I spent the best part of the day birding around the Long Pits, trapping area and The Desert in the company of SO. We saw a minimum of 80 Common Whitethroats, 15 Lesser Whitethroats, 20 Blackcaps, 3 Garden Warblers, 25 Willow Warblers, 15 Chiffchaffs, 3 Reed Warblers, 6 Common Redstarts, 4 Whinchats, 8 Wheatears, 5 Yellow Wagtails, a Reed Bunting, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Grey Wagtail over, 5 Little Ringed Plovers over and the star of the day a fine Wryneck found by Alan and Paul.
It seems as though the reserve was fairly quiet today, though up to 8 Great White Egrets, 3 Cattle Egrets and an Osprey were seen.
A walk around The Desert produced of note 10 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, 4 Stonechats, 2 Redstarts, 16+ Pied Wagtails, 10+ Meadow Pipits, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 7 Common Whitethroats, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Black Redstarts and steady southward passage of Swallows.
I joined LG in the last net round which produced just 1 bird a juvenile Pied Flycatcher. From the observatory we saw a very distant Osprey that was over Burrowes, also a Merlin having a tussle with a Kestrel.
While having lunch in my garden I saw the Osprey again distantly, also a Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and a Marsh Harrier. All the Yellow wagtails I have been enjoying in the fields in front the house appear to have left for sunnier climes.
Galloways produced 4 Whinchats but as tractors were cutting the verges I didn't venture to far down.
Denge Marsh Gully appeared again to be an avian free zone.
Another sea watch 14.15-15.00 was more or less a re run of this mornings watch.
2 Ospreys over the ARC
Late afternoon at the ARC from Hanson a surprise in the form of 2 Ospreys which headed towards Burrowes. A short while later one reappeared over Kerton Road Pit where it hunted for about 20 minutes making at least 6 unsuccessful plunges before finally catching a nice size fish, It then took its
prize out to the shingle ridges to consume it. Also from the hide a Garganey, a Black-necked Grebe, my first Pintail of the autumn and a Little Stint of note. No sign of the Pectoral Sandpiper this afternoon nor this morning as far as I am aware, though RBA are reporting it as still being present.
My first stop this morning was at the ARC which was a mistake, as had I gone to the fishing boats as normal I would have been present when a Sabine's Gull flew past. From Hanson a Spotted Redshank was on view along with 5 Garganey, a Common Sandpiper and the Pectoral Sandpiper which was on the old Cormorant Island about as far away from the hide as it could be, also all the usual wildfowl and Lapwing.
I had an uneventful walk around The Desert with Jamie from Hythe seeing just a few Whinchats, Wheatears, Stonechats, Common Whitethroats and a few Swallows over.
On my way back home I got a call from LG telling me he'd found a juvenile Red-backed Shrike just a few hundred yards north of The Desert, a few minutes later I was watching the bird which was very flighty not allowing close approach. We later realised the bird was bearing a ring which probably explained its reluctance to allow approach.
Red-backed Shrike showing ring
Red-backed Shrike with a Bee
This afternoon I had another walk around The Desert seeing much the same as this morning, I then decided to have another look at the Shrike. It was still very wary, so I sat down by a bush hoping it would come to me, after about half an hour with no success, a young Fox came trotting around the bush getting a big surprise when it a last spotted me as more or less stepped over my outstretched legs. The Shrike never really gave itself up.
Late afternoon back at Hanson a Black-necked Grebe, also 3 Little Stints, a Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Garganey still, Water rails in front the hide and the usual birds.
Black-necked Grebe with 4 Garganey in the background
Kestrel: 1 moving south being severely harassed by 2 Arctic Skuas c500 mts off shore
Great Skua: 1 around
Arctic Skua: 8+ around
Sandwich Tern: c100 around
Common Tern: 28 down
Black Tern: 1 around
Guillemot: 1 around
Swallow: 12 out
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Grey Seal: 1
The sea watch was cut short by the persistent drizzle which also prevented me from doing my usual circuit of The Desert.
Marsh Harrier from Hanson this morning
Mid morning from Hanson of note 2 Marsh Harriers, a Common Swift among the many Swallows, Sand and House Martins, 2 Common Sandpipers and 3 Garganey among the usual eclipse wildfowl I couldn't find the Pectoral Sandpiper.
Garganey from Hanson this morning
Osprey over Burrowes this morning
On the reserve 2 Cattle Egrets from the entrance track. While walking towards Makepiece with MH the Osprey flew over Christmas Dell towards Dengemarsh then reappeared over Burrowes a few minutes later. From Makepiece 2 Little stints among 6 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover, also the female Goldeneye has reappeared today
2 Little stints from Makepiece this morning
female Goldeneye from Makepiece this morning
Late morning at Scotney the usual Greylag, Canada, Barnacle and Egyptian Geese were joined on the sward by 2 Ruff, 48 Curlew and 69 Golden Plover.
1 of at least 8 Whinchats at Galloways lunchtime
At Galloways an big improvement on yesterday, at least 8 Whinchat, 6 Stonechats, a Chiffchaff and a Common Whitethroat.
Golden Plover Springfield Bridge this afternoon
1 of 4 Ruff with the Golden plovers and Lapwings at Springfield Bridge
Denge Marsh Gully was an avian free zone this afternoon, Denge Marsh though held 5 Great White Egrets, 148 Golden Plover, 4 Ruff, c200 Lapwing, another Common Swift and all the usual wildfowl.
Another 30 minute sea watch from the fishing boats saw basically exactly the same as this morning with addition of a Common Swift flying out to sea.
Great White Egret from Hanson late this afternoon
As I walked up to Hanson late this afternoon all the birds were flushed from the islands, looking around the Osprey appeared over the Tower Pits and headed off towards Lydd. From the hide the Pectoral Sandpiper had reappeared on the islands, a Great White Egret was posing, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, a Garganey still also a Curlew Sandpiper dropped in very briefly.
Wigeon: 4 down
Teal: 1 down
Common Scoter: 22 up
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Balearic Shearwater: 1 down
Gannet: 129 up 87 down
Cormorant: c40 around
Whimbrel: 1 down
Great Skua: 4 down
Arctic Skua: 10+ around
Sandwich Tern: N/C c200 around
Commic Tern: 48 down
Black Tern: 16 down + 2 around
Guillemot: 1 around
Wheatear: 3 on beach
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour porpoise: 10+
Arctic Skuas doing what they do!
Between sea watches I spent an hour taking a stroll around The Desert getting rather wet in the constant drizzle, apart from a couple of Wheatears, Stonechats, 2 Black Redstarts and a Tit flock very little was seen.
Soggy Wheatear Denge Marsh Gully
Lunchtime in Denge Marsh Gully a Wheatear was the only bird of note which was more than I saw in Galloways. 3 Great White Egrets could be seen on Denge Marsh from Springfield Bridge.
On the ARC from Hanson early afternoon, of note 4 Ruff, the Pectoral Sandpiper still present as were 2 Common Sandpiper and 3 Garganey among the usual wildfowl, sadly the Curlew Sandpipers had been flushed by a Marsh Harrier, 3 Little Egrets and another Great White Egret were also present. Over the road near Boulderwall farm at least 2 Cattle egrets present.
Skua sp: from the fishing boats this afternoon?
With white bases to tail and tail projection I'm guessing heavy Arctic but open to suggestions.
Another good day at Dungeness started with a Greenshank over the house while I was covering the MV, then around The Point, with 3 Redstarts, 5 Whinchats, 7 Wheatears, 5+Yellow Wagtails, 4 Tree Pipits one of which landed briefly on the Buddleia in the observatory garden, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 10+ Common Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 5 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff, a few Hirundines and 2 Sparrowhawks.
Wheatear with a juicy caterpillar
Wasp Spider at the observatory
Painted Lady old lighthouse
Hummingbird Hawkmoth old lighthouse
Lunchtime from the garden 3 Common Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 9 Golden Plover over.
Pied Wagtail on my roof
Golden Plover from the garden
14.15-15.15 from the fishing boats:
Teal: 1 down
Gannets: c20 around
Dunlin: 6 down
Arctic Skua: 6+ around
Sandwich Tern: c100 around
Common Tern: c40 around
Black Tern: 2 around
Guillemot: 3 around
Sand Martin: 38 out
Swallow: 30 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 36+
Late this afternoon from Hanson the Pectoral Sandpiper was on the old Cormorant island, still at least 2 Garganey present as were 4 Avocets and an Osprey which was watched distantly fishing over the Kerton Road pits.
Spoonbills from Makepiece
This evening on the reserve 2 Spoonbills were on Burrowes, also 2 Great White Egrets, 3 Little Egrets, 6 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin and Common Sandpipers. From the entrance track near Boulderwall 2+ Cattle Egrets in the ditches.