Sunday, 7 March 2021


Not unexpectedly there was no change in the DMG this morning. The vegetation lining the sluice was covered in ice and the bitter NE wind whistled down the Gully. A brief sea watch there saw a handful of Red-throated Divers hiding for Lade Bay but little else moving.
Whitefronts, Greylags, Pintail, Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, Teal, Coot and Black-headed Gulls at the back of Dengemarsh, but no Garganey.😢 There were at least 4 Great Egrets around the reserve, 4 Goldeneye on Burrowes and 3 Ruff with a few Common Snipe on the hay fields, along with the usual patrolling Marsh Harriers and watchful Common Buzzards.
There were still at least 6 Corn Buntings at Springfield Bridge among the many Reed Buntings
Russian White-fronted Geese from the garden today, I will certainly miss seeing them when they leave in the very near future. The Black Swan seems to be resident in the field now and ignoring the local farmers arm waving.

Saturday, 6 March 2021


Freezing sea watch from the beach at the Botton of Dengemarsh Gully this morning
The track down to DMG is now worse than I have ever seen it, so if you have a low slung vehicle avoid it.  
Eider: 1E drake (probably same bird as yesterday)
Common Scoter: 2W
Red-breasted Merganser: 2E
Great-crested Grebe: 4E     1W        1 on
Red-throated Diver: 56E    4W   2 on
Gannet: 157E
Cormorant: present n/c
Oystercatcher: 5E    1W
Kittiwake: 71E
Sandwich Tern: 7E (single flock)
Guillemot: 54E
Razorbill: 17E
Auk sp: 929E    4W
Harbour Porpoise: 2 
A flock of c40 Linnets were flitting around the DMG, along with a calling unseen Cetti's Warbler a pair of Stonechats, a few Robins, Dunnocks, Wrens, Great Tits and a local Raven flew over.
I'm now getting up to 6 Greenfinches coming to my garden feeders but at least 1 has scaly feet.
A long walk around the Galloway's and Brett's this afternoon was pleasant but few birds were seen. A couple of Marsh Harriers moving between Lydd Fields and the ranges, a Great White Egret sheltering from the wind at Brett's and c100 Russian White-fronted Geese still in the fields, with Greylags, Canada's and Egyptians.

Friday, 5 March 2021


08:00-09:00 from the end of a bitterly cold Dengemarsh Gully:
Wigeon: 2E
Pintail: 2E
Common Scoter: 1E
Eider: 1W Adult drake
Red-throated Diver: 34E    1W     1 on
Great-crested Grebe: 1W     3 on
Gannet: 293E     14W
Cormorant: present n/c
Kittiwake: 64E
Guillemot: 8E       5on
Auk sp: 159E   43W      7 on
Harbour Porpoise: 2 
2 Great White Egrets were feeding in the Gully and the Rubicola Stonechats was still present, but little else.
There were still c100 Russian White-fronted Geese around the Lydd Fields today
 A walk around the reserve saw of note an adult Yellow-legged Gull roosting on Burrowes, but I missed the Iceland Gull that was seen by OL. Good numbers of Teal on the hay fields and Wigeon on Dengemarsh and Boulderwall but despite careful scrutiny I couldn't find a Garganey. The usual Egrets and Marsh Harriers were seen, plenty of calling Cetti's Warblers but I was unable to find the Glossy ibis.

Thursday, 4 March 2021


1 of several flocks of Brent Geese past the bottom of Dengemarsh Gully today
A couple of watches from the bottom of the DMG today produced a few flocks of Brent Geese, a flock of 126 Red-throated Divers but little else, though I did miss a Great Northern Diver that flew East just before I arrived. A search of DMG didn't turn up any Bluethroats or much else for that matter, though the local Ravens were quite active so presumably feeding young on the power station.
At Scotney a flock of 10 Avocet were the highlight, also 20 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 6 Curlew, 8 Oystercatcher and 8 Redshanks along with the usual feral Geese, 3 Marsh Harriers and 2 Great White Egrets.
The only passerine of interest in DMG was this Rubicola Stonechat
There are still c100 Russian White-fronted Geese around the Lydd Fields/Dengemarsh area today.
The Black Swan is still inset in the field in front of my house

Thursday, 25 February 2021


 This Common Buzzard is a regular over the garden
A wander around Lydd and the fields today was rather pleasant in the warm sunshine this morning with 65+ species being seen. Late afternoon/early evening I went to Dengemarsh Gully for the Starling roost, but they had other ideas and kept their distance. I did however witness a superb murmur action which can be seen HERE  

A local Tree Sparrow
Ravens are now a daily occurrence from the garden with at least 3 pairs in a couple of miles radius
Some Fieldfares dropped into a local field briefly today
There are still 170+ Russian White-fronted Geese around the Lydd fields
A poor image of Barn Owl at Springfield Bridge, but remarkable in that it was dark when I took the picture with a an ISO setting of 51,200

Tuesday, 23 February 2021


The stunning resident Glossy Ibis
Cetti's Warblers, Reed Buntings and Chiffchaffs were singing all around the reserve today, on Boulderwall Fields several 100 Wigeon fed with c200 Russian White-fronted Geese, 26 Curlew, 8 Dunlin, at least 4 Ruff, 1,00s of Lapwing and at least 2 Great White Egrets, all being flushed from time to time by Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards. Sadly it now looks as though this will be the first winter on record that no Smew were recorded at Dungeness, although it is not late for one to turn up, but I seriously doubt one will, 
My first of hopefully many Red Kites this year from the garden. Thanks to Graham for the heads up that it was on its up the peninsular towards me, where it circled Lydd Wood.
My first Avocet of the year feeding on the hay fields
At least 6 singing Chiffchaffs around the reserve today
The amazingly early Wheatear at Galloway's on Sunday afternoon
There were still at least 28 Bewick Swans on Walland yesterday afternoon
Peregrine behind The Patch 
2nd calendar year Iceland Gull is still frequenting The patch

Saturday, 20 February 2021


There are still 3-400 Russian White-fronted Geese around the peninsular, though with the arrival of warmer weather they will doubtless soon depart. They are usually to be found on the fields between Cockles Bridge and the Airport  or at the back of Dengemarsh
A long slog this week in strong winds and leaden skies to The Patch via Dengemarsh Gully was rewarded with nice views of a Bonxie causing mayhem among the Gulls over The Patch, also the long staying 2nd calendar year Iceland Gull showed well there, at least 2 1w Caspian Gulls were in the roost. Lots of Auks were toting and frying off shore with a few Gannets, Kittiwakes and Red-throated Divers.
2nd calendar year Iceland Gull
2nd calendar year Iceland Gull

Great White Egrets are now regular in Dengemarsh Gully, this one was tackling a large Eel
As soon as the snow and ice disappeared most of the Wigeon, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe and Woodcock disappeared,  Curlew numbers on Boulderwall fields are increasing but the reserve is generally very quiet avian wise, though there are still c1,000 Lapwings around with at least 6 Ruff and c100 Golden plover accompanying them.
2-3 Kingfishers can be seen around Hookers 
A walk out Scotney was disappointing though not surprising as the wind was near gale force, the Long-tailed Duck was still present along with all the usual feral Geese, a flock of 40 Dunlin and 8 Ringed Plovers were on the sward.
Scrub clearance looking back to the ARC car park from the screen hide

Monday, 15 February 2021


Its been great to see all the Redwings during the cold weather, but most had departed this morning 

As with the Redwing I only saw a handful of Snipe today, compared to the several dozens recent days, also no Jack Snipe or Woodcock today. 
Peregrine yesterday over the Hay fields
Redshank at Scotney
The frozen sward at Scotney produced a few Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, Redshank, Golden Plover and a Lapwing, also a couple of Green Sandpipers in the ditches. The long-tailed Duck is still present but I couldn't find the Scaup, though wildfowl numbers were generally low. There were at least 3 Great White Egrets there.
Ice shelf at Scotney
Barn Owls at Pigwell sewage works, but no Grey Wagtail there among the many Pied Wagtails.
Russian White-fronted Geese in the field in front of my house
A from the garden year tick in the form of a Brent Goose that joined the Greylags and Whitefronts 
The 2 Goosander keeping their distance on the New Diggings today, though they were the highlight of an otherwise very much under par walk around the reserve today. At dusk the Glossy Ibis flew across the ARC to roost.

Friday, 12 February 2021


Black-throated Diver
With the bitter cold weather continuing, it has been hard work walking around Dengemarsh and the reserve. Very little new has arrived, though it is very nice to still be seeing large numbers of White-fronts and Wigeon, also the winter thrushes, Snipe along with the odd Jack Snipe and Woodcock. On Burrowes the Black-throated Diver skin in residence though it does get lost among the several 1,000s of Cormorants there. There are still no Smew at Dungeness despite hours spent scouring every lake and pool.
My usual view of a Woodcock, this one exploded from below a bush next to me at Dengemarsh
Russian White-fronted Geese
Geese on Dengemarsh
Wigeon and White-fronts over Dengemarsh
 The last time I managed to spot a Woodcock on the ground December 2012 in the Willow Trail