Sunday, 16 July 2017

A few waders around the reserve this weekend including up to 12 Little Ringed Plovers not including another 8 fluff balls from 2 nests on the ARC, also on Burrowes another nest has been found so hopefully more success in the near future, also up to 5 Common Sandpipers, 6 Ringed Plovers, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 10+ Dunlin, 3 Redshank, 3 pairs of Oystercatchers with 6 young, the first returning Golden Plover on the ARC, c150 Lapwing. At least 2 young Marsh Harriers are on the wing over the tower pits and my first returning Willow Warbler at Boulderwall this morning. I Joined Barry Banson and the  interns emptying the 2 MVs at Boulderwall, its amazing the difference in moths in those traps to my own approximately a kilometre away as moth flys over open fields.
 Splendid Brocade found in Barry Bansons Greatstone trap
 3 of the 6 Red Underwings on Hanson Hide also 2 Copper Underwings there.
 Bordered Straw from the Plodland trap 
Privet Hawkmoth from the Plodland trap

Friday, 14 July 2017

Quiet times!

Coloured ringed Greenshank
A very quiet day around the peninsular today started with a very poor showing in my MV. First visit was to the ARC where I could only find a single LRP fluff ball (but I am pleased to say all 3 were present in a subsequent visit late afternoon) also there 4 Dunlin, a Redshank, Common Sandpiper and 7 adult Little Ringed Plovers including a sitting bird among c150 Lapwing. A Red Underwing and 2 Copper Underwing were on the outside of the hide. Walking back to the car park 20+ Swallows and 40+ Sand Martins flew south.
Late afternoon at the ARC a colour ringed Greenshank had dropped in.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

France for the day!

This morning CP, MH and myself caught 06.50 chunnell train to Calais followed by a 20 minute drive to Hemmes de Marck in the hope of catching up with the Elegant Tern. On arrival I wasn't hopeful as it was low tide so the sea was c3 kilometers out. The huge sandy beach stretching from Calais to Dunkirk lay before us. Scanning the horizon we could see a group of 4 birders way out on the horizon so we started to move towards them, at about half way we could see that they were all looking in different directions, we could also see that there was a group of Terns fairly near to them, also another group of Terns in the distance in the opposite direction which we decided to head for. We stopped several times to scan the flock but heat haze did not help scope viewing of the Terns, from c300 mts we could at least make out individual birds in haze so began scanning back and forth through the flock, after a few minutes a Yellow bill appeared and much relief for CP who hadn't seen the bird  at Pagham. We moved nearer the flock getting excellent scope views of the Elegant Tern.
 Elegant Tern
 At Oye Plage we failed to find the Common Rosefinch which has been present there for some time, an Icterine Warbler was some compensation also several Turtle Doves. The shooting of Turtle Doves around the Mediterranean and anywhere else is disgraceful, there are still good numbers the other side of the channel, I have no doubt that farming practises this side of the channel are to blame for its demise here.
Out on the sands of Oye Plage among the many holiday makers and dog walkers we eventually managed to find a Kentish Plover with a beautiful fluff ball, sadly not a single Little Tern was seen, I can only hope they have already fledged as the Sandwich Terns seemed to have done well with good numbers of juveniles still being seen today. Around the pools 26 Spoonbills, 3 Cattle Egrets, c100 Avocet, 4 Green Sandpipers, 4 Common Sandpipers and 2 Little Ringed Plovers of note.  Another excellent day trip to France in excellent company,
 Icterine Warbler
 Ringed Plover top left.  Kentish Plover Fluff Ball mid left. Female Kentish Plover mid right.
Turtle Doves


First thing this morning at the ARC from Hanson of note still at least 2 LRP Fluff Balls, 4 Dunlin, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard, I couldn't see the Curlew Sandpiper but it was still present late afternoon, 100s of Swifts and Sand Martins over the lake.
On Burrowes 100s more Sand Martins, a Ruff, 2 Redshank and at least 1 Common Tern chick but little else due to necessary work being done on the islands.
Some of the 100s of Sand Martins
At Denge Marsh a Great White Egret, a Hobby, more Swifts, a Wood Sandpiper, 4 Redshanks and another Ruff.
 Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats.
  Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats.
An hour this afternoon at the fishing boats with MH was very quiet:
Manx Shearwater: 1 down
Cormorant: 7 around
Gannet: 21 in feeding flock off shore
Sanderling: 1 up
Black-headed Gull:  c20 around
Mediterranean Gull: 2 around
Herring Gull: c50 around
Great Black-backed Gull: 5 around
Sandwich Tern: 15+ around
Common Tern: 4 around
Auk sp: 4 down
Pied Wagtail: 4 around
Skylark: 1 singing behind fishing boats
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
Common Tern at the fishing boats

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

This morning at the ARC of note an adult Curlew Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Little Ringed Plovers of which 3 were gorgeous day old fluff balls, also few Swifts and Sand Martins trickling through.
An uneventful sea watch this afternoon from the fishing boats with MH:
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Gannet: 12 up   49 down
Cormorant: 7 around
Black-headed Gull: 46 down
Mediterranean Gull: 4 down
Herring Gull: c20 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Great Black-backed Gull: 5 around
Sandwich Tern: 61 down
Common Tern: 5 down
Guillemot: 1 down
Swift: 1 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
The MV this morning delivered Plodlands first Scorched Carpet and another Jersey Tiger of note.
 Scorched Carpet
Jersey Tiger
Small Blood-vein

Monday, 10 July 2017

This morning at the ARC of note a Garganey, 4 Little Ringed Plovers including the 2 sitting birds, a Dunlin, 239 Lapwing, a party of 5 adult Little Grebes, all the usual wildfowl, a few Sand Martins trickling through and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Willow Trail.
 The unseasonal Goldeneye
On the reserve 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, the Goldeneye, many eclipse ducks, more Sand Martins moving south and a Great White Egret which flew north. On Denge Marsh 2 more Great White Egrets, 3 Little Egrets  and 2 more Black-tailed Godwits. No sign of the Cattle Egret today as far as I know.
 Sandwich Tern with White Bait
This afternoon at the fishing boats with MH & CP:
13.40-16.30 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 23 up       29 down
Gannet: 13 up        62 down
Cormorant: 14 around
Honey Buzzard: 1 in @ 14.06
Peregrine: 1 in carrying prey
Oystercatcher: 1 down
Arctic Skua: 1 up (DP)
Black-headed Gull: c50 around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 up  8 down
Common Gull: 4 down
Herring Gull: c40 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 down (juv)
Great Black-backed Gull: 5+ around
Kittiwake: 2 down
Sandwich Tern: 59 down
Common Tern: 16 down (1x1s)
Sand Martin: 3 out
Swift: 3 out
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Grey Seal: 1

 Mediterranean Gull
 1s Common Tern
Fen Wainscot from this mornings catch
Batia lunaris also from this morning

Sunday, 9 July 2017


After emptying the MV this morning I went to The Patch meeting DW there. 5 Mediterrranean Gulls and a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were the highlights. At least 2 of the juvenile Peregrines were on the pylons. 
 Juvenile Mediterranean Gull from Hanson
At the ARC from Hanson 6 Little Ringed Plovers including the 2 sitting birds, 2 Dunlin, a Ruff. c150 Lapwing and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull. A pair of Common Terns are trying to nest on the islands.
 Cattle Egret from Makepiece
On the reserve the Cattle Egret still present though always distant, a Great White Egret was new in on Denge Marsh where there was also 3 Little Egrets a Hobby, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and a Bearded Tit. On Burrowes, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, 3 Avocets, a Ruff and a Common Sandpiper, also the Egyptian Goose brood is now down to 2.
 Cattle Egret in the midday heat haze at hay field 2
 And then there were 2!
 adult Great White Egret on Denge Marsh
This evening at The Midrips of note 39 Avocets including 8 juveniles, 2 Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers, a Ringed Plover , 4 Curlew, 2 Wheatears and a creche of 13 Shelduck.
 My first Plumed Fan-foot in my M V this morning
Leopard Moth in the MV this morning

Friday, 7 July 2017


After emptying a bulging moth trap in the company of my 2 new best friends in the mornings, I went to the ARC where the 2 Little Ringed Plovers are still sitting tight on there nests. 150+ Lapwing there and the usual eclipse wildfowl but little else.
Over the road on Burrowes from Dennis's 2 Common Tern chicks from a single nest could be seen, how long they survive is another matter, from Firth a Wood Sandpiper was new for the year, also 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Ruff, 4 Ringed Plovers and 3 Sandwich Terns there joined by 4 Dunlin this afternoon. From Make piece the Cattle Egret could be seen distantly perched up in the Cormorant colony. At Dengemarsh a Green Sandpiper was new in and 3 Little Egrets there with usual wildfowl. From the VC a Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper of note. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull made a brief visit to Burrowes this afternoon for a bathe.
 Wood Sandpiper from Firth
Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull leaving after a quick bathe
 My new best friend in the mornings!

First Jersey Tiger of the year

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Cattle Egret!

Thinking I might go to Rye today, a mid morning call from MH telling me had a Cattle Egret in the hay fields changed that plan. I arrived a few minutes later and the Egret immediately flew around for me.
The reserve was as expected generally quiet, highlights from Burrowes were 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank and the unseasonal Goldeneye. Not so good was a pair of Egyptian Geese with 5 very small Goslings.
At the ARC the Little Ringed Plovers were still sitting tight and a Cuckoo there.
 Cattle Egret Denge Marsh

 Marsh Harrier Denge Marsh
 Painted Lady Denge Marsh
Blackneck a first for the Plodland trap yesterday.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


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.