Sunday, 9 October 2016

Yellow-browed Warbler at the observatory 
A Yellow-browed Warbler was virtually the first bird I saw at the observatory this morning. A wander around the bushes and Desert saw 3 Ring Ouzels,, 2 Black Redstarts, 5 Wheatears, 6 Stonechats, 6 Redwings, a Fieldfare, a Mistle Thrush, several each of Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Goldcrest and Skylark, 30+ Chiffchaffs, 16 Swallows, 5 Brambling, 4 Tree Sparrows, a Grey Plover over, along with Meadow Pipits, Gold Finches and Linnets.
 Lunchtime watch from home saw 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Great White Egret of note.
Common Buzzard over Plodland 
At Boulderwall this afternoon a Kingfisher, a Cattle Egret and a couple of Whitefronts of note.
This evening 11 Great White Egrets and 18 Little Egrets roosted at the ARC this evening.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Ouzels and a Dove!

 Ring Ouzel
I drove straight to the observatory this morning where I met DW who was scanning over the peninsula from The Moat and picked no less than 5 Great White Egrets in the distance over the reserve, at one time that would have been a remarkable sighting, how times change. The rest of the morning I spent plodding around the The Point, The Desert and trapping area. Several 100s of Swallows moved through, along with c60 House Martins and c20 Sand Martins. 20+ Ring Ouzels dropped in bringing with them 6 Redwing, 20+ Song Thrushes and a few Blackbirds.   6 Stonechats were seen with 5 Wheatears, 40+ Chiffchaffs, countless Robins, 9 Blackcaps, 4 Redpolls, 120+ Goldfinches, 25+ Reed Buntings, a few Goldcrests, 3 Black Redstarts, 3 Sparrowhawks. With Yellow-browed Warblers seemingly everywhere, all I managed was 1 calling a couple of times at the northern end of the Pilot Path. However bird of the day was a Turtle Dove on the wires by the lighthouse.
After this afternoons rain I went back to the lighthouse in the vain hope that a Yellow-browed or 2 would have made it into the garden. 
 Ring Ouzel

 Awful images of yesterdays probable Saker

Thursday, 6 October 2016

East Wind still Howling!

07.15-09.45 from the sea watch hide with AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 178W   7E
Shelduck: 1E
Mallard: 2E
Pintail: 16E
Wigeon: 31W
Teal: 1W
Shoveller: 3E
Velvet Scoter: 1E Drake
Common Scoter: 38W    6 E
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Gannet: c50E
Cormorant: present
Merlin: 1 in
Oystercatcher: 3E
Curlew: 1E
Arctic Skua: 4+ around
Sandwich Tern: 46E
Common Tern: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 10E
Swallow: 241 out
Meadow Pipit: 54E
Linnet: 40E
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Around the lighthouse area several each of Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs and 2 Wheatears.
At the ARC 9 Great White Egrets, 2 Dunlin and the usual wildfowl. Around the Willow Trail, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Cetti's Warblers and a Water Rail. While I was in the car park a party of c25 Greater White-fronted Geese flew over the first of the Autumn.
 horrible shot of the White-fronted Geese
On the reserve the Cattle Egret was performing at Boulderwall Farm, while on Burrowes 2 Avocets, 6 Ringed Plovers, 6 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, a Goldeneye, a Yellow Wagtail and another Great White Egret. A Tundra Bean Goose was on Dengemarsh per MH.
 1 of several Mediterranean Gulls off the fishing boats this PM
14.05-15.35 from the fishing boats with AJG
Brent Goose: 30E    7W
Eider: 1W
Common Scoter: 5E   2W
Bar-tailed Godwit: 2E
Arctic Skua: 4 around
Mediterranean Gull: 5+ around
Sandwich Tern: 51E
Arctic Tern: 1 around
Guillemot: 1 on sea
Rock Pipit: 1 around
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 5+

 Brent Geese past the fishing boats this PM
Raven beating a Crow over Dengemarsh late afternoon

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

An Ouzel, some Herons and a new battery!

 Ring Ouzel at West Beach
First thing this morning no sign of any Yellow-browed Warblers in the Lighthouse area, a few Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Song Thrushes, a Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart, 2 Wheatears a trickle of Swallows and Meadow Pipits and plenty of Robins.
I drove down to Dengemarsh Gully where I unintentionally spent a couple of hours waiting for recovery because my car refused to start. While there a couple of Chiffchaffs, a Wheatear, 2 Stonechats, more Robins, a Raven and a Peregrine kept me entertained.
 Curlew at Scotney
This afternoon at a very windswept  Scotney all the usual feral Geese, 4 Curlews, a Marsh Harrier and what was probably a very distant Osprey putting everything on Walland Marsh up. 
 Cattle Egret at Boulderwall
Late afternoon on the ARC from Hanson 9 Great White Egrets, 5 Dunlin, the usual wildfowl, a Water Rail and couple of Cetti's Warblers.
Over the road at Boulderwall the Cattle Egret, 2 Glossy Ibis's, a Garganey, 2 Stonechats and c100 Swallows.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

All 4 Skuas and Yellow-browed Warblers!

I joined AJG at the fishing boats this morning after an hour we moved to the sea watching hide due to the poor light.
Brent Goose: 246W
Wigeon: 30W
Common Scoter: 152W
Red-throated Diver: 1E
Gannet: 161E
Cormorant: present
Oystercatcher: 2E
Dunlin: 15W
Great Skua: 14W
Pomarine Skua: 1W
Arctic Skua: 7 around
Long-tailed Skua: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 6(including 1 that drowned a passerine (prob Skylark)
Kittiwake: 2E
Little Gull: 2E
Sandwich Tern: 98E
Arctic Tern: 1W
Common Tern: 1W
Auk sp: 8E
Skylark: 2 in
Meadow Pipit: 32 in/coasting
Swallow: 12 out
A Yellow-browed Warbler was found by OL in the trapping area, despite searching a couple of calls was the closest I got to it.
This afternoon from the fishing boats 14.15-17.00 with DW, AJG and MH.
Brent Goose: 22W  26E
Wigeon: 18E
Tufted Duck: 1E
Common Scoter: 25W     32E
Eider: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Red-throated Diver: 1W
Gannet: 29W  53E
Cormorant: present
Ringed Plover: 2E
Arctic Skua: 4+ around
Mediterranean Gull: 3 around
Kittiwake: 3E
Little Gull: 6E
Sandwich Tern: 133E
Common Tern: 3E
Guillemot: 4W  1 on sea
Razorbill: 2E
Short-eared Owl: 1 out
Swallow: 9 in
Grey Seal: 2
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
As we were packing up a call from Brenda and Tony alerted us to 2 Yellow-browed Warblers in the Old Lighthouse Garden. As we arrived 1 of them left the garden and disappeared into the power station, the other remained till dusk but was very elusive.  

Monday, 3 October 2016


1 of c15 Chiffchaffs in the Lighthouse Garden this morning 
Wheatear at West Beach this morning
Chiffchaffs were plentiful around The Point this morning, also a couple of Goldcrests, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Wheatears, 6+ Stonechats, a Redwing and 2 Black Redstarts of note.
Scotney held a few Golden Plover, 4 Curlew and 2 Ruff along with the feral Geese.
Dengemarsh Gully held a Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff and a Raven and Marsh Harrier over. The large Linnet flock c200 birds is still frequenting the Sunflower Field.
 Avocets over the ARC after being flushed by a Peregrine
At the ARC from Hanson 10 Great White Egrets, 5 Little Egrets, c200 Golden Plover, 6 Avocets, 9 Dunlin, c200 Lapwing, a Black-tailed Godwit. As I left a Glossy Ibis dropped in.
Glossy Ibis dropping into the back of the ARC
Juvenile Gannet being tormented by a Herring Gull 
13.30-17.00 from the fishing boats with AJG and DC. Thanks to AJG for collating the numbers.
Brent Goose: 653W       7E
Shelduck: 1W
Teal: 2E
Common Scoter: 15 W  2E
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Red-throated Diver: 1E
Sooty Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 324 W
Cormorant: Present
Oystercatcher: 1E
Grey Plover: 1E
Arctic Skua: 3 around
Mediterranean Gull: 2 around
Kittiwake: 2 around
Sandwich Tern: 94W
Common Tern: 6W
Guillemot: 1 around
Razorbill: 2E
Auk sp: 12W
Swallow: 42 out
Rock Pipit: 1around
Skylark: 10 in
 This evening at the ARC Egret roost the Cattle Egret came in along with 11 Great White Egrets and 22 Little Egrets.
8th Convolvulous Hawkmoth of the year this morning

Saturday, 1 October 2016

A few Gulls & Herons from Monterey!

This was definitely not a birding trip as I had the company of my other half who has absolutely no interest in birds. My time birding was mainly limited to early mornings when it was usually foggy. 
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull

Western Gull

Heermann's Gull
Heermann's Gull

California Gull
 Black-crowned Night Heron

 Snowy Egret
 Great Blue Heron
Great Egret

Friday, 30 September 2016

Excellent day on the Peninsular!

08.10-09.10 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 1E
Red-throated Diver: 1W
Gannet: 54W
Arctic Skua: 5W   2+ around
Sandwich Tern: 114W
Common Tern: 2W
Sand Martin: c30 out
House Martin: c20 out
Swallow: c2,000 out
Pied Wagtail: 9 in
Meadow Pipit : 14 in
Linnet: 32 on beach
Grey Seal: 1
At the Observatory 50 Swallows were caught and ringed along with some Chiffchaffs and a couple of House Martins, also present a few Reed Buntings and a Black Redstart.
 7 of 11 Spoonbills that flew over Burrowes
On the reserve a quick look for the Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egret at Boulderwall was a failure but I did spot a Garganey there. While I was in Makepiece Hide Liz hunt spotted 11 Spoonbills flying over the lake, a few minutes later she spotted a funny Cormorant flying over the lake which on inspection turned out to be a Glossy Ibis which then landed on an island in front of us. It seems this was a second Ibis as DB was watching the other one at Boulderwall at the same time. Also on Burrowes 4+ Little Stints, 4 Ringed Plovers, a Black and a Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Ruff and 3 Great White Egrets of note. 
 Reed Warbler from Makepiece
 Glossy Ibis from Makepiece

 Manx Shearwater over the ARC
While I was in the Visitor Centre a lady came in saying she had seen a Manx Shearwater at the south end of the ARC diving to evade the attentions of a Marsh Harrier. Normally a very unlikely report like this I would take with a pinch of salt, but the lady was insistent and very sure that it was a Manx Shearwater, I quickly drove there and sure enough on the far side of the lake there was a Manx Shearwater, my first ever in land record and I believe a first Dungeness RSPB record unless someone knows different. My sincerest apologies to the the lady for my scepticism.  A very poor long range video of the bird can be seen HERE .
 The afternoon sea watch enlivened by an idiot trying to photograph the waves at the fishing boats
Brent Goose: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 6 around
Gannet: 48W
Sanderling: 2W
Arctic Skua: 3W   3+ around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 1w W
Sandwich Tern: 270W
Common Tern: 10W
Swallow: 32 out
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Grey Seal: 1
 Sand Martin over the VC this evening
Late afternoon early evening the Cattle Egret and Glossy Ibis were showing distantly at Boulderwall. Along the track a Hobby and Peregrine, 4 Winchats and a Great Spotted Woodpecker of note.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Long-tailed Duck Surprise.

A short sea watch from Th Point this morning in the deteriorating weather conditions, saw plenty of Sandwich Terns and a few Gannets battling the wind, also a single Arctic Skua and 100s of Swallows with lesser numbers of House and Sand Martins.
When the poor weather cleared through early afternoon I visited the ARC from Hanson. High over the lake 100s of Hirundines, while around the islands 4 Great White Egrets and the usual wildfowl but no waders.
 Arctic Skua and Sandwich Tern at the fishing boats this P.M.
14.25-16.30 joined by MH.

Long-tailed Duck: 1 summer plumaged drake north into Lade Bay
Red-throated Diver: 1 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: 11 on sea
Gannet: 77W
Oystercatcher: 2W
Grey Plover: 6W
Turnstone: 1 around
Curlew: 1W
Arctic Skua: 6W   2 around
Pomarine Skua: 1W Juvenile 
Mediterranean Gull: 3 around  2 x ads + 1stw
Little Gull: 1W juvenile
Sandwich Tern: 348W
Common Tern: 23W
Razorbill: 1W
Swallow: 105S
Meadow Pipit: 2S
Harbour Porpoise: 6+

Grey Plover past the fishing boats this P.M.
On Burrowes this morning 147 Sandwich Terns, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Knot, Ruff and Grey Plover per MH.
The Plodland MV held yet another Convolvulous Hawkmoth this morning but little else.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A quick stop off at Boulderwall farm and the Glossy Ibis immediately flew out from by where I parked and disappeared into its usual ditch to be joined by the Cattle Egret. No Sign of the Little Owl from the other day which was the first time I have seen one in that part of the reserve.
A distant image of Sundays Little Owl
A sea watch this morning was as expected disappointing with just a few Gannets and Sandwich Terns off shore, 4 Brent Geese battling westwards and a Merlin chasing Meadow pipits, also a Wheatear on the beach.
Juvenile Gannet
At the observatory it was far to windy for the nets to be unfurled, but Meadow Pipits were being caught in the Crow Trap
On the ARC from Hanson hide 2 Great White and 4 Little Egrets, still a few Sand Martins over the lake also a Ruff, Little Ringed Plover and a couple of Common Snipe all being flushed regularly by Marsh harriers . At least 10 Chiffchaffs around the Willow Trail with Several Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails..
Great White Egret from Hanson
Early afternoon another stop off at Boulderwall managed poor views of the Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egret, also Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzard 
Another sea watch this afternoon in the company of MH was just as disappointing as this morning.
14.30-15.30 from the fishing boats:
Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Gannet: 15 Around
Merlin: 1 around
Turnstone: 1 around
Arctic Skua: 4 around (2 x DP +2 x PP)
Sandwich Tern: c40 around
Common Tern: 2 around
Sand Martin: 3S
House martin: 2S
Swallow: 158S
Grey Seal: 1 around
Harbour Porpoise: 2 around
Late Afternoon in the increasingly strong west wind around Burrowes, found 4 Great White Egrets, a Little Stint, a Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher.
Last nights moth catch was much better with less Wasps, a Palpita Vitrealis, a Gem, 2 Convolvulous Hawkmoths, many Noctuella, 15 Feathered Brindles and the first Autuman Rustics of the year for me.

Palpita vitrealis
One of 2 Convolvulous Hawkmoths