Thursday, 10 December 2015

An excellent day on the beach!

adult Caspian Gull
As the wind was 6-8 westerly when I arrived at the fishing boats this morning I wasn't expecting to stay very long, however 7 hrs later I was still there admiring a new 1w Caspian Gull spotted by DW coming into the puddles.
The morning started well with a stunning adult Caspian Gull drifting up and down the shoreline, then a Little Gull flew west (very scarce this year), followed by a Sooty Shearwater going west close inshore, next I spotted a small dark bird flitting in the wave troughs, I eventually got my scope onto
it and was surprised to see it was a Common Snipe! In between the highlights 1,000+ Gannets, 2 Bonxies and some Auks.
08.15-13.15  14.00-14.45 joined by BM,DW, MH and PT

Common Scoter: 2W
Red-breasted Merganser: 5W
Red-throated Diver: 14W    1E
Great-crested Grebe: 344 flew west from Lade Bay
Fulmar: 4W
Sooty Shearwater: 1W
Gannet: 1,010 W    7E
Cormorant: 150+ around
Turnstone: 7+ around
Dunlin: 2W
Sanderling: 5E
Common Snipe: 1W
Great Skua: 2W
Mediterranean Gull: 1W
Yellow-legged Gull: 2 adults around
Caspian Gull: 2 (adult + 1w)
Little Gull: 1W
Kittiwake: 53W
Guillemot: 145W
Razorbill: 2W
Auk sp: 45W

Other news the Long-eared Owl returned to its chosen perch today after going missing yesterday, also 16 Bewick Swans on Walland Marsh in fields near the wind farm viewable from the A259 per BM
 adult Caspian Gull
adult Caspian Gull

 Little Gull
Common Snipe
 Mediterranean Gull
Sooty Shearwater
 Sooty and Great-crested Grebe
 Sooty Shearwater
adult Yellow-legged Gull

 1w Caspian Gull

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Leach's Petrel!

4hrs sea watching from the relative shelter of the fishing boats 08.00-12.00:
Wigeon: 2W
Common Scoter: 21W
Red-breasted Merganser: 2W (drakes)
Red-throated Diver: 12W
Great-crested Grebe: 17W      9 on sea
Fulmar: 1W
Leach’s Petrel: 1W  at 09.35  (My 220 sp for the year on the peninsular)
Gannet: 77W   3E
Cormorant: c250 around
Oystercatcher: 2E
Turnstone: 7 on beach
Kittiwake: 87W
Guillemot: 101W
Auk sp: 74W

Early afternoon at the puddles despite plenty of bread very few gulls appeared and definitely no Caspian Gull, though DW found one a couple of hours later.
A single Great White Egret on the New Diggings as I drove to Scotney, where nothing of note was found. From the double bends not single to be seen , not even on the islands.
late afternoon on the reserve the Long-eared Owl still on its chosen perch at the back of the dipping pool. From Makepiece 4 red Smew, 3 Marsh Harriers and a Kingfisher of note. Very few gulls came into the roost today and nothing of note among them.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

With the strong westerly winds dominating this weekend any birding was going to be hard work. Sea watching produced a westerly trickle of Gannets, Kittiwakes and Auks, with a few Red-throated Divers, a Sandwich Tern was feeding off shore but little else.
Not a single Caspian Gull was seen on the beach nor on the reserve, though several Yellow-legged Gulls were noted.
The Long-eared Owl sitting on its chosen branch at the back of the dipping pool continues to attract plenty of admirers. On Burrowes up to 4 Goosanders, 5 Smew, 8 Goldeneye could be found among the commoner wildfowl. A walk around the rest of the reserve found little due to the wind.
Most of the Great White Egrets seem to have relocated to the shelter of Brett's Marina.    

Friday, 4 December 2015


The down side of todays beautiful bright sunny morning at The Point, was that due to the dazzling brightness and low trajectory of the sun trying to sea watch was a hopeless cause.
On the reserve the very popular Long-eared Owl was still on its chosen perch, 4 each of Goosander and Smew, 5 Goldeneye and plenty of the common wildfowl were on Burrowes. Bittern, Bearded Tits, Great White Egret, Marsh Harriers, Chiffchaff, Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail were all showing at Hookers.
Long-eared Owl at the Dipping Pool
Adult Caspian Gull on Burrowes
Late afternoon an adult and 2w Caspian Gull came into Burrowes also 2 Yellow-legged Gulls.
 Long-eared Owl taken at another site.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Lean Fare!

Blogger seems to have a mind of its own at the moment, no matter what I do it centres most text.
A morning 08.00-09.30 and an afternoon 13.00-14.00 sea watch produced:
Brent Goose: 3 SW
Common Scoter: 30 NE
Red-throated Diver: 28 SW
Black-throated Diver: 2 SW
Great-crested Grebe: 19 on sea
Gannet: 583 SW
Cormorant: c250 around
Turnstone: 21 on beach
Kittiwake: 80 SW
Guillemot: 6 SW
Razorbill: 11 SW
Auk Sp: 3 SW
Pied Wagtail: 3 on beach
Starling: 427 in
Chaffinch: 2 in
Goldfinch: 67 over
A visit to Scotney saw the usual feral geese, low numbers of duck and a single Curlew.
Adult Caspian Gull late afternoon on Burrowes
A morning and afternoon visit to the reserve saw the long-eared Owl on its chosen perch, 4 Goosander, 2 Smew, 8+ Goldeneye, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, a 2w and an adult Caspian Gull along with all the common wildfowl.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Colour Rings

Sea watching from the fishing boats has not been very inspiring lately and today was no different. It will get better and I intend to be there when it does.
Great-crested Grebe: 32 on sea
Gannet: 11 SW  2 NE
Cormorant: n/c
Dunlin: 4 SW
Kittiwake: 16 SW
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Auk Sp: 5 SW

My next stop was The Patch. DW was already in the hide when I arrived grilling the 1,000s of Gulls on the beach and over the boil. He had seen a 1w Little Gull among the throng which despite me being there c90 minutes I failed to find. Not long after I arrived we spotted a Yellow ringed adult Caspian Gull, which after much scrutiny and blowing up of images was Yellow PKKK.
A visit to Scotney was disappointing with absolutely nothing of note seen.
A drive around Walland found 4+ Bewick Swans in fields at Horsebones Farm but very distant, a few small flocks of winter thrushes, 3 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard.
No Caspians came into the beach this afternoon but a few colour ringed Gulls were seen.
A regular quite tame Great Black Backed Gull

Another regular Great Black Backed Gull
A3BJ another regular bird

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Lapland Bunting !

Common Scoter:  1 NE    2 SW
Red-throated Diver: 2 SW
Great-crested Grebe: 36 o/s
Gannet: 72 SW
Cormorant: 396 flushed from the bay by the range boat
Turnstone: 26 on beach
Kittiwake: 5 SW  4 on beach
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Razorbill: 1 SW
Auk sp: 3 SW
Lapland Bunting: 1 on shingle behind the boats briefly
I flushed the Lapland Bunting from beside my car and it flew off low towards The Point, despite spending at least an hour scouring the area I was unable to re-find it.
The Long-eared Owl is still showing well behind the dipping pool. On Burrowes 4 Smew, 3 Goosanders, 5+ Goldeneye and the usual wildfowl. A Great White Egret could be seen on the New Diggings. 
Common Buzzard Walland Marsh
A look around the marsh this afternoon failed to find any Bewick Swans or Owls. At least 20 Tree Sparrows by the feeders, also c150 Fieldfare with a few Redwing, 3 Common Buzzards and at one of the harrier roosts 18 Marsh Harriers roosted.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Stormy Dungeness!

08.00-09.30 from the fishing boats on another very stormy Dungeness morning:
Red-throated Diver: 1 NE  1 on sea
Great Northern Diver: 1 SW
Great Crested Grebe: 34 o/s
Gannet: 186 SW     
Cormorant: 326 o/s
Oystercatcher: 1 NE
Turnstone: 3 on beach
Kittiwake: 24 SW   4 on beach
Herring Gull:    P1BT  on beach
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 5 NE
Great Northern Diver from the fishing boats this morning

 Kittiwake in the surf
On the reserve the Long-eared Owl was still showing well behind the dipping pond. From Makepiece hide 3 Goosander and 3 Smew along with all the usual wildfowl. Despite scrutinising 100s of Gulls on Burrowes I could find nothing of note.
On Walland Marsh 3 Bewick Swans at Horsebones Farm and another 15 at Swan Farm, Swamp Road.
At Brett's Marina 4 Great White Egrets and 4 Little Egrets, another Great White Egret on the New Diggings. A Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler in the Willow Trail and 3 Marsh Harriers from Hanson Hide.
On the beach this afternoon 43 more Gannets moved SW. A call from DW who was at the other end of the beach curtailed my watch with news of a 3w Caspian Gull was coming to bread.
 3w Caspian Gull near the fishing boats this afternoon
3w Caspian Gull
3w Caspian Gull
Late afternoon an adult Caspian Gull dropped into the beach roost, despite watching it for ages it refused to lift its head for the camera and as soon as I looked away it was flushed by a dog walker. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was also in the roost.
Adult Caspian Gull in the beach roost

Friday, 27 November 2015


08.00-09.00 from The Point, just enough to keep me entertained. The Purple Sandpiper being the highlight.
Red-throated Diver: 1 NE   15 SW
Black-throated Diver: 2 SW
Great-crested Grebe: 7 around
Gannet: 10 NE      13 SW
Cormorant: c150 around
Purple Sandpiper: 1 SW
Kittiwake: 5 SW      3 around
Auk sp: 6 SW       2 NE
On the New Diggings a Great White Egret and 2 Goosander, the Long-eared Owl still showing at the back of the dipping pool, 4 Smew now on Burrowes, also 2 Goosander, a Kingfisher and 2 Brambling over. 
After a full English at home I had a run around a very windswept Walland Marsh, plenty of Tree Sparrows in the usual spots, a flock of c100 Fieldfare with a few Redwing, also pleasingly Greenfinches seemed to be plentiful but most birds had there heads down.
At Scotney ad adult Caspian Gull and 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, but little else of note. 
 Ad Caspian Gull + ad Yellow-legged Gull (preening)
3w Caspian Gull from Makepiece
An early afternoon visit to the fishing boats was cut short by a deterioration in the weather, so I retired to the VC for a cup of tea with MH in the OFC. We decided to investigate a report of Red-necked Phalarope from Makepiece, where we found another adult and a 3w Caspian Gull also 2 more adult Yellow-legged Gulls but no Phalarope. The Long-eared Owl was still present at dusk.
Couldn't resist another image of yesterdays Glossy Ibis at Pett.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Glossy Ibis!

First thing this morning the sea was very quiet, just a few Red-throated Divers, Common Scoter and 240 Starling in, not a single Gannet in 30 minutes. At the back of the sea watch hide 2 Black Redstarts fly catching from the perimeter wall and 3 1w Little Gulls over The Patch. 

 On the reserve the Long-eared Owl was still sat behind the dipping pool. The Polish ringed 1w Caspian Gull was on the Island in front of the VC and an adult was out from Makepiece. 3 red head Smew from Scott, a Kingfisher and 100s of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler with a few Pintail all pushed towards Scott as the wardens were doing necessary vegetation clearance on the islands. From the viewing ramp a Bittern, Bearded Tits, a Kingfisher, 3 Marsh Harriers, Great White Egret, 4 Egyptian Geese, Cetti's Warblers, a Chiffchaff and several Goldcrests.
 Glossy Ibis Pett Pools.
This afternoon following a call from Roger H, I took a rare excursion away from Dungeness to Pett Pools where a Glossy Ibis was giving superb views close to the road. While there Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Raven, were seen, also a few Common Scoter on the sea and a few Brent Geese among the Greylags in the fields.

Adult Caspian Gull on Burrowes this morning. Taken at 130x on the bridge camera.