Friday, 17 February 2017

06.55-08.55 from the sea watch hide with BB and AJG who collated the numbers:
Red throated-Diver: 145 up
Great-crested Grebe: present n/c
Fulmar: 2 down
Gannet: 198 up
Cormorant: Many present n/c
Brent Goose: 423 up
Pintail 4 up
Common Scoter: 21 up
Oystercatcher: 2 down
Mediterranean Gull: 2 down
Kittiwake: 13 down
Guillemot: c500 around

At The Patch a 1w Iceland Gull and a 1w Caspian Gull of note among the many Gulls present.
The Ring-necked Duck was still on Cook's Pool, in the fields behind c300 Wigeon, c400 Lapwing, c100 Golden Plover and a single Ruff. A Marsh Harrier and Great White Egret flew over.
2 Bearded Tits, a Cetti's Warbler and another Great White Egret from the viewing ramp.
This afternoon 2 Slavonian Grebes on the New Diggings could be seen from the causeway at the Boulderwall end of the lake.

14.30-15.30 from the turning circle:
Brent Goose: 3 up
Common Scoter: 5 up
Red-throated Diver: 126 up
Great-crested Grebe: 14 up
Gannet: 32 up
Oystercatcher: 2 down
Turnstone: 2 on beach
Kittiwake: 6 around
Guillemot: c 300 around

Scotney held c500 Lapwing, 20 Golden Plover, 6 Redshank a Turnstone and the usual wildfowl along with the feral Barnacle Geese.
Late afternoon at Galloways was the usual disappointment, 4 Egyptian Geese opposite Herons Park Dengemarsh Road.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


 An excellent sea watch this morning from The Patch this morning in the company of DW. The numbers of Guillemots stole the show. I did take some images of the flocks of Guillemots but they couldn't begin to convey the passage.
 1w Iceland Gull
08.10-10.45 from The Patch:
Brent Goose: 393 up
Shoveler: 5 up
Teal: 1 up
Pintail: 7 up
Wigeon: 154 up
Common Scoter: 17 up
Red-throated Diver: 96 up  24 down
Great-crested Grebe: 5 up
Fulmar: 6 up
Gannet: 114 up
Cormorant: many present n/c
Great Skua: 1 up
Black-headed Gull: Many present n/c
Mediterranean Gull: 2 around
Herring Gull: Many present n/c
Caspian Gull: 1 x 1w on beach
Iceland Gull: 2 x 1w on beach
Great Black-backed Gull: many present n/c
Lesser Black-backed Gull: present n/c
Kittiwake: 247 up
Guillemot: 9,100 up
Razorbill: c50 up
Skylark: 6 up
Grey Seal: 1

1w Iceland Gull the darker bird
 Brent Geese passing The Patch
 Ring-necked Duck
On the reserve the Ring-necked Duck still on Cook's Pool, no sign of the Long-eared Owl again. Another circular walk around the reserve saw of note 3 Great White Egrets, 3 Marsh Harriers, a red head Smew, 6 Goldeneye, 2 Bearded Tits, 2 Cetti's Warblers and a Stonechat.
Rainbow over the fishing boats this afternoon
This afternoon from the turning circle:
Red-throated Diver: 112 up   3 down
Gannet: 27 down
Turnstone: 1 on beach
Guillemot: 183 up    81 down
Razorbill: 4 up
Pair of Smew over the ARC
Late afternoon at the ARC 2 Great White Egrets, 2 red head Smew, 4 Goldeneye and the usual wildfowl.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

It was nice to get out this morning for a while after being tied up with loads of domestic stuff lately.
08.45-09.30 from the turning circle loads of birds but no surprises:
Red-throated Diver: 284 up
Great-crested Grebe: present n/c
Fulmar: 2 up
Gannet: 24 up
Cormorant: many present n/c
Kittiwake: 12 up
Guillemot: 1,000+ up
Razorbill: 21 up

The Slavonian Grebe was still on The New Diggings viewed from the causeway at the southern end.
The Ring-necked Duck was still on Cook's Pool with a Great White Egret.
No sign of the Long-eared Owl at the Dipping Pool or any Scaup on Burrowes. In a circular walk of the reserve passerines were virtually non existent, a drake and 2 red head Smew were the highlights.
Fox behind Dengemarsh Hide
Back at the beach this afternoon in the company of MH 14.30-16.00:
Common Scoter: 44 up    18 down
Red-throated Diver: 32 up      13 down
Fulmar: 1 up
Gannet: 7 down
Oystercatcher: 6 up
Kittiwake: 9 up
Guillemot: c200 around
Razorbill: c10 around

Saturday, 11 February 2017

A cold gloomy morning with the peninsula covered in a thin layer of snow and with sleet still falling.
08.30-10.30 from the turning circle:

Greylag Goose: 11 out
Red-throated Diver: 428 up  7 down
Great-crested Grebe: 37+ on sea
Fulmar: 1 up     2 down
Gannet:  44 up        3 down
Cormorant: c250 around
Black-headed Gull: many present n/c
Common Gull: present: n/c
Herring Gull: present n/c
Great Black-backed Gull: present n/c
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 2+ present
Kittiwake: 6 down
Guillemot: 48 up
Razorbill:   22 up
Auk sp: 1157  up       168 down
Pied Wagtail: 2 around
Scotney was very disappointing with very few duck and no grey geese.
On the reserve the Ring-necked Duck still on Cook's Pool, also Great White Egret and Marsh Harrier there. Behind the pool feeding in the fields  c200 Golden Plover, c300 Lapwing, c200 Wigeon and a single Ruff. 5 Scaup were on Burrowes as were 6 Goldeneye and a Goosander. A single red head Smew was at Christmas Dell. A Long-eared Owl was hiding in deep cover behind the Dipping Pool.
The 2 1w Iceland Gulls were still at The Patch this morning per OL & PT.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

I arrived at the fishing boats this morning to be greeted by leaden skies and a biting east wind coming in from from Lade Bay.  A few minutes staring out to sea was enough to let me know that there was very little change, still just a few each of Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Guillemots and Razorbills. I decided to walk along the beach to the Lifeboats Station, but gave up halfway due to the dearth of avian activity along the shore just a single Turnstone and 2 Skylarks in of any note.
Next stop was Kerton Road where I found no sign of the infamous Stonechat or any other Stonechat.
Across the causeway the Slavonian Grebe was at the Boulderwall end of the New Diggings. On Cook's Pool the Ring-necked Duck still in residence, 2 Redshank and  Ruff among the Wigeon and Lapwing there. From Dennis's hide 4 Goldeneye of note among the usual Tufted Duck and Pochard. While in the VC having a hot chocholate 6 Pintail dropped into Burrowes, no sign of the Long-eared Owls at the Dipping Pool, though not surprising with the east wind blowing straight into their favoured perches.
At Scotney no grey geese just the feral Barnacle flock and little to be seen on the main lake.
At Camber again no sign of the Red-necked Grebe, the Red-breasted Merganser still there along with a Great White Egret, 6 Little Egrets 2 Great-crested Grebes and 2 Little Grebes.
The drake Goosander still on Brett's Marina near the ski jump, at Dengemarsh another Great white Egret, 3 Marsh Harriers and few Meadow Pipits of any note.
This afternoon I spent a couple of cold hours in Makepiece hide watching the Gulls coming in to roost, no notable Gulls arrived and only 560 Cormorants came in. A pair of Goosander that dropped in copulated and left were the afternoon highlight.    

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

 Long-eared Owls at the Dipping Pool
After another day of doctors appointments I managed to get out for the last couple of hours of daylight at the reserve. As I drove past Cook's Pool I could see the Ring-necked Duck and 2 Great White Egrets there. At the 2 Long-eared Owls were showing nicely behind the Dipping Pool. Between there and Dengemarsh another Great White Egret and 2 Marsh Harriers, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and Cetti's Warbler. Back at Makepiece the Gulls were coming in including a different 1w Iceland Gull from yesterday (but looks like one of The Patch birds) A first of the year for me in the form of a 3w Yellow-legged Gull and a 1w Caspian Gull, as well as all the usual wildfowl. Not a bad couple of hours and only a 2 minute drive from home.
1w Iceland Gull 

Monday, 6 February 2017

First thing this morning I took a stroll down to The Patch and was pleased to see I had it all to my self. Although there was nowhere near as many Gulls present as last week there was still a good roost close to the hide. I had just picked out the 1w Iceland Gull when all the Gulls spooked, looking around I spotted the culprit, a big female Peregrine. Unfortunately the Gulls flew off and settled a further 400 mts away. Despite scrutinising the Gullls over the boil and on the beach I could find no other interesting Gulls. Off shore the usual tooing and froing of Red-throated Divers, Gannets and Guillemots, also more Razorbills than of late.
 Slavonian Grebe, New Diggings
The Slavonian Grebe was still on the New Diggings viewed from the causeway. At Scotney the Black-necked Grebe still, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Redshank, 3 Curlew, 2 Marsh Harriers and the feral Barnacle Goose flock. No sign of the Red-necked Grebe at Camber but 2 Great White Egrets, 4 Little Egrets, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Common Snipe, 2 Great-crested Grebes and a Little Grebe.
At Dengemarsh another 2 Great White Egrets but little else of note.
 1w Iceland Gull, Burrowes
This afternoon the Ring-necked Duck was still on Cook's Pool. Most of the afternoon was  spent in Makepiece Hide looking at Gulls and counting Cormorants, the 1w Iceland Gull came in for a bath and roosted on an island, a total 1,615 Cormorants came into roost.
Goldeneye, Burrowes

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The forecast overnight storm never happened, consequently first thing this morning at The Point the sea was flat calm, made flatter by the heavy rain. Even in the poor visibility I could see that the sea was littered with numerous Guillemots, Cormorants, Great-crested Grebes and a few Red-throated Divers. Nothing was moving until the range safety boat came along flushing everything before it, a minimum of 250 Red-throated Divers disappeared around The Point into Rye Bay.  
 Bedraggled Tree Sparrow at Midley
From the causeway the Slavonian Grebe could be seen on the New Diggings. Out on Walland at Midley a mixed flock of c500 Fieldfare and Redwing were feeding in the fields, while many Blackbirds and Song Thrushes were feeding under the hedgerows. At the feeding station plenty of Tree Sparrows, Chaffinches and Greenfinches. 
From Hooks Wall 4 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Tundra Bean Geese and a minimum of 26 Bewick Swans among the Mute Swans and Greylag Geese. 
Kittiwake this afternoon
 This afternoon back at the beach the sun was shining but very few Gulls came into the offerings. c150 Gannets were plunging into a presumed shoal of fish off shore, another c200 Red-throated Divers moved up channel and Great Skua flew into Lade Bay.
Guillemot this afternoon

Friday, 3 February 2017

Just another quiet day at Dungeness!

 First thing this morning as I drove onto the beach I saw a Fox curled up by the kerb in the sun and sheltered from the wind. As I got closer I expected it to run off but it just stood up looked at me and curled back up again allowing me to drive right along side it. I thought it had a piece of dead grass on its head but on closer inspection I could see it was fishing attached to a hook that was stuck in its ear. I did try to approach it on foot in the hope of catching it and cutting the hook but it would not let me close enough.

 1w Glaucous Gull in The Patch roost
As the low sun made sea watching from the fishing boats virtually impossible I made my way to The Patch. On arrival DW was already there and pointed out a 1w Glaucous Gull that was apparently there yesterday according to an observatory visitor. Also in the Gull roost a 1w Iceland Gull, 2 1w Caspian Gulls and a 2w Mediterranean Gull over the boil. Offshore the usual Auks, Gannets and Red-throated Divers.
 Driving back across the causeway a Slavonian Grebe was on the New Diggings. The Ring-necked Duck was on Cook's Pool as usual. No sign of any Long-eared Owls again today, all the usual wildfowl could be seen on Burrowes but no Smew or Goosander. From Christmas Dell a red head Smew was virtually the only bird on the lake, by the hide a Marsh Harrier, a Stonechat, Green Woodpecker, 3 Meadow Pipits and a Cetti's Warbler. At Dengemarsh 6 Russian White-fronted Geese with Greylags, Canada's and 14 Egyptian Geese, also there a Ruff among the Lapwing, a flock of c150 Linnets, c100 Stock Doves and 2 Great White Egrets.
At Scotney a Common Scoter was unusual, the Black-necked Grebe still, 3 Curlew and another Ruff. once again no grey geese. Along the road at Camber the Red-necked Grebe still, also 2 Great-crested Grebes, 2 Little Grebes and 2 Little Egrets.
Common Scoter at Scotney
This afternoon back at the beach the wind was starting to blow hard so we watched from the shelter of our cars.
14.00-15.30 from the turning circle with MH
Shelduck: 1 down
Velvet Scoter: 1 up
Red-throated Diver: 32 up
Fulmar: 2 down
Gannet: 37 down
Peregrine: 2 around
Kestrel: 1 around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 up
Kittiwake: c25 around
Guillemot: c300 around
Razorbill: 2 around
Female Peregrine on her kill, the male was loitering overhead, a brave Kestrel trying share the kill.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

A Dungeness record count of Cormorants!

This morning watch from the fishing boats:

Brent Goose: 14 up
Common Scoter: 4 up
Red-throated Diver: 222 down
Great-crested Grebe: 200+ around
Fulmar: 2 down   1 up
Gannet: 36 down
Great Skua: 1 around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 around
Kittiwake: 19 down
Guillemot: 40+ around
Razorbill: 3+ around
Auk sp: c200 around
As I had to go to Hythe this morning, I dropped into Stade Street where 2 Purple Sandpipers were on the breakwater.
At Scotney the Black-necked Grebe was still present but no grey geese, 3 Ringed Plovers flew over my first of the year. The drake Goosander was still on Bretts Marina also a Great White Egret there.
The Ring-necked Duck was still on Cook's Pool this afternoon and another Great White Egret.
Most of the afternoon was spent in the shelter of the VC in the company of MH and DW, where another Great White Egret was seen, a 1w Iceland Gull a different individual from yesterday afternoon was in the island Gull roost, 5+ Goldeneye, a Ruff and a Turnstone among the Lapwing also a couple of Marsh Harriers of note. The most notable sighting was a Dungeness record breaking 1,860 Cormorants coming into roost.