Monday, 11 August 2014


07.00 I arrived at The Point to find AJG, MH and BM already there. All of us thought the sea would produce the birds. After a couple of hours and some thunder storms we had only seen a few each of Gannets, Terns and Fulmars.
I made my way to The Patch stopping to admire a Hummingbird Hawkmoth on the the way, behind the hide 2 Willow Warblers on the fence were of note.
I was joined in the hide by Paul and Liz where we sat out a couple of showers. 100s of Black-headed and Herring Gulls and c100 Common Terns were around the boil along with 2 Black Terns, 1+ Arctic Tern and 4 Swifts going out.  
Hummingbird Hawkmoth perimeter wall
 At the ARC from Hanson 4 Garganey, 2 Redshank, 3 Dunlin, a Ruff, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Hobby chasing the numerous Sand Martins. Late this afternoon they were joined by 2 Wood Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover.
A drive down Galloways produced 5 Wheatears and a Whinchat. By Brett's Marina another Hobby chasing Sand Martins
Whinchat Galloways
 13.30-16.00 from the fishing boats was very slow, the highlights being a single Black Tern and 2 Whimbrel.
Black Tern at the fishing boats

Webb's Wainscott?

Common Wainscott?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sea Watch

I am sure I missed quite a few birds. The list below is only the birds I recorded.
07.15-10.20 & 14.00-16.00 from the fishing boats.

Red-throated Diver: 1 juv on sea
Great Crested Grebe: 3
Fulmar: 10W
Manx Shearwater: 7W
Balearic Shearwater: 2W
Gannet: 323W    36E
Teal: 12W
Common Scoter: 37W
Dunlin: 9W
Sanderling: 4W
Ringed Plover: 2W
Knot: 4W
Arctic Skua: 2 off shore
Black Tern: 6W
Common Tern: 117W
Roseate Tern: 1W
Sandwich Tern: 279W
Kittiwake: 15W
Mediterranean Gull: 1 off shore

Swift: 275 S

Friday, 8 August 2014

A Little Better!

Early morning at The Patch loads of Gulls but disappointingly just 2 Black Terns of note. Off shore my first Arctic Skua of the Autumn moved down channel, also 26 Common Scoter, and 6 Teal, on the beach 2 returning Turnstones. Returning to the car a Hummingbird Hawkmoth and 2 Wheatears by the car park.
I was joined by AJG at the ARC Hanson hide where 5 Garganey, a Wood Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, Black Tailed Godwit and 2 Redshanks. Early afternoon they were joined by a Greenshank and another Black Tailed Godwit also several 100s of Sand Martins.
From Firth hide 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover and a common Sandpiper.
Following a call from The Joker I visited Galloways and finally caught up with a Whinchat also 4 Wheatears there.
Yet another Jersey Tiger in the trap last night.
 14.30-16.00 from the fishing boats I just about managed to stay awake:
Gannet: 7 W
Turnstone: 5 on beach all adults
Sanderling: 2W
Black Tern: 1W
Little Tern: 1W
Common Tern: 4W
Sandwich Tern: 22W
Arctic Skua: 2 adults dark and a light up and down off shore
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 4+

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Another glorious summers day!

 A quick look at the ARC as the light is always terrible in the mornings found the 4 Little Stints still present, 3 Green Sandpipers and a Great White Egret but no sign of the Caspian Tern. At The Patch c2,000 Gulls, 40+ Common Terns and the adult Black Tern still present. Behind the hide a Willow Warbler enjoying the new razor wire on the perimeter fence and 4 Wheatears on the bund.
On Burrowes 2 Wood Sandpipers, 4 Common Sandpipers, 2 Common Snipe and the usual Sand Martins and 6 Swifts. Back at Firth late this afternoon and the work party had done a brilliant job clearing the rampant vegetation. The Wood Sandpiper image below would have been impossible yesterday, bring on the peeps. Also the Willow Trail is now open as the boardwalk has been repaired. Today the pot holes in entrance track to the visitor centre have been repaired. 

Just as I pressed the shutter the petal fell on the Jersey Tigers scattering them and ruining the pose.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


With a little overnight rain and still drizzling first thing this morning as I drove to The Point, I had high hopes of there being lots of passerine migrants grounded there. AJG was already there and quickly burst my hopes, as he had been out around the trapping area seeing just a single Common Whitethroat. We sea watched until the visibility deteriorated, seeing just a few Sandwich and Common Terns, Gannets, 3 Common Scoter and 2 Swifts.
As the drizzle worsened I decided to go to Firth Hide where 5 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Snipe, a colour ringed juvenile Black-headed Gull, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 5 Swifts and 100s of Sand Martins.
In the car park I met The Joker and we decided to go to Hanson on the ARC. On opening the flaps we could see one of the islands was covered in waders, we were amazed to see that they were all Redshanks 139 of them, without doubt the biggest single flock of Redshank I have seen. Also new in were 4 Little Stints, 11 Black-tailed Godwits, later being joined by 2 Spotted Redshanks. 4 Garganey were found among the numerous eclipse duck, also 100s more Sand martins and 2 more Swifts.   
25N1 probably a Fairlight bird

 139 Redshanks
Juvenile Ringed Plover Rye
Because of this arrival of waders AJG, CT and myself decided to go to Rye thinking that there may be a lot more there. We did mange to find 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 4 Knot and 5 Bar-tailed Godwits among c100 Dunlin but all were very distant, God forbid a small peep out there.
Driving past Northpoint GP a Hobby flew over the road.
This afternoon a Caspian Tern spent a few minutes in front of the visitor centre, before flying off high towards the power station. Myself The Joker, AJG and JC went to The Patch where 1,000s of Gulls, c 200 Common Terns and an adult Black Tern were feeding but no Caspian Tern.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Willow Warblers

2 Hummingbird Hawk Moths on the perimeter wall as I made my way to The Patch. 3 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls among many Black-headed and Herring Gulls there this morning, also an increase the number of Lesser black Backed Gulls, unfortunately no legible colour rings. Still very few Terns and only small numbers of Gannets moving down channel.
Met Chiddy at the sea watch hide and chewed the fat for a while looking at nothing in particular, the highlight being at least 4 Harbour Porpoises near the buoy.
We looked in the Lighthouse Garden and saw not a bird, though when we reached The Moat there were several each of Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler there. AJG arrived after walking around the trapping area noting good numbers of WW, CW and Spotted Flycatcher.
 Elephant Hawk Moth perimeter wall. One day I'll get a really sharp one.
I joined The Joker in Hanson hide where the islands are growing each day. Of note a Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, a Redshank, a Garganey and 3 Common Snipe among the large numbers of Gadwall, Shoveller, Pochard and feral Geese.
Next stop Firth hide where we were joined by BB, highlights were 5 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2+ Marsh Harriers.
Another visit this to the ARC this afternoon found 3 Garganey and 100s of Sand Martins over the Tower Pits. On the reserve the Green Sandpipers had risen to 3 and the Common to 4 and 1 of the juvenile Mediterranean Gulls was showing in front of Firth.    
 Green Sandpiper Makepiece

 Juv.Mediterranean Gull Firth
Gold Spot in the trap this morning

Monday, 4 August 2014

Water Spout!

First thing this morning I met AJG by the Power station car park. On the way to the sea watch hide there were 3 Hummingbird Hawk Moths basking on the perimeter wall. From the hide we could see an angler at The Patch, so no Gulls on the beach but there were 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls over the boil, among many Black-headed and Herring Gulls, but few Terns and nothing moving off shore apart from 2+Harbour Porpoises.
We looked in the Lighthouse Garden where a Common Redstart and Willow Warbler were recorded. 
Whilst making our way towards The Desert a Water Spout developed off shore and touched down. We covered most of trapping area and the Long Pits, most of the birds were in southern half of the trapping area:
Willow Warbler: 70+
Common Whitethroat: 60+
Lesser Whitethroat: 1
Garden Warbler: 1
Reed Warbler: 9 (most probably resident)
Redstart:  1
Black Redstart:  2
Sparrowhawk: 2
 Water Spout off The Point today
A quick stop at the southern end of the ARC found 3 Garganey among the eclipse duck there and 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers.
This afternoon I walked up to The Pines, surprisingly the bushes were devoid of birds. Overehead scores of Sand Martins were on the move and a Peregrine flew over flushing the birds on the islands. The Swallows in the Screen Hide have hatched there second brood and are busy feeding them.
From Hanson a Greenshank was new in, the Ruff was still there as were 2 Garganey, 4 Common Snipe and c150 Lapwing.
Late afternoon from Firth Hide 2 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Ruff, a Common Snipe and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull. From Makepiece 3 juvenile Mediterranean Gulls, juvenile Black Tern, Black-necked Grebe, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers and 2 Marsh Harriers. The Peninsular has been basking in hot glorious sunshine all day, while all around black threatening clouds have been dousing the surrounding area with heavy down pours.
 juvenile Mediterranean Gull from Firth hide
 Iron Prominent in the trap this morning
Pebble Hook-tip in the trap this morning

Sunday, 3 August 2014

A few Migrants.

I spent most of this morning plodding around the ARC and the reserve. During that time I counted 42 Willow Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 14 Common Whitethroats, 8 Sedge Warblers, 7 Reed Warblers, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Bearded Tits, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Hobby, 6 Marsh Harriers, a minimum of 14 Little Egrets, 1 Great White Egret, 3 Ruff, 3 Wood Sandpipers, 4 Common Sandpipers, 6 common Snipe, a Redshank, 3 Garganey and all the usual dabblers and diving duck. I'm sure if my hearing was not as poor as it is I would have recorded much more. I did not go to the sea today as the lifeboat had an open day and I'm sure the access road would be grid locked. I also walked the Galloways Gorse Bridleway which looks as though it should attract a few migrants, but only saw a couple of Willow Warblers.   
 1 of 42 Willow Warblers seen today
 Ruff from Firth
This evening I went back to Firth hide where the light is excellent for photography, but the birds are still a little bit distant.(Always something for me to moan about)
 Common Snipe from Firth
 Wood Sandpipers from Firth
 2 more Jersey Tigers in the Plodland trap today along with 27 other macro species, including a Canary Shouldered Thorn, that are relatively common but stunning moths.
Canary Shouldered Thorn

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Little of Note!

Around the ARC this morning just 4 Willow Warblers,with a few each of Common Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler and a Blackcap. From the hides 3 Garganey, a Ruff, a Redshank, 3 Marsh Harriers, a Hobby and the usual eclipse duck.
Half an hour at The Point with AJG saw nothing of note. He had walked around the Long Pits and trapping area hearing lots of birds but as is usually the case here seeing little. As the car park by the power station was packed with anglers cars I resisted the urge to go down to The patch.
The rest of the day was taken up with the moth trap and domestic stuff.  
 Copper Underwing
 Reed Dagger?
 Rosy Rustic
Straw Underwing

Friday, 1 August 2014

More Tigers!

 A wander from the observatory to The Patch with BH found 100s of birds there this morning, but disappointingly the vast majority were Black-headed and Herring Gulls. A Juvenile Mediterranean Gull was of note and a very juvenile Common Gull suggested a locally bred bird. A few Gannets were offshore. At West beach a male and female Black Redstart and at the observatory a handful of Willow warblers trapped and ringed. 48 Willow Warblers and a Spotted Flycatcher were counted around the Long Pits per AJG.
From Firth hide 2 Wood Sandpipers still, also the juvenile Black Tern. A Black-necked grebe from Makepiece. At Dengemarsh the Great White Egret and c40 Sand martins through.
This afternoon from Hanson 3 Garganey, a Ruff, a Redshank and 2 Snipe of note. The Great Crested Grebe has at last hatched at least 2 young, after seemingly sitting for several weeks causing me to think that the eggs were infertile. 
 Great White Egret Dengemarsh
A surprise in the Plodland moth trap early this morning, 3 Jersey Tigers which are fairly scarce down here.
 3 Jersey Tigers
 Dusky Thorn trapped today
A maximum count of 28 Small Tortoiseshells on the Plodland Budleia this afternoon