Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Golden Oriole!

This mornings sea watch was indicative of this years Dungeness spring sea passage, very poor! A desperate lack of waders, dabblers, Terns not to mention Poms!
Mute Swan: 2W
Eider: 2E
Common Scoter: 29E
Gannet: 6E  2W
Oystercatcher: 9E
Sanderling: 10E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 10E
Kittiwake: 1E
Little Tern: 1E
Common Tern: c30 o/s
Sandwich Tern: c15 o/s
Swallow: 3in
Harbour Porpoise: c6
This mornings watch was mercifully bought to an end by news from SB of a Golden Oriole  at the Water Tower Pits. Arriving on site the Oriole had not been heard for a few minutes so I joined SB for a look around. A few minutes later the Oriole gave us a short flight few, followed by 2 more, the last one being as it towered away towards Lydd.
 Hobby's Dengemarsh
Early afternoon was spent on a fruitless search for a Purple Heron that had been reported on the reserve, while wandering around several Hobby's could be seen around Dengemarsh, along with 2 Cuckoo's, 2+ Marsh Harriers, good numbers of Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers, a couple of Bearded Tits. Hayfield 3 held a White Wagtail, 5 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Egrets and 2 Egyptian Geese of note.  
Another hours watch from the fishing boats saw just 16 Bar-tailed Godwits and few Common and Sandwich Terns.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Little Owl!

05.30-08.00 from the sea watch hide. Thanks to AJG for collating the numbers.
Velvet Scoter: 2W
Common Scoter: 68E
Fulmar: 2E
Gannet: 68W
Oystercatcher: 5E
Great Skua: 1E
Arctic Skua: 3E
Pomarine Skua: 1E
Kittiwake: 12E
Sandwich Tern: 68E
Commic Tern: 238E
Guillemot: 8E
Auk sp: 14E
Swift: 1 in
Swallow: 6 in

A wander around the trapping area and Long Pits found of note 5 Blackcaps singing, 5 Reed Warblers singing, a Chiffchaff, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Turtle Doves and 12 Jackdaws over.
 Round Lloyds and West Beach 2 Wheatears and a singing Black Redstart.
Another hour sea watcing 10.15-11.15 saw only a single Kittiwake east of any note. At the south end of the ARC a handsome White Wagtail and a Cuckoo, along with a Swallows and Swifts over the lake.
 In Lydd a Little Owl took no notice of me as it ran around and flew to perches while hunting worms and insects
 This afternoon at Dengemarsh 3 Hobby's and a Marsh Harrier could just about be seen through the thickening sea fog that put end to today's biding as it rolled in at lunchtime.

A few more moths today in the Plodland trap the best being this male Muslin Moth.

Sunday, 10 May 2015


05.30-08.00 from the sea watch hide:
Brent Goose: 10E
Common Scoter: 38E
Fulmar: 5W
Gannet: 69W
Oystercatcher: 12E
Kittiwake: 2W
Sandwich Tern: 14E
Common Tern: 228E
Black Tern: 1 on The Patch
Guillemot 2 up, 2 down
Auk sp: 3W
Swallow: 19 in
As the sea watching was so slow and thin fare on the land, I took the opportunity to spend most of the day getting the garden tided up. A visit to Dengemarsh Gully this afternoon found nothing of note.
It is not often you can wander around the back of Scotney pits on a warm still evening. In the 2.5 hrs I spent there this evening, Corn Buntings could be heard singing non stop as could Skylarks and numerous Yellow Wagtails and Linnets. On the islands of the back lake 9 sitting Avocets, at least 7 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Redshank and a few pairs of Black-headed Gulls and some Common Terns that might be prospecting. On the margins 3 Little Egrets and a Great White Egret, the usual feral geese including 3 Egyptian Geese and a Barnacle Goose. Further out by the wind turbines 2 Barn Owls, 4 Tree Sparrows and a Marsh Harrier. A brilliant evening with the only downside being the myriads of midges that found there way into my ears, nose and mouth. 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A bit of a blow again!

Once again with strong SW winds the best part of the day was spent sea watching, 6hrs between 06.00 & 18.00 produced a meagre return. Thanks to AJG for collating the numbers.
Brent Goose: 1E
Common Scoter: 79E
Fulmar: 17E   3W
Gannet: 148E   17W
Oystercatcher: 4E
Great Skua: 4E
Arctic Skua: 7E
Kittiwake: 15E
Mediterranean Gull: 2E
Sandwich Tern: 24E
Commic Tern: 376E  102W
Guillemot: 5W
Auk sp: 26W
Swift: 2 in
Swallow: 58 in
House Martin: 1 in
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Common Seal: 1

At the back of a windswept Scotney 8+ pairs of Avocets hunkered down, along with 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Little Egrets, a Great White Egret, 6+ Yellow Wagtails, 3 Corn Buntings and numerous Swifts.
Hobby's and Swifts were much in evidence at Dengemarsh but little else was seen due to the strong winds.  

Friday, 8 May 2015

Terns and a couple of Poms!

This mornings early morning sea watch was very poor, the highlight for me was as I got out of the car a Jay came in off the sea and headed for the trapping area.
Mid morning a Melodious Warbler was seen and photographed in a private garden but eluded all who looked for it.
A quiet day around the peninsular in general with a few Hobby's being the highlights. 
An early afternoon wander along the beach found 3 Wheatears, 2 Skylarks and a male Sparrowhawk of note. With little to see on the land I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon sea watching from the fishing boats, where I was joined by MH,AJG,BH,CT,PT and Barny. 
There was a steady stream of Commic Terns with a few other bits and pieces, enough to keep the interest going. By 16.30 just myself and PT remained watching when a dark phase Arctic Skua flew past followed by a pale phase, a few minutes later 2 Pomarine Skuas sailed majestically past making PT a very happy man. Full species account below.
A record of this afternoons 2 Poms!
13.30-18.00 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 113E
Red-Breasted Merganser: 2E
Red-throated Diver: 1E
Fulmar: 1E  1W
Gannet: 62E  21W
Oystercatcher: 38E   16E
Turnstone: 3E
Sanderling: 8E
Dunlin: 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 9E
Whimbrel: 22E
Arctic Skua: 3E
Pomarine Skua: 2E
Little Gull: 1E 1st summer
Kittiwake: 42E
Little Tern: 8E
Sandwich Tern: 226E
Commic Tern: 1027E      I thought about 30% were Arctics
Guillemot: 6E    1 on sea
Auk sp: 5E   41W
Swallow: 2 in
Harbour Porpoise: 5+

At last a few moths in the Plodland trap.
 Pine Hawk Moth
Powdered Quaker

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wild and very slow!

A slow 2 hours 06.00-08.00 from a very windy and at times wet sea watch hide:
Common Scoter: 73E
Red-throated Diver: 2E
Fulmar: 7W
Manx Shearwater: 2E
Gannet: 113E
Oystercatcher: 4E
Whimbrel: 1E
Great Skua: 3E
Arctic Skua: 3E
Sandwich Tern: 33E
Common Tern: 126E
Auk sp: 9E
Swift: 3 in
Swallow: 28 in

This afternoon was even slower from the fishing boats 13.30-14-45:
Common Scoter: 1E
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 2W
Turnstone: 2 on beach
Hobby: 1 in
A few Common and Sandwich Terns heading west into Rye bay.

15.00-16.00 from the sea watch hide, which was shaking in the gale and rather damp due to the sea spray not a single notable bird was seen.

My old Vista lap top finally ran out of steam, so I am now struggling to get to grips with a shiny new one with windows 8.1 that seem to have a mind of there own, or it may be that I am rubbish computers. As there was nothing to point the camera at today, I thought  I'd post another of  one of the Cattle Egrets that entertained me for the last 6 months. 
Gone but not forgotten!

Monday, 4 May 2015

A Few Poms!

Totals for 8.5 hrs of sea watching today (05.00-08.30 + 11.30-16.30)
Brent Geese: 8E
Shelduck: 3E
Common Scoter: 538E   6W
Red-throated Diver: 2E
Black-throated Diver: 3E (in a single flock)
Great-crested Grebe: 35 off shore from the fishing boats
Fulmar:  11E   6W
Gannet: 136  around
Oystercatcher: 5E
Ring Plover: 1E
Turstone: 1E
Sanderling: 12E
Whimbrel: 2E  4W
Great Skua: 7E
Pomarine Skua: 6E
Arctic Skua: 12E
Kittiwake: 5E
Sandwich Tern: 309E
Common Tern: 658E another c300 over The Patch
Guillemot: 2 on sea
Auk sp: 31E
Swift: 9 in
Swallow: 36 in
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Probably the only Early Spider Orchid on the Peninsular

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Dolphins put on a show!

9.75hrs of sea watching starting at 05.00 did not disappoint. The stars of the day were the 6+ White-beaked Dolphins that put on a brilliant show just 400 mts off shore. Many thanks to AJG for collating the numbers.
 Black Terns 6 of a party of 9
Brent Goose: 116E
Common Scoter:  345E
Red-throated Diver: 3E
Fulmar: 100E
Gannet:  192E   202W
Cormorant: 79 around
Oystercatcher: 29E
Knot: 25E
Sanderling: 32E
Greenshank: 1 in
Bar-tailed Godwit: 74E  1W
Whimbrel: 6E
Great Skua: 6E
Arctic Skua: 11E
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 7E
Little Gull: 7E
Kittiwake: 8E
Little Tern: 12E
Sandwich Tern: 253E
Common Tern: 1826E
Arctic Tern: 1E
Black Tern: 31E
Auk sp: 15E
White-beaked Dolphin: 6+
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Black Terns, 5 of a party of 7

Saturday, 2 May 2015

May 2nd!!!!!!!

6.5 hrs of sea watching with AJG between 05.00 and 17.30 produced the following:
Common Scoter: 38E  16W
Red-throated Diver: 2E
Black-throated Diver:  5E in a single flock!
Great-crested Grebe: 17 around
Fulmar:  4E  7W
Gannet:139E  8W
Cormorant: 27 around
Oystercatcher: 17E
Grey Plover: 2E
Turnstone: 2E
Dunlin: 2E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 36E
Whimbrel: 5E
Arctic Skua: 4E
Little Gull: 1E
Kittiwake: 49E
Little Tern: 12E
Sandwich Tern 561E
Common Tern 1862E
Guillemot: 3W
Razorbill: 1W
Auk sp: 12W
Swallow: 14 in
Crow: 1 in
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Grey Seal: 1
Apart from scanning the Hirundines over the lakes I did not do much else as I was so cold a needed to sit in a hot bath to warm me up!

Friday, 1 May 2015


Yesterday (30/04/15) was so quiet at Dungeness that 3 of us went off to Somerset to see the Hudsonian Godwit. I wont embarrass my self by posting any images of the bird as they are all so poor.
 Painted Lady about the only notable thing at Dungeness yesterday.
This mornings sea watch was interesting for the number of Terns moving:
05.40-08.40 with AJG who collated the numbers.
Common Scoter: 10E   35W
Fulmar: 3W
Gannet: 174E
Peregrine: 1 in off the sea
Whimbrel: 8E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 1E
Dunlin: 18E
Oystercatcher: 16 E
Great Skua: 1E
Guillemot: 3W
Auk sp: 9W
Kittiwake: 4W
Sandwich Tern: 337E
Common Tern: 947E
Little Tern: 3 E
Swallow: 2 in
 At Scotney 5 immature Spoonbills located by CT & BH, but did not stay long, appearing to fly off towards Rye, were probably the 5 that were at Cuckmere Haven yesterday. Also at Scotney a Common Sandpiper, 8+ Avocet and the usual Yellow Wagtails and Corn Buntings.
 Spoonbills at Scotney

Bar-tailed Godwits past the fishing boats!
Another sea watch 15.00-17.00 from the fishing boats with MH and AJG:
Red-throated Diver: 2E
Gannet: 5 around
Oystercatcher: 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit:  406E
Whimbrel: 14E
Knot: 31E
Grey Plover: 2E
Common Tern: 38E
Sandwich Tern: 33E
Swallow: 4 in