Thursday, 11 September 2014

Barred Warbler!

Sea watching from the fishing boats today 07.00-07.40 + 14.00-16.00 was not especially productive, but did produce the first returning 25 Brent Geese of the Autumn, a minimum of 5 Arctic Skuas were chasing the Terns off shore, other highlights included 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a Black Tern and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.
At The Patch 2 more Mediterranean Gulls and 2 Wheatears and a Black Redstart on the bund were the pick of the bunch. Also another Black Redstart at Lloyds.
Next stop The Desert where 2 Whinchats, 3 Wheatears, 8 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 7 Common Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats and 6 Robins were seen before a call from DW had me hurriedly making my way to the southwest corner of the trapping area where he had found a Barred Warbler. On arrival the bird had gone to ground, DW carried on with his net round while myself and OL continued to look for it. We were joined by CT and soon after a the Barred Warbler flew in front of us into a Rose Hip where it showed quite well. At least another 10 birders eventually saw it.  
On the ARC today the Glossy Ibis still, 1+ Black-necked Grebe, 1+ Garganey, a Ruff and still many Sand Martins and swallows. 
Late afternoon at Galloways 3 Whinchats and 2 Stonechats of note.
 Barred Warbler
 Barred Warbler

All pictures below were taken at the fishing boats this afternoon
 Arctic Skua
 Juv Black Tern
 Juv Common Tern
2w Mediterranean Gull

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Still slow on the sea!

10.00-10.40 from the fishing boats: 
Arctic Skua: 2+ around
Kittiwake: 2 down
Sandwich Tern: 36 down
Swallow: 21 out
Wheatear: 2 on the beach
A wander around The desert found, 7 Common Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaff, a steady trickle hirundines moving south and a Marsh Harrier hunting over the trapping area. 
 Grey Heron by the track to Hanson
In 2 visits to the ARC saw The Glossy Ibis, 2 Black-necked Grebes, a Garganey, 30+ Golden Plover, 200+ Lapwing, a Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Common Snipe, 2 Marsh Harriers and a leucistic Sand Martin feeding over the lake.
 At Scotney c55 Barnacle Geese with the feral flocks of Greylag and Canada Geese, c50 Yellow Wagtails, 200+ Golden Plover and myriads of Swallows and Sand Martins.

Below a few moths from last nights catch.
 Dark Spectacle
 L-Album Wainscot
Red Underwing

Monday, 8 September 2014

Not much about????

First thing this morning after staring into the Lighthouse Garden for 5 minutes all I saw was 2 Wood Pigeons, evidently no fall today.
I made my way to The Patch seeing a Pied Wagtail, 7 Linnets and a Chiffchaff on the perimeter fence, also several Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters sunning themselves on the wall.
From the hide on the beach and over the boil c1,000 Black-headed Gulls, c500 Herring/Lesser and Greater Black backed Gulls, also 5 Common Gulls, 1 ad Kittiwake, 1 1w Mediterranean Gull, 3 Black Terns, c60 Commic Terns and 26 Sandwich Terns which were roosting on the beach.
Offshore in c30 minutes of watching 3 Arctic Skuas chasing Terns, 18 Gannets up and 2 Harbour Porpoises. 
1w Mediterranean Gull with black-headed Gulls
 On the track to Hanson a Red-legged Partridge the first I have seen here in a long while and a Great Green Bush Cricket. Also in the 3 visits I made to the ARC today I saw the Glossy Ibis, 3 Egyptian Geese, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Spotted Redshank, a Common Redshank, a Ruff, a Golden plover,  4 Common Snipe, c200 Lapwing, a Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested and Little Grebes, a Water Rail and 2 more squealing, still large numbers of Coot here and a few Moorhens, 2 Garganey, many each of Gadwall, Shoveller, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, 2 + Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard, 2 Cetti's Warblers heard, 5 Reed Warblers, 3 Common Whitethroat, a Blackcap several each of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, a steady trickle over of Sand Martins and Swallows,  on top of all those a colour ringed Spoonbill was asleep on the Cormorant island. (It appeared to be Yellow over White over Blue on its right tibia)  
Juvenile Little Grebe on the dipping pool
 No sign of the Red-backed Shrike on the reserve today, but a backup cast of 2 Great White Egrets, more Marsh Harriers, a Hobby, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Whinchats more ducks and Grebes, several Little Egrets and was probably Honey Buzzard going south and much more.
Half an hour at the fishing boats this afternoon produced another 2 Arctic Skuas and handful each of Gannets and Sandwich Terns, also 2 more Harbour Porpoises.
 We call this a quiet day at Dungeness! we are truly spoilt!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Red-backed Shrike

As I was emptying the Moth trap this morning 1,000s of House Martins were streaming over the fields in front the house, a superb spectacle.
From the observatory I walked out into The Desert and along the southern edge of the trapping area. There were still fair numbers of common migrants, Blackcaps and Common Whitethroats being most numerous, followed by Chiffchaffs/Willow Warblers, 4 each of Redstart and Whinchat, 6 Wheatears, 2 Spotted and 1 Pied Flycatcher.
A short visit to a very busy reserve to twitch the juv Red-backed Shrike, while there at least 15 Common Buzzards came through. 
As this afternoon was taken up with domestic stuff. This evening I went back to the reserve to see the Shrike which showed quite well.
A quick look at the ARC from the causeway saw a Spotted Redshank from the south end and 5 Black Terns.
 Juv.Red-backed Shrike

Some of last nights Moths
 Small Ranunculus
Old Lady

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Nightjar a dungeness Mega!

Another great day at Dungeness today. There was still lots of common migrants about, Pied Flycatchers 7+, Spotted Flycatchers 12+, Redstarts 8+, Whinchats 8+, Wheatears 10+, 2 Tree Pipits lots of Sylvia's and Phyloscs and a Wryneck which I dismally failed to see let alone photograph. Brilliant compensation though when I virtually trod on a Nightjar roosting at the eastern end of the trapping area. A patch mega tick bringing this years patch total to 208. In my panic I just lifted the camera and fired, the settings were all wrong, the image below is the only one that was reasonably sharp. 
 Late afternoon SB found a Red-backed Shrike on the reserve, which flew from beside the entrance track towards the ARC Pit, although we searched the area it could not relocate it, hopefully it will reappear tomorrow.
 Sparrowhawk eyeing up the Heligoland Trap
Below a couple of Moths from last nights catch. 
 Evergestis Limbata
Feathered Gothic

Friday, 5 September 2014

A brilliant days birding at Dungeness!

Grasshopper Warbler. Thanks to DW for posing with the bird.
 A superb day started at the Lighthouse garden with a Spotted Flycatcher (first of 22), Pied Flycatcher(first of 28), Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. A walk into the desert was curtailed when
 DW and OL caught in a Grasshopper Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher in the trapping area along some Phyloscs and Sylvia's. On the way back to the observatory I saw another Pied Flycatcher and DW heard more  OL bought in another Pied Flycatcher from the Heligoland trap(at least 9 were trapped today) and another was in the Moat Sallows.
With BM I walked back to the lighthouse garden seeing another Pied Fly near West beach along with more Phyloscs, by the red and white gates 5 Whinchats could be seen. I then went to The Patch seeing 3 more Pied Flys (8) on the razor wire, along with 3 more Phyloscs, 2 Wheatears and a Clouded Yellow. At The Patch just the usual Gulls and Terns.
Walking back to the observatory there was another Pied Fly in the experimental station and a Redstart, at West beach another Redstart and a Black Redstart and another Pied Fly in The Moat and 3 Whinchats on the fence.
The North end of the Long Pits held another 4 Pied Flycatchers(14), 16 Spotted Flycatchers and many Sylvia's and Phyloscs.
Dengemarsh Gully held another 5 Pied Flycatchers, with another on the watch tower at the bottom and 1 out on Penn Bar (21). Also around the Gully c20 Yellow Wagtails, 8 Wheatears, 6 Whinchats, 2 Redstarts and more Sylvia's and Phyloscs.
At Galloways another Pied Fly by the sea on the fort along with 4 Wheatears, another Pied fly in the Elder by the gate along with a Spotted flycatcher, another Pied Fly by the brick wall(24). 10 more Whinchats and 6 more Wheatears there. A walk along the Galloways bridal path opposite Brett's Marina produced another 4 Pied Flycatchers(28), 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, 2 Whinchats and 2 Wheatears and yet more Sylvia's and Phyloscs. A huge gathering of Hirundines (c2,000 but probably more) over the Marina and Dengemarsh contained at least 2 Swifts.
The Pied flycatchers I saw were probably just a small part of the real total on the peninsular, as so much land is inaccessible and I ran out of time.  
One of 3 Pied flycatchers on the razor wire

Pied Flycatcher in Dengemarsh Gully

Pied flycatcher Galloways bridal path.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Sunshine birding!

06.30-08.00 from the concrete road. Totals collated by AJG:
Gannet: 34 down
Fulmar: up to 6 around
Teal: 18 down
Common Scoter: 5 down
Bonxie: 1 down
Arctic Skua: up to 7 around
Greenshank: one heard calling over
G S Woodpecker: 1 in off the sea.
Swallow: 25 out
Harbour Porpoise: 2+ off shore
 By the power station perimeter wall 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths and Clouded Yellow, At The Patch many Gulls and few Commic Tern but nothing of note. In the lighthouse Garden " Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Spotted Fycatcher. West Beach,the station gorse and the Desert were virtually birdless.
At the south end of ARC 2 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Ruff, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Garganey and the 3 Egyptian Geese.
On the reserve the Great White Egret still at Dengemarsh, 4 Whinchats and a Spotted Flycatcher behind Christmas Dell, a Black-necked Grebe, 2 Ruff and 2 Common Sandpipers on Burrowes.
Pied flycatcher Dengemarsh Gully
 This afternoon in Dengemarsh Gully a Pied Flycatcher, 2+ Common Whitethroats and 21 Yellow Wagtails.
A walk around the hayfields which now have a little water in them found 6 more Whinchats, 200+ Greylags on hayfield 3 and 4 Little Egrets, hopefully some waders will start to drop in.
Late afternoon from Hanson where the volunteers have made an excellent job of cutting back the reeds in front the hide today, 3 Spotted Redshanks, 3 Garganey, the Glossy Ibis and 2 Common Sandpipers of note.
dark morph Orange Swift.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Sunshine and a few moths.

I over slept this morning, missing this mornings sea watch, which apparently was a good move as nothing was moving at sea.
When I did get to the observatory it soon became apparent that passerine migration was also non existent with just a Dunnock and a Robin being trapped in the moat whilst I was there.
At the south end of the ARC 4 Black-tailed Godwits, a Ruff and 3 Egyptian Geese including the leucistic individual.
In 2 visits today from Hanson and The Screen the Glossy Ibis spent the day wandering around the back islands, at least 3 Garganey could be seen, a Black-necked Grebe, 3 Redshank and a Dunlin hidden among the many Dabbling duck. In the bushes 2 spotted flycatchers and a handful each of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common whitethroat, Reed and Sedge Warblers and a couple of Cetti's Warblers. At least 1 Swift was among the Hirundines over the lake and A Kingfisher flew across the track to the pines into the Tower Pits.
On Burrowes early afternoon 4 Common Sandpipers were the pick of very poor selection.
A pleasant hour this afternoon in the shelter of fishing boats enjoying the warm autumn sunshine seeing very little, just 1 Arctic Skua chasing a Sandwich Tern and another Sandwich Tern which came right overhead.  
Sandwich Tern
A better night in the Plodland moth trap last night. A few images below. 
A worn Bordered Straw. A migrant.
Scalloped Hook-tip
Barred Red (Hylaea fasciaria prasinaria) probably a migrant.
Common Wainscot one normal and one very small.
Large Thorn

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Sitting on the Fence!

First thing this morning I went to the concrete road, AJG had been there a while seeing very little, we spent another half hour there seeing a handful of Arctic Skuas tooing and froing, a few Terns, the star bird was a Tufted Duck flying down channel which is quite unusual here.
 AJG went round the trapping area and Long pits while went to The Patch. On the perimeter fence behind the hide a Redstart, 2 Common Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs and 2 Willow Warblers. The Patch held plenty of the usual Gulls and c50 Common Terns but nothing unusual.
 Another Redstart was at the lighthouse area, with 6 Common Whitethroats, 5 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Wheatears and c100 Yellow Wagtails.
At the North end of the Long Pits many Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Common Whitethroats and 6 Spotted Flycatchers.
The south end of the ARC 2 Spotted Redshanks, a Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Redshank.
From the Screen 3 Garganey, a Water Rail, 30+ Golden plover and 4 Common Snipe of note.
Around the car park 4 more Spotted Flycatchers and more warblers and a Kingfisher through. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Not a bad day!

 07.00 at The Point, I walked round most the bushes there and the Desert. 29 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 17 Common Whitethroats, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Nightingale, 3 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, c1,000 Hirundines through and 2 Sparrowhawks of note.
The south end of the ARC held 4 Black-tailed Godwits and a Ruff of note.
From Hanson 2 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Redshanks, 4 Garganey, the duck Red-crested Pochard, a mixed flock of c500 Hirundines and a Swift of note.
Dengemarsh Gully was virtually birdless compared to recent days, with 2 Wheatears, 2 Common Whitethroats and a Lesser Whitethroat. There was a sprinkling of Willow Warblers beside Dengemarsh Road.
2 of the 3 at the ARC car park
 A wander up to the pines at the ARC this afternoon saw 30+ Yellow Wagtails there, a Swift still with the Hirundines, just a handful of warblers in the Sallows but 3 Spotted Flycatchers at the car park.
60+ Golden Plover over the track to the VC late afternoon, on Burrowes the Glossy Ibis on a vegetated island picked out by CT and 6 Ruff, also 15 Pintail and 19 Wigeon were new in. As we left a Redstart was round the car park picnic tables.