Sunday, 12 October 2014

American Golden Plover

This morning at the fishing boats plenty of Gannets, a few Sandwich Terns, 3+ Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua and a few Swallows.
Round the observatory area a Ring Ouzel, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 20+ Chiffchaffs in The moat along with a few Blackcaps.
Most of the rest of the day was spent trying to catch up with the American Golden Plover found yesterday by SM at Scotney. I eventually got reasonable scope views for a couple of minutes early afternoon with CT and DB and family from the layby, we had been looking through the the flock of c500 Golden Plover which were frequently spooking for about 30 minutes before we spotted it. It's incredible that such a striking bird could be so invisible in the flock. Also there up to 4 Marsh Harriers by the windmills, several Yellow Wagtails, 9 Ruff (4 on the turf and 5 on the Herring Gull island), also at least 1 Greenshank around. I was supposed to be doing the Harrier count today, but staring into the heavy rain driven by a strong easterly wind I probably wouldn't have seen anything, so I wimped out. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014


From the fishing boats this morning a  steady trickle of Sandwich Terns moving west and few each of Brent Geese and Common Scoter, also 2 Sooty Shearwaters before I arrived. On the land Swallows streamed out in front of the heavy showers and 5 Stonechats by the beach. In The Moat a Ring Ouzel, 3 Black Redstarts, 2 Stonechats, a Wheatear, a couple of Song Thrushes, several Chiffchaffs and a Jay over. In The Desert 15+ Blackcaps, several Chiffchaffs, 3 Skylarks and a Common Whitethroat the first I have seen for a while.
A Great White Egret at the south end of the ARC and 2 on the New Diggings from the causeway.
This afternoon at Scotney no sign of the Golden Plover flock but 6 Ruff there, the Barnacle Geese have increased to 103, 6 Yellow Wagtails on the grass, 2 Marsh Harriers over. A Short Eared Owl landed by the lake briefly before being chased off by the Lapwings and Crows and disappearing onto the ranges.

Red-line Quaker in a soggy Plodland trap this morning

Friday, 10 October 2014

A bit of Vis Mig!

AJG and myself 07.00-10.00                                  15.00-16.30 from the fishing boats
from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 12 W                                             Gannet: 10 W
Gannet: 153 W                                                        Great-crested Grebe: 10 on sea
Curlew: 2 W                                                            Arctic Skua: 8 W + 3 around
Merlin: 1 in                                                              Mediterranean Gull: 4 W
Great Skua: 1 W                                                      Kittiwake: 38 W
Arctic Skua: 14 W                                                    Sandwich Tern: 118 W
Mediterranean Gull: 7 W
Kittiwake: 5 W
Sandwich Tern: 261 W
Arctic Tern: 4 W
Common Tern: 9 W
Guillemot: 1 W 
Swallow: 228 out
Skylark: 3 W
Meadow Pipit: 124 W
Rock Pipit: 1 heard
Pied Wagtail: 31 W
House Sparrow: 15 W
Brambling: 1 heard
Goldfinch: 291 W
Linnet: 848 W
Greenfinch: 7 W
Reed Bunting: 2 W
Mid morning at the observatory this juvenile female Great spotted Woodpecker found its way into the Heligoland Trap.
At The Patch 5 Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull and 2 Common Terns among the many Black-headed and Herring Gulls. 
Eclipse Pintail from Hanson
Early afternoon the Cattle Egret was still at Boulderwall and the Glossy Ibis and 2 Great white egrets could be seen flying around Hookers. On the ARC from Hanson another Great White Egret, 6 Ruff, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, c150 Golden plover, 2 Water Rail, 2 Cetti's Warblers and the usual wild fowl.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


 Sooty Shearwaters off the fishing boats
An excellent day watching from the fishing boats 07.00-16.00 with CP,MH,AJG and DW
Brent Goose:  25 W
Common Scoter: 27W
Great Crested Grebe: 5 on sea
Manx Shearwater: 6 W
Balearic Shearwater: 1 W
Sooty Shearwater: 100 W
Gannet: 766 W
Turnstone: 2 on beach
Dunlin: 7 W
Great Skua: 16 W
Arctic Skua: 37 W
Mediterranean Gull: 6 W
Little Gull: 3 W
Kittiwake: 39 W
Sandwich Tern: 627 W
Common Tern: 119 W
Guillemot: 17 W
Auk sp: 21 W
Swallow: 14 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
 Fishing Boats at high tide
 A fly by Leucistic Herring Gull

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Mostly Sea Watching

Yellow-legged Gull in the roost
07.00-10.30 & 13.50-16.00 from the fishing boats
Brent Goose: 80 W
Wigeon: 2 W
Teal: 1 W
Common Scoter: 15 W
Great-crested Grebe: 4 on sea
Gannet: 524 W
Turnstone: 2 on beach
Dunlin: 1 W
Great Skua: 3 W
Arctic Skua: 4 around
Mediteranean Gull: 3 W
Yellow-legged Gull: 2 ads in roost
Little Gull: 2 W
Kittiwake: 9 W
Sandwich Tern: 102 W
Common Tern: 19 W
Swallow: 1 W
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2
Late morning at the ARC from Hanson Great White Egret, Black-necked Grebe, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Ruff, 3 Dunlin, c200 Golden Plover, c50 Lapwing, Water Rail, 6 Swallows through, 2 Marsh Harriers plus the usual wild fowl but no Garganey today. In the bushes several Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers. Over the road by the entrance track the Cattle Egret still present.
Late afternoon on Burrowes Pit, a Greenshank, 3 Dunlin, 2 Common Snipe, a Great White Egret, 3 Little Egrets were the highlights. 
Amblyptillia acanthadactyla (Beautiful Plume) from the Plodland trap 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Sea Watching and a Soaking!

Great Skua
07.00-13.00 with AJG,CP,MH,DW,PT
Brent Geese: 94 W
Shelduck: 13 W
Pintail: 1 W
Shoveller: 2 W
Wigeon: 14 W
Teal: 1 W
Eider: 13 E
Common Scoter: 57 W     4E
Great Crested Grebe: 5 on sea
Gannet: 319 W
Little Egret: 2 E
Purple Sandpiper: 1 W
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Dunlin: 8 W
Great Skua: 6 W
Arctic Skua: 10 W
Mediterranean Gull: 47 W
Caspian Gull: 1 1w on beach
Baltic Gull: 1 1w on beach?
Little Gull: 5 W
Kittiwake: 7 W
Sandwich Tern: 150 W
Common Tern: 28 W
Guillemot: 2 on sea
Swallow: 18 out
Starling: 360 in off
Grey Seal: 2
Also several 1,000s of Black-headed, Common, Herring, Lesser and Greater Black-backed Gulls off shore.
Brent Geese (A distinct lack of juveniles) 
 Mediterranean Gull adult
 Mediterranean Gull 1w
 Mediterranean Gull 1w
 Mediterranean Gull 2w
                                                        Mediterranean Gull 1w
1w Baltic Gull?
Mid afternoon a very wet visit to the ARC, no surprise that I had Hanson to myself as most people wouldn't be stupid enough to get a soaking walking from the car park to the hide. From the hide a Black-necked Grebe, Great White Egret, Garganey, 9 Dunlin, 2 Water Rail and a Bittern dropped into the reeds beside the hide, plus the usual wildfowl and another soaking walking back to the car park.  

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sea Watching!

0645 to 0745 + 09.50-10.35  + 14.20-16.50  many thanks to AJG for collating the numbers.
Red-Throated Diver: 1 around
Great Crested Grebe: 2 on sea
Gannet: c50 around
Brent Goose:  301 down    11 up
Wigeon: 25 down
Teal:  63 down
Marsh Harrier: 1 out
Avocet: 7 down at 0708   6 up at 09.55
Dunlin: 5 on beach
Ringed Plover: 1 on beach
Turnstone: 10 on beach
Common Scoter: 56 up
Arctic Skua: c6 around
Sandwich Tern: c50 around
Common Tern: c30 around
Little Gull 1 around
Kittiwake: 3 down
Mediterranean Gull: 4 2x 1w + 2 ads
Caspian Gull: 2w on beach
Auk sp: 5 down
Grey Seal: 1 
Harbour Porpoise: 2
 2w Caspian Gull
 2w Caspian Gull

This Herring Gull won't win any beauty contests, but you have to feel sorry for it with a fishing hook embedded in the top of its leg with the line wrapped round its leg.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Another normal day at Dungeness!

First thing this morning despite the fog the usual Great White Egret and Little Egret could be seen on the New Diggings from the causeway.
This mornings sea watch was not exactly inspiring. 
07.10-08.10 from the fishing boats:
Gannet: c20 off shore
Wigeon: 28 down
Brent Goose: 48 down       16 up
15 Oystercatchers: up
Arctic Skua: 1 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 2w on beach
Sandwich Tern: 15 down
Common Tern: 4 down
Swallow: 14 out
Meadow Pipit:12 out
Starling: single flock of c100 in
The most interesting thing on the beach was a Rap artist with a huge entourage with Range Rovers and personalised BMWs making a video, by the time everyone is paid I cant see there being much profit.
At the observatory 30+ birds were processed mainly Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and a very fat Sedge Warbler. In the trapping area with Dw a Yellow-browed Warbler was heard but not located.
Lloyds and West beach held a few more Chiffchaffs, a Wheatear and 4 Black Redstarts.
Early afternoon at the ARC from Hanson another Great White Egret, 2 Black-necked Grebes, a Garganey, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Dunlin, 7 Ruff, c100 Golden Plover among c250 Lapwing, several squealing Water Rails, 2+ Cetti's Warblers and Marsh Harrier along with all the usual wild fowl.
A mid afternoon sea watch from the fishing boats produced only a few Gannets offshore.
Late afternoon at the south end of the ARC 2 Greenshanks of note, then at Boulderwall Farm the Cattle Egret was still with the herd, further down the track 2 Curlew one of which posed in the late afternoon sun.
I could find nothing unusual in the Gull roost by the track but there were 2 colour ringed GBBGs and 1 colour ringed LBBG.
I joined CT in Makepiece where there were 10 Dunlin and the Stint, which was still about as far away as is possible there, from Firth at Dusk 3 Great White Egrets, the Glossy Ibis and a Merlin. 
For a relatively quiet Dungeness day I still clocked up 89 species. 
 Curlew by the entrance track late afternoon
 Great White Egret from Firth at dusk
Glossy Ibis from Firth at dusk

Thursday, 2 October 2014

A few bits

A late start today due to domestic stuff. On the ARC from Hanson A Great White Egret, 2 Black-necked Grebes, a Garganey, Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ruff, and all the usual wild fowl, as I was leaving a bittern dropped in beside the hide.
Over the road at Boulderwall the Cattle Egret was performing with the cattle, along with 10+ Yellow Wagtails, 50+ Meadow Pipits.
On the the New Diggings another Great White Egret and 2 Little Egrets viewable from the causeway.
 As I arrived at the observatory DW walked in from the trapping area carrying an armful of bags containing mainly Chiffchaffs. After he processed them all I joined him on the next net round, only to find every net empty! though we did see 2 Jays on way back to the observatory.
I decided to have a wander around The Point where Chiffchaffs were seemingly very numerous, also 4 Black Redstarts, a Whinchat and 6 Stonechats were noted.
A sea watch from the fishing boats: 14.30- 15.40
 Red-throated Diver:  1 down
Gannet: 16 down
Common Scoter: 23 down  11 up
Wigeon: 16 down
Teal: 1 up
Brent Goose:  23 down   2up
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Arctic Skua: 1 around
Kittiwake: 3 down
Mediterranean Gull: 5 down
Yellow-legged Gull: 1  2w in roost
Sandwich Tern: 14 down
Common Tern: 3 down
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 14
 Guillemot at the fishing boats.

A couple of moths from the Plodland trap this morning
 Barred Sallow
Gold Spot

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


 Arctic Tern at the fishing boats this morning

07.45-09.15 from the fishing boats:

Red-throated Diver: 1 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: 2 on sea
Gannet: 37 down
Common Scoter: 3 down
Eider: 5 up (2 drakes)
Brent Goose: 3 Down
Oystercatcher: 2 down
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Arctic Skua: 2 around
Pomarine Skua: 1 down (A truly awful image posted at the end of the Blog)
Mediterranean Gull: 1 1w down
Common Tern: 34 down
Arctic Tern: 1 down
Sandwich Tern: 96 down
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Alba Wagtail: 12 up
Swallow: 2 out
Meadow Pipit: c50 on beach
Grey Seal: 1
Common Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
 While I was at the observatory this morning a call from The Joker to say he had found a Cattle Egret by the entrance track at Boulderwall, a nice bird and still present late afternoon. While watching the Egret on my own a Common Buzzard gave a nice flyby.
From Hanson 3 Black-necked Grebes, a Garganey, a Great White Egret, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Water Rail, 7 Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, c40 Golden Plover among c200 Lapwing plus all the usual wildfowl.
Another sea watch this afternoon produced of note c50 Swallows leaving for France followed by a Hobby.

 Common Buzzard at Boulderwall
 Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the Plodland trap this morning
 Oncocera semirubella also in the trap this morning
A truly awful image of this mornings Pomarine Skua!