Sunday, 14 February 2016


 With a little imagination you can pick out the Slavonian Grebe flying with a Great-crested Grebe.
A very busy sea watch this morning from the fishing boats in a bitter NE wind 09.00-10.40:
Red-throated Diver: 32E   5W
Great-crested Grebe: 2,661 moved North into Lade Bay
Slavonian Grebe: 1E
Gannet: 53E   2W
Cormorant: N/C but several 100s present
Oystercatcher: 1E
Kittiwake: 37E   + c25 in feeding flock o/s
Glaucous Gull: 1 the regular 1w bird around
Caspian Gull: 1 the regular 1w bird around
Guillemot: 248E
Razorbill: 14E
Auk sp: 135E   27W
1w Caspian Gull in the puddles this morning!
Mid morning from Cockles Bridge, 8 Red-legged Partridge, c150 Golden Plover, c500 Lapwing, 2 Egyptian Geese with the Greylags, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Common Buzzard and a Great White Egret.
Early afternoon back at the boats more Red-throated Divers and Guillemots moving into Lade Bay and both Glaucous and Caspian Gull in the roost.
A drive around Dengemarsh, Brett's Marina, Galloways and Scotney saw the usual suspects but nothing of real note.
Apparently the Long-eared Owl was flushed by a photographer, who left the footpath and walked behind the Dipping Pool. Lets hope it will return to its favoured roost tonight.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Hen Harriers make the day!

I went to the fishing boats this morning full of hope as a cold SE wind was blowing, after a few minutes I realised today would not be a classic day>
08.10-09.10 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 3E     4W
Red-throated Diver: 14W   2E
Great-crested Grebe: many present
Fulmar: 3W
Gannet:  29W    4E
Cormorant: many present
Mediterranean Gull: 2W
Glaucous Gull: the regular1w bird on the beach.
Kittiwake: 9W
Auk sp:  66W    9E
A look around Dennis's Hide for yesterdays possible Siberian Chiffchaff drew a blank, as did a few minutes staring into the bushes behind the Dipping Pool for Long-eared Owls, though not surprising as the SE wind was blowing straight into the roost. A drake and 3 duck Smew and 10 Goldeneye were the highlights on Burrowes, 2 Great White Egrets from the entrance track also 300+ Golden Plover, c40 Dunlin, c500 Lapwing and 2 Marsh Harriers.
 The flooded Wicks
Late this afternoon I walked along the sea wall from Jury's Gap to the Midrips/Wicks, on the beach several more clusters of Goose Barnacles, also c120 Oystercatchers, 27, Sanderling, 3 Dunlin, 1 Knot and 2 Grey Plover. On the pools 16 Shelduck, c80 Wigeon, 12 Shoveler, 4 Teal, 10 Redshank and c100 Golden Plover. At dusk a Ring-tailed Hen Harrier and an adult male Hen Harrier my first this year, also a Marsh Harrier came in.
Sanderling on the beach at the Wicks

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

 1 of the clusters of Goose Barnacles on the beach at Dengemarsh Gully
With a brisk North Westerly blowing I decided against my usual sea watch from The Point this morning, instead I drove to the seaward end of Dengemarsh Gully and walked along the tide line to the switching station and back. I found several clusters of Goose Barnacles but no Columbus Crabs among them. Avian interest was in the form of a Raven and a Peregrine.
 My first Black-tailed Godwit of the year!
Parking at Scotney Farm entrance I walked through the farm past the back lakes to Jurys Gap then back along the cycle path to Scotney. Despite the sunny weather avian interest was very poor, just 11 Brent Geese and c25 Greylag Geese on back lakes, along with 4 Pintail, a few Shoveler, Teal, Shelduck, 5 Little Grebes, 3 Little Egrets and a couple of Marsh Harriers over. In the fields a few Skylarks and Reed Buntings, 2 Corn Buntings and 2 Tree Sparrows. Jurys Gap to Scotney was virtually bird less. The highlight was my first Black-tailed Godwit of the year in the pools on the sward with 10 Ringed Plovers. Also on the sward the feral Barnacle Goose flock has reappeared after a couple of weeks absence.
Video of Glaucous Gull in the puddles this afternoon.
This afternoon the 1w Glaucous Gull was showing well in the puddles and the 1w Caspian Gull was on the beach. Little else of note to be seen there this afternoon other than the visibility out to sea.
Bolougne from Dungeness.
A walk late afternoon at the ARC to the pines saw the usual Marsh Harriers but no Bitterns today, 5 more Black-tailed Godwits flew over towards Greatstone, a red head Smew was on the lake, a Tit flock with c15 Long-tailed Tits was around the pines also a Chiffchaff there. 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Just a light breeze at The Point this morning but constant rain throughout the sea watch:
Common Scoter: 1W
Red-throated Diver: 3W   1E
Fulmar: 3W
Gannet: 19W      13E
Turnstone: 20 on beach
Mediterranean Gull: 4W     1E
Kittiwake:  357W
Glaucous Gull: 1 the regular 1w bird
Guillemot: 3W
Auk sp: 13W

The 1w Caspian Gull was in the roost this afternoon.

On the reserve a Great Northern Diver put in a brief appearance, the 2 Long-eared Owls are still in the bushes behind the Dipping Pool, 3+ Great White Egrets, several Bitterns and the usual Marsh Harriers around. Late afternoon at the ARC several Cetti's Warblers singing, a couple of Chiffchaffs along with the usual wildfowl.   

Monday, 8 February 2016


 As I drove onto the beach this morning this was the first Gull that caught my eye, hopefully there will not be any more like this.
1 of 153 Fulmars that passed West this morning. My highest total of Fulmars at Dungeness.
As the wind was blowing force 8-10 all day I spent most of the it in the relative shelter of the fishing boats, to be honest the wind would have made birding elsewhere on the peninsula virtually impossible. Some of the huge waves were very impressive, though the Fulmars and Kittiwakes seemed to make light work of the winds. 
08.00-12.00 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 8E
Red-throated Diver: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 3W
Fulmar: 153W
Gannet: 12W
Cormorant: Present N/C
Kittiwake: 218W
Glaucous Gull: 1 the regular 1w bird
Guillemot: 17W
Auk sp: 24W
I spent most of this afternoon photographing the Gulls feeding on the numerous Whiting that were on the shoreline.
 Herring Gull
 Great Black-backed Gull
  Great Black-backed Gull
 Great Black-backed Gull
 The 1w Caspian Gull after swallowing 3 Whiting in as many seconds!
 2w Yellow-legged Gull
 2w Yellow-legged Gull
Goose Barnacles that have probably drifted from the Caribbean!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Quiet after the Storm.

After a very wild night weather wise on the peninsula and the SW wind still blowing I wasn't expecting much of a sea watch, which was just as well as nothing was moving at sea. A few Auks and Kittiwakes were tooing and froing and a handful of Gannets were feeding also the 1w Little Gull gave a fly by. The 1w Glaucous Gull flew by and the 1w Caspian Gull landed more or less at my feet, I resisted the temptation to take more pictures of them. I started to walk towards the Lifeboat Station where 100s of Gulls were feeding along the tideline, as I headed out towards them they were all spooked possibly by an unseen Great Skua, anyway they all flew towards me including the 1w Glaucous Gull again which landed just a few feet from me. This time I could not resist taking a few more snaps. Also 35 Turnstones flew in which I did resist.   
 Just couldn't resist a few more snaps.
At Scotney there was no change, the waves were lashing the Herring Gull island while on the lake just a few Tufted Duck and Wigeon sheltering in the bays.
Early afternoon back at the fishing boats there was even less off shore. On the beach the Glaucous and Caspian Gull were being well fed while posing very nicely for there constant stream of admirers. Galloways apart from a few Stock Doves and a Kestrel it was its usual disappointing self.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Sea Watching

1w Glaucous Gull in the gloomy morning light.
2 sea watches today in strong SSW winds 08.30-10.00 & 12.20-14.45. On both occasions the Great Skua flew past I was for warned as the 1,000s of Gulls lifted high off the sea to escape its attentions.
Brent Goose: 70E
Common Scoter: 14E
Red-throated Diver: 26W
Great-crested Grebe: 47 on sea
Fulmar: 3W
Gannet: 99W
Cormorant: c600W
Oystercatcher: 1W
Turnstone: 6 on beach
Great Skua: 1W flew back East this afternoon
Little Gull: 1 1w around
Black-headed Gull: c3,000W
Common Gull: c1000W
Herring Gull: c1500W
Caspian Gull: 1 the regular 1w bird
Glaucous Gull: 1 the regular 1w bird
Kittiwake: 231W + feeding flock of c60
Guillemot: 619W
Razorbill: 18W
Auk sp: 78W
Wood Pigeon: 9W
 Some of the Gannets came close inshore
The regular 1w Caspian Gull

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A fairly quiet day weather wise and bird wise today at Dungeness.
08.15-09.15 from the fishing boats
Red-throated Diver:  36W  3E
Fulmar: 8W
Gannet: 38W
Cormorant: many present
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Glaucous Gull: 1  regular 1w bird on beach
Kittiwake: 78W
Guillemot: 37W
Razorbill: 16W
Auk sp: 521W
On my way to Scotney a quick stop off at the southern end of the New Diggings saw 2 Black-necked Grebes of note there.
A wander around the back of Scotney found of note 33 White-fronted Geese and 8 Brent Geese among the hordes of Greylag Geese, 2 Peregrines flew over as did 2 Marsh Harriers, 10 Pintail were on the eastern lake, a Stonechat, 4 Corn Buntings, 6 Skylark and few Reed Buntings were in the weedy areas. On my back the White-fronted Geese relocated to the sward beside the main lake.
Some of the White-fronted Geese at Scotney
 This afternoon back at the beach the 1w Glaucous Gull and the 1w Caspian Gull were showing very well. A count of 372 Great-crested Grebes feeding off The Point this afternoon. The 2 Long-eared Owls were still in the bushes behind the Dipping Pool.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

With the demise of the Grey Partridge even Red-legged Partridges are scarce on the peninsula now. These ones were at cockles Bridge early this morning. 
A much quieter morning at the fishing boats today.
Red-throated Diver: 11W
Great-crested Grebe: 100+ on sea
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 29W
Cormorant: n/c
Turnstone: 42 on beach
Kittiwake: 136W
Caspian Gull: 1 regular 1w bird on beach
Glaucous Gull: 1 regular 1w bird on beach
Guillemot: 36W
Razorbill: 112W
Auk sp: 47W
Still quiet on the reserve, a drake and duck Smew, 10+ Goldeneye, among the many Teal, Shoveler and Tufted Ducks,  the 2 Long-eared Owls still behind the Dipping Pool, Peregrine over, also 3+ Bitterns around Hookers, a Great White Egret and the usual Marsh Harriers.
This afternoon on The Point the 1w Glaucous Gull and 1w Caspian Gull were performing very well.
 1w Glaucous Gull
 2 for the price of 1
 1w Glaucous Gull
1w Caspian Gull

Monday, 1 February 2016


 The only Mediterranean Gull I saw though I probably missed some.
As I went to the fishing boats this morning a gale force westerly was blowing drizzle across The Point giving me very low expectations of a good sea watch. I was very pleasantly surprised to see a constant westerly passage of birds off shore from the relative shelter of the boats. Unfortunately I was on my own, so without a doubt I missed a whole lot more.
Brent Goose: 15E
Wigeon: 2W
Teal: 1W
Red-throated Diver: 9W
Great-crested Grebe: 124 on sea
Fulmar: 8W
Gannet: 139W
Cormorant: 1,074W
Turnstone: 36 on beach
Mediterranean Gull: 1W
Kittiwake: 492W
Black-headed Gull: c1,000W
Common Gull: c1,500W
Herring Gull: c500W
Caspian Gull: 1 regular 1w bird on beach
Glaucous Gull: 1 regular 1w bird on beach
Guillemot: 1,310W
Razorbill: 2,613W
Auk sp: 227W

 The 1w Glaucous Gull in the beach roost
On the reserve 2 Long-eared Owls were hunkered down deep in the bushes behind the Dipping Pond, from Makepiece a red head Smew was among a couple of hundred Teal sheltering at the back of the Burrowes. While in the VC in the company of MH the army let off 10 huge explosions on the ranges which flushed all the wildfowl on the reserve, among the 100s commoner wildfowl 4 Goosanders (2 drakes+2 ducks) and a Great White Egret flew across the lake. 
At Scotney there were 6 Ringed Plovers on the sward and once again very few geese though they are probably on the more sheltered back lake. The main lake was more like an Ocean with rollers swamping the Gull island, a single Goldeneye was in the centre of the lake while in the lee of the bays the Tufted Duck and Wigeon were sheltering. 
Back at the beach this afternoon 1,000s of Gulls were feeding along the shoreline but little was moving offshore. The 1w Caspian Gull was in the puddles, a short video of it can be seen HERE 
Late afternoon half an hour in Dennis's hide with MH 10+ Goldeneye, another Goosander flew through, a Great White Egret and a couple of Marsh Harriers were the highlights. 
Goldeneye from Dennis's hide 
Goosander from Dennis's hide