Sunday, 17 August 2014


Early morning at the ARC 5 Garganey, Black-necked Grebe, Red-crested Pochard(female), 2 Water Rail, 6 Golden Plover, 4 Redshank, 3 Dunlin, a Greenshank, 3 Marsh Harriers and several 100s of Sand Martins.
At the Patch in the company of Mark there were plenty of Gulls and Terns to sift through, Mark picked out the only juvenile Yellow-legged Gull among the masses of juvenile Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gulls. Also there 2+juvenile Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Great-crested Grebes and a Grey seal. By the car park 2 Wheatears and a Peregrine.
 At the Scotney complex a pleasant surprise to see a 100+ Yellow Wagtails, on the downside a minimum of 1500 Greylags and Canada Geese, a Ruddy Shelduck and 7 Egyptian Geese.
Between Galloways and Dengemarsh 2  Wheatears and a Whinchat, on Dengemarsh a Great White Egret, it or a second bird was on Burrowes per CT.
 A mid afternoon call from Mick Southcott and Richard Smith to say a Ring Tail Harrier was hunting the fields at Ness farm. A couple of minutes later I was there and saw a juvenile Harrier that was either Montagu's or Pallid. Mick and Richard soon got bored with the Harrier and went to the fishing boats, a bird that doesn't eat fish guts and bread cannot compete loads of gulls and in a particular a pristine 1w Caspian Gull that I'm sure they will have stunning images of. After a bit wait good views of the Harrier were obtained to rule out Pallid and confirm it as a Monty's. Thanks again for the call Mick and Richard.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Bits and pieces

First thing this morning at The Patch a juvenile Black Tern among c200 Common Terns, also at least 2 Arctic Terns, 100s of Black-headed Gulls mainly juveniles and 100s of Herring Gulls. No sign of any Harbour Porpoises or Grey Seals. On the bund 2 Wheatears and a Black Redstart. 
 Around the observatory highlights were 22 Common Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 9 Willow Warblers, 2 Wheatears, a juvenile Cuckoo and 3 Black Redstarts.
On the ARC from Hanson in the company of MH highlights were a Black-necked Grebe, 5 Garganey among the usual Lapwing and many dabblers and Coot. Very few Hirundines there today.
2 visits to Burrowes today paid little return, though 2 Greenshanks were new and a Great White Egret flew over the entrance track towards the ARC this afternoon. The Little Grebes on the dipping pool have a second brood of 3 young. If you sit quietly on the bank they happily feed, giving great views, early mornings best.

 Another dire hour at the fishing boats this afternoon in torrential rain, at least today I had a Wheatear and a Red-throated Diver there to keep me amused.
 This evening at Galloways 6 Common Whitethroats, 2 Stonechat and a Wheatear.
Above is an Orange Swift 1 of 2 males in the plodland trap with another  Jersey Tiger. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A good start quickly went downhill!

 Reed Warbler basking in the early morning sunshine

06.30 at the ARC, not a breath a wind made spotting the warblers in the sallows alot easier. The sallows along the track to the pines were full of birds, mainly Reed Warblers, Willow Warblers, Common Whitethroats and handful each of Sedge and Lesser Whitethroats, also a Great-spotted Woodpecker. On the lake 3+ Garganey, a Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Dunlin, 4 Common Snipe, 3 Redshank and several 100s of Sand Martins. In the screen Hide the young Swallows are growing fast so hopefully another successful brood, brief views of a Water Rail there also. This afternoon a female Red-crested Pochard appeared on the lake.
The Patch was disappointing as all the Gulls had been flushed by walkers, even the Black Terns had disappeared. Behind the hide 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Clouded Yellows and Hummingbird Hawkmoth on the perimeter wall.
A look around The Moat saw 2 Wheatears, 4 more Willow Warblers and a juvenile Cuckoo, 3 Black Redstarts were at West beach and 3 more Willow Warblers in the lighthouse garden.
Along the entrance track to the visitor centre 2 more Wheatears and Yellow Wagtail.  
On Burrowes 4 Common Sandpipers and 3 Dunlin, while over the lake several 100s of Sand Martins. 
At Dengemarsh per CT a Great White Egret, a Wood Sandpiper, a Whinchat and a Hobby.
An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon in the company of PT and Barney was dire, the highlight being 5 Common Scoter and a couple of distant Commic Terns, not a single Gannet was seen in that hour.
65 macros of 27 species in The Plodland trap last night including another Jersey Tiger albeit a little past its best, the 12th to date.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A Stormy day

Dungeness lighthouses as yet another thunderstorm rolls in off the channel
I arrived at The Point at 07.20 in torrential rain to find AJG had been there since 06.45 and DW there. Frequent very heavy showers and thunderstorms and strong SW winds did not bode well for a good sea watch. 06.45-08.45 numbers kindly collated by AJG.
Gannet: 351W
Common Scoter: 15E 48W
Sandwich Tern: 162W
Commic Tern: 19W

In between showers I made my way to The Patch. Once again 100s of Gulls there and c150 Commic Terns. Of note there 2 Black Terns, 2 juv Mediterranean Gulls and a Sedge Warbler behind the hide.
 5 Garganey flushed from the ARC by a Marsh Harrier 
At The ARC 5 Garganey, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Redshank, 3 Dunlin, 2 Water Rail and c200 Sand Martins.

Common Sandpiper
This afternoon on Burrowes a Ruff, 4 Common Sandpipers, 4 Dunlin, a Wood Sandpiper and the Black-necked Grebe still present. 2 Great White Egrets on Dengemarsh per DC.

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