Monday, 14 July 2014

Bits and Bobs!

Quiet at The Patch this morning as a couple of anglers were there. 100+Common Terns including a this years juvenile, 4 Yellow-legged Gulls, no Mediterranean Gulls or anything else of interest.
The ARC had 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Redshank with 6 Little Egrets.
From Dennis's hide 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 2 Common Sandpipers, from Makepiece a Ringed Plover and a Ruff 3 Marsh Harriers and a Wigeon.
Juvenile Little Grebe on the dipping pool
14.25-15.25 from the fishing boats:
Gannet; 2 up   2down
Common scoter: 7 up
Mediterranean Gull: 1 up
Common Tern: 7 down
Sandwich Tern: 1 up
Swallow: 5 out
Harbour Porpoise: 1+ o/s
Hummingbird Hawkmoth: 1 in
At least the sun was shining and the French coast seemed as if you could touch it.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Moths and Gulls!

I over slept this morning after staying up into the early hours with the Plodland Moth trap. As I am a complete novice with moth identification, last nights deluge of moths was quite daunting and very time consuming. I have never seen so many moths in my life before, but compared with the observatory moth trap mine was slow(DW had in excess of 400 Diamond-back Moths compared to my 30+). I did record 57 macro species with help from DW on some of the identification. As for the micro's there are still a few pots in the fridge waiting to be photographed, enlarged and hopefully identified.
This afternoon I spent a pleasant couple of hours on the beach with Mick and Richard photographing Gulls, being joined by DW and GH who had just seen a an Osprey from the reserve head out to sea. 
A short stop at the south end of the ARC early evening found the usual suspects and also my first Common Sandpiper of the autumn on the far side of the lake.
2nd summer Herring Gull
North Thames colour ring Herring Gull K5FT
Lesser Black Backed Gull
North Thames colour ring TU3.T 
Juvenile  Yellow-legged Gull

Friday, 11 July 2014

Wash out!

From the concrete road this morning 142 Gannets down channel, 1 Manx Shearwater up channel, 2 Whimbrel and 2 Curlew down, a Mediterranean Gull down and few Common and Sandwich Terns fishing.
Mid morning at the ARC 100+ Sand martins over the lake, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Redshanks including a juvenile and the usual Little Egrets and Ducks.
When the rain finally stopped this afternoon I wandered from Springfield Bridge to Dengemarsh. Dengemarsh flood held the usual Greylags and a single Yellow Wagtail, the desert that is Hayfield 3 held a Shelduck, a Little Egret, a Black-headed Gull and a Crow.
Over Dengemarsh 40+ Swifts and a Hobby being chased by the Common Terns. Over the reed bed 3 juvenile Marsh Harriers and an adult male causing havoc among the Coot.
Late afternoon at The Patch, 100+ Common Terns, 6 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 Mediterranean Gulls and another North Thames colour ringed Herring Gull KH7T  

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Gannets and Manxies!

Another thoroughly miserable day with a strong NW wind meant sea watching was the order of the day. Well over 1,000 Gannets passed down channel ,(253 in 65 minutes this afternoon) 20+ Manx Shearwaters down channel, also 1 up very close in giving me one of the best views of this species I have had at Dungeness, I was so engrossed in watching it that I for got my camera was on the car seat beside me, 3 Kittiwakes, 70+ Common Scoter, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, the first few returning Auks whirred past, 4 Curlews, 1 Whimbrel and a Little Ringed Plover. Mammals were represented by a Grey Seal and 4+Harbour Porpoises.
 Once again no change at the ARC still 10 Little Egrets at the south end with the eclipse ducks. From Hanson c150 each of Coot, Gadwall and Pochard with smaller numbers of Tufted Duck.
A look at Scotney saw rapidly growing Herring Gull chicks on there island, a Curlew, and a Ringed Plover.
Herring Gull H8FT beside the Fish Shack at Dungeness this morning.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Patch

No sign of yesterdays Roseate Tern at The Patch this morning. The 1st summer Common Tern was still present as was 4 Mediterranean Gulls (11+ this afternoon), 5 Yellow-legged Gulls (7 this afternoon)  a North Thames colour ringed Herring Gull T9DT. Also a Grey Sea and 2+ Harbour Porpoises.
No change at the ARC this morning with no autumn migrants seen. I resisted an invitation to walk around the hay fields at Dengemarsh as seeing them as they are is quite depressing.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

1st summer Common and Roseate Tern!

An early morning stroll in glorious sunshine down Galloways was some what disappointing, just a few Common Whitethroats, Reed Buntings and a couple of Stonechats.
Next stop The Patch where 4 Mediterranean Gulls including a juvenile, 4 Yellow-legged Gulls and c 40 Common Terns including a first summer bird pictured below. A Black Redstart was on the perimeter fence and 2 more at West Beach. 
 1st summer Common Tern
At the south end of the ARC 12 Little Egrets of note but again no sign of the Glossy Ibis.
 1st summer Common Tern taken from Dengemarsh Hide
Met up with The Joker at the viewing ramp where up to 4 Hobby's were seen, also 3+ Marsh Harriers, and a few Bearded Tits. The lack of ducklings at Hookers probably reflects the fact that the Mink are not being trapped at present, I believe in case in case a lactating female is caught  and her Kits starve to death. (Make your own minds up on the sense in that).
We moved onto the Dengemarsh hide where the Tern rafts were busy with incubating birds while others chased the Hobby's pointlessly. While watching the Terns I noticed a 1st summer one flying directly towards the us in the hide, by the time I raised the camera it was on top of us.
While we had a cup of tea at the visitor centre 2 Little Ringed Plovers on one of the small islands were the avian highlights. As we drove towards Boulderwall a Bittern flew over towards Hookers. 
 Bittern by the entrance track
 1st summer Roseate Tern
This afternoon back at The Patch in the company of DW, he heard a Roseate Tern as soon as we entered the hide but we could not find it, as we set about counting Mediterranean Gulls 24 when I left, Yellow-legged Gulls 7, Common Terns c100. While doing this DW spotted the Roseate Tern over the boil and was little surprised to realise that it was a 1st summer bird apparently something of a rarity. Unfortunately the bird was never close hence the very poor record images of it.
1st summer Roseate Tern with a Common Tern
This evening from Plodland c300 Sand Martins over the bean fields.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Pine Hawkmoths!

This morning at The Patch I could only muster a single Mediterranean Gull, 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls and c30 Common Terns over the boil. The Black Redstart was on the perimeter fence collecting food for its young.
The south end of the ARC held the usual Little Egrets, Cormorants and eclipse ducks but no sign of the Glossy Ibis.
A walk from Springfield Bridge to Dengemarsh hide was notable only for the several 100s of Sand Martins that moved through. Hayfield 3 is now more or less dry, so much so that even the legions of Crows have deserted it. The Common terns seem to be getting on with nesting on the rafts, though I didn't see any young today. A very tatty female Marsh Harrier was quartering Christmas Dell. 
Back at Springfield Bridge I met The Joker, while chewing the fat a Bittern flew across the reed bed, the mornings highlight. I went home and while consuming my breakfast alfresco in the front garden, I watched at least 1,000 Sand Martins that were hawking over the Bean fields. As Beans are prone to Black Fly I can only think they attracted the Martins. 2 Marsh Harriers were also quartering the fields and 2 Little Egrets flew over.   
We met again at the visitor centre where a summer plumaged Sanderling, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and a Ringed Plover were the highlights.
Back at Plodland I opened the Moth trap and was surprised to find another Pine Hawkmoth, a slightly more worn individual than the one I caught late last night.  
This afternoon at the fishing boats I joined The Joker again and PT. The highlight for me was what PT(he is an ex salty old sea dog) assured me was a Russian anti aircraft carrier steaming down channel. Apart from that it was good to see a few Terns fishing successfully inshore, a single Fulmar, 2 Curlew and 2 Common Scoter and the banter was up to its usual low standards.
Below a small selection of images below of some of the moths from the Plodland trap over the weekend. 
 Pine Hawkmoth a pristine individual
 Pine Hawkmoth a slightly worn individual
 Peach Blossom

Large Emerald

 Dark Tussock
 Small Ranunculus
 Marbled Green
Agapeta hamana 
Orchard Ermine I think?

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Yellow-legged Gulls!

On a thoroughly miserable morning, 30 minutes spent at the end of the concrete road staring at a flat calm sea, saw just 11 Gannets, 4 Sandwich Terns, 2 Harbour Porpoises and 9 Meadow Pipits of note. At the observatory a Wood Mouse provided some entertainment. 
 Wood Mouse under the observatory feeder
 Glossy Ibis south end of the ARC
The Glossy Ibis was at the south end of the ARC viewed from the causeway, along with 11 Little Egrets and the usual eclipse ducks. From Hanson still 200+ Coot, 150+ Pochard, 150+ Gadwall with smaller numbers of Tufted Duck, also 51 Mute Swans and 2 Marsh Harriers.
 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull
Late afternoon in the company of Mick, Richard and David a minimum of 4 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls some of which performed brilliantly for the camera, mainly due to Mick and Richards loaves of bread and 3 boxes of fish heads and guts. Also there a 2nd summer Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Off shore a Grey Seal, and handful of Terns which are in worryingly small numbers. Walking back to the cars 3 more Mediterranean gulls flew over.  

 2nd summer Yellow-legged Gull
Adult Mediterranean Gull

Friday, 4 July 2014

Black Redstarts and a Sussex Emerald!

This morning at The Patch just 3 Mediterranean Gulls and a single Common Tern among the Black Headed,Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gulls. Off shore a handful of distant Sandwich Terns and Gannets also 2 Harbour Porpoises.
At the back of the hide a Black Redstart on the perimeter fence taking food to its nest inside the power station boundary.
At West Beach another pair of Black Redstarts taking food back to another nest in the power station.  
 Black Redstart "West Beach"
At the observatory a superb Sussex Emerald from last nights catch there. I had a Common and Small Emerald last night, maybe a Sussex tonight I can only hope. 
 Sussex Emerald Dungeness Observatory
 Common Tern, Hookers
An hour at the ramp in the company of the Joker and Dungy Dave saw of note a pulse of 49 Sand Martins moving through south,a Hobby, 4 juvenile Marsh Harriers around with the stunning adult male giving them food passes, several Common Terns flying back and forth the Tern rafts on Dengemarsh, also several brief views of Bearded Tit and the usual Warblers. The Glossy Ibis was on Hayfield 3 this morning per CT.  
 Bordered Sallow
a sample of some of the moths in the Plodland trap last night.
 Drinker 1 of 4 in the trap today
Poplar Grey

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Silver Striped Hawkmoth!

 At The Patch this morning 17 Mediterranean Gulls and 3 Common Terns among the Black headed and Herring Gulls, off shore 22 Common Scoter move towards Rye Bay, a few Gannets drifted past and 4 Oystercatchers moved east. Walking back along the bund a Fulmar flew past only a few feet away at head height. At West Beach an adult Black Redstart was collecting food for its second brood.
 At the Observatory this stunning Silver Striped Hawkmoth was on show. Many thanks to Phil Beraet for bringing it to Dungeness after catching it his North East Kent trap.
 From Hanson at the ARC 200+ Coot, 150+ Gadwall, 150+ Tufted Duck and Pochard. A Heron made an unsuccessful attack on a very exposed Great Crested Grebe nest. The nest is attached to one of the islands that this time last year was hosting many waders. From the Screen a Hobby, 2 Marsh Harriers, the usual reed bed species and my first 14 south bound Sand Martins this year flew through.
White Satin Moth from the Plodland trap.