Thursday, 15 January 2015


Most this week I have been battling man flu, although I did manage to get to Hythe yesterday for distant views of the 1w Night Heron.
This morning was an absolute shocker with gales and torrential rain till mid morning. It eased enough for me to be able spend an hour sea watching at The Point from the car in the company of MH, though in truth it was not the most enthralling of watches.

Common Scoter: 3 down
Red-throated Diver: 7 down
Fulmar: 3 down
Gannet: 66 down
Kittiwake: 75 down
Auk: 121 down

In 2 short visits to the reserve 7 Smew including the drake, 3 Great White Egrets and the usual wildfowl, from the entrance track 5 Brent Geese were with the Greylags and Canada Geese, unfortunately the flock was to distant to study properly for any other grey geese, the hail showers were far to hard to risk being caught out in walking out to the back of Hookers for a better look, maybe tomorrow?
Late afternoon at the ARC from Hanson, again with MH we saw 2 Bitterns, 2 Kingfishers, 4 Smew, 6 Goldeneye, 2 Great White Egrets, a Little Egret, 2 Marsh harriers and the usual wildfowl.  

Monday, 12 January 2015

More Weather!

Yet another wild miserable day at Dungeness. This morning I managed a couple of hours sea watching from the shelter of the car.
08.30-10.30 From The Point
Brent Goose: 124 up
Common Scoter: 3 down
Red-throated Diver: 1 down
Fulmar: 9 down      1 up
Gannet: 96 down
Great Skua: 1 up
Kittiwake: 78 down
Auks:  c100 o/s
With the weather deterioating I made a stop on the causeway where a red head Smew, a Goosander and 2 Great White Egrets could be seen among the other sheltering wildfowl. Then to Lydd where the Cattle Egrets were still in there chosen field. By now the weather was making birding impossible so time to get some domestic stuff done.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Plodding around!

 Sunrise from Plodland and bitterly cold!
08.15-09.15 from the fishing boats:
Mallard: 2 up
Red-throated Diver: 42 up     3 down
Great-crested Grebe: 56 up c100 on sea
Gannet: c50 o/s
Great Skua: 1 down
Kittiwake: 27 down   10+ on sea
Guillemot: c30 on sea
 Great White Egret from Makepeace!
On the reserve Great White Egret from Dennis,s Hide and another from Makepeace, 7 Smew including a drake from Scott hide also a Black-necked Grebe there, 100s each of Shoveler,Wigeon and Teal. Another red head Smew on New Excavations and another Great White Egret. From the viewpoint 2 more Great white Egrets and 2 Bitterns, 2 Bean Geese flew north over the return trail.
At Scotney the 3 Black-necked Grebes still and 1w drake Scaup.
 2 Smew and a Goosander happy snapped on the ARC from the causeway!
Rough ground around the Solar farm!
On the marsh this afternoon the wild Swan herd still insitu. While walking the green lanes of Coldharbour, little was seen until I reached the Solar farm where c200 Fieldfare, c100 Blackbirds, c50 Redwing, 6 Mistle Thrushes were commuting from the hedgerows to the solar farm to feed, they were joined by a few Reed Buntings, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and a Black Redstart. 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel were all hunting around the farm. Late afternoon at one of the Marsh Harrier Roosts saw at least 8 birds but none dropped in though at least 3 roosted in a nearby roost I could see.

Friday, 9 January 2015

A windy end!

Happy snapped Bonxie!
08.30-09.30 from The Point:
Brent Goose: 37 up
Common Scoter: 10 down
Red-throated Diver: 54 down       7 up
Fulmar: 1 down
Gannet:  296 down
Great Skua: 1 down
Kittiwake:   71 down
Auks: c 50 on sea#
At Lydd the 2 Cattle Egrets still in there chosen field.
I had to visit Folkstone today, on the way back I stopped off at the Twiss Road rocks in Hythe, where 2 Purple Sandpipers were roosting, on a nearby beach 6 Mediterranean Gulls were roosting.
Mid afternoon back at Dungeness sea passage had ceased but a 1w Caspian Gull was in the roost.
On the reserve from Dennis's Hide where the wind was now howling with some drizzle a drake and duck Smew flew down the lake and a Great White Egret could be seen. Retiring to the VC the Smew gave another flyby and another Great White Egret could be seen.

Thursday, 8 January 2015


A thoroughly miserable morning with Torrential rain until 12.30. A morning plod along the green lanes at Coldharbour was rewarded by a thorough soaking. The wild swans could just about be seen as white blobs through the curtain of rain.
In Lydd the 2 Cattle Egrets looked very bedraggled and fed up with rain.
Happy snapped Black Redstart at the fishing boats.
When the rain finally stopped I spent half an hour at the fishing boats with little reward:
Brent Goose: 14 up
Common Scoter: 1 down
Red-throated Diver: 5 up
Gannet: c15 o/s
Kittiwake: 19 on sea
Auk: 8 up
Black Redstart: 1 by boats
This afternoon on the reserve all the usual wildfowl including 3 Bitterns at Hookers per CT, I saw  another 2 on the ARC, also some Cetti's Warblers singing in the sun
At Dusk 13 Little Egrets flew into the ARC roost as did 2 Great White Egrets.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Bits and Pieces!

I joined PT at The Patch this morning where 1,000s of Gulls were on the beach and over the boil, despite careful scrutiny we were unable to find any unusual Gulls. Offshore small numbers of Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Kittiwakes and Auks.
In Lydd the Cattle Egrets still showing well to a constant stream of admirers.
At Scotney the 1w drake Scaup and 2 Black-necked Grebes still among the Tufties and Pochard. The Barnacle Goose flock numbered 103 + 7 Emporer X Heinz 57 and c500 Greylags, also a Kingfisher there.
On Walland 83 Bewick Swans, the Whooper Swan and a single Greylag but no sign of any Tundra Bean Geese. On the marsh large flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover but thrushes seem to have all but disappeared.
On the reserve this afternoon large numbers of common wildfowl, 7 red-head Smew, 3+ Great White Egrets, 2 Marsh Harriers and elusive Firecrest in the windy conditions. From the entrance track a flock of 42 Curlew, 50+ Golden Plover, c500 Lapwing, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard and 2 Great White Egrets.
I abandoned a late afternoon visit to Scotney due to the rain and high winds.  

Monday, 5 January 2015

Lesser Yellowlegs twitch!

Another dull and dreary winters day at Dungeness, but still plenty of birds to look at starting at the fishing boats 08.10-10.25:
Brent Goose: 38 up
Shelduck: 3 down
Common Scoter: 7 down
Red-breasted Merganser: 4 down
Red-throated Diver: 63 down       17 up
Cormorant: 812 down between 08.10-08.30
Gannet: n/c      c25 off shore
Turnstone: 8 on beach
Great Skua: 1 down
Pomarine Skua: 1 up
Kittiwake: n/c c 25 off shore
Auks:  c40 on sea
As I drove across the causeway 2 Great White Egrets could be seen on the New Diggings. A walk around the Willow Trail found several squealing Water Rail, 4+ Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest, in the Long-tailed Tit flock.
Walking from the ARC car park to Springfield Bridge and back saw the usual Tree Sparrows and Reed Buntings round the feeders at Boulderwall. In the fields north of the entrance track c 100 Golden Plover, 20 Curlew, 200+ Lapwing, 200+ Greylag and Canada Geese, 2 Marsh Harriers a Common Buzzard and another Great White Egret. Dengemarsh and the Hayfields were fairly quiet, but did attract 3 Little Egrets and look for spring waders.
A short watch from the garden at lunchtime saw of note the 2 Cattle Egrets, 2 Great White Egrets, a grey Heron, 3 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk.   
Lesser Yellowlegs at Pett.
This afternoon with news that the Lesser Yellowlegs was showing well at Pett level I made my way there in the company of MH and CP. On arrival at Pett the it was indeed showing very well right beside the road, where it remained until a a ballon came over the sea wall and spooked everything, also of note there a nice flock of 26 Ruff.
Late afternoon back at the ARC from Hanson we had an excellent finish to the day, a Kingfisher was doing what Kingfishers do outside the hide, 2 Redshanks were swimming in the centre of the lake, 2 Bitterns flew across the lake as did 4 Great White Egrets and 4 Little Egrets, 2 Marsh Harriers were terrorising the Coots, 2 Goldeneye were on the lake, 100s each of Jackdaw, Carrion Crow and Lapwing flew through to roost as did many Starlings, the finale was a Large female Peregrine dashing through. An excellent day despite the gloomy weather.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

1w Caspian Gull

1w Caspian Gull(not to bad with the happy snapper)
This morning at The Point on a flat calm sea there was no obvious off shore movement, but 500+ Great-crested Grebes with lesser numbers of Red-throated Divers and Guillemots, a few each of Gannet and Kittiwake could be seen. In a Gull roost by the fish hut a very smart 1w Caspian Gull.
This afternoon from Hanson 2 Great White Egrets could be seen but little else of note, in The Willow Trail 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Green Woodpecker and several squealing Water Rail. Walking back to the ARC car park the mist really came down, by the time I reached Boulderwall Farm visibility was very poor, though I did manage to see a couple of Tree Sparrows and c15 Reed Buntings around the feeders. I carried on walking towards Hookers despite the mist seeing a flock of c10 Linnet another Great White Egret and some flyover Greylags and Lapwing. By the time I reached Hookers the visibility was even worse and light was failing so I returned to the car.
It would appear that the Cattle Egrets are literally spreading there wings by spending some time at Brickwall Farm.
On the marsh the wild Swan flock and Tundra Bean Geese are still in there chosen field. At Scotney the 1w drake Scaup and at least 1 Black-necked Grebe still present.

Saturday, 3 January 2015


Taken in the rain with the happy snapper!
A thoroughly miserable day on the peninsular, barely getting light all day. The 2 Cattle Egrets were still strutting around there chosen field in Dengemarsh Road. At Scotney still the 3 Black-necked Grebes and 1w drake Scaup and the usual wildfowl.
On Walland the wild swans and Tundra Bean Geese just about visible in there chosen field still.
At the fishing boats a few each of Red-throated Diver, Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets and Kittiwakes in the murk. In the roost an adult Yellow-legged Gull.
Around the reserve the usual sawbills and a Black-necked Grebe per OL.

Friday, 2 January 2015

A Glorious Day!

Sunset over Dengemarsh
My first sea watch of the year from the fishing boats 08.00-09.00:

Common Scoter: 5 down
Velvet Scoter: 2 down
Red-throated Diver: 253 down            7 up
Gannet: 198: down
Turnstone: 8 on beach
Kittiwake: 176 down including a party of c70 off shore
Auks sp: 605 down          27 up       most appeared to be Guillemots

Driving across the causeway towards Pigwell. a Great White Egret and a Marsh Harrier flew over. At Pigwell no sign of the Dartford Warbler but a Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and 6 Stonechats were some compensation.
A long walk around the fields at the back of Scotney with PW in the warm sunshine was very pleasant, though some what lacking in avian interest. We did see of note several each of Corn Bunting and Skylark along with 18 Egyptian Geese.
On the main pit at Scotney now 3 Black-necked Grebes and the 1w drake Scaup along with the usual wildfowl.
In Lydd the 2 Cattle Egrets in there chosen field performing for the crowds.
As the reserve was apparently very busy I parked at the ARC and wandered up the track over the railway line out towards the mirrors to look around the Gorse banks, although once again very pleasant avian interest was at a minimum, with a Red-legged Partridge, a handful of Song Thrushes and 2 Green Woodpeckers. I came back via the airport pits where a couple of Water rails were squealing, a Marsh Harrier put on superb display of agility avoiding 2 annoying Crows. At last light from the screen hide 2 Great white Egrets and 2 Chiffchaffs.
The Bewick Swans, Whooper Swan and Bean Geese are still in the field by Horsebones Farm, Walland Marsh per MH.