Saturday, 8 April 2017

06.00-11.00 from the sea watch hide with So,SM,AF & AJG who collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 191 up
Shelduck: 10 up
Pintail: 15 up
Shoveller: 13 up
Common Scoter: 238 up
Red-breasted Merganser: 11 up 1 down
Red-throated Diver: 11 up
Fulmar: 5 up
Gannet: 87 up
Cormorant: present n/c
Oystercatcher: 6 up
Curlew: 10
Great Skua: 2 up
Arctic Skua: 4 up
Mediterranean Gull: 3 up
Kittiwake: 19 up
Common Tern: 11 up
Sandwich Tern: 281 up
Guillemot: 3 up
Auk sp: 4 up
Sand Martin: 1 in
 Black Redstart in the lightouse garden  + Willow warbler there.
Brent Goose showing a white trailing edge this afternoon
14.20-16.20 from the fishing boats joined by AJG, EW and SO.
Brent Goose: 54 up
Shelduck: 4 up
Pintail: 1 up
Common Scoter: 48 up
Red-throated Diver: 5 up
Great-crested Grebe: 5 on
Fulmar: 4 up
Gannet: 5 up
Oystercatcher: 3 up
Curlew: 1 up
Whimbrel: 1 up
Great Skua: 1 up
Mediterranean Gull: 2 up
Sandwich Tern; 37 up     9 down
Harbour Porpoise: 8+

Northern France!

As a NW wind was forecast for Friday AJG and myself  decided on a day out in Northern France. We picked Trevor up in Dover and caught the 04.20 ferry to Calais.
At 07.00 we were in Crecy Forest where we were greeted by a cacophony of bird song, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were positively abundant, joined by Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Chaffinches, Blue and Great Tits, Nuthatches, also seen Firecrests, Green, Great and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Yellowhammers, Common Buzzards and more.
 Crested Tit at Marquanterre
We next visited a reed bed between St Valery and Le Crotoy where we saw 3 Bluethroats, 3 Savi's Warblers, numerous Sedge Warblers, Bearded Tits and Water Rail were calling, overhead  a flushed Jack Snipe was chased by a Hobby but got away, several Great White Egrets and Little Egrets were on the marsh also several White Wagtails. 
At La Basse pools 4 Garganey, a photogenic Scaup, 3 Cattle Egrets, 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, and the usual wild fowl.
Next stop Marquanterre an excellent reserve with lots to see and is always busy. Spoonbills, White Storks, Great White, Little and Cattle Egrets are easy to see here, Avocets were plentiful as were Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Garganey. Sedge Warblers were singing all over as were Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, another Bluethroat was seen and more. The only downside to this reserve is the dire design of the hides. 
White Stork Marquanterre
This one of the better hides at Marquanterre, most have much narrower viewing slits than this one!
Coming back we just had time for a quick look at Oye Plage where we found 8 Whimbrel, a Red-crested Pochard, Black-necked Grebe, Sandwich Terns and Avocets. As we boarded the ferry to come home we had managed 90 species, on the crossing we added, Common Tern, Turnstone, Fulmars, Great Skua, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Guillemots, Common Scoter and a Sooty Shearwater finishing on 99.  

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.
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:
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,
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.
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.