Wednesday, 5 April 2017

 Great White Egret over Denge Marsh
Little-ringed Plovers on Hay Field 3
After a day of domestic stuff it was good to get out for an hours or so this evening. 2 Swallows on the wires by the chicken sheds, a Great-white Egret over Denge Marsh reed bed, also 2 Marsh Harriers  and a Common Buzzard, on the lake 4 Egyptian Geese among the Greylags, a few Wigeon, Tufted Duck and Pochard. On Hay Field 3 2 Little-ringed Plovers on the small pool by the gate, further out in the field 8 Lapwing and 2 Redshank hopefully looking to breed, also a Common Snipe there. By the hide 3 Sedge Warblers and a Cetti's Warbler singing.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Headed Straight to the sea watch hide this morning thinking the sea would produce after the yesterdays wipe out due to the fog. As I approached the hide a Great White Egret coasted up channel but that was  about as  good as it got.
06.30-07.50
Brent Goose: 27 up
Common Scoter: 10 down
Red-throated Diver: 6 up
Great-crested Grebe: present n/c
Fulmar: 1 up
Gannet: 47 up   26 down
Cormorant: present n/c
Great White Egret: 1 up
Oystercatcher: 14 up
Little Gull: 5 uo
Kittiwake: 1 down
Sandwich Tern: 239 up
Guillemot: 1 on sea
In the lighthouse garden 3 each of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. At the observatory at least 10 of each caught in The Moat. Around the trapping area at least another 9 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a Siskin and Fieldfare over, also a Grey Heron getting a hot reception from the local Herring Gulls as it came in off the sea.
A wander around Scotney found at least 10 Yellow Wagtails by the farm. At the back 14 Avocet, 4 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 9 Oystercatchers, 2 Mediterranean Gulls among the Black-headed Gulls. On the fields there seemed to be good numbers of Skylarks and Corn Buntings.
 Yellow Wagtail at Scotney
Ring-necked Duck
This afternoon on Cook's Pool the Ring-necked duck was showing well, for the first time in it's stay I saw it fly a short distance. A Sedge Warbler was singing from the brambles there.
3 Black-necked Grebes and a Slavonian Grebe in near summer plumage are still on the New Diggings.
A short sea watch this afternoon from the turning circle was very slow, just a few Sandwich Terns tooing and froing and a few Gannets feeding.
Early evening on Walland 40+ Tree Sparrows, 4 Yellowhammers, 2 Green Woodpeckers and a Great- spotted Woodpecker at Midley, elsewhere 2 Marsh Harriers and 2 Common Buzzards. 

Friday, 31 March 2017

This mornings sea watch was very poor by recent standards with a single Eider, a few Red-throated Divers, Common Scoter, Sandwich Terns and Gannets. As the bushes at The Point by all accounts were devoid of migrants, myself AJG and LG went to Rye Harbour for a change of scenery. On the way LG spotted a Red Kite over the fields north of Northpoint GP.
At Rye Harbour Grey Plovers, Dunlin, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Avocets, Ringed Plovers, Mediterranean gulls, Sandwich Tern, Skylarks, Wheatears and more.
 Red Kite nr Northpoint GP
 Wheatear at Rye
 Sandwich Tern at the Ternery Pool
 Mediterranean Gull at the Ternery Pool
 Yellow Wagtail at Scotney
Early afternoon at Scotney my first 3 Yellow Wagtails of the year, 6 Avocets, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 4 Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Marsh Harriers, several each of Skylarks and Corn Buntings.
 Ringed Plover at Scotney
Mid afternoonThe Ring-necked Duck was on Tanner's Pool. On Burrowes a Black-necked Grebe and 3 Goldeneye were the highlights. 2 more Black-necked Grebes and a Slavonian Grebe still on the New Diggings.  
White-fronted Goose at Springfield Bridge
Late afternoon no sign of any Water Pipits on the hay fields, but the White-front was  still showing well at Springfield Bridge.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

An interesting watch this morning with a good range of species:
06.45-09.45 from the sea watch hide in the company of BB,BC,LG,DW and AJG.
Brent Goose: 64 up
Gadwall: 2 up
Pintail: 11 up
Shoveler: 8 up
Common Scoter: 264 up
Velvet Scoter: 2 up
Red-breasted Merganser: 4 up
Red-throated Diver: 98 up
Great Northern Diver: 1 up
Great-crested Grebe: present n/c
Fulmar: 4 up      1 down
Gannet: 39 up     4 down
Cormorant: present n/c
Osprey: 1 up
Merlin: 1 out
Great Skua: 1 up
Arctic Skua: 2 up
Mediterranean Gull: 4 up
Iceland Gull: 1 1w over The Patch
Little Gull: 9 up
Kittiwake: 7 up   5 down
Sandwich Tern: 144 up
Guillemot: 1 up
Auk sp: 11 up
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
The White-fronted Goose was still at Denge Marsh this morning. A Water Pipit was seen on hay field 1, a bird that I have not managed to see at Dungeness before, so I was very happy when it was still present when I arrived albeit but very elusive in the long grass. Another visit this evening found 3 Water Pipits there, but they were all still very elusive. I only managed to get a terrible record image.
 The smudge is a Water Pipit
Another sea watch from the fishing boats this afternoon was very pleasant in the warm sunshine, although not much was passing:
4.15-16.00 from the fishing boats with AJG & MH
Shoveler: 2 up
Common Scoter: 9 up
Red-throated Diver: 6 up
Great-crested Grebe: 6 around
Gannet: 1 up  3 down
Turnstone: 3 on beach
Sandwich Tern: 113 up
Skylark: 1 singing behind beach
Late afternoon on the New Diggings 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Slavonian Grebe. On Tanners Pool the Ring-necked Duck still and a Sedge Warbler there. At Cook's Pool a Water Rail present along with usual wildfowl.
Sunset at Dengemarsh
This evening's walk around Denge Marsh found the Whitefront still and the 3 Water Pipits, also 2 Common Buzzards over  and the usual Little Egrets and Marsh Harriers.
2 Little Owls were showing at Lydd Camp.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

This morning from the sea watch hide with LG, BB, JHRC and AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
06.40-09.00
Brent Goose: 71 up
Pintail: 1 up
Teal: 1 up
Common Scoter: 76 up    17 down
Velvet Scoter: 2 down
Red-Throated Diver 63 up
Great-crested Grebe: 12 around
Fulmar: 1 up
Gannet 43 up
Cormorant: present n/c
Oystercatcher: 1 up
Mediterranean Gull: 1 up
Sandwich Tern: 24 around
Auk: 1 up
At least 1 Black-necked Grebe still on the New Diggings. The Ring-necked Duck was still showing at the far end of Tanners Pool. One of the Long-eared Owls was showing very well behind the Dipping Pool. On Burrowes 5 Goldeneye were the highlights but the islands are starting to look good for migrant waders, there is even mud in front of Firth Hide.
 Long-eared Owl showing well at the Dipping Pool
A pleasant but slow afternoon  sea watch from the fishing boats with MH & AJG,
14.30-16.00
Brent Goose: 1 down
Mallard: 2 up
Common Scoter: 8 up    4 down
Red-throated Diver: 25 up
Great-crested Grebe: 14 around
Gannet: 3 up     1 down
Cormorant: present n/c
Turnstone: 2 on beach
Mediterranean Gull: 1 up
Sandwich Tern: 18 up
Sand Martin: 1 in
Meadow Pipit: 1 in
Grey Seal: 1
Russian White-fronted Goose at Springfield Bridge this evening
A stroll around the hay fields this evening which appear to be drying out very quickly, saw a White-fronted Goose of note at Springfield Bridge, a Raven over, the usual Marsh Harriers and Little Egrets, 10 Lapwings on No.3 and 4 on No.2. At least 3 pairs of Great-crested Grebes were displaying on Denge Marsh.
9 moths of 5 species in the MV last night, 2 Powdered Quakers, 2 Common Quakers, a Small Quaker, 2 Double Striped Pugs and 2 Hebrew Characters.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Another excellent Sea Watch!

Most of the Brent came through at this height and distance
The worst of the mist lifted around 08.15 leaving a murky sea for most of the rest of the morning. 
08.30-12.00 from the sea watch hide with AJG,LG,BB,DW,

Brent Goose: 1,923 up            3 down
Shelduck: 1 up
Shoveler: 3 up
Pintail: 9 up
Eider: 1 on
Common Scoter: 1,060 up
Velvet Scoter: 32 up
Red-breasted Merganser: 9
Red-throated Diver: 178 up
Black-throated Diver: 1 up
Great-crested Grebe: 5 up
Fulmar: 5 up
Gannet: 55 up
Oystercatcher: 5 up
Avocet: 1 up
Bar-tailed Godwit: 1 up
Great Skua: 1
Mediterranean Gull: 14 up
Iceland Gull: 2 x 1wat The Patch
Little Gull: 31 up
Kittiwake: 7 up  3 down
Sandwich Tern: 162 up        18 down
Guillemot: 1 up
Auk sp: 17 up
Grey Wagtail: heard over hide
Harbour Porpoise: 7+
Last nights catch in the MV comprised 3 Hebrew Character's, a Common Quaker and a Powdered Quaker.
A serious accident closed the causeway for most of the day making the reserve difficult to get to so I took the opportunity get some domestic stuff done, hoping that I'll be out all day tomorrow.

Monday, 27 March 2017

06.50-08.10 from the sea watch hide with BB:
Brent Goose: 330 up
Teal: 19 up
Pintail: 26 up
Shoveler: 23 up
Tufted Duck: 5 up
Common Scoter: 22 up
Red-throated Diver: 11 up
Great-crested Grebe: 9 around
Gannet: 23 up
Cormorant: Present n/c
Curlew: 1 up
Bar-tailed Godwit: 2 up
Iceland Gull: 1w flew towards The Patch
Kittiwake: 4 up
Sandwich Tern: 17 up         3 down
Harbour Porpoise: 7+
3 Red-crested Pochard at Scotney
Today the builders finished putting in 2 bathrooms for me and a superb job they have done. Since early January the house has been a mess and my time seemed not to be own, from tomorrow I can get out and about without thinking about the house.
Spoonbill over Cook's Pool
A first for me was a superb drake Smew, a drake Garganey and a Spoonbill all in the same scope view on Tanners Pool.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

A good day despite the wind!

1w Iceland Gull with a colour ringed 1w Mediterranean Gull H9V7 (probably Hungarian)
A reasonable sea watch from The Patch this morning despite the howling NE wind:
Myself and DW, joined by PH & LH.
08.40-10.10
Pintail: 10 up
Shoveler:  44 up
Wigeon: 1 up
Teal: 9 up
Common Scoter: 12 up
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 up
Red-throated Diver: 14 up
Black-throated Diver: 1 up
Great-crested Grebe: 9 around
Fulmar: 5 up   1 down
Gannet: 302 up      4 down
Cormorant: Present n/c
Oystercatcher: 3 up
Ringed Plover: 1 up
Grey Plover: 1 up
Dunlin: 1 up
Bar-tailed Godwit: 4 up
Great Skua: 3 up
Mediterranean Gull: 2+ around
Little Gull: 2 up
Kittiwake: 16 up   3 on beach
Iceland Gull: 2 x 2nd cal yr
Sandwich Tern: 32 up    24 down    1 on beach
Guillemot: 2 up   4 on sea
Auk sp: 9 up
Meadow Pipit: 2 in
Carrion Crow: 3 in
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
1w Iceland Gull at The Patch
Chiffchaff in the Lighthouse Garden
In the Lighthouse Garden a Chiffchaff and at least 1 Firecrest, with 3+ more in the surrounding Gorse though very uncooperative photographically.
New Diggings still holds at least 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Slavonian Grebe and the Ring-necked Duck was still on Cook's Pool.
Some of the 16 Avocets at Scotney
An afternoon walk around the back of Scotney saw my first Little-ringed Plover of the year, also there 16 Avocets, 6 Oystercathers, 2 Redshank, a Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plovers. On the sward the feral Barnacle Goose flock has returned.
2 Red-legged Partridges and 2 Stonechats were the highlights of a late afternoon visit to Galloways.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Swallows and Martins!

A howling cold easterly wind which veered North Easterly by 09.00 greeted me this morning at The Point.
07.15-08.15 from the relative comfort of my car:
Brent Goose: 14 up
Common Scoter: 28 up   2 down
Red-throated diver: 3 up
Fulmar: 2 down
Gannet: 44 up  7 down
Ringed Plover: 1 up
Little Gull: 1 up adult
Kittiwake: 12 up
Sandwich Tern: 27 up
Auk sp: 4 up
Wheatear: 1 on beach
Harbour Porpoise: 3+ 
The Ring-necked Duck was showing well and still cosying up to a female Tufted Duck on Cook's Pool this morning, a few Wigeon, 2 Little Egrets and a Curlew also there.
 Ring-necked Duck on Cook's Pool
 Look forward to some interesting Ducklings!
 First Swallow of the year
From Dennis's Hide I spotted my first Swallow of the year, followed quickly by a House Martin. In the comfort of the visitor centre I counted 6 Swallows and 4 House Martins. After I had done a circuit of the reserve 2 Sand Martins had joined them. No sign of Long-eared Owl this morning but I didn't try to hard as it was impossible to keep the scope still in the wind. A drake Smew landed in front of Makepiece, also 4 Goldeneye there of note. The rest of the walk round the reserve was uneventful, a couple of Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers singing, I was also unable to find the Hooded Merganser.
Wheatear at West Beach
At West Beach this afternoon 2 Firecrests in the Gorse, also a smart male Wheatear there.
On the sea from the turning circle c6 each of Sandwich Tern and Gannet tooing and froing.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

I joined AJG, LG, PT, BC and BB in the sea watch hide with a strong SSE blowing 06.10-08.15:
Brent Goose: 447 up
Pintail:  31 up
Shoveler: 9 up
Common Scoter: 322 up
Red-throated Diver: 15 up      1 down
Great-crested Grebe: c20 around
Slavonian Grebe: 3 on sea
Fulmar: 9 up  34 down
Gannet: 151 up       19 down
Cormorant: many present n/c
Oystercatcher: 1 up
Great Skua: 1 around
Mediterranean Gull: 2 up
Kittiwake: 34 up  14 down
Sandwich Tern:  187 up
Guillemot: 4 up
Razorbill: 2 up
Auk sp: 18 up  7 down

With my house full of builders not much else done today, but managed an hour at the turning circle this afternoon.

15.10-16.10
Brent Goose: 6 up
Common Scoter: 14 up
Red-throated Diver: 5 up
Great-crested Grebe: present n/c
Gannet: 8 up       22 down
Cormorant: present n/c
Kittiwake: 1 up    11 down
Sandwich Tern: 7 up  16 down
Razorbill: 2 down
Auk sp: 7 down