Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Luck!

Not a great deal at The Patch this morning mainly due to oriental fisherman trying to catch non existent Mackerel. All 3 Peregrine chicks were present and there were 2 Black Redstarts on the perimeter fence. A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker was on the telegraph poles at the Fish Shack.
At the ARC the 2 Little-ringed Plovers still sitting tight, 2 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and a Common Redshank among the many Lapwings. Still many Pochard, Tuftys and Coot with fewer Shoveler and Teal, a Cuckoo flew over the lake as did a Sparrowhawk and few Sand Martins moved south. 
Today's Bee-eater at Herons Park, Denge Marsh.
This afternoon I went to the reserve centre to collect my repaired binoculars, while I was in the VC a lady came in saying she had seen a Bee-eater at Denge Marsh. I drove round there without much hope scanning the overhead wires as I went. As I got to Herons Park I spotted the Bee-eater on the wires, stopping a fair distance away I took a couple of record images, then started to call one of the locals, as he answered the Bee-eater took off heading towards Lydd not to be seen again despite checking all the wires locally a number of times. I guess luck allowed me to be in the Vc at the precise moment the lady came in to report seeing the bird. The 2 Little Owls still at Lydd Camp but still no sign of the Owlets.

Monday, 3 July 2017

No Terns!

 First juvenile Mediterranean Gull at The Patch this morning
At The Patch this morning I could only see 1 Peregrine chick the others may have been laying down or flown?
Also there:
Common Scoter: 7 up
Gannet: 6 down
Cormorant: 8
Black-headed gull: c400
Mediterranean Gull: 14  ( 1 juvenile and 1white colour ringed adult E110)
Herring Gull: c450 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 2
Great Black-backed Gull: 9
Sandwich Tern: 4 on beach
Common Tern: 9 over boil
 7 Mediterranean Gulls in this image including white colour ring E110
14+ pairs of Common Terns Friday none this morning
Very quiet around the reserve this morning, sad to report there now no Common Terns nesting on the rafts at Denge Marsh. I can only assume possibly a Badger raided the last raft leaving at least 2 dead adults and taking all the chicks leaving to clear up the debris.
A very slow afternoon at the fishing boats with MH:
14.00-15.30:
Common Scoter: 4 up
Great-crested Grebe: 1 around
Gannet: 2 down
Cormorant: 5 around
Oystercatcher: 1 down
Black-headed Gull: c20 around
Mediterranean Gull: 6 around
Common Gull: 1 around
Herring Gull: c40 around
Great Black-backed Gull: 7 around
Sandwich Tern: 13 down
Common Tern: 4 down
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Red Kite!


Tinea semifulvella first for the Plodland MV this morning
 Red Kite from the garden
After emptying the MV this morning I joined DW at the turning circle for c30 minutes, he told me a Red Kite had toured The Point but now disappeared. Off shore a few Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns were seen along with a Mediterranean Gull but little else. 
I went back home and breakfast al fresco scanning the sky in front my house, the Herring Gulls started alarming, I looked up expecting another Common Buzzard but was pleased to see a Red Kite which is still a scarce bird here, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Hobby, Kestrel, Raven and c150 Swifts were also seen from the garden this morning.
Red Kite from the garden
 This Gannet surprised me flying along the beach over the car parking area

 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull
A good afternoon spent with Mick and Richard at the fishing boats:
15.30-17.00
Common Scoter: 1 around
Great-crested Grebe: 1 around
Gannet: 47 down
Cormorant: 8 around
Oystercatcher: 2 up
Black-headed Gull: c30 around
Mediterranean Gull: 15 down
Common Gull: 3 down
Herring Gull: c150 around
Yellow-Legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 3 around
Great Black-backed Gull: 9 around
Sandwich Tern: 67 down
Common Tern: 9 down




 Mediterranean Gull
 Common Gull
 Norwegian ringed JC046 Great Black backed Gull
Herring Gull A3BJ a Dungeness regular
A beautiful sailing ship

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Little Owls!

 Common Lizard at Hanson
After emptying a bulging MV but finding nothing of real note in it I went to the ARC, where the Little-ringed Plovers were both still sitting tight on there nests, other waders were 2 Ringed Plovers, a Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers and c150 Lapwings. A few Swifts flew through and a single Hobby was hawking along the railway bank, a count of the Coots came to 347 though I'm sure there were a few more that remained unseen. There are still a few Reed Warblers singing and a single Sedge Warbler still singing by the car park.
 One of the Lydd Little Owls
A check on the Little Owls at Lydd Camp found both adults still but still no Owlets to be seen.
Little Owl at Pigwell shot at 3200 iso
A Pigwell the Kestrels have all flown the nest, the sewage works held 200+ Starlings and 10+ Pied Wagtails, a Little Owl was sitting in one of the barns and required iso 3500 to get an image of it.
An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon saw just a handful each of Gannets and Sandwich Terns feeding off shore with a single Common Scoter and a single Great-crested Grebe.
Hare on Walland this evening
Another look for Quail this evening drew a blank, but still 2 Turtle Doves in Clubb's Lane and a Hare feeding in a garden.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

First Balearics of the year!

After emptying the MV this morning I went to the ARC where c100 Swifts and few each of Swallow, House and Sand Martin were hawking high over the lake. 3 Little ringed Plovers and 2 Redshanks were the wader highlights, the usual wildfowl were present but I could not find any Garganey. 
 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull
At The Patch 10 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls among the c350 Herring Gulls, c300 Black-headed Gulls, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 12 Great Black-backed Gulls, 4 Common Terns, 7 Cormorants and a Great-crested Grebe. The male Peregrine dropped a Pigeon into the eyrie and the 3 youngsters quickly tore it apart so they all had a piece. 
 3 of the 10 juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls at The Patch today
 Green ringed R17X, Mediterranean Gull
 Common Tern at the fishing boats this PM
13.15-16.30 from the fishing boats with LG, MH and AJG.
Common Scoter: 32 up  6 down
Great-crested Grebe: 1 around
Balearic Shearwater: 3 down
Gannet: 38 up  10 down
Cormorant: 6 around
Whimbrel: 1 down
Black-headed Gull: c15 around
Mediterranean Gull: 3 around
Common Gull: 1 around
Herring Gull: c30 around
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 2 around
Great Black-backed Gull: 9 around
Kittiwake: 6 down
Common Tern: 34 down
Swift: 5 out
Sandwich Tern: 71 down
Skylark: 1 singing behind boats
Pied Wagtail: 2 around
Wood Pigeon: 2 on beach
Harbour Porpoise: 1+
Grey Seal: 1

 Sandwich Tern at the fishing |boats this PM





Mediterranean Gull

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Sand Martins herald the autumn migration!

 My alarm clock and raptor alert!
I had a late start this morning due to domestic stuff despite my avian alarm going off at around 04.30.
 1s Common Tern
On the reserve 7 Sand Martins heralding the autumn influx to Dungeness, the unseasonal Goldeneye was still present, also a Cuckoo still, 8 Swifts came and went with a few drops of rain and a 1s Common Tern was of some note.
 The unseasonal Goldeneye
As DW had seen 16+ juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls at The Patch I made my way there, a Fulmar flew around the power station, at least 9 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were still present around The Patch but to distant to photograph, I'm sure within the next couple of weeks they will be coming to our offerings giving excellent views. The 3 young Peregrines in the power station eyrie were flapping there wings a bit today. 
 Fulmar at the Power Station
Early afternoon from Hanson in the company of MH a juvenile Garganey, 3 Little-ringed Plovers and a Redshank were the pick of the avian fayre there today.
 Common Scoter at the fishing boats
A mid afternoon sea watch from the fishing boats with MH gave us both the best views we have ever had of a Common Scoter:
15.45-17.00:
Common Scoter: 1 around
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Gannet: 24 up  7 down
Cormorant: 4 around
Black-headed Gull: 16 around
Mediterranean Gull: 5 around
Common Gull: 3 down
Herring Gull: c30 around
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 1 around
Great Black-backed Gull: 4 around
Common Tern: 2 up
Sandwich Tern: 29 up  8 down
Swift: 5 out
Pied Wagtail: 3 around
Skylark: 1 singing behind boats
Wood Pigeon: 5 on beach
Carrion Crow: 4 on beach
Harbour Porpoise: 1

 nr adult Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats
Barn Owl at Boulderwall
Late afternoon on the way home I joined CT watching the remaining adult Barn Owl hunting around Boulderwall, holding our breathe every time it flew across the road.

Monday, 26 June 2017

 Napoleon's Column at Wimereux just outside Boulougne viewed from the fishing boats this morning
I joined AJG at the fishing boats this morning where in the superb visibility a constant stream of Gannets were the highlight. Thanks are due to AJG for collating the numbers:
06.25-08.25:
Common Scoter: 31 around
Great-crested Grebe: 1 on
Fulmar:7 down
Gannet: 477 down   240 up
Cormorant: just 2 on the sea (highlighting the lack if fish at the moment)
Curlew: 1 in
Kittiwake: 7 up    5 down
Razorbill: 1 up
Auk sp: 1 down
Swift: 3 in
Harbour Porpoise 1
 Hummingbird Hawk Moth power station by the perimeter wall
At The Patch the usual Black-headed and Herring Gulls and a single Mediterranean Gull was the only Gull of note. The Peregrines appear to have 3 young in the nest on the power station, they have the protection of the armed Nuclear Police, try training your scope on the nest site for more than a moment!
 Great-crested Grebe from the fishing boats this afternoon
12.45-14.30 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 15 up
Great-crested Grebe: 2 on
Gannet: 26 up     21 down
Cormorant: 2 around
Black-headed Gull: c10 around
Mediterranean Gull: 5 around
Common Gull: 3 down
Herring Gull: c40 around
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 2 around
Great Black-backed Gull: 4 around
Sandwich Tern: c15 around
Skylark: 1 still singing behind the boats
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 1
This Hummingbird Hawk Moth that I pulled out of the MV this morning has seen better days a bit like me!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Wipe Out!

A week ago the above raft contained 14 nests of Common Terns some with chicks but most with eggs about to hatch, also a pair of Herring Gulls with 2 young chicks. Today not a single Common Tern chick or egg as predicted. The Herring Gulls wiped them out! Potentially 30 Common Terns have been sacrificed so that 2 Herring Gull chicks could survive. This could easily have been avoided if the Herring Gulls eggs had been removed when they were first laid, they would have nested again elsewhere and the Common Terns would have had a chance. Some times I think the RSPB as an organisation has completely lost its way.  A policy of non intervention has been cited as a reason, if that's the case why spends £1,000s on electric fences to keep out predators? why shoot foxes if they breach the fence? why kill Mink in the winter? why put down herbicides to kill some plants so others thrive? its all intervention.
On a brighter note I managed to catch up with the unseasonal Goldeneye on Burrowes thanks to Pete, Pam and Colin. Also on Burrowes 2 Avocet, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 2 Little-ringed Plovers, 2 Ringed Plovers and Black-tailed Godwit. On the ARC 3 Little-ringed Plovers at least 1 sitting on eggs, a Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

 A miserable day on the peninsular with strong winds and drizzle. Scotney was particularly exposed consequently there was little to be seen, though the Herring Gull chicks were struggling to stay on there feet, while being covered in spray and spume.
 1 of c70 Swifts at Dengemarsh
 Around the reserve Swifts filled the skies with probably 200+ around, a single Hobby and Cuckoo were seen from the entrance track. On Burrowes 1+ Little-ringed Plover,  2 Ringed Plovers, a Sandwich Tern was notable, 2 Avocets, plenty of eclipse Gadwall, Tufted Ducks and Pochard.
Common Tern from Makepiece
At Lydd Camp the adult Little Owls were both out showing but still no sign of the owlets.

Friday, 23 June 2017

First couple of hours this morning was spent trawling through another bulging MV but nothing unusual was found,
Driving to the Observatory this morning the sad sight of a dead Barn Owl in the road just a few 100  yds from Boulderwall Farm. 
AJG had been sea watching since early morning and had seen nothing to record for his efforts, its that time of year, but if you don't look you certainly wont see.
The reserve was predictably very quiet, made even more so by the strong wind today, Hobby's can still be seen and a few Swifts moved south, the Warblers are more difficult to see now they are busy feeding young or starting a second brood.
 Little Owl Lydd Camp
At Lydd Camp this afternoon the adult Little Owls were both sitting out but still no sign of the juveniles, it cant be long before they are all out.
Galloways was also very quiet, 2 broods of Stonechats and fleeting glimpses of Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler as they dive into their nests in dense cover.
On Scotney main pit lots of young Herring Gulls on the islands and several 100s of Greylag Geese there, a single Curlew on the sward.
 Stonechat at Galloways.
 Plutella xylostella have been found in good numbers in the MV
Grey/Dark Dagger, good numbers of these have appeared in the MV in the last 2 nights.