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Lazy Day

On my way to The Midrips I stopped at Scotney and was surprised to see 400+ Yellow Wagtails on the grassy field, but less surprised to see 1000+ Greylag and Canada Geese there.
The Midrips was disappointing again with just 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 7 Dunlin, 1 Avocet, 3 Wheatear and sprinkling of Swallows and Sand Martins.
While checking Scotney again the Yellow Wagtails had moved on but 2 Ruddy Shelduck flew in.
A quick look at Galloways saw 6+ Wheatear and 5+ Whinchat, but the Wryneck did not show for me but was seen on and off all day for others.
A few hours at home in the garden was fruitful with a new garden tick in the form of 3 Crossbills over, also a steady trickle of Yellow Wagtails, Swallows and Sand Martins over. Over newly cut fields a Hobby and 2 Marsh Harriers, but despite a text from OL and intensive scanning I was unable to pick up the Honey Buzzard he saw flying south over Littlestone towards my house.
1 of 2 Egyptian Geese on the newly flooded hayfield
Late afternoon/early evening I parked at Springfield Bridge and walked around the reserve. The 2 Great White Egrets were still on Dengemarsh, 2 the Egyptian Geese were on the newly flooded hayfield. From Firth hide 3 Black-necked Grebes, a Garganey, a Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Sandpipers. All round the reserve there was a steady trickle of Sand Martins and the Marsh Harriers were much in evidence.  

Friday, 30 August 2013

Not a bad day!

At The Patch this morning 4 Black Terns in the melee of Commic Terns and Gulls. Offshore 3 Arctic Skuas chasing the Terns.
Very little of note in the bushes around The Point just 3 Wheatears, 2 common Whitethroats and a Willow Warbler.
On the ARC Pit viewed from the causeway, a Black-necked Grebe, 2 Marsh Harriers, c 60 Golden Plover, 150+ Lapwing and 150+ Sand Martins.
Whinchats 4 of 10 at Galloways 
 At Galloways with MH 10 Whinchats, 10 Wheatears, 7 Common Whitethroats, 4 Stonechats and the elusive Wryneck.

Uncooperative Wryneck

 This evening from Firth hide 2 Ruff, 2 Common Snipe, a Greenshank, a Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers and a Garganey.
Garganey 1 of 3 on Burrowes this evening

Black-necked Grebes Burrowes pit
From Makepiece 2 Black-necked Grebes showing well, also 2 Garganey, my first Pintail of the Autumn, 7 Little Egrets and many Sand Martins over the pits.