Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Quiet Times!

 Yesterday's Pale-bellied Brent Goose. Honest!
 Tame Lesser-black Backed Gull at The Point
As the sea was unproductive this morning, I walked the shore from The Point to the Lifeboat Station and back:
Brent Goose: 5E   1W
Red-throated Diver: 2W   1 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: 57 on sea
Gannet: 17W
Cormorant: 89 on sea
Marsh Harrier: 1 out
Turnstone: 45 on beach
Kittiwake: 2 on sea
Sandwich Tern: 3
Guillemot: 9W
Auk sp: 17W
Pied Wagtail: 6 on beach
Goldfinch: 90 over
Linnet: 20 over
 Great White Egret from Hanson
On the New Diggings 2 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Great White Egrets of note still. On Burrowes 2 red head Smew, 3 Goldeneye, a Goosander, 3 Great White Egrets, 8 Pintail among good numbers of the usual wildfowl. Also a Kingfisher and 2 Marsh Harriers.
On the ARC 2 more Great White Egrets, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Snipe, 2 Bearded Tits, 2 Marsh Harriers, also a party of 67 Gadwall. In the Willow Trail 2 Goldcrests, 2 Cetti's Warblers, a Water Rail, Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker.
Red Head Smew
At Scotney little of note though I did count for no particular reason, 113 feral Barnacle Geese, 6 Egyptian Geese, 100s of Greylags and Canada Geese, several 100s of Wigeon, 3 Redshank, 14 Golden Plover among c300 Lapwing. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Green ringed Caspo!

It was hard work and uncomfortable in the strong winds today at The Point: 
08.00-09.00   + 12.30-15.00:

Brent Geese: 1E
Common Scoter: 2E
Red-throated Diver: 2W   + 1 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: 14 around
Gannet:  163W   + 200+ feeding distantly first thing.
Turnstone: 11 around
Mediterranean Gull: 2W
Caspian Gull: 2 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 around
Kittiwake: 78W
Guillemot: 10W    6 on sea
Razorbill: 4W   2 on sea
Auk sp: 58W
Pied Wagtail: 5 around
Meadow Pipit: 6 over
Goldfinch: 70 over
Harbour Porpoise: 2
This afternoon green ringed XMFV 1w Caspian Gull came into the puddles briefly this afternoon. The original red ringed 65P5 was in the roost early morning. 

 XMFV Caspian Gull

Sunday, 8 November 2015

On the beach!

Most of today was spent around the fishing boats where this morning Kittiwakes and gannets were streaming by mainly along way out. This afternoon Mick and Richard were there with buckets of fish heads and popcorn drawing in the gulls including a brilliant new Polish ringed Caspian Gull.
Brent Goose: 1W   4E
Common Scoter: 5E
Red-throated Diver: 1 around
Great-crested Grebe: 4+ around
Sooty Shearwater: 2W
Gannet: 200+
Knot: 25W
Turnstone: 22 around
Pomarine Skua: 1W
Mediterranean Gull: 12+ W
Yellow-legged Gull: 1ad around
Caspian Gull: 4+ around
Little Gull: 1W
Kittiwake: 400+ W
Sandwich Tern: 1W
Goldfinch: 1,000+ over
Linnet: 100+ over
65P5 Caspian Gull
A new Polish ringed Caspian Gull 85P5
Yest another 1w Caspian Gull
A distant Sooty Shearwater
Mediterranean Gull over the fishing boats this morning
some of the 36+ Goldfinches frequenting the Plodland feeders

Friday, 6 November 2015

Not a Great Day!

Rain and mist made it a thoroughly miserable day on the peninsular, made worse this morning by the smart entry to system to my car being so smart that it would not let me into the car. When it did unlock all the alarms went off and promptly locked me out again! The engineer told me it was probably an intermittent fault that would resolve its self! What was worse Gannets, Kittiwakes and more were streaming past The Point per SG.
I did manage to get to the beach for hour mid afternoon, visibility was abysmal though a few Gannets and Kittiwakes were feeding close in shore also a single Sandwich Tern moved west. In the Gull roost an adult Caspian gull spotted by DW also an adult Yellow-legged Gull there.
 Caspian Gull

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Woodcock Surprise!

 B4 Great Black Backed Gull (probably Dutch ringed)
 Pink billed Herring Gull
Most of my day was spent on the beach looking at Gulls and sea watching. I  don't really know why I enjoy sea watching so much especially on drizzly miserable afternoon like today. 4 hrs on my own staring out to sea counting mainly Kittiwakes, then I spot a dark dot miles out and start to follow it with the scope, it appears to be coming towards the shore but I have no idea what it is, a couple of minutes later it's still coming in but still I have no idea what it is, all I know it's dark and fast, very fast and agile as it easily evades the attentions of Great Black Backed Gull, is it a Merlin? no to big, wrong shape and flight, then it rises briefly above the horizon showing a long bill, the penny drops Woodcock! I grab the camera and fire off some shots, it is approaching the shore quickly, I press the shutter again and hope for the best as it comes ashore, up and over the beach in land towards The Desert. Those few minutes watching it come in trying to identify it, managing a poor record shot made my 4hr vigil worthwhile. Thats why I love sea watching you just never know what will happen.   
                                  07.40-09.00                                       12.10-16.20
Brent Goose:                                                                          17W
Teal:                                                                                         4W
Common Scoter:          2E
Red-Throated Diver:                                                               1W
Great-crested Grebe:   3W                                                      7 on sea
Gannet:                    181W                                                    47W         4E
Curlew:                        3W
Turnstone:          1 on beach                                                    4 on beach
Woodcock:                                                                              1 in
Mediterranean Gull:   1W                                                       7W
Kittiwake:                36W                                                    323W
Sandwich Tern:                                                                       7W
Guillemot:                                                                             38W    2 on sea
Razorbill:                                                                                6W    1 on sea
Auk sp:                   12W                                                       54W
Swallow:                4 out
Pied Wagtail:         3 on beach
Goldfinch:          176 over
Siskin:                4 over
Linnet:              35 over
Harbour Porpoise:                                                                   2
Grey Seal:                                                                               1

Sandwich Tern 1 of 7 this afternoon

This Woodcock was a real surprise coming in off the sea.
A mid morning look at Burrowes found a different 1w Caspian Gull from Makepiece, also of note the 2 red head Smew, Goosander, 3+ Great White Egrets plus the usual Wildfowl.
Scotney held 300+ each of Golden Plover and Lapwing, c400 Wigeon and the usual feral Geese, also a couple of Marsh Harriers hunting the north bank but again no sign of the Rough-legged Buzzard which has presumably moved on.
Brent Geese (no juveniles) past the fishing boats

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Caspian Gull again!

 A very poor early morning sea watch, was mercifully cut short when the Polish colour ringed 1w Caspian Gull appeared on the beach in front of me. 
The over night rain had grounded a few migrants, 3 Goldcrests and 2 Song Thrushes that were foraging around the fishing boats. More Goldcrests and 5 more Song Thrushes were flushed from the Broom along with 3 Chiffchaffs. 2 Black Redstarts at Lloyds and another 1 by the research station.
 1w Caspian Gull
 5AA1 Great Black Backed Gull a Dungeness regular
When I got back to my car after photographing the Caspian Gull this Mottled Umber was on the drivers door.
My latest ever Common Whitethroat
Around the trapping area many Goldcrests, 2+ Firecrests, my latest ever Common Whitethroat, a trickle of Siskins and Redpolls. A Long-eared Owl was seen in the area by SG who also saw a Woodlark fly over.
A Great White Egret and 2 Black-necked Grebes were still at the south end of the New Diggings. On Burrowes the 2 red head Smew, Goosander and Goldeneye were still present today. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

1w Caspian Gull

Thick fog and cold S.E breeze this morning at The Point and few birds. When the fog cleared the temperature rose rapidly but still few birds. A Peregrine, 2 Ravens. 2 Black Redstarts around the research station, a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests in the Broom and Gorse, 2+ Brambling over, also a few each of Siskin, Redpoll and Skylark, a Lapwing was grounded in The Desert. In the trapping area of note more Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs, 3+ Firecrests, a Blackcap and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.
The new Diggings held of note a Black-necked Grebe and Great White Egret, with another at the south end of the ARC.
 Lunchtime at Plodland basking in the now glorious sunshine, a Mediterranean Gull in the field opposite was following the tractor with 100s of other gulls. A Marsh Harrier cruised through and 2 Common Buzzards were overhead.  
.1 of 2 Common Buzzard over Plodland
 Marsh Harrier from Plodland
Early afternoon at the ARC a walk to The Pines found more Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs, several Cetti's Warblers were shouting, also Water Rails were squealing, a Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker were opposite the Screen hide where 3+ Bearded Tits could be seen and heard in the reed bed. From Hanson a Bittern was seen skulking distantly, also another  Great White and Little Egret.  
 A very slow mid afternoon sea watch from The point was interrupted by the arrival of the Polish ringed 1w Caspian Gull which showed very well, taking a Whiting thrown back into the sea by a fisherman.
 65P5 1w Caspian Gull

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Bat Rescue!

 Sunrise over Dungeness from Plodland
 Dusky Warbler
As a SE wind was blowing all night I was expecting a good sea watch this morning, unfortunately it was a non event, with a few Brent Geese, Sandwich Terns, Gannets and a Merlin the highlights. At the observatory both Goldcrests and Firecrests were trapped and processed, a Yellow-browed Warbler in the NE corner of The Desert per OL, 4 Woodcock and Continental Coal Tits in The Desert per PT. The Dusky Warbler still present and showing well at times.
 Dusky Warbler
 Dusky Warbler
As Dungeness seemed packed with tourists this afternoon, I opted for a walk from Scotney out to the wind farm and back with Sally. Walland Marsh was windless and warm which is unusual, it was also very quiet avian wise.
On the walk out the low sun made seeing anything in front of us very difficult, consequently little was seen, though a White Wagtail in the sheep paddock was a surprise. Around the wind turbines 3 Common Buzzards were soaring around with a Marsh Harrier. Coming back 2 Tree Sparrows, several Reed Buntings and a couple of Stonechats were seen. I found a Bat impaled on the barbed wire fence. Having never handled a Bat before I was unsure as how to release it with out injuring it. I managed to gently hold it, while unhooking its wing from the barbs, having done that I released it, only to find one of its claws was jammed in the wire, taking hold of it again I unrolled the barb releasing the claw and getting bitten for my trouble, I then released the Bat which flew off strongly. As we walked through the farm yard a Barn Owl flew out landing briefly on a post before heading off towards Bretts. 
 Bat sp???
 Barn Owl
 White Wagtail
A fairly busy night in the Plodland trap with 5 Feathered Thorns which are new for the trap, a Vestal, Large Wainscots, Angle shades etc.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I do like to be beside the seaside!

A steady passage of Kittiwakes today
3 sessions at the fishing boats today with AJG, SG & KR. 06.30-08.30, 09.30-10.30, 13.50-16-20
Brent Goose: 23E   22W
Gadwall: 1W
Pintail: 15W
Shoveller: 10W
Common Scoter: 142W
Great-crested Grebe: 7 around
Red-throated Diver: 8W
Black-throated Diver: 1W
Gannet: 1,086W
Cormorant: c40 around
Dunlin: 9W
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Pomarine Skua: 2W
Arctic Skua: 1W
Mediterranean Gull: 13W
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 on beach
Kittiwake: 1,226W
Sandwich Tern: 40W
Guillemot: 187W
Razorbill: 18W
Auk sp: 49W
Swallow: 1 out
Pied Wagtail:12W
Skylark: 4W
Starling: 14 in
Goldfinch: 240 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
c60 Common Scoter
The Dusky Warbler was still present and still as skulky in the windy conditions. No sign of the Yellow-browed Warbler or much else in the lighthouse garden today.
On the reserve 4+ Great White Egrets and 2 Black-necked Grebes also the leucistic Bittern per MH & SG. In the gull roost by the access track 3 Caspian Gulls (DW) and at least 2 Yellow-legged Gulls. 
A tatty Palpita vitrealis only my second
Mottled Umber first for me (Scarce here)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Another Dusky!

08.00-08.40 from The Point with AJG:
Brent Goose: 13E   25W
Pintail: 32W
Wigeon: 37W
Teal: 146W
Tufted Duck: 4W
Red-throated Diver: 2E
Gannet: 32W
Kittiwake: 9W
Guillemot: 6 on sea        3W
Razorbill: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 1E   7W
Pied Wagtail:  3 on beach
At  08.40 a call from Steve Gale who was less than 100yds away telling me he was looking at a Dusky Warbler brought a sudden end to our sea watch. A couple of minutes later we watching the bird, which was a little more showy than Mondays bird, though getting photographs of it was still very difficult. While watching and trying to photograph it there was a constant flow of Goldcrests coming in over the beach, while overhead, Siskins, Redpolls, Tree Sparrows, Chaffinches, a Brambling and Goldfinches. Another call came through from AJG saying that SO had found a Yellow-browed Warbler in the lighthouse garden was enough to make me leave the Dusky Warbler and head for the lighthouse. Once again minutes later the Yellow-browed Warbler popped up in the Sycamore but giving no chance of photographing it. Also in the garden many Goldcrests with arriving, a minimum of 2 Firecrests, several Chiffchaffs, also at least 3 Black Redstarts that literally dropped out of the sky. 
 Dusky Warbler an excellent find by Steve Gale
 Dusky Warbler
 Dusky Warbler

Black Redstart
After a quick lunch I visited Scotney where a Slavonian Grebe was new in, also there of note c400 Golden Plover and several 100s of Wigeon.
On the New Diggings the 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Great White Egret , while a quick late afternoon look at the sea produced a flock of c80 Brent Geese, a flock of 15 Kittiwakes and 2 Harbour Porpoises of note.