Sunday, 12 April 2015

A Slow Day!

From the sea watch hide with AJG
who collated the numbers.                                    From the fishing boats:
06.10-08.10                                                        15.40-17.00
Brent Goose: 47 E                                                Brent Goose: 3
Common Scoter: 152 E                                         Red-throated Diver: 5 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 2 up                               Gannet: 53 E
Red-throated Diver: 3 E                                        Arctic Skua: 6 E
Fulmar: 5 E                                                          Kittiwake: 1 W
Gannet: 65 E                                                        Sandwich Tern: c25 o/s
Oystercatcher: 16 E                                              Common Tern: 10 o/s
Great Skua: 3 E                                                    Auk sp: 4 W
Arctic Skua:                                                         Harbour Porpoise: 3+
Mediterranean  Gull: 2E  Ads
Sandwich Tern: 324 E
Common Tern: 7 E
Auk sp: 259 E

A faily slow day around the peninsular with a few migrants. Mid morning around the trapping area a beautiful male Redstart, 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Green Woodpeckers and a Marsh harrier of note.
Early afternoon around Dengemarsh area, 6 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Lapwings and 2 Shelduck all on Hayfield 3. 2 Tundra Bean Geese, 2 Garganey, 6 Swallows, 2 Little Egrets and a Great White Egret of note. I couldn't find the Cattle Egrets today in a brief search.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

1w Iceland Gull!

With the wind swinging round to the the SW and a drop in the temperature there was a corresponding drop in the off shore passage.
06.15-08.15 numbers kindly collated by AJG.            14.00-16.00 
Brent Goose: 559 E                                                    28E
Common Scoter: 117 E                                               12E                
Red-breasted Merganser: 5 E
Red throated Diver: 12 E                                             12E
Black throated Diver: 1 E                                              1W
Fulmar: 17 E
Gannet: 55 W                                                             15 o/s
Oystercatcher: 29 E
Whimbrel:                                                                    4E
Bonxie: 2 E                                                                  1W
Arctic Skua: 3 E
Kittiwake:                                                                    2W
Mediterranean Gull: 3 around
Sandwich Tern: 104 E                                                 27E                                                       Common Tern: 11 E                                                     3E
Auk sp: 4E
In the roost at The Patch a 1w Iceland Gull was found by DW and a probable Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid. 
 1w Iceland Gull
Probable Glaucous x Herring Gull?
 Both White Wingers
Slavonian Grebe
On the New Diggings the Slavonian Gull still present also 2 Swallows and a Sand Martin.
On Scotney the drake Scaup still present and the 2 Cattle Egrets could be seen around the Brickwall Farm fields.
On the reserve a Ring Ouzel and 2 Whimbrel per PT. 

Pas De Calais(thursday 9th April)

Another great day spent in the Pas de Calais with Tony and Trevor, visiting several sites and seeing plenty of birds in glorious warm spring sunshine. Chiffchaffs were abundant where ever we went and the woods were alive with Nuthatches, Short-toed Treecreepers and Marsh Tits, we also saw, Firecrests, Crested Tits, a Hawfinch, Hen Harrier, several each of Common Buzzards and Sparrowhawks around the woods.
 Orange Tip!
 White Wagtail!
The wetlands provided highlights of 23 Garganey, many White Wagtails, a couple of Yellow Wagtails, White Storks, Cattle and Little Egrets, Spoonbills, Mediterranean Gulls and Kentish Plovers. We clocked up a respectable 102 species in the day.
 3 of 23 seen in the Pas de Calais!
Crested Tits! 

 Kentish Plovers in the heat haze.

 Squaring up!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Brent Geese still moving!

Another day of mainly sea watching, despite the very poor visibility it was a good day:

06.15-08.30                                             09.45-11.00                                14'00-17.30
Brent Goose:              1273 E                            375E                                        2085E
Shelduck:                         2 E  5 W
Teal:                                2 E
Velvet Scoter:                   3 E
Common Scoter:           532 E                            105E                                            16E
Red-breastedMerganser: 26 E                                                                                 9E  5W
Red-throated Diver:        16 E                                                                                 3E
Black-throated Diver:       1 E
Fulmar:                           2 E
Gannet:                           8 E                                                                                  4E  1W
Oystercatcher:                27 E                                                                                  1W
Dunlin:                                                                                                                   17E
Bar-tailed Godwit:                                                                                                     2E
Curlew:                          26 E
Whimbrel:                                                                                                                 1W
Arctic Skua:                                                                                                            1E
Kittiwake:                         2 E                                                                                  1E
Sandwich Tern:             389 E                               3E                                             193E
Common Tern:                43 E                            13E                                              104E
Guillemot:                        2 E
Swallow:                          1 in
Rook:                                                                                                                      4 in
Linnet:                          c45 in
 Some of the Brent Geese were along the shore line!
 Sandwich Tern moving east along the shore line!
Typical view of a Harbour Porpoise!
A wander around the trapping area was disappointing with just a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Marsh harrier over of note. 2 female Wheatears were by the power station car park.
On the reserve the Garganey is still mobile, the 2 Cattle Egrets still at Brickwall Farm and 3 Great White Egrets at Dengemarsh, also the Slavonian Grebe still on the New Diggings Not much seems to be known about the Hoopoe in the Dengemarsh area, it will be looked for tomorrow, hopefully if found accurate and prompt news will be forth coming.   

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Raptors in the Haze!

Another day of sea and sky watching:
07.00-08.30 from the sea watch hide very slow:
Brent Goose: 38 E
Teal: 10 E
Gadwall: 2 E
Common Scoter: 2 E
Red-breasted merganser: 3 E
Fulmar: 1 E
Oystercatcher: 8 E
Black Redstart: 1 behind hide
Harbour Porpoise: 10+
A look around the bushes on The Point found only 1 Firecrest, 2 Blackcaps and 2 Chiffchaffs of note.
A couple of hours sky watching from Plodland garden saw 2 distant Red Kites, 8+ Common Buzzards, 4+ Marsh Harriers, 2 Sparrowhawks, a Little Egret, a Raven and 10 Swallows of note, still no Sand Martin.
This afternoon from the fishing boats 13.20-16.30:
Brent Goose: 318 E
Shoveller: 11 E
Common Scoter: 127 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 2 E
Red-throated Diver: 17 E
Great-crested Grebe: 16 on sea
Gannet: 2 E
Turnstone: 5 on beach
Common Tern: 10 E
Sandwich Tern: 252 E  11 W
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Brimstone: in off
It would seem according to Twitter(when it works at Dungeness) all the long staying and usual birds were still present on the reserve today.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Mainly Sea Watching!

06.30-09.00 from the sea watch hide with AJG(collated the numbers) and DW:
Brent Goose: 130 E
Pintail: 2 E
Shoveller: 8 E
Teal: 5 E
Common Scoter: 186 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 13 E
Red throated Diver: 13 E
Fulmar: 2 E
Gannet: 46 E 
Curlew 20 up
Mediterranean Gull: 2 E
Kittiwake: 1 E
Sandwich Tern: 198 E
Common Tern: 3 E
Little Tern: 1 E
Harbour Porpoise: 10+
 A wander around the bushes on the The Point found 9 Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrests, 2 Wheatears, a superb male Black Redstart and a Hare of note.
Cattle Egret being harried by the Black-headed Gulls at Dengemarsh.
A visit to Dengemarsh and the Hayfields saw a drake Garganey, a White Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, 2 Avocet, 3 Curlew, a Ringed Plover, a Greenshank, 6 Egyptian Geese, 2 Tundra Bean Geese, 4+ Little Egrets, a Great White Egret and a Cattle Egret being harassed by Black-headed Gulls of note. A pair of Swallows have returned tothe stables in Dengemarsh Road and another flew over the garden while I was having lunch.
Another watch this afternoon 13.00-16.00 from the fishing boats with MH asnd AJG who once again kindly collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 35 E
Shoveller: 1 E
Common Scoter: 377 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 9 E
Red-throated Diver: 24 E
Fulmar: 1 W
Gannet: 7 W
Whimbrel: 5 E
Turnstone: 7 on beach
Sanderling: 2 E
Curlew: 2 E
Bonxie: 1 W
Little Gull: 3 E
Kittiwake: 2 E
Sandwich Tern: 204 E
Auk: 1 E

Monday, 6 April 2015


A Frosty start to a pleasant sea watch, where the undoubted highlight was the 4 White Beaked Dolphins which spent about an hour moving slowly eastwards.
06.00-09.15 from the hide:
Brent Goose: 41 E
Greylag Goose: 3 W
Gadwall: 6 E
Teal: 4 E
Shoveller: 9 E
Tufted Duck: 1 W
Common Scoter: 222 E
Velvet Scoter: 3 E
Eider: 1 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 4 E
Red-throated Diver 2 up
Fulmar: 1 E
Gannet: 6 E
Oystercatcher: 4 
Sandwich Tern: 18 E
Swallow: 1 in
Harbour Porpoise: c12 o/s
White Beaked Dolphin: 4
As it was a sunny bank holiday, Dungeness was somewhat busy, so I stayed home after breakfast doing some gardening and sky watching, but still missed the Red Kite.
This afternoon 15.00-16.30 after a very slow start(I fell asleep) things picked up with the highlight of a flock of 6 Velvet Scoter.
Common Scoter: 5 E
Velvet Scoter: 6 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 10 E
Red-throated Diver: 12 E
Gannet: 13 E    3 W
Curlew: 20 E
Kittiwake: 1 E
Common Tern: 5 E
Sandwich Tern: c250 E
Auk sp: 4 W


Sunday, 5 April 2015


 Black-necked Grebe, New Diggings
Driving across the causeway this morning I noticed the Black-necked Grebe close to the road, so I just had to take a few more pics of it. A bit further along the causeway something was flapping about in the middle of the road, as I got nearer I realised it was a drake Goldeneye, I pulled up blocking the road and caught the bird, I put it in the car and headed for the observatory. I met David Walker at the lighthouse, where he examined the bird, it was very thin but appeared uninjured, so we took it back to the reserve and released it on to Burrowes Pit where it swam off. 
David Walker about to release the Goldeneye on to Burrowes.
A walk around the trapping area with AJG was some what disappointing, with 2 Sparrowhawks, a Water Rail, 4 Chiffchaffs and Green Woodpecker the highlights.
Driving away from the observatory I had got as far as The Moat chatting to O.L when DW called to say an Osprey was flying over, O.L. quickly located as it headed towards the reserve.
A look at Scotney found nothing of note, the same result from Galloways. Dengemarsh held the 2 Tundra Bean Geese and a Great White Egret but no sign of the Cattle Egrets.
A couple of hours spent sitting in the sun at home sky watching saw a Common Buzzard, 2 Marsh harriers, 2 Sparrowhawks, a Peregrine and the first garden Swallow of the year.
Another walk late afternoon around Dengemarsh saw nothing of note in the keen north east wind.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

An Interesting Day!

In freezing northerly wind with drizzle, this mornings sea watch ended before it began. As I opened the door to the hide AJG and PW were coming out shaking there heads. I met up with DW at the lighthouse where a couple of Chiffchaffs were seen and a Firecrest was heard, we were just moving away when a movement in the sycamore alerted us to a Ring Ouzel, which flew out to West Beach gorse to join another 3-4 Firecrests and then out to towards the trapping area.
Ring Ouzel at West Beach Gorse.
I joined MH at Boulderwall and we drove to Dengemarsh where a Sedge Warbler was singing and the Garganey had been seen, also there 2+ Great White Egrets, 3 Little Egrets and 2 Swallows.
From Dennis's hide 3 Goldeneye and c30 Shoveller. While in the visitor centre another 5 Swallows and 6 Dunlin flew through.
Goldeneye from Dennis's hide
Black-necked and Slavonian Grebe, New Diggings,
A look at the southern end of the ARC was disappointing with little of note there. Over the road on New diggings 2 small Grebes swimming around together turned out to be a Slavonian and a Black-necked Grebe. At Scotney the drake Scaup still present also 3 Brent Geese on the turf and a Little Ringed Plover on the east pit. 
Scaup Scotney.
14.40-16.20 from the point.
Teal: 2 E
Gannet: 9 E    3 W
Common Tern: 11 E in a single party.
Sandwich Tern: 14 E
Auk sp: 7 W
I only stayed that long because I noticed a trimaran capsize a mile or so off shore, called the coast guard and guided the lifeboat very badly to the stricken vessel. Apparently the 2 sailors were picked up safely and taken to hospital by helicopter.

The stricken trimaran with 2 sailors on its upturned hull can just be made out between the lifeboat and the bulk carrier.

Friday, 3 April 2015

A Small Arrival!

With a light south easterly blowing first thing this morning, our sea watch was a vast improvement than of late.
06.30-10.00 with AJG who collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 375 E
Teal: 19 E
Shoveller: 31 E
Pintail: 2 E
Long-tailed Duck: 1 E
Common Scoter: 1027 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 5 E
Red-throated Diver: 1 E
Great-crested Grebe: c20 o/s
Fulmar: 11 around
Gannet: 24 W
Shag: 1 on sea
Turnstone: 1 on beach
Oystercatcher: 3 E
Sandwich Tern: c12 around
Razorbill: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 3 W
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
Around the peninsular there appears to have been a small arrival of migrants this morning with 20+ Firecrest, 50+ Chiffchaff, 10+ Black Redstarts, a few Meadow Pipits, Wheatears, Swallows and Sedge Warbler and 1+ Ring Ouzel.
Common Seal off Galloways.
Late afternoon the drake Garganey was in the Dengemarsh Sewer. On Hayfield 3, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 6 Dunlin, 4 Redshank, a Snipe, a Little Egret and an Egyptian goose. Around Dengemarsh the 2 Tundra Bean Geese, 2 Great White Egrets and 3+ Marsh Harriers. The 2 Cattle Egrets were still around Brickwall Farm.