Friday, 19 September 2014


First thing this morning at the observatory hot and humid. I decided to do my regular plod around The Desert and southern edge of the trapping area. By the railway sleepers 3 Wheatears and c40 Meadow Pipits, a Stonechat on the Brambles at the start of the High Gorse, then the fog rolled in off the sea, the temperature plummeted, i continued my plod seeing very little and was very pleased when I eventually got back to the car and was able to don my fleece .
I stopped at the south end of the ARC but could barely see the waters edge, I stopped again further along the causeway but the fog was so thick I could not even see the Cormorant Island. I decided to cut my losses and go home and do some of the chores I have been putting off. 
 At about 13.30 the sun broke through the fog and I could see the ARC Water Tower. Chores forgotten I went to Hanson where a Great White Egret was strutting around, the Glossy Ibis appeared, a single Garganey was loafing with the Shoveller, 2 Black-necked Grebes, c150 Golden Plover dropped in and the duck Red-crested Pochard could be seen among all the Gadwall and smaller numbers of Wigeon and Pintail.
A firecrest was associating with a Tit flock in the Willow Trail, on the wires behind the Screen hide a Spotted Flycatcher, from the hide a Water Rail and all the birds seen from Hanson. At the pines 2 Chiffchaffs and unbelievably my first Goldcrest of the year on the peninsular.
 Golden Plover from Hanson
Feathered Brindle's in the Plodland trap this morning

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

As you were!

A stiff NE wind early this morning strengthening during the morning made birding hard work, consequently little was seen in The desert or Trapping area. At the observatory Meadow Pipits were being caught and rung in the refurbished Crow trap.
 Grey Heron in the Willow Trail
Midday at The ARC from Hanson, pretty much the same as it has been for the last fortnight, The Glossy Ibis still present, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Garganey, 5 Ruff, 4 Black-tailed Godwits an increase in the numbers of Wigeon and Pintail, a confiding young Grey Heron in the Willow Trail.  

 15.00-16.00 from the fishing boats:
 Great Crested Grebe: 1 off shore
Gannet: 17 up
Brent Goose: 3 down
Common Scoter: 35 down
Teal: 1 down
Mediterranean Gull: 2 up  1w+ ad
Kittiwake: 1 up
Commic Tern: 2 up
Sandwich Tern: 31 up
Swallow: 3 in
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
Grey Seal: 1
 Marsh Mallow Moth
2 surprises in the moth trap this morning the lovely moth above and the brute below.
Dytiscus Dimidatus???

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

No Change!

I was again this morning by the sound of c1,000 Greylag Geese coming into the stubble field opposite Plodland.  A stunning sun rise this morning while emptying the moth trap, 94 moths of 21 species (49 Setaceous Hebrew Characters), Dark Spectacle the best. 
Sunrise over the ARC from Plodland
Sparrowhawk on shingle ridge in The Desert
Next a wander around The Desert which was fairly quiet with only small numbers of Sylvia Warblers, a few Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears and steady trickle of Hirundines over. A gathering of c 100 House Martins around the lighthouse soon departed south.
House Martins near the Lighthouse
At The ARC a work party in front the screen were doing much needed work, so most of the birds were disturbed. The Glossy Ibis was still around also the 2 Black-necked Grebes. Several 100s of House Martins were gathered around the rim of the Water Tower providing a superb spectacle.
House Martins around The Water Tower
One of 3 Turnstones on the beach feeding on Lobster
14.15-17.35 from the fishing boats:
Red-throated Diver: 1 a summer plumaged individual off shore
Gannet: 19 up
Common Scoter: 4 up
Brent Goose: 21 down   1 up
Peregrine: 1 out
Turnstone: 3 on beach
Arctic Skua: 4+ off shore
Little Gull: 3 up
Mediterranean Gull: 2 up
Kittiwake: 1 up
Black Tern: 1 off shore
Commic Tern: 22 up
Sandwich Tern: 138 up
Auk sp: 2 up
Hirundine: c100 out
Grey Seal: 1

Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Brent Goose going back past the fishing boats

Monday, 15 September 2014

A few Migrants!

07.15-08.00 from the fishing boats:
Gannet: 31 up
Shelduck: 1 up
Arctic Skua: 8 up
Sandwich Tern: 47 up
Swallow: 48 out
Meadow Pipit: 27 out
Yellow Wagtail: 2 out
Wheatear: 1 on beach
Harbour Porpoise: 2
Clouded yellow: 1 in
 Wheatear in The Desert
Mid to late morning around The Desert and southern edge of the trapping area of note:
Marsh Harrier: 3 all juveniles
Wheatear: 7
Redstart: 2   1 in Desert + 1 in the moat ringed this morning
Great-spotted Woodpecker: 2
Swallow: 178 over
House Martin: 83 over
Sand Martin: 37 over
Meadow Pipit: 52 over
Blackcap: 13
Lesser Whitethroat: 3
Common Whitethroat: 3
Chiffchaff: 5
Yellow Wagtail: 2
Sparrowhawk: 1
 Redstart in the Moat
Early afternoon at Dengemarsh from Springfield Bridge:  2 Great White Egrets, 2 Hobby's and a Common Buzzard.
 Glossy Ibis ARC
Mid afternoon at the ARC of note: The Glossy Ibis, 5 Ruff, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Dunlin, 100+ Golden Plover, 2 Turnstone, 1+ Garganey, the female Red-crested Pochard, 2 Black-necked grebes and another Hobby.
 Red-throated Diver at The Fishing Boats
Half an hour late afternoon at the fishing boats, a Red-throated Diver close in shore, a Guillemot, 3 Arctic Skuas chasing Sandwich Terns, a few Gannets and 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls in the roost.
2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls by the fishing boats

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Little Change

The last 2 days the birding has been fairly slow. I've spent a quite a few hours staring at the sea but very little appears to be moving even with an on shore breeze. The same 5 Arctic Skuas chasing Sandwich Terns. Checking the French web sites there appears to be very little moving down their side of the channel. The Desert and The Point have produced very small numbers of Wheatears, Whinchats, Chiffchaffs and Sylvia's with a steady trickle of Hirundines and Meadow Pipits.
The ARC has hosted the Glossy Ibis, 4+ Garganey, 2 Black-necked Grebes, the Red-crested Pochard, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Ruff, 6 Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper along with all the common wildfowl and many Hirundines. The 2 Great White Egrets appear to be exclusive to Dengemarsh, also there a Hobby, 3+ Marsh Harriers and an Osprey reported there.
Below a few moths from the Plodland trap  
 Golden Twin-spot
 Cypress Carpet
 Size variation of Feathered Gothics
Wasp Spider Dungeness

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