Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Foggy Monterey Pelagic

The sea was mirror calm and the light was so poor and flat that most of the images I took were deleted, the following are the best I could in the circumstances.
Pigeon Guillemot just outside the harbour
Black-vented Shearwater we saw 1,000s of these but this was the only usable image
Rhinoceros Auklet only 5 seen
 Pink-footed Shearwater. These followed the boat all day but I still only got a few usable images.

Red-necked Phalaropes 1,000+ seen

An Arctic Skua about to have an Ashy Petrel for lunch!
 Sooty Shearwater. Many 1,000s seen and 100s of images taken.

This juvenile Long-tailed Skua appeared out of the gloom right overhead, once again the light was challenging.
 Black-footed Albatross several seen.

 3 of these Yellow warblers came aboard along with an American Redstart
This bird was caught, put in a bag and released on return to the harbour.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Mammals from my Monterey Pelagic!

A few images of mainly Mammals from a Monterey Pelagic from. my recent family trip to California. The sea was mirror calm and the fog lingered all day making photography very challenging
 California Sea Lion with Brandt's Cormorants
 Small Ocean Sun Fish with inquisitive 3cal yr California Gull
 Pacific White-sided Dolphinn
 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
 Risso's Dolphins
 White-sided Dolphin
 Small Blue Whale
 Humpback Whale in the gloom
 A huge Blue whale a photograph cannot convey its size.
 A large Fin Whale
 Another Humpback Whale with a photo bombing Sooty Shearwater.
Californian Otter

Saturday, 24 September 2016

2 hours this morning 07.30-09.30 from the sea watch hide started promisingly but petered out.
7+ Arctic Skuas, 4+ Great Skuas and a Manx Shearwater were the highlights, with 100s of Hirundines going out.
 Sand Martin Dengemarsh
Late morning at Galloways saw only of note a couple each of Winchat and Stonechats. At Dengemarsh 2 Stoats were playing in the field and good numbers of Sand Martins were moving through, by hay field 3 2 Winchats and a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Common Snipe flew over. I met DW, GH, DC and SO at Springfield Bridge where we clocked up 7 raptor species Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Peregrine, Hobby, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, but not the hoped for ring tail Harrier.
 Common Snipe Dengemarsh
JU082 Great Black Backed Gull
A late afternoon sea watch was a total non event. I joined Mick & Richard further along the beach where they had attracted many gulls with there popcorn, bread and Fish offal, among the Gulls was JU082 a Norwegian ringed Gull which I photographed on 13th August 2016. As I had been out most the day I left them early to get some tea, which I had just started on when Richard text me to say a Caspian Gull had come in and was showing to a few feet, hunger got the better of me so hopefully it will still be around tomorrow.

Friday, 23 September 2016


 Juvenile male Sparrowhawk caught in the Heligoland trap
This morning plenty of Chiffchaffs around The Point, at least 50 ringed at the observatory, also 3 Willow Warblers, several Blackcaps, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Black Redstarts, a Wheatear, a Firecrest, a Cetti's Warbler, a late Cuckoo, a trickle of Hirundines but no Y.B Warblers. 
 A late juvenile Cuckoo
The reserve was quiet today with few waders, just 2 Little Stints, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers and a Ruff. Several Winchats and Wheatears could be seen around the reserve along with more Chiffchaffs, Common Whitethroats and Blackcaps.
 Winchat at Galloways
Galloways was very quiet this afternoon but a Winchat did pose quite nicely.
This evening while waiting for the Egrets to come in to roost, a Kingfisher was dashing back and forth across the lake, a party of 42 Sand Martins flew through, also a party of c100 Swallows. A Cattle Egret, 8 Great White Egrets and 24 Little Egrets roosted tonight. 
Convolvulous Hawk Moth by the MV last night.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Osprey and Hirundines!

A short sea watch first thing this morning produced my first Merlin and Brent Geese of the Autumn, a few Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns and an Arctic Skua.
100s of House Martins around the new lighthouse
Around The Point 1,000s of Swallows and House Martins, I only saw 4 Sand Martins. A walk in the Desert saw 2 Sparrowhawks, a Raven, 7 Kestrels, c30 Meadow Pipits, 2 Stonechats, 3 Black Redstarts, 3 Common Whitethroats and 4 Chiffchaffs. A the observatory I saw my first Firecrest of the Autumn also a super Clifden Nonpareil moth caught by GH at Tenterden.
 Clifden Nonpareil
A late morning visit to the ARC was disappointing with just 1 Ruff and c150 Golden Plover of note.
 Meadow Pipit bathing in the fishing boat puddles
 This afternoons sea watch from the fishing boats14.30-15.30 I was joined by AJG.
Brent Goose: 12W
Wigeon: 9W
Red-throated Diver: 1W (first of the Autumn for me a super summer plumaged bird)
Gannet: 16E
Grey Plover: 3W
Mediterranean Gull: 1W
Kittiwake: 2W
Sandwich Tern: 107W
Common Tern: 15W
Razorbill: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 1W
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Osprey over the ARC water tower with some of its tormentors
As I was heading back to the reserve an Osprey flew over the causeway being harassed by several corvids, by the time I was able to stop and raise the camera the Osprey was over the ARC water tower heading towards the Mirrors. About half an hour later I was in the ARC car park when a message from PT alerted to an Osprey sitting on a telegraph pole on the north bank of the ARC being viewed from Hanson hide. The bird was quite distant from the hide but enjoyable as most Ospreys at Dungeness seem to fly through very quickly, usually only seen by a couple of people. 
A late afternoon visit to the reserve found a minimum of 7 Great White Egrets, 3 Little Stints, 3 Rull, 4 LRPs, 3 Ringed Plovers and 2 Dunlin. 2 Whinchats were by the entrance track near Boulderwall Farm. The Osprey was still sat on its pole when I left the reserve at 17.30, not sure if 2 birds were involved.           

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.