Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Hen Harrier!

 Chiffchaff at West Beach
First thing this morning grounded migrants were thin on the ground around The Point. Small numbers of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, fewer Song Thrushes, 2+ Ring Ouzels, a Mistle Thrush, a Fieldfare, 2 Stonechats, a Grey Wagtail, a Merlin, c20 Swallows and 2 Woodlark overhead. Other migrants overhead were mostly stratospheric.
 Goldcrest at Lloyds
At the ARC 8 Great White Egrets, c100 Golden Plover and a Dunlin among the Lapwings and usual wildfowl. In the bushes there 2 Blackcaps, a few each of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests and several Cetti's Warblers.
At Scotney c500 Golden Plover, a Ruff and all the usual feral Geese.
A very slow hour at the fishing boats this afternoon produced 14.15-15.15
Brent Goose: 2E
Common Scoter: 3E
Gannet; 5E    7W
Sandwich Tern: 1E
Auk sp: 1E
Fox, Dengemarsh Gully
Late afternoon in Dengemarsh Gully a few more Chiffchaffs, 2 Stonechats, a Goldcrest and a Fox basking in the warm sunshine.
Hen Harrier at Dengemarsh very late afternoon
While checking the bushes at Brett's Marina very late afternoon, DW called me to say the Hen harrier that has been around for a while but has steadfastly eluded me was showing well at Springfield Bridge. \A couple of minutes later I was there but no Harrier. After c30 minute wait the Harrier reappeared and showed very well in the failing light.

Monday, 10 October 2016

A very distant Osprey
Fairly quiet in the bushes and overhead around The Point this morning, 2 Ring Ouzels were the highlights. An Osprey discovered by PT fishing the Lade Pits tempted myself and SO. On arrival the bird was fishing the North Pit while we were at the South, a quick drive to the North ensued only to find no sign of the Osprey.
Local Sparrowk in the lighthouse garden
Early afternoon at Scotney c500 Golden Plover, 2 Wheatears, 6 Curlew and the usual feral Geese, all of which flushed when the probable Saker appeared.
14.15-16.15 from the fishing boats:
Wigeon: 30W
Shoveler: 6W
Common Scoter: 4E
Balearic Shearwater: 1 lingered for a few minutes before heading into Lade Bay.
Gannet: c20 around
Mediterranean Gull: 3 around
Sandwich Tern: 5 into Lade bay
Razorbill: 2 into Lade Bay
Guillemot: 1W
Auk Sp: 2W
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2
Late afternoon at the ARC 5 Great White Egrets, c100 Golden Plover and a Black-tailed Godwit among the Lapwing and usual wildfowl.  

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.