Thursday, 11 December 2014


First thing this morning the 2 Cattle Egrets were still performing opposite Wraxalls Aggregates, Dengemarsh Road, Lydd.
An hours sea watch at The Point in the company of AJG was not very inspiring, 2 Eider were the highlights, with a handful of Red-Throated Divers, Gannets and Kittiwakes also a couple each of Guillemot and Razorbill.  
 Family of Bewick Swans, Walland.
A drive out onto Walland found a family of 4 Bewick Swans near Midley, along with 100s of Fieldfare in the Hawthorns and the usual Tree Sparrows round the feeders.
From Caldecote Lane a Whooper Swan with 23 Bewick Swans later joined by the 4 from Midley.
 Whooper Swan, Walland.
Scotney was wind swept and disappointing unless you are a fan of feral Geese!
Joining CT on the reserve the highlight was 3 red head Smew on Burrowes and plenty of common wildfowl.
Another sea watch this afternoon was even quieter than this morning, though there were plenty of Gulls on the shore feeding on Starfish and Sea Mice washed up the storms.
This afternoon 2 Chinooks landed on the beach behind the observatory for a few minutes, seemingly for no particular reason! 
One of the Chinooks on the beach behind the obs this afternoon
Both the Chinooks leaving the beach behind the obs.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Enjoying the Sun!

At first light the 2 Cattle Egrets were already in the cow paddock in Dengemarsh Road.
Just under an hour sea watching at The Point in the company of AJG, was not very productive with just a few Red-throated Divers, 3 Common Scoter and handful of Gannets and Kittiwakes. 
Mid morning I joined AJG in pleasant wander making the most of the glorious sunshine out the back of Scotney GP. In the fields were c 100 Skylark, 30+ Corn Buntings and few each of Tree Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Song Thrush and Reed Bunting, also 2 Stonechat, 3+ Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine, a Barn Owl and not forgetting 16 Egyptian Geese.
Most of this afternoon was spent in Dennis's Hide with DW, SB and MH seeing a Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 3+ Great White Egret, a couple of Marsh Harriers and a red head Smew.
Late this afternoon from Caldecot Lane 20+ Bewick Swans and a Tundra Bean Goose found by DB, who also saw 2 Black-necked Grebes on Scotney GP from the double bends.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Caspian Gulls!

Sea watch from The Point this morning 08.00-08.45. By 08.20 the Diver passage had ceased:
Red-throated Diver: 49 up   11 down
Common Scoter: 2 up
Gannet: 17 up        12 down
Kittiwake: 3 up
On the New Diggings the 5 Goosander still along with 2 Great White Egrets.
A trip around Walland Marsh looking for the Bean Geese drew a blank, though there are still plenty of winter Thrushes on the marsh, along with Tree Sparrows, Corn Buntings, Yellowhammers and Marsh Harriers.
 Ad.Caspian Gull
From the entrance track to the reserve an adult Yellow-legged Gull in the roost also an East German colour ringed 2w Caspian Gull or possibly a hybrid according to The bird does not seem quite right for Caspian to me. I look forward to the ringers reply. I would have liked to get better images but all the gulls flushed soon after I found it, hopefully I may re-find it tomorrow and get better views.
A visit to Dennis's hide found an adult Caspian Gull and 2 Great White Egrets of note.
In Lydd the 2 Cattle Egrets still showing very well today.
Colour ringed 2W Caspian Gull or Hybrid XUDU 
If you stay in your car the Cattle Egrets will come very close

Sunday, 7 December 2014

4 Herons from the garden!

Peering through the curtains this morning seeing a dull damp day, I  went back to bed for another hour. When I eventually got myself out and about the 2 Cattle Egrets were showing well still. On the New Diggings from the causeway now 5 Goosander (2 drakes) and 2 Great White Egrets.
A single adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the gull roost on the beach. 
A half hour sea watch is best described as grim!  
Back at Plodland doing some gardening I could see the 2 Cattle Egrets on the cow shed roof and a Little Egret flew over, so I set the scope up and scanned towards the reserve, it wasn't long before a Great White Egret came into view also 2 Grey Herons and 2 Marsh Harriers, not bad without leaving the garden.
It was the coordinated Harrier count this afternoon, I made the trek out the reed bed I cover and as usual no Harriers roosted there, indeed only 2 flew over a very poor showing. However large numbers of Golden Plover and Lapwing were flying around ans as dusk fell 2 Bean Geese (presumably Tundra) flew past me and landed in the fields by Hook Wall, they were also seen by BH while he was watching his allotted reed bed.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Hen Harrier!

At The Point this morning the sea was very quiet again this morning , with a flock of 12 Red-throated Divers the only movement and a Merlin over the beach.
On the New Diggings the 4 Goosander still, 2 Great White Egrets and 2 Little Egrets.
 Opposite Wraxalls Aggregates, Dengemarsh Road, Lydd the 2 Cattle Egrets performing in the sun.

A walk out to the back of Scotney GP with PW, found a flock of 18 Egyptian Geese, good numbers of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Corn and Reed Buntings, 2 Stonechats, 3+ Marsh Harriers and best of all a superb male Hen Harrier, which eventually gave us good prolonged scope views. 
 The Hen harrier when it first appeared flying directly into the sun.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Redwings at last!

A cold drizzly half hour (09.00-09.30) at the point this morning produced only:
Mallard: 2 up
Red-throated Diver: 3 down
Gannet: 27 up 14 down
Kittiwake: 2 up

From the causeway 4 Goosander 1 drake and 4 Great White Egrets on the New Diggings, a Black-necked Grebe and another Great White Egret at the south end of the ARC.
The 2 Cattle Egrets were still insitu by the cattle shed in Dengemarsh Road.
Common Buzzard Caldecott Lane
I spent several hours wandering around the lanes on Walland Marsh today. The Bewick Swans were still in Caldecott Lane although quite distant. A Midley drying barns a flock of c40 Tree Sparrows, c30 Chaffinches a few each of Corn Bunting, Yellow Hammer, Reed Bunting and best of all a single Grey Wagtail which are scarce on the ground round here. Heading from Midley up to Brookland the hedges were alive with Thrushes. Redwing have finally arrived on the marsh, 100s of them and Fieldfare exploded from the hedges as walked the green lanes, along slightly fewer Blackbirds and Song Thrushes, with at least 20 Mistle Thrushes, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, more Chaffinch and Goldfinch flocks.
This evening a small herd of Bewick Swans flew over Plodland, presumably to the lakes to roost. 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

No change!

A bitterly cold day on the peninsular today. At The Point this morning out of the NE wind in the relative comfort of the car 08.00-09.15 a very quiet watch:
Brent Goose: 1 drifted up 
Shelduck: 2 up   1 down
Teal: 3 down
Common Scoter:  11 up
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 down
Red-throated Diver:  4 up     13 down
Gannet: c15 off shore
Pomarine Skua: 1 up
Kittiwkake:  6 up  2 down
Razorbill: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 9 down

On the New Diggings of note 3 Goosander, 4 Great White Egrets, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a Kingfisher. 
2 more Great White Egrets on the ARC with usual wild fowl. In the Willow Trail 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest with the Tit flock. Water Rails seemed to be squealing from every bit of cover around the ARC.
In Dengemarsh Road the 2 Cattle Egrets still showing well.
Cattle Egrets on the cow shed roof today.
On Walland this afternoon 21 Bewick Swans from Caldecott Lane, back on the beach just 1 Red-throated diver up in half an hour.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Great Northern Diver!

Early this morning peering through the curtains and seeing the steady rain and not being able to see the power station, I quickly slumped back into bed for another couple of hours.
Although still raining when I finally surfaced I made my way to The Point. DW was already there, as I walked over to his car he gave me that look that said I shouldn't have bothered, however as we chatted he heard a Snow Bunting calling ( it was probably over the French coast at the time) shortly I also heard it and saw it coming in off the sea, it flew over us and we could see it was a male, unfortunately it kept on flying NE towards Greatstone. As the rain started again I went back to my car seeing a few Red-throated Divers moving up and down channel, a handful each of Gannets and Kittiwakes, until a shout from DW of big diver coming, a Great Northern Diver duly appeared flying down channel. The wind picked up and the rain increased again so we decided to leave as 3 drake Eider flew past down channel.
Parking in the lay by at the south end of the ARC I scanned The New Diggings seeing the 3 red head Goosander still present a Great White Egret and on the ARC a Black-necked Grebe.
In Dengemarsh road opposite Wraxalls Aggregates the 2 Cattle Egrets were still present.
The rest of the day was spent on domestic stuff.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Dismal at Dunge!

First thing this morning in the grey half light that seemed to last all day, the 2 Cattle Egrets were still by the cow sheds by the football pitch.
When I arrived at The Point AJG was already watching.
07.15-10.15 with AJG, MH and DW. Thanks to AJG for the records.
Brent Goose: 15 down
Pintail: 3 down
Shoveler: 3 down
Teal:  14 up    69 down
Common Scoter: 5 down
Velvet Scoter: 2 up
Red-throated Diver: 7 up      15 down
Gannet: 95 up
Merlin: 1 up    2 out
Oystercatcher: 2 up
Lapwing: 1 in
Curlew: 1 up
Pomarine Skua: 1 down
Kittiwake: 25 up
Guillemot: 5 up   2 on sea
Razorbill: 2 up      4 on sea
Auk sp:  24 up    57 down
 Cattle Egret at Lydd
Early afternoon at the south end of the New Diggings 3 red head Goosander and 2 Great White Egrets. At south end of the ARC another Great White Egret.
I met MH at Hanson where we saw another Great White Egret on the Cormorant Island and another by the tower with a Little Egret, also red head Smew and 3 Goldeneye. In the bushes a couple of Chiffchaffs were calling.
At Boulderwall another Great White Egret and 2 Marsh Harriers.
From Dengemarsh Hide 2 Marsh Harriers, along with the hordes of Greylags, Canada Geese and Coot.
From Makepeace a Marsh Harrier successfully caught a Coot,and another Great White Egret was on view. A Firecrest was calling by the track to the VC from Makepeace.
 Marsh Harrier makes a Kill!
Great White Egret from Makepeace

Monday, 1 December 2014

December Gloom!

 Goosander, a terrible pic of todays bird scarce on sea watches at Dungeness.

A cold, damp, dark and dreary day started with a quick look at the 2 Cattle Egrets that seem to have taken up residence in the field opposite Wraxalls Aggregates, Dengemarsh road, Lydd. Next stop The Point where I could sea watch from the relative comfort of the car. 


Teal: 5 up
Comon Scoter: 9 down   3 up
Goosander: 1 up
Red-throated Diver: 11 up   7 down  2 on sea
Gannet: 373 up
Merlin: 1 up
Oystercatcher: 3 up
Great Skua: 1 down
Little Gull: 1 down
Sandwich Tern: 1 up
Kittiwake: 58 up
Guillemot: 2 on sea
Auk sp: 38 down    14 up
A short wander around the sea containers looking for skulking passerines found none.

Another walk along the beach from Romney Sands Caravan Park to the Varne and back, found only 2 Meadow Pipits in the dunes, on the sands large numbers of Oystercatchers.

At Scotney 2 Black-tailed Godwits were new on the sward, joining the Lapwings, Golden Plovers, 4 Redshanks, a Dunlin and 100s of grazing Wigeon. By 15.30 it was dark.

At the south end of the ARC c150 Gadwall, c70 Pochard, c50 Shoveler, 2 Great White Egrets and a Marsh Harrier.

On the New Diggings from The Causeway another 2 Great White Egrets and a little Egret.

From Hanson 3 Goldeneye, another Great White Egret and a Little Egret.

On the reserve from Dennis's Hide 4 more Great white Egrets and a Goosander.

I joined MH in Makepeace where he spotted a Red-crested Pochard, also seen 2 more Goosander, several 100s of Wigeon, c30 Pintail and 2 Marsh Harriers.