Monday, 15 October 2018


Lots of Thrushes first thing this morning in the bushes by the track to Dengemarsh, mainly Song Thrushes and Blackbirds but at least 1 Ring Ouzel. At Denge Marsh the 6 Cattle Egrets were seen distantly, also 3 Great White Egrets, 3 Common Snipe, a Ruff and the usual wildfowl.
A Yellow-browed Warbler was trapped at the observatory but surprisingly little else. Another Yellow-browed Warbler was seen and heard along the Pilot Path per AJG, with another spending all day in Dave Bunney's garden, which he kindly invited me into.
Yellow-browed Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler in a private garden

A look around the lighthouse before the afternoon sea watch found just a Chiffchaff and a Black Redstart of any note.
13.45-15.15 from the fishing boats with MH and AJG who collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 5E
Shoveler: 18W
Common Scoter: 10E
Red-throated Diver: 2  around
Gannet: 34 around
Dunlin: 2W
Arctic Skua: 3W
Mediterranean Gull: 66 around
Kittiwake: 71 around
Sandwich Tern: 34 around
Some of the 240 Golden Plover at the ARC from Hanson
Late afternoon from Hanson 240 Golden Plover, 260 Lapwing, 8 Black-tailed Godwits and a Ruff along with usual wildfowl.
Black-tailed Godwits and a Ruff from Hanson
 Palpita vitrealis
A Palpita vitrealis in the MV yesterday and a pristine Delicate today.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

1,000+ Mediterranean Gulls!

07.00-09.00 from the sea watch hide with SO, RW and AJG who collated the numbers:
Brent Goose: 4W
Common Scoter: 9W
Red-throated Diver: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 1W
Gannet: c200 around
Arctic Skua: 1 around
Med Gull: 18W
Sandwich Tern: 44 around
Auk sp: 4W
Starling: 32 in
After a very mediocre sea watch we walked through The Desert to the top of Long Pits and back, on the way we saw the Wryneck briefly in the High Gorse, c15 Song Thrushes, c200 Siskins, c200 Goldfinches, a few Chaffinches and Meadow Pipits, 4 Chiffchaffs, 6 Swallows and a couple of singing Cetti's Warblers, a Firecrest was caught and processed. A morning that seem to promise so much but gave very little.
Late morning David Walker found an Asian Hornet at the lighthouse garden, the second in 2 days at Dungeness after Dave Bunney found one in his garden yesterday which was destroyed by the authorities, todays Hornet was caught and will also be destroyed by the authorities as it is an alien species that kills Honey Bees.
 Asian Hornet ( please click on any of the images to see them full size)

A very poor image of some of 1,000+ Mediterranean Gulls off the fishing boats this afternoon

13.00-16.00 from the fishing boats with AJG, RW, JTM, DW,
Brent Goose: 27W
Common Scoter: 5E
Red-breasted Merganser: 2W
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Gannet: 48W
Merlin: 1W
Arctic Skua: 7-14
Mediterranean Gull: 1,000+ came out of Lade bay
Kittiwake: 350+ came out of Lade bay
Sandwich Tern: 137 came out of Lade bay
Guillemot: 1 around
Auk sp: 2W
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
Other news 5 Ring Ouzels were by the pines at the ARC per SO. 6 Cattle Egrets are still present as are the Great White Egrets and a Black-necked Grebe.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

All at Sea!

07.00-09.30 from the sea watch hide with SO, RW, Doug and AJG who collated the numbers:
Common Scoter: 21W
Gannet: 2,290W   (I did a single sweep of the horizon and counted 530 Gannets)
Great Skua: 2W
Arctic Skua: 7W
Mediterranean Gull: 116 around 
Kittiwake: 23 around
Sandwich Tern: 67W 
Black Tern: 1W
Razorbill: 1W
Auk sp: 8W
Starling: 75 down
Pied Wagtail 7 down
Harbour Porpoise: 1+
After I had my breakfast I went back to the sea at the fishing boats for an hour joining DW, GH & Doug seeing more of what was seen earlier including another Black Tern, also a female Eider flew into the bay. 
1W Caspian Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
13.15-16.15 from the fishing boats with RW, JTM, AP and AJG who once again did the onerous task of collating the numbers:
Common Scoter: 2W
Red-throated Diver: 2 around (adult and a Juvenile)
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Gannet: 126 down
Great Skua: 1W
Arctic Skua: 28W
Mediterranean Gull: 358 came out of Lade Bay
Kittiwake: 374 came out of Lade Bay
Caspian Gull: 1 1w around
Sandwich Tern: 58 came out of Lade Bay
Guillemot: 3W
Auk sp: 9W
 Some of the 100s of Kittiwakes that came out of Lade bay
 Some of the 100s of Mediterranean Gulls that came out of Lade Bay this afternoon
Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats
Sandwich Tern at the fishing boats this afternoon
JX61 in the beach roost this afternoon ringed as a chick in 2007, seen in Boulogne in 2008 and not seen again until today.
15 of the 18 Great White Egrets present on Burrowes this evening
Late afternoon/early evening on Burrowes from Makepiece Hide, a 1w Caspian Gull and a2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls came to roost, 18 Great White Egrets and 10 Little Egrets could be seen around the lake, also 3 Dunlin of note.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Little Owl!

07.00-09.00 from the sea watch hide numbers from AJG:
Common Scoter: 14W
Great-crested Grebe: 2W
Fulmar: 1E
Gannet: 549W
Great Skua: 2W
Arctic Skua: 8W
Kittiwake: 11W
Sandwich Tern: 123W
Razorbill: 2W
Guillemot: 2W
Auk sp: 6 down
Starling: 75W
At the ARC from Hanson the Garganey was still present, also the nasal banded Shoveler still among the usual wildfowl, 22 Swallows flew through but little else of note seen in the strong southerly wind.
 Little Owl peering out of the Sallows
Jacques found a Little Owl in The Desert, a scarce bird on The Point, I think its only the 3rd I've seen. A walk around The Desert and through the Broome saw very little. 
A wind blasted Scotney produced nothing other than the usual feral geese.
At Dengmarsh 3 Cattle Egrets could be seen distantly form Springfield Bridge, also here the wind made its presence felt and the drainage contractors didn't help.
Brent Geese past the fishing boats this afternoon
13.30-16.00 from the fishing boats joined by AJG, MH, JTM and PS.
Brent Goose: 16W
Shoveler: 2W
Common Scoter: 3W   9E
Great-crested Grebe: 5W    1 on
Gannet: 117W
Arctic Skua: 7+ around
Mediterranean Gull: 4W
Kittiwake: 41W
Sandwich Tern: 205W
Common Tern: 1 around
Razorbill: 1W
Auk sp: 7W
Swallow: 4 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+  
Late afternoon on Burrowes from Makepiece up to 16 Great White Egrets were visible along with 7 Little Egrets, also a Spoonbill was sleeping in a sheltered spot out of the wind.
It may be mild but the wind has made sure that the Plodland MV has caught very little.
 Spoonbill in usual pose 
Sometimes the Egrets fly quite close

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Wryneck Again!

An absolutely beautiful October day on the peninsular but the birding was really hard going. Very few birds found there way into the nets and very few birds in the trapping area. A long walk around The Desert and Long Pits saw a single Fieldfare, a single Redwing, 3 Song Thrushes, a few Blackbirds, Siskins and Reed Buntings, c20 Swallows, 3 Brambling, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 7 Stonechats and a Sparrowhawk,
A late morning walk out at Scotney saw just a Little Owl of note.
While driving down to Denge Marsh Gully OL called to say a Yellow-browed Warbler was showing along the Pilot Path, I made the mistake of deciding to stick with my plan to walk the Gully which was apart from the resident Cetti's Warbler, Robins and Great Tits an avian free zone. From Springfield Bridge distant views of Cattle Egrets and Great White Egrets, a Marsh Harrier was more obliging.
 2w Mediterranean Gull this afternoon at the fishing boats
An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon saw 2 Arctic Skuas, c6 each of Mediterranean Gull and Kittiwake, also c10 each of Gannet and Sandwich Tern. 
 Wryneck in The Desert late afternoon
A late afternoon walk in the trapping area with AJG failed to locate the Yellow-browed Warbler but we did find a Whinchat as consolation. As the weather was so good and short dark winter days are looming, I decided not to waste the remaining sunshine and headed back out into The Desert and stumbled across presumably yesterdays Wryneck which was again very flighty only allowing me  distant views.
 Whinchat in The Desert this afternoon
Hummingbird Hawkmoth in The Moat late afternoon

Monday, 8 October 2018


Just before dawn this morning I met Ol & CT at Jury's Gap to have a look for the Shorelarks that were seen at The Midrips yesterday. As we had to vacate the area by 08.00 before firing commenced it did not give us long. We failed to find the Larks but did see a bonus Barn Owl and 2 Wheatears, I might try again tomorrow.
When I got to the observatory I assisted JTM on a couple of net rounds where a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were caught and processed. OL had gone out into the area and flushed a Wryneck from the High Gorse, then found a Yellow-browed Warbler at the bottom of the Long Pits, then accidentally flushed a roosting Long-eared Owl further up the Long Pits. The Wryneck was very flighty and gave me a couple of long distance views, as for Yellow-browed Warbler it disappeared before I got a chance to go and see it, I'm sure there will be more in the next few days.
 9 Great White Egrets high over the observatory this morning after coming in off the sea
While having a cup of tea at the observatory with some of the other locals a group of 9 Great White Egrets came in off the sea flying inland high over the observatory and appeared to land on the reserve. This evening in a coordinated Egret count with DW who was in Makepiece Hide keeping radio contact with me as I counted the birds dropping into the roost we only had 23 Great White Egrets go to roost, which is good count, however we were expecting to see 30+ with the extra 9 birds that arrived today, we can only think that these birds did not stay or flew straight through, 5 Cattle Egrets and 11 Little Egrets also roosted and a Merlin flew through.
 An hours sea watch from the fishing boats this afternoon was very slow, of note a single Red-throated Diver, and a few each of Sandwich Terns and Gannets. An hour in Denge Marsh Gully was equally fruitless seeing 4 Chiffchaffs, 5 Robins and a Wheatear.
A Redwing that was found in the Heligoland yesterday

Friday, 5 October 2018

Mediterranean Gulls!

06.35-07.35 from the sea watch hide with AJG who kindly collated the numbers:
Common Scoter: 3E
Red-throated Diver: 2W
Great-crested Grebe: 1W
Gannet: 41W
Arctic Skua: 5W
Mediterranean Gull: 2W
Black-headed Gull: c2,000 around
Kittiwake: 28 on
Sandwich Tern: 417W
The bushes were very quiet this morning with barely a handful of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps making there way into the nets.
 1 of 6 Cattle Egrets in the Hayfields this morning
At Denge Marsh the 6 Cattle Egrets have taken up residence in the Hayfields now that the cattle have been moved there. On the lake of note 2 Great White Egrets and 2 Ruff but generally very quiet. 
 Some of the Mediterranean Gulls and Kittiwakes that were around this afternoon
12.00-16.00 from the fishing boats with WN, OL, AJG, JTM, DS, DW
Brent Goose: 1E    2W
Common Scoter: 12E  1W
Red-throated Diver: 1 on
Great Northern Diver: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 1W
Manx Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 40W   32E
Great Skua: 1W
Arctic Skua: 5+ around
Mediterranean Gull: 102+ on
Kittiwake: 108+ on
Sandwich Tern: c30 around
Common Tern: 2W
Swallow: 5 out
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
 2w Mediterranean Gull
 Adult Mediterranean Gull
Up to 29 Mediterranean Gulls were on the beach in front of us for most of the afternoon, certainly the most I have seen on the beach here. At least 2 Belgian colour ringed birds among them.
The Plodland MV produced its 9th Convolvulous Hawkmoth of the year this morning but nothing else of note.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

 Juvenile Marsh Harrier going out to sea
With fog covering the peninsular first thing very little visible migration seemed to be taking place, a Green Sandpiper flew over the observatory. In 3hrs of looking around The Point a Marsh harrier flew out to sea, 15 Swallows flew north, 15+ Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 13 Stonechats, c50 Meadow Pipits over, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Sparrowhawks, 8 Kestrels and a Wheatear were seen, not much for the effort.
A quick visit to Dennis's Hide saw 13 Great White Egrets. Up to 9 Cattle Egrets were seen in the hayfields today.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the lighthouse garden
A slow but very good sea watch this afternoon.
13.45-16.00 from the fishing boats with AJG & MH:
Brent Goose: 23W
Common Scoter: 11E
Red throated Diver: 2 on (summer plumaged adults)
Sooty Shearwater: 1E
Manx Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 57W
Great Skua: 1E
Arctic Skua: 8W
Mediterranean Gull: 12E
Kittiwake: 6E
Sandwich Tern: c30 around
Auk sp: 1E    1W
Rock Pipit: 2 around the boats

 Great White Egret from Hanson
Late afternoon from Hanson a Black-necked Grebe and Goldeneye among the usual wildfowl, also a Hobby there and 2 Great White Egrets. In the hide a Western Conifer seed bug.
Western Conifer Seed Bug in Hanson Hide
 My first Plumed Fan-foot of the year
 A surprisingly busy MV today the Plumed Fan-foot being the highlight.
Migrant Hawker in the MV this morning