Thursday, 16 April 2015

When NE wind blows!

With a cold NE wind blasting across the peninsular the only realistic option was to do more sea watching.
06.00-09.45 with DW and AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 29 E
Teal: 6 E
Common Scoter: 704 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 14 E
Red-throated Diver: 2 E
Fulmar: 6 E
Gannet: 217 E
Common Buzzard: 1 coasting E
Oystercatcher: 9 E
Whimbrel: 25 E
Mediterranean Gull: 1 around
Kittiwake: 4 W
Sandwich Tern: 183 E
Common Tern:  182 E
Guillemot: 3 E
Auk sp: 1 E
Swallow: 14 in
Wheatear(Greenland): 1 in
A wander around The Desert was a lost cause as the wind blasted dust in my face, 2 Greenland Wheatears cowered behind some Gorse, 2 Common Whitethroats sang from deep inside some Brambles and 2 Sandwich Terns whizzed over towards the power station.
This afternoons sea watch was cold vigil from the fishing boats.
 Brent Goose: 61E
Common Scoter: 186E
Red-breasted Merganser: 7E
Great-crested Grebe: 25E  14 on sea
Fulmar: 2E
Gannet: 37E    5W
Whimbrel: 15E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 11E
Kittiwake: 4E
Common Tern: 26 E
Arctic Tern: 18 E (they were distant & I had them as Common, DW had better views
Sandwich Tern: 24E                             from the sea watch hide & ID them as Arctic)
Guillemot: 1E
Swallow: 2 in
Greenland Wheatear: 4 in
Harbour Porpoise: 4+

there 7 more Greenland Wheatears around the lifeboat station late afternoon.
On the reserve all the usual suspects were reported.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


A late start this morning due to me over sleeping, though I was probably better off in bed than enduring a very slow early morning watch. On the way to the beach a Great White Egret was at the south end of the ARC.
09.00-10.00 with AJG who collated the numbers.
Brent Goose: 33E
Common Scoter: 82E
Red-breasted Merganser: 3E
Red-throated Diver 6 up
Fulmar: 1E
Gannet 4 about
Mediterranean Gull: 2 adults around
Common Tern: 4 E
Sandwich Tern: 38E
Swallow: 1 in
A wander around Scotney, found of note, 10 Yellow Wagtails, good numbers of singing Corn Buntings and Skylarks, a Little Ringed Plover, a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, 13 Avocet and the drake Scaup still present on the main lake.
 Garganey from Springfield Bridge
Early afternoon the Garganey was showing well at Springfield Bridge and 3 Swallows over. 5 Little Ringed Plovers , 6 Ringed Plovers,3 Dunlin and 2 Little Egrets could be seen in Hayfield 3.
Another half hour sea watch produced a distant Great Skua and little else.
A late attempt to win Mr Gale's coveted Wheatear trophy!
9+ Wheatears were on the shingle between the fishing boats and the houses late afternoon.
An early evening walk in the glorious spring sunshine to the Water Tower found a Bittern booming half heartedly, many Reed Buntings, 3 Sedge Warblers and 5+ Cetti's warblers of note.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Greenland Wheatears!

The early morning fog quickly cleared leaving a beautiful spring day but little off shore movement
07.00-09.00 with AJG who collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 41 E
Shelduck: 3 W
Common Scoter: 276 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 7 E
Red-throated Diver: 5 E
Black-throated Diver: 1 E
Fulmar: 1 E
Gannet: 12 around
Oystercatcher: 4 E
Kittiwake: 3 E
Common Tern: 30 E
Auk sp: 3 E
Carrion Crow: 9 in off the sea
We walked around the trapping area and around the Long Pits for little return, c15 each of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Common Whitethroats, a Green Woodpecker and c5 Sparrowhawks of note. Around the observatory moat a Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart, more Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs could be found.
With news that the Hoopoe had resurfaced Between Boulderwall Farm and the Water Tower, we had a look around the Tower pits to no avail, while doing so Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcaps, Common Whitethroats and Marsh Harriers were seen. 
 Greenland Wheatear
This afternoon on the shingle opposite Jarmans, c15 Wheatears at least 8 of which were Greenland's, although star billing went to an early smart Whinchat, also a White Wagtail, 3 Swallows over and 2 Whimbrel there as well as resident Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.
Whinchat (poor image of a flighty bird)
This evening at Springfield Bridge a Bittern booming, a Garganey, the 2 Tundra Bean Geese and the 2 Cattle Egrets at Brickwall Farm.
Yellow Wagtail at Scotney per MH.
The Plodland moth trap was straining under the weight of a single Common Quaker this morning.

Monday, 13 April 2015

A Brilliant Day at The D.B.O.

This morning from the sea watch hide the French coast was clearer than I have ever seen it before. Through the telescope individual trees could be seen and Napoleon was easily discernible, standing on top of his column 49 Kilometres away at Wimereux as the Crow flys. The sea watch itself was very uninspiring.
06.05-08.05 with AJG who collated the numbers. 
Brent Goose: 19 E
Common Scoter: 129 :
Red-breasted Merganser: 2 E
Red-throated Diver:  9 E
Gannet: 32 E
Oystercatcher: 103 E
Great Skua: 2 E
Arctic Skua: 1 about
Kittiwake: 2 W
1w Iceland Gull: 1 flying out to sea from patch area
Common Tern: 19 E  c30 on patch
Sandwich Tern: 304 E
Auk sp: 1 E  1 W
Statute of Napoleon(left hand edge of image) at Wimereux from Dungeness this morning
 Oystercatchers passing this morning
 Ring Ouzels
With such a clear morning it is even more incredible that around 08.30 Blackcaps and Willow Warblers started appearing all around The Point, belying that migrants only appear in numbers in damp overcast conditions.
 Blackcaps and Willow Warblers were recorded in 3 figure numbers, with many Chiffchaffs, at least 3 Ring Ouzels, 4 Common Redstarts, 5+ Common Whitethroats, 2 Black Redstarts, a Pied Flycatcher, a Tree Pipit, a Woodlark, 2+ Redwing, 3+ Song Thrushes and 5 Swallows.
 Common Redstart
 Tree Pipit
 Willow Warbler
 Pied Flycatcher
 A Little Gull dwarfed by the Herring Gulls.
At The Patch this afternoon no sign of this mornings 1w Iceland Gull but a 1st summer Little Gull was some compensation.
Black Redstart(first year male) which finally made its way into the Heligoland Trap rounding a brilliant day at Dungeness.
Blackcaps and a Common Whitethroat
From a crystal clear day this morning to thick fog at 17.00hrs when I left.

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