Monday, 14 November 2016

Great White Egret!

Great White Egret at Denge Marsh this morning
As my car is in the garage until tomorrow afternoon, MH picked me up this morning. Our first stop was at Cooks Pool, Boulderwall where the Ring-necked Duck was still present but distant.
Next stop Denge Marsh hide as the rain became more persistent, there we saw Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, 4 Great White Egrets 1 of which landed right in front of us, 17 Great Crested Grebes were present plus the usual wildfowl, while in the bushes a Cetti's Warbler was making it's self heard.
From Firth hide 100s of Gulls, I had just found an adult Caspian Gull when all the Gulls and 100s of Lapwings took flight for apparently no reason, the 3 Black-tailed Godwits were still there as was a female Goosander. The rest of my day was taken up with domestic stuff.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

 1w Caspian Gull by the fishing boats this morning
07.55-09.30 from the fishing boats with DW.

                             Up Channel    Down Channel
Brent Goose:                  9
Mallard:                                                      2
Wigeon:                     250                           1
Teal:                             18                           7
Common Scoter:            6                         14
Velvet Scoter:                                              2
Red-throated Diver:       4    + 1on
Great-crested Grebe:      7+ around
Gannet:                        present n/c
Cormorant:                  present n/c
Merlin:                           1 in
Sanderling:                   12
Turnstone:                      5 around
Great Skua:                    1 around
Mediterranean Gull:     20+ around
Herring Gull:                many around
Caspian Gull:                 1w around
Lesser Black Backed Gull:   several present
Great Black Backed Gull:  many present
Kittiwake:                   150+ around
Guillemot:                      4+ around
Skylark:                          5 in
Rock Pipit:                     1 in
Meadow Pipit:                2 in
Goldfinch:                      1+ in
Grey Seal:                       2

X6LT North Thames Herring Gull at this afternoons offerings
While no Caspian Gulls were attracted by Mick and Richards Gull Banquet, there was however c150 each of Mediterranean Gulls and Kittiwakes off shore, also many distant Gannets and a juvenile Pomarine Skua marauding off shore. 
News from the reserve that the Ring-necked Duck is still present along with the Cattle Egret and the usual Great White Egrets, a Dartford Warbler was seen in front of Firth per BB. The grey Stonechat is still present in the Kerton Road Triangle along with the Dartford Warblers and a couple of Common Stonechats.  

Saturday, 12 November 2016


1w Iceland Gull
07.40-10.20  from the fishing boats with MB, DW & GH.
                                  Up Channel        Down Channel

Brent Goose:                                                 78
Shelduck:                                                      41
Mallard:                                                          3
Teal:                                                                1
Tufted Duck:                                                 5
Common Scoter:           14                              8
R.B. Merganser:                                            12
Red-throated Diver:                                      10
Great Northern Diver:                                 1
Gannet:                                                     c350
Cormorant:                   c250 around
Oystercatcher:                                                1
Dunlin:                                                           5
Sanderling:                                                     3
Turnstone:                      3 around
Curlew:                                                           3
Great Skua:                    1 around
Black-headed Gull:     Many present
Common Gull:           present N/C
Mediterranean Gull:    c35 Around
Herring Gull:               Many present
Caspian Gull:                 3+ around
Great-black-backed Gull: many present
Little Gull:                                                      7
Kittiwake:                  c45 around          +     33
1w Iceland Gull:              1 out to sea
Guillemot:                        7 on sea                62
Razorbill:                          2 on sea               47
Auk sp:                             9                          19
Skylark:                             1 in
Starling:                        470 in
Shortly after MB joined me at the fishing boats he spotted a white winged some distance out to sea which we both thought was a 1w Glaucous Gull, we both took some images of it, though I got all my settings wrong as you can see from the above image and most of my images were out of focus. This afternoon when I looked at the images on my computer the bill and structure looked all wrong for 1w Glaucous but right for 1w Iceland Gull. I called MB who checked his images and realised that it was a 1w Iceland Gull. The bird was a fair way out and the light conditions were awful, that's my excuse for getting it wrong. 
Great Northern Diver
 1w Caspian Gull
 1w Caspian Gull
 Adult Caspian Gull
1w Caspian Gull
2w Mediterranean Gull

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Red-throated Diver at the fishing boats early morning
08.00-09.00 from the fishing boats:

                                    Up Channel           Down Channel
Red-throated Diver:      1                  1 on           1
Great-crested Grebe:     7 around
Gannet:                                                              17
Cormorant:                287 around
Turnstone:                     2 on beach
Mediterranean Gull:      9 around
Kittiwake:                  136 around
Guillemot:                      3                  4 on          1
Razorbill:                                           1 on          1
Auk sp:                           4                                 13      
Starling:                      110 in
Harbour Porpoise:          2+
Yet another plod around the sea containers and fishing boats up to the Lifeboat Station and back  found just 1 Skylark and 2 Wrens.
Red-throated Diver at the fishing boats early morning
At Boulderwall the Ring-necked Duck and Cattle Egret were showing, also a Great White and |Little Egret, Bittern, Grey Heron, Common Buzzard and 2+ Marsh Harriers there.
 Ring-necked Duck at Boulderwall. If it stays hopefully I will get better images.

 Snow Buntings at Littlestone Esplanade
A visit to Littlestone saw the 5 Snow Buntings, a Rock Pipit, several Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, also a couple of Stonechats. On the shore Sanderling, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Turnstone's and Oystercatchers.
This afternoon I visited West Hythe with MH to see the Whooper Swan. It is in the field immediately north of the railway line in Botolph's Bridge Road.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

A wild, wet and bitterly cold morning at Dungeness with a decent movement of Gannets.

08.00-11.00 with MH From The Point and fishing Boats:
                                Up Channel    Down Channel
Brent Goose                 22                    82
Gadwall:                                                7
Wigeon:                                                 5
Teal:                                                       5
Common Scoter:          12
Red-throated Diver:       3         1 on      1
Great-crested Grebe:   36 around
Fulmar:                          1
Gannet:                       815  + c150 feeding off shore
Cormorant:                                        c200
Oystercatcher:               1
Ringed Plover:              1
Dunlin:                          3                    12
Turnstone:                     3 around
Mediterranean Gull:      8
Kittiwake:                   14
Guillemot:                   24                     3
Razorbill:                      3                     2
Auk sp:                        18                     6
Skylark:                         2

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Just another Day at Dungeness!

 Long-tailed Ducks, despite ample opportunity to get good images this A.M. I failed miserably
08.00-10.00 from the fishing boats with MH, DW & PT
                               Up Channel            Down Channel
Brent Goose:              55                           341
Shelduck:                    28
Mallard:                        3                            12
Gadwall:                                                       8        
Pintail:                                                          1
Shoveler:                                                      3
Wigeon:                     44   +7 in                127
Teal:                           22  + 4 in                136
Common Scoter:          3                             23
Long-tailed Duck:                                      2
Goldeneye:                  1                              7
R.B.Merganser:                                            5
Red-throated Diver:    2    + 1 on                 3
Great-crested Grebe:  7 on                           3
Gannet:                    c25 around
Cormorant:              Many present
Little Egret:                 3 in
Oystercatcher:             1
Golden Plover:         19 in
Turnstone:                   3 on beach
Dunlin:                      12
Great Skua:                1
Black-headed Gull:  Many present
Common Gull:       present
Mediterranean Gull:  c5 around
Herring Gull:          Many present
Great Black Backed Gull:    Present
Lesser Black Backed Gull:   A few present
Little Gull:                  1 Juvenile
Kittiwake:                  7                         5
Guillemot:                 8     6 on
Razorbill:                   4     3 on
Auk sp:                      12                       18
Skylark:                      1 in
Starling:               5,240 in
Grey Seal:                       1
Harbour Porpoise:           2
 A short visit to the reserve for warm up with some hot chocolate saw the usual Egrets, also a couple of Spoonbills and 2 Bewick Swans which flew north over Firth Hide the first of this winter.
 Spoonbills from firth
 Bewick Swans over Firth
 Spoonbill from Firth
 The Stonechat
I spent most of the day around the Kerton Road Triangle trying to obtain good shots of The Stonechat, it was loosely associating with a couple of Common Stonechats, also at least 3 Dartford Warblers there

The Ring-necked Ducked discovered at Boulderwall by MH late afternoon.

Monday, 7 November 2016

All at Sea!

With heavy Rain and strong Northerly winds this morning I was pleasantly surprised by the number of birds moving off shore today.
08.00-11.00 from The Point with DW.
                                           Up Channel       Down Channel
Brent Goose:                          9                               112
Shelduck:                             17
Wigeon:                                23                               17
Teal:                                       1                                58
Gadwall:                                4
Common Scoter:                                                      62
Long-tailed Duck:                                                    3
Red-Breasted Merganser:      1                                  1
Great-crested Grebe:             3 around
Red-throated Diver:              5   + 1 on
Gannet:                              331                                 36
Heron:                                    2 in
Merlin:                                   1 in
Turnstone:                              3 on beach
Dunlin:                                  7
Bar-tailed Godwit:                1
Great Skua:                           2
Pomarine Skua:                                                       3
Kittiwake:                            11
Mediterranean Gull:          127
Guillemot:                           35                                   3
Razorbill:                              7                                   1
Auk Sp:                               12                                   7
Starling:                            278 in
Chaffinch:                           20  in
Grey Seal:                             1+
Harbour Porpoise:                1+

2 Spoonbills among the Egrets from Dennis's Hide late morning
Goosanders past the fishing boats this afternoon
13.25-16.00 from the fishing boats joined by RW & MH
                                    Up Channel      Down channel
Brent Goose:                      96                    70
Shelduck:                             3
Wigeon:                               4                     13
Teal:                                     2
Mallard:                               1
Goldeneye:                          2
Common Scoter:                23                      7
Eider:                                                           1
Red-breasted merganser:                             1
Goosander:    1 + 8             9
Great-crested Grebe:            7 around
Red-throated Diver:             5
Gannet:                             223                   43
Dunlin:                               16
Knot:                                   23
Turnstone:                            4 around
Lapwing:                            18 out
Great Skua:                                                  1
Kittiwake:                           42
Mediterranean Gull:           17
Guillemot:                          17
Starling:                              12 in
Grey Seal:                             2
Harbour Porpoise:                 2+
Truly awful heavily cropped image of the Long-tailed Ducks

Sunday, 6 November 2016

So that was Autumn!

My plod this morning from the observatory across The Desert to the Lifeboat Station, back along the beach through the sea containers and the fishing boats to the Old lighthouse back to the Observatory was notable in the fact that not one notable bird was seen or heard, indeed I barely saw a Robin or Wren! All the sites I visited today were just as disappointing, apart from late afternoon at the fishing boats where joining Mick and Richard I arrived moments after a 2w Caspian Gull turned up, later an adult bird came in.
Other news around The Peninsular the Cattle Egret still at Boulderwall, Great White Egrets all around. Goosander on Burrowes, Jack Snipe ARC and Burrowes, Black Redstarts at the power station and a couple of late Swallows.
 2w Caspian Gull

 The adult Caspian Gulls little beady eye shows well in this image. 
6 years ago today MH found this gem at Dengemarsh

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Quiet Times!

First thing this morning at The Point in the company of SG & MH where the overhead migration was Zero. The sea was also very quiet with nothing apparently moving though SG did have a total of 690 Cormorants coming off the reserve to feed. As the sun broke through clouds the sea became impossible to watch from The point so we retired to the observatory for a cup of tea. News at the observatory was that the area was also devoid of avian life. 
I made a quick visit to the reserve where the Cattle Egret was still at Boulderwall but very distant. From Dennis's Hide 4 Great White Egrets and a Goldeneye among the Pochard and Tufties.
From Firth hide another Great White Egret, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Dunlin and the usual wildfowl.
 Male Sparrowhawk on my garden fence taken through the patio windows 
While at home having a Full English and watching the garden bird feeders, the Goldfinches, Greenfinches  and Chaffinches all scattered in alarm as a male Sparrowhawk swooped in and alighted on the fence, 2 Wood Pigeons also on the fence stayed put taking no notice of the hawk.
This afternoon at the fishing boats with Mick and Richard no Caspian Gulls today, but an adult Yellow-legged Gull came in and some of the c20 Mediterranean Gulls that were off shore, little else was off shore.  
 Adult Mediterranean Gull coming in for popcorn
2w Mediterranean Gull battling for its share of the popcorn
This evening at the ARC roost the Cattle Egret came in as did 17 Great White Egrets and 19 Little Egrets.

Friday, 4 November 2016

07.00-11.00 from the fishing boats with SG,MH & DW
Brent Goose: 15E  24W
Shelduck: 3W
Teal: 2E   7W
Wigeon: 20W       5E
Pintail: 1W
Common Scoter: 41E          82W
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Red-throated Diver: 2E       19W    1 on
Great Northern Diver: 1E   2W
Manx Shearwater: 1E
Sooty Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 204E    36W
Cormorant: 32E        157W
Turnstone: 2 around
Kittiwake: 57E       24W
Mediterranean Gull: 54E    13W
Guillemot: 15E   2W       4 on
Razorbill: 9E      2W          2 on
Auk sp: 631E      88W
Starling: 12 in
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
Grey Seal: 1
Late morning crossing the causeway 5 Great White Egrets & 7 Little Egrets lined up waiting for the squadrons of Cormorants to chase fish into the shallows.
 Little Owl at Scotney
Lunchtime at Scotney, the feral Barnacle Geese flock on the sward, the Little Owl on its usual perch, at the back of the farm c1,000 Golden Plover, less welcome c1,000 Greylag Geese, c200 Canada Geese, 7 Egyptian Geese, also a Great White Egret. 
 Starlings bathing at Scotney
 Guillemot at the fishing boats
As the started I went back to the fishing boats for an hour seeing a few more Auks, Gannets, Kittiwakes and Mediterranean Gulls including 11 on the beach, a couple of Guillemots were feeding on the whitebait close inshore. 
 Mediterranean Gulls on beach by the fishing boats
 1w Caspian Gull from Firth
A tweet from DW who was sheltering in Firth hide saying he had a couple of colour ringed Caspian Gulls in front the hide but was unable to read the rings, gave me a good reason to abandon the fishing boats for the relative comfort of Firth Hide. The colour ringed birds had flown but I did see 2 adult, a slightly oiled 2w bird and 1w bird, also 4 Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, a Goosander, 2 Jack Snipe and 3+ Great White Egrets.  
 Black-tailed Godwit from Firth
2 Jack Snipe in the downpour