Saturday, 12 March 2016

Still Foggy!

Another very foggy morning on the peninsula. After a full English and emptying the Plodland MV of it's 2 Hebrew Character's, I made my way to the New Diggings where 1 Slavonian and 1 Black-necked Grebe could be seen through the lifting fog. A short wander around the shingle opposite Jarman's found a couple each of Skylark and Meadow Pipit but no Wheatears.
A mill pond calm Scotney still held 3 Black-necked Grebes, of note an adult Mediterranean Gull and 2 Great White Egrets were seen there but little else.
 A happy snapper image of 1 of this afternoons Common Buzzards.
On Walland this afternoon Common Buzzards seemed to be everywhere, a couple of Marsh Harriers were seen, 6 Mistle Thrushes and a few Fieldfare and Redwings are still around the marsh. At Baynham Farm 40+ Tree Sparrows and 4 Yellow Hammers otherwise the marsh was very quiet.
Tomorrow the Lydd  half marathon is taking place on the Walland Marsh lanes so expect delays if driving around there. 
This mornings 2 Hebrew Characters

Friday, 11 March 2016

A benign day!

Dense fog on the peninsula this morning, put paid to any thoughts of sea watching which was probably a mercy. As the fog lifted a wander around the bushes on The Point found very little, a smart male Sparrowhawk unsuccessfully swooped on the House Sparrows at West Beach. The Lighthouse garden seemed to be an avian free zone apart from Wood Pigeons, Magpies and a Crow.
Even the Black Redstarts were hiding from me today. A Peregrine was around the power station and apart from the resident Robins, Dunnocks and Blackbirds I saw very little.
On the New Diggings the 2 Black-necked Grebes were joined briefly by the drake and 2 duck Smew before they went back onto Burrowes to join 6+ Goldeneye and the usual wild fowl also a Great White Egret there.
A walk up the track from the ARC car park to the pines saw 3 Marsh Harriers, one of which tussled with a Bittern right in front of me (still no camera), a Snipe flushed from beside the path, a red head Smew on the top pit and a Chiffchaff was fly catching around the Bamboo.
Another plod around the Scotney complex found 3 Black-necked Grebes and a Goldeneye of note on the main lake. Around the back a Green Sandpiper, 2 Avocet, 4 Pintail, 6 Little Grebes and a few each of Skylark, Corn and Reed Bunting. On the sward 16 Ringed Plovers, 14 Dunlin, 4 Curlew, 3 Redshank,  6 Oystercatchers and 7 Brent Geese among the feral Barnacle Goose flock.
Springfield Bridge round to Dengemarsh this afternoon, saw a Bittern over the reed bed, 10+ Reed Buntings, c40 Lapwing on Hayfield 3 which must very soon host a Garganey, 2 Bearded Tits chasing along the ditches, 3+ Marsh Harriers and a Peregrine putting up all the Wigeon and Greylags.
This evening a Slavonian Grebe was on the New Diggings along with the Black-necked Grebes and the drake Smew again.
6 Great White Egrets and 26 Little Egrets roosted at the ARC this evening.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

An Excellent Sea Watch!

I joined the new Dungeness Bird Observatory assistant warden David Campbell in the sea watch hide this morning for a cold, damp, windy but truly memorable sea watch. We were later joined by MH, PT and Barney.
Brent Goose: 246E
Gadwall: 1E
Pintail: 12E
Shoveler: 4E
Teal: 2E
Eider: 11E
Common Scoter: 306E    1W
Red-throated diver: 45E   6W   2 O/S
Great-crested Grebe: present
Fulmar: 412E   3W (inc. 17 Blue Fulmar all E)
Gannet: 875E    3W
Cormorant: present
Oystercatcher: 71E
Avocet: 6E
Curlew: 14E
Dunlin: 1E
Great Skua: 2E   1W
Kittiwake: 718E
Mediterranean Gull: 5E
Sandwich Tern: 1E
Guillemot: 53E   2W
Razorbill: 1E
Auk sp: 156E   2W
Meadow Pipit: 2E
Starling: 6E
Harbour Porpoise: 1
Grey Seal: 1

Very frustratingly several of the Blue Fulmars came past very close but my camera is still being repaired.

A lunchtime stop at the southern end of the New Diggings found 3 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Slavonian Grebes.

At the fishing boats this afternoon normal service resumed:
Common Scoter: 1E
Red-throated Diver: 1W
Gannet: 2E
Oystercatcher: 10E
Mediterranean Gull: 1W ad
Guillemot: 3E
Auk sp: 3E

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

2 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes and 2 red head Smew seen on The New Diggings this morning while on my way to the beach. 
Black-necked Grebe, New Diggings taken with the happy snapper this morning.
In 2 sea watches today 07.45-09.00 & 13.50-15.40:
Brent Goose: 47E
Common Scoter: 12E     6W
Velvet Scoter: 3E
Eider: 3E
Red-throated Diver: 32E      3W     2 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: 105 on sea
Gannet: 19E      2W
Cormorant: present N/C
Oystercatcher: 8E
Kittiwake: 10E     3W
Guillemot: 8E       15 on sea
Auk sp: 67E     2W
Black Redstart: 2 on perimeter fence
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
A wander around Scotney found 2 Great White Egrets on the back lakes, also 2 Avocet, 4 Pintail and a few Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall and Shoveller. On the fields several each of Skylarks, Corn Buntings, Reed Buntings and a Marsh Harrier.
Another Great White Egret from the entrance track of the reserve, while on Burrowes 3 more Smew, 8+ Goldeneye, 100s of Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck and Pochard.

Monday, 7 March 2016

1 of 3 around the car park
Another day of cold Northerly winds with sleet, hail and rain showers. A stop at the New Diggings on my way to the beach saw both Slavonian and both Black-necked Grebes.
At The Patch the bulk of the c1,000 Gulls was made up of Black-headed Gulls, I was unable again to find any of the more unusual Gulls. On the sea the usual Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants, with a few Red-throated Divers and Gannets tooing and froing. Back at the car park 3 Black Redstarts were chasing around. At least 1 was ringed so they probably resident birds. Very little in the lighthouse garden though 2 Blue Tits dropped out of the sky pausing briefly before heading off north along the peninsula.
A walk from the ARC car park to the pines saw of note 2 Marsh Harriers, 4 Common Snipe, 3 Cetti's Warblers, a Chiffchaff and a red head Smew on the top tower pit. 
At a bleak Scotney a few Ringed Plovers and Meadow pipits on the sward was a poor highlight. 
Most the rest of the day was taken up with domestic stuff, though a short visit to Dennis's hide saw 7 Goldeneye, 3 Smew including the drake and a couple of Marsh Harriers.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

 Still showing well.
A quick spin around the reserve this morning the Long-eared Owl was still insitu at the Dipping Pool, on Burrowes 4 Smew including the drake and 10 Goldeneye, Great White Egret at Christmas Dell, another at Dengemarsh and another at Boulderwall, 3+ Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards and a Peregrine probably accounted for the lack of waders and wildfowl in the fields. Cetti's Warblers were singing all around the reserve also 2 Chiffchaffs noted.
 Missing my proper camera & lense!
On the new Diggings the 2 Slavonian Grebes were showing well by the causeway this morning, this afternoon the 2 Black-necked Grebes were there as well.
Herring Gull U5NT
This morning and again this afternoon the northerly winds meant the sea was very quiet. The usual Grebes and Cormorants, with a few each of Guillemot and Gannet. A North Thames ringed Herring Gull U5NT was a new bird for me.
An early afternoon walk around Scotney was pleasant in the sunshine, avian wise it was very poor, there were 4 more North Thames ringed Herring Gulls on the eastern causeway, unfortunately just to far away to read in the windy conditions. 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Another day of cold North Westerlies. As expected nothing moving at sea but still plenty of Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants with a sprinkling of Red-throated Divers off shore.
Very quiet still around the trapping area, a single Firecrest seen and 2 Song Thrushes of note. Around the power station a Peregrine and a male Black Redstart.
At the south end of the New Diggings 2 Slavonian Grebes and a Black-necked Grebe of note.
A Peregrine sitting on the Sward at Scotney meant that there were no waders or wildfowl there.
A walk along the sea wall from Jurys Gap to Galloways and back was bracing and not very productive, c70 Wigeon, 32 Shelduck, 14 Shoveler, 8 Teal, 3 Pintail, 17 Mallard and 6 Redshank on the Midrips/Wicks. Passerines were few and far between with only 4 Meadow Pipits, 3 Reed Buntings and 5 Pied Wagtails. A Marsh Harrier livened up a very damp walk back.
The new sea defences from Jurys Gap to Camber.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

 Wind Farm behind Scotney
As a brisk North West wind was blowing first thing this morning I gave the sea watch a miss, instead I walked around the back of Scotney in the glorious sunshine though without any expectations. A pair of Peregrines were feeding on what looked like a Wood Pigeon, a Raven was feeding on a dead Sheep while fending off the attentions of several Crows and Magpies, 2 Marsh Harriers were hunting along the ditches and flushed a Green Sandpiper, several Skylarks and Corn Buntings were chasing around and singing, Reed Buntings were singing from the Reed fringed ditches, a pair of Stonechats were flycatching. Around the derelict buildings 8 Tree Sparrows, a charm of 30+ Goldfinches being watched by a male Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel caught a Vole and a Peacock butterfly was basking by the barn.  
 Peacock at Scotney
Around the reserve 2 red head Smew on Boulderwall Pools, 2 more on Burrowes also a drake, another at the South end of the ARC and 2 more on New Diggings with 2 Black-necked Grebes. The Long-eared Owl was again showing very well behind the Dipping Pool while 2 Sparrowhawks were duelling overhead.
An afternoon walk out the back of the ARC out to the mirrors was hard going, the highlights being a Jack Snipe, 4 Common Snipe, 2 Marsh Harriers another Sparrowhawk, a pair of Stonechats and a sleepy Fox.
A short watch from the fishing boats saw absolutely nothing moving but plenty of Great-crested Grebes and Cormorants on the sea.
Late afternoon at Scotney 30+ Golden plover on the sward with c150 Lapwing, 6 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 4 Curlew and 2 Redshank also the feral Barnacle Goose flock.
Sleepy Fox neat the Mirrors

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