Wednesday, 2 March 2016

This morning a truly forgettable hour in the sea watch hide this morning where I was joined briefly by PT and Barney. The 7-8 Westerly wind made some huge waves off shore cut certainly didn't encourage any movement.
Common Scoter: 2E
Red-throated Diver: 10E  2W
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 3E
Kittiwake: 2E
Auk sp: 4E
Another hour spent between the fishing boats and Lifeboat Station, once again no sign of the Glaucous Gull, the only notable bird I saw was a North Thames colour ringed Herring Gull K9PT.
A walk around a windswept Scotney complex was bracing, most the wildfowl was cowering from the wind in the shelter afforded by the banks. On the sward 12 Ringed Plovers and 11 Dunlin were feeding in the puddles with the feral Barnacle Geese. Fortunately I was at home having lunch when the hail storm and sleet showers came through.
Mid afternoon at the ARC a Bittern flew across the lake as did a Great White Egret and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Chiffchaff was in the pines. A Common Snipe was feeding in front the Screen and 3 Goldeneye were on the lake.
Late afternoon on the reserve the Long-eared Owl was showing well behind the Dipping Pool, from Scott hide a Kingfisher was noted, a red head Smew was among c100 Shoveler in the lee of the Willows, a Marsh harrier made several unsuccessful attempts at catching a Coot.
The Long-eared Owl showing well this afternoon as I only had my happy snapper.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Coulor ringed Caspian Gull!

This morning it was Cold, Wet, WSW 5-7 with poor visibility, can’t think why I had the sea watch hide to myself.
Brent Goose: 120E
Red-throated Diver: 94E
Great-crested Grebe: c30 on sea
Fulmar: 6E   1W
Gannet: 5E    2W
Kittiwake: 3E    2W
Sandwich Tern: 1 feeding o/s
Guillemot: 26E     4 on sea
Auk sp: 8E   3W
Harbour Porpoise: 1 o/s
When the weather finally cleared late afternoon, a visit to Scotney paid dividends when a colour ringed 2w Caspian Gull dropped in. Very little else was seen in this visit. The image below was taken with my happy snapper as my proper camera and lense is in for a much needed service.
2w Caspian Gull XDEF

Sunday, 28 February 2016

As OL was braving the strong cold North East wind on The Point this morning I decided to be equally silly and wander around the Scotney complex. The birding was very thin fare, the highlights being 2 Black-necked grebes on the main pit, 11 Dunlin,16 Ringed Plover and 2 Curlew on the sward and the feral Barnacle Goose flock at the double bends. At the back of Scotney I had difficulty seeing with the amount of dust being blasted off  the fields in the wind.
Next I walked around the reserve, I couldn't find the Long-eared Owls at the Dipping Pool, Burrowes was very windswept so it was not till I reached Dengemarsh did I see anything of note, a Great White Egret. I stopped at the view point but quickly moved on due to the wind, reaching the entrance track pools 4 Smew including the drake could be seen. Making my way back to the car park along the entrance track was unpleasant due the dust being blasted off the track by the wind, when ever a car came past it was even worse.
At the New Diggings the 2 Black-necked Grebes and the 2 Slavonian Grebes were still present.
In a short visit to the beach this afternoon I was surprised to learn that the 1w Glaucous Gull had not been seen at all today the first time since the 14th January. Offshore a few Red-throated Divers and Auks were tooing and froing.
 These images were taken early yesterday morning

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Hen Harrier!

 Stopping at the New Diggings on my way to the fishing boats the 2 Slavonian Grebes could be seen but not the Black-necked Grebes.
At the fishing boats the 1w Glaucous Gull was again showing well. In the bitterly cold easterly wind several Red-throated Divers were tooing and froing off shore, along with a few each of Gannet and Great-crested Grebe.
In wander around the Long Pits a Woodcock was flushed, a Cetti's Warbler was chattering at the causeway, 22 Coot and a Moorhen were on the pits,a few Robins, Blackbirds and Great Tits were in the bushes.
 A visit to Lydd water treatment works payed off with superb views of a Male Hen Harrier though little else was seen.

At Scotney the 2 Black-necked Grebes still sheltering under the far bank, on the sward 19 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Redshank and 4 Curlew were of note.
Back at the beach the Glaucous Gull was performing for the cameras, but still nothing moving off shore.

Friday, 26 February 2016


As a gentle SE wind was forecast for this morning I went to the relative comfort of the sea watch hide where a few bits and pieces were seen but no real movement. 
Brent Goose: 6E
Wigeon: 2E
Common Scoter: 6E
Red-throated Diver: 22E   3W   4 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: c300 on sea
Gannet: 27E
Cormorant: many present
Oystercatcher: 3W
Peregrine: 2 present
Mediterranean Gull: 3E
Guillemot: 14 on sea
Black Redstart: 2 present

A walk around The Moat found 3 Song Thrushes, a few Blackbirds and the usual Dunnocks, Robins, Wrens and House Sparrows.
At the fishing boats the 1w Glaucous Gull showing well still, but again no sign of the 1w Caspian Gull.
 Black-necked Grebes on the New Diggings
On the New Diggings 2 Black-necked Grebes as well as 2 Slavonian Grebes were of note. At Boulderwall Farm, 2 Great White Egrets, c200 Golden Plover and 20+ Dunlin among the many Lapwings.
 The 2 Long-eared Owls at the Dipping Pool  just!
The Brute!
Back at the beach this afternoon the Glaucous Gull still. Despite a couple of loaves still no sign of the 1w Caspian Gull. On the sea many Great-crested Grebes, a few Red-throated Divers and Guillemots and 3 more Brent Geese flew east.
Late afternoon at Scotney the 2 Black-necked Grebes still, c150 Wigeon, 2 Marsh Harriers, 8 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 8 Curlew, 3 Redshank and 6 Oystercatchers were all noted. 
This evening BM watched the ARC Egret roost and recorded 5 Great White Egrets and 21 Little Egrets.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Black-necked Grebes

 Little Owl, Scotney.
As it was a very frosty still start to the morning, I decided on a stroll around the Scotney complex. At the Sussex end 2 winter plumaged Black-necked Grebes, 2 Little Egrets and a Redshank. On the sward 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and 2 Curlew. Around the farm a Little Owl was enjoying the early morning sun, c20 Chaffinches joined the House Sparrows in the byres. A Great White Egret flew over the farm and joined another at the west end, in the fields and reeds c15 Reed Buntings a handful each of Corn Buntings and Skylarks were the highlights.
 Great White Egret over Scotney Farm
After a cup of coffee a walk around the reserve starting at Dennis's hide saw the Slavonian Grebe still and several Goldeneye among the many Shoveler, Gadwall and Tufted Duck. Once again I was unable to spot the Long-eared Owl behind the Dipping Pool. Between Makepiece and Scott 8 Long-tailed Tits and 3 Chiffchaffs but not the Siberian one. Between Scott and Christmas Dell I got distant views of the Glossy Ibis as flew across into Dengemarsh. I joined MH on the Hookers ramp where we saw another Great White Egret, a Bittern, several Bearded Tits, Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails calling, a flock of c300 Golden Plover, c70 Dunlin among the 100s of Lapwings, a couple of Common Buzzards and 4+ Marsh Harriers. 
2 Black Redstarts on the power station wall
This afternoon very little of note around the lighthouse, apart from the 2 Black Redstarts one of which was ringed.
On the beach 1w Glaucous Gull was still around the fishing boats but again no sign of the 1w Caspian Gull. On the flat calm sea a few Red-throated Divers and Guillemots tooing and froing.
From the causeway 2 Black-necked Grebes on New Diggings were of note.
A look down Dengemarsh Gully with MH this afternoon saw nothing of note.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Unusual Glaucous Gull Behaviour!

 1w Glaucous Gull livening up a poor sea watch this morning.
Weather wise an altogether much better day on the peninsula, light winds and sunshine.
08.00-08.45 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 2E
Shelduck: 3W
Common Scoter: 1E
Red-throated Diver: 23E   2W
Great-crested Grebe: c250 on sea
Gannet: 12W
Cormorant: c200 on sea
Oystercatcher: 1W
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Kittiwake: 5W
Glaucous Gull: the regular 1w bird on beach
Guillemot: 4 on sea
On the reserve 2 Great White Egrets from the entrance track, the Long-eared Owls excellent camouflage took me at least 5 minutes staring into the Dipping Pool bushes to spot it. The drake Smew and Slavonian Grebe were a lot easier. I joined MH at the Hookers viewing ramp, where we watched 3+Marsh Harriers put up 100s of Lapwing and Golden Plover, also 70+ Dunlin there. In the reed bed Bearded Tits were calling as were Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails, also a party of 9 Long-tailed Tits and what appeared to be 5 White-fronted Geese distantly.
At Scotney very little on the main lake and sward, at the back 3 Avocets were the first this year for me but little else seen there. 
Back at the fishing boats this afternoon the sea was even quieter than this morning, but I did have the 1w Glaucous Gull all to my self, I sat on the beach and it walked past me coming to close to photograph at times. As it walked along the shingle ridge, it was I assume feeding in some way by probing the soft shingle deeply taking large beak fulls then shaking it out which it numerous times in the half hour I was watching it. 
 Unusual feeding behaviour of the 1w Glaucous Gull probing deeply!
Shaking out another beak full!
Late this afternoon at Galloways just 8 Reed Buntings, 2 Stonechats, a Kestrel and the usual Corvids. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Constant Drizzle!

Yesterdays Harrier count at the airport had just 2 birds coming in to the roost, but 14 Little Egrets and a Great White Egret flew over at last light, also 2 Common Snipe and 2 Jack Snipe were seen on the way to the watch point.
JZ235 Great Black Backed Gull a Dungeness regular in the puddles this morning.
 The seemingly now resident 1w Glaucous Gull this morning
Yet another thoroughly miserable day on the peninsula, constant drizzle with a light Northerly wind. 
Brent Goose: 11W
Red-throated Diver: 273W     6E
Great-crested Grebe: N/C
Gannet: 6W    3E
Turnstone: 8 on beach
Kittiwake: 9W
Yellow-legged Gull: 1  3w on beach
Glaucous Gull: 1 the regular 1w bird on the beach
Guillemot: 1W
Auk sp: 1W
A walk from the ARC car park up to The Pines saw of note a Common Snipe, 3 red-head Smew and a Bittern.
 3cy Yellow-legged Gull in front the fishing boats this morning
On Burrowes the Slavonian Grebe still, the drake and 3 redhead Smew, 10+ Goldeneye also 2 Long-eared Owls behind the dipping pool.
Drake Goldeneye from Makepiece
Back at the fishing boats this afternoon 14.15-15.45 with JW
Red-breasted Merganser: 2W
Red-throated Diver: 112W
Great-crested Grebe: 851 in 1 sweep from the fishing boats feeding on calm sea.
Gannet: 55W
Cormorant: c200 on sea
Oystercatcher: 1W
Kittiwake: 19W
Glaucous Gull: still on the beach
Guillemot: 12W
No sign of the 1w Caspian Gull today.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Strong westerly wind and drizzle made for a thoroughly miserable day at Dungeness today. 
 Feeding Frenzy!
09.00-10.00 from the fishing boats: 
Brent Goose: 20E
Common Scoter: 1W
Red-throated Diver: 5E        13W
Great-crested Grebe: c40 present
Fulmar: 3W
Gannet: 4E   15W
Cormorant: c200 present
Turnstone: 4 on beach
Caspian Gull: the regular 1w bird at the puddles
Glaucous Gull: the regular 1w bird at the puddles
Kittiwake: 43W
Guillemot: 223W
Razorbill: 1W
Auk sp: 32W
 Whiting swallowed whole
North Thames U6ST in the puddles
On the reserve both Long-eared Owls showing today per SB. From the entrance track 3 Smew including the drake, along with 100s each of Lapwing and Golden Plover. At a windswept Scotney the usual feral Geese on the sward with 8 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin and 2 Curlew. A wander around Pigwell saw nothing of note.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

A wet morning with cold NNW wind didn't inspire me to rush down to the beach. Instead a leisurely breakfast and extra Coffee. 
When I finally arrived at the beach around 10.00 there was absolutely no movement off shore, but the sea was covered in birds. c500 Guillemots, c30 Razorbills, c500 Cormorants, c500 Great-crested Grebes, c30 Red-throated Divers and 100s of Gulls all busy feeding. On the beach the 1w Glaucous and 1w Caspian Gull were loafing around the puddles.
On Burrowes a red head Smew, Slavonian Grebe and a 1w Little Gull flew through. No sign of any of the Long-eared Owls today, hopefully they have just buried themselves deeper in the bushes.
Late afternoon look at Scotney, Bretts Marina and Scotney saw nothing of note.