Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Rose-coloured Starling!

I arrived back at Heathrow just before midday Tuesday, 2hrs later I was watching the Dungeness juvenile Rose-coloured Starling around West Beach which was a site tick for me.
Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling
 Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling
This morning I went to the ARC early morning just in case the reported Greenish Warbler was still around, there was no sight or sound of it, from Hanson the islands were very quiet with the highlights being  a couple of Common Snipe, 2 Water Rail, 3 Cetti's Warbler and a few Chiffchaffs. A return visit this afternoon found c300 Golden Plover, c300 Lapwing, 2 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Garganey of note.
Egyptian Geese
At Scotney a steady stream of Swallows moving east, 20+ Yellow Wagtails, the usual Little Owl, an increase in Wigeon, 100s of feral Geese including some Egyptian Geese. The western lake at the back of Scotney is difficult to view due to the height of the Maize.
 Turtle Dove Caldicott Lane
 Late afternoon along Caldicott Lane only my fourth local Turtle Dove this year and another Little Owl.
Avocets on Burrowes this evening
Early evening on the reserve, 3 Whinchats and 4 Wheatears along the entrance track, around Burrowes 5 Great White Egrets, 4 Little Egrets, 7 Avocet, 2 Little Stints, a Ruff, 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Common Snipe, a Garganey, 8 Pintail and arise in Wigeon numbers.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Quiet! not really!

The peninsula seemed fairly quiet this weekend, but on reflection a Red-necked Phalarope, Cattle Egret, Great White Egrets, Little Stints, Wood Sandpipers, 40+Black Terns, 1,000+ Sandwich Terns, 100s of Common Terns, Arctic Skuas, Hobby, Whinchats, dozens of Yellow Wagtails, Wheatears including an adult male that came in off the sea this afternoon, the spectacle of 1,000s of Sand Martins and much more I didn't see. Just another weekend at Dungeness.
Old World Web Worm(Hellula undalis)  a scarce migrant found in my MV on the morning of 2nd September only the 4th Dungeness record per S Clancy. Many thanks to Dave Walker for ID.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Not such a bad day in the end!

This morning there was just 1 Chiffchaff in the lighthouse garden and 2 Wheatears on the approach road.
07.40-08.40 from the sea  watch hide:
Gannet: 37W   35E
Cormorant: present n/c
Arctic Skua: 3 around
Kittiwake: 1W
Black-headed Gull: c500 over The Patch
Herring Gull: c200 over The Patch
Lesser Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Great Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Sandwich Tern: 27E  21W
Commic Tern: 2E      8W
On the reserve 5 Great White Egrets on Burrowes, also a Ruff, 3 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin, 2 Greenshanks and 5 Common Sandpipers. 2 Wheatears were by the dipping pond.
At the ARC from Hanson just the 2 Little Stints, 3 Dunlin, 3+Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Ringed Plovers a Common Snipe, the leucistic Pintail, also a Common Swift among several 100s of Sand Martins. 
 Wheatear at the Dipping Pond
 Cattle Egret in Boulderwall fields
A late morning call from PB alerted me the presence of a Cattle Egret on the Boulderwall fields, minutes later I was watching it having missed all the others at Dungeness this year. While there I was looking at a very tatty Marsh Harrier when a large raptor in the distance caught my eye, putting the scope on it, it turned out to be a Honey Buzzard disappearing westwards towards Sussex. 
 Arctic Skua at the fishing boats this afternoon
14.30-16.15 from the fishing boats joined by MH:
Common Scoter: 4W
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 42W
Ringed Plover: 2W
Turnstone: 5 around
Arctic Skua: 12W
Kittiwake: 2W
Black-headed Gull: Present n/c
Herring Gull: present n/c
Lesser Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Great Black Backed Gull: present n/c
Sandwich Tern: 771W
Commic: Tern: 308W
Black Tern: 3W
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
This evening Trevor Maynard found a Red-necked Phalarope at the southern end of the ARC which was till present at 19.15 at least, while I was there the Cattle Egret came into roost. 
Convolvulous Hawkmoth in the Plodland MV yeaterday.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

 Willow Warbler
This morning around the lighthouse area a single Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and an adult male Redstart. Also a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. At the Observatory another Redstart was ringed along with a couple Lesser Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler. In the Desert 5 Wheatears, a couple of Common Whitethroats and few Swallows over all very quiet. Another 6 Wheatears opposite Jarmans.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth
 Common Redstart
 Common Redstart at the Observatory
 Small Coppers in the observatory garden
An hour at the fishing boats late afternoon was again very quiet:
Common Scoter: 1E
Great Crested Grebe:1 off shore
Gannet: 1E
Cormorant: present n/c
Black-headed Gull: present n/c
Common Gull: 3W
Herring Gull: present n/c
L.B.B Gull: 4 around
G.B.B Gull: present n/c
Sandwich Tern: 40+ feeding o/s
Common Tern: 10+ feeding o/s
Swallow: 14 S
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Early evening at the southern end of the ARC of note, a Wood Sandpiper ands a Ruff. On  Burrowes of note 2 Little Stints, 5 Common Sandpipers, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlin, a Ruff, a Black Tern and a Garganey.
 Common Sandpiper from Firth
Lapwing from Firth

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

 Waders on the reserve were the main feature at Dungeness this weekend unless you are a Larophile of course.
Up to 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Little Stints, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 6 Ruff, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Ringed Plovers, 3 Green Sandpipers, 7 Common Sandpipers, a Wood Sandpiper, 5 Turnstone, 80 Golden Plover, 6 Common Snipe, 20 Dunlin, 5 Garganey, 5 Great White Egrets, a Glossy Ibis and more.
Passage on the sea however was very poor, though 2 Sooty and a Balearic Shearwater were seen by others.
Redstart at the Old Lighthouse this morning
This morning around point, 2 Redstarts, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Pied Flycatcher, several each of Whinchats, Wheatears, Common Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethoats and Willow Warblers but nothing special. The lakes held the same waders as the weekend. A wander around the hay fields produced more Snipe and Green Sandpipers and c20 Yellow Wagtails. 
An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon was very enjoyable sitting in the warm sunshine, but avian wise a non event with just 36 Common Scoter flying east, a single Kittiwake and few each of Sandwich and Common Terns off shore, 102 Swallows with a Sand Martin going south, also several Harbour Porpoises off shore.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

A quick look at the sea this morning showed it to be very quiet, likewise the Lighthouse area.
At the reserve a Black Tern on Burrowes along with 4 Great White Egrets, 2 Garganey, a Wood Sandpiper, 7 Common Sandpipers, a Ruff, a Common Snipe, a party of 18 Ringed Plovers and 4 Dunlin of note.
 Wood Sandpiper in horrible light from Firth this morning
2 visits to the ARC found 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpipers, 5 Little Stints, 5 Little-ringed Plovers, 3 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 2 Common Snipe, a fly over Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit also 8 more at the Southern end and myriads of Sand Martins.
A Glossy Ibis was seen by RO heading towards Boulderwall fields.
  Curlew Sandpipers from Hanson this PM
2nd Vestal of the year in the MV this morning
A busy bight in the MV produced a Vestal of note among the many more usual species, also plenty of Mico's whch will keep me busy this evening trying to ID them.

Friday, 26 August 2016


 This morning I parked at the old lighthouse hoping that the garden would hold some migrants, whilst staring into an avian free garden, a young male Sparrowhawk zipped over my shoulder and landed on the fence a few metres  away until it heard the camera. A pity that the position of the ring gave me no chance to read it.
With the bushes being virtually devoid of birds I joined AJG in Hanson Hide, where a Ruff, 4 Little Ringed Plovers and a Black-tailed Godwit were the highlights.
An early afternoon sea watch was very slow with just a handful of Sandwich Terns, a Grey Seal and 6+ harbour Porpoises.
Late afternoon at Galloways and Dengemarsh Gully, 14 Whinchats, 8 Wheatears, 3 Stonechats, 4 Sedge Warblers, 8 Common Whitethroats, a Raven and the Diamond Dove by the chicken sheds.
Barred Red
The MV was busy this morning with 274 macros of 38 species. But no surprises. 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Pied flycatchers!

Around The Desert this morning a Pied Flycatcher, (another trapped) 1+ Spotted Flycatchers, 20+ Common Whitethroats, 10 Willow Warblers and a few Swallows over, also 3 Whinchats per AJG.
After doing some domestic stuff I spent 2 hours this afternoon at the fishing boats in the company of BC, PT and MH where the highlights were 2 Arctic Skuas that have been around a while and a single Fulmar and very little else.  
 Pied Flycatcher, Galloways.
 Late afternoon at Galloways another Pied Flycatcher, 6 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, 5 Willow warblers and 20+ Common Whitethroats. This evening at Scotney 32 Golden Plover, a Common Sandpiper, the usual feral geese and a Barn Owl.
Whinchat, Galloways

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


A short watch this morning from by the sea watch hide saw no offshore movement. A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was warming its self on the power station wall. 
A stroll around the desert saw of note 9 Common Whitethroats, 3 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, 14 Yellow Wagtails,  42 Swallows and 4 Sand martins over, also a Marsh Harrier was hunting over the trapping area.
At the ARC of note 9 Golden Plover, a Ruff, a Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plovers and Common Sandpiper. In the bushes a Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Cetti's Warblers.
A walk around the hay fields saw of note 20+ Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wheatears, a Great White Egret, 4 Little Egrets, 3 Green Sandpipers and 2 Bearded Tits. By hay field 3 a Diamond Dove flew up from a puddle it had been drinking from and posed on the fence. 
 Diamond Dove at hay field 3
 A party of 12 Balearic Shearwaters passing the fishing boats this afternoon (imagination required)
This afternoon I joined AJG at the fishing boats. After yesterdays 3 hours of nothing I certainly wasn't expecting to see Shearwaters this afternoon on flat calm sea.
14.10-16.15 many thanks to AJG for collating the numbers:
Common Scoter: 3E
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Balearic Shearwater: 14W (2 +12)
Cormorant: present
Ringed Plover: 1 over
Turnstone: 1 around
Dunlin: 23W
Sanderling: 18W
Arctic Skua: 2 around
Kittiwake: 1W
Black-headed Gull: present
Herring Gull: present
Lesser Black-backed Gull: present
Great Black-backed Gull: present
Black Tern: 2 present
Sandwich Tern: 133W
Common Tern: 14W
Swallow: 814S
Sand Martin: 27S
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Clouded Yellow: 4 in

2 more Jersey Tigers today 1 in the trap and this one by the trap (28)
A washed out Gem

Monday, 22 August 2016

Sand Martins!

A 30 minute sea watch from The Point early morning was very slow, just a handful of each of Common and Sandwich Terns, the highlight being a single Balearic Shearwater west.
 Another doomed Herring Gull, seems to be a near daily occurrence at Dungeness.
On Burrowes 2 Black Terns, 2 Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Redshank, 2 Garganey, 3 Great White Egrets and 100s of Sand Martins were the highlights. On the ARC from Hanson 13 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Ringed Plovers and 100s more Sand Martins were the highlights there. 
Fulmar from the fishing boats
13.15-17.15 from the fishing boats joined by MF,MH,RW & AJG.

Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Fulmar: 8W
Balearic Shearwater: 6W   (3 at 14.02 + 3  at 16.25)
Gannet: 38W    7E
Cormorant: 19 around
Ringed Plover: 4E
Arctic Skua: 2 around
Little Gull: 1W Juvenile first of the autumn for me.
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Roseate Tern: 1W
Sandwich Tern: 358W
Common Tern: 466W
Sand Martin: 7S
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Grey Seal: 1