Saturday, 20 April 2019

All the long legs!

A very uninspiring sea watch this morning, the highlight being watching a Merlin chase and catch a Meadow Pipit just off shore. Then the day just got better and better.
06.00-07.30 with RW
Brent Goose: 3E
Shelduck: 1E   4W
Common Scoter: 25E.    12W
Red-throated diver: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 3 around
Fulmar: 4E.  1W
Gannet: 66E.  18W
Cormorant: 38 around
Merlin: 1 in
Oystercatcher: 1E. 3W
Great Skua: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 38E
Common Gull: 37E
Little Tern: 3E
Sandwich Tern: 85E
Common Tern: 14E
Carrion Crow: 1 in
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 5
Willow Warbler at the observatory this morning
After I left the observatory to get some breakfast, I was driving past Boulderwall when I spotted a familiar looking white blob out in the field by Cooks Pool, I pulled into the muddy lay by and got my scope onto the blob to reveal an immature Spoonbill, I turned the car round and drove into the reserve to get a better look.
The Spoonbill with Plodland in the background
From Cooks Pool the Spoonbill was still distant but nicely lined up to get it onto the house year list.
As I was watching the Spoonbill 2 Black-winged stilts flew into Cooks Pool stopping just long enough for MH, DG and OL to see them before disappearing towards Dengemarsh.
We made our way to Denge Marsh to look for them without success. 
 Greenland Wheatear
Around the hay fields we saw a handsome Greenland Wheatear, 5 Cattle Egrets and Yellow Wagtails, we also heard Bearded Tits, but there was no sign of yesterdays 5 Garganey.
1 of 5 Garganey at Denge Marsh yesterday.
We had just got back to Denge Marsh hide when a call fro PB alerted us to a Red Kite flying around the back of the power station, we managed distant views of the Kite and also saw a Hobby my earliest ever.
Bittern over Tanners Pool
Making our way back to Boulderwall a Bittern flew past us, also Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards were seen.
After my late  breakfast I spent some scoping the skies in front my house for raptors. Common Buzzards were plentiful, a Peregrine flew over and at least 3 Marsh Harriers were seen, I watched a Red Kite soaring over Denge Marsh for several minutes, a Grey Heron and Little Egret flew into the nearby Heronry, I picked out a grey blob which was the Common Crane, also the Spoonbill and at least 3 of the Cattle Egrets though all rather distant. A phone call from PB and CT alerted me to the Black Winged Stilts flying towards the Go Cart track allowing me to add the Stilts to my garden list, not a bad haul from an hour of sky watching from the garden.
 1 of many Yellow wagtails at Scotney
I went along to Scotney in the hope of relocating the Stilts and had just reached the farm when OL text me that 6 Spoonbills had flown into the back lakes. I made my way there seeing lots of Yellow Wagtails and Mediterranean Gulls and few each of Corn Bunting, Tree Sparrow and Reed Bunting, arriving a few minutes later the Spoonbills were gone leaving 28 Avocet, 4 Redshank and a couple of Dunlin. After a couple of minutes either 3 of the original 6 or 3 more Spoonbills flew in from Camber.
3 of the 6 Spoonbills at Scotney 
Late afternoon Fiona Grant  messaged me after she relocated the Black Winged Stilts at the southern end of the ARC where they showed very well with a Great White Egret. 

Great White Egret 

Yesterdays Spoonbill after it flew off S.E.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

First Cuckoo of the Year!

A fairly quiet day on the sea in a brisk NE wind and poor visibility.
 Common Scoter
05.45-08.30 & 13.40-15.30 with AJG, MH, JTM et al
Brent Goose: 3E
Gadwall: 2E
Shoveler: 10E
Teal: 4E
Common Scoter: 218E    18W
Velvet Scoter: 5E    5W
Great-crested Grebe: 12 around
Fulmar: 4E
Gannet: 162E
Oystercatcher: 1E
Grey Plover: 20E
Curlew: 2E
Whimbrel: 115E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 10E
Great Skua: 1E
Arctic Skua: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 39E
Common Gull: 69E
Kittiwake: 4E
Sandwich Tern: 157E
Common Tern: 31E
Arctic Tern: 1E
Commic Tern: 47E
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise 10+
At the top of the Long Pits Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers and a handful of Swallows over.
At Dengemarsh the Common Crane could be seen distantly as could the 2 Cattle Egrets, a Great White Egret and little Egret, also a booming Bittern, the highlight though was my first Cuckoo of the spring.
At Camber I could not find the Glossy Ibis, but I did meet the local farmer who showed me an image on his phone of a Black Winged Stilt that was taken yesterday at the pools.
The injured Avocet still alive at Scotney today
Tree Sparrows prospecting at Scotney Farm
A walk around the back of Scotney found of note a Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 12 Redshank, 14 Avocet, 16 Dunlin and a Little Ringed Plover. Around the fields 30+ Mediterranean Gulls, 15+ Yellow Wagtails, 8 Corn Buntings and the usual feral Geese.
Wheatear at the back of the fishing boats this afternoon

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Yet again most the day was spent sea watching as the land was once again quiet, apart from Willow warblers in The moat:
06.00-12.00 & 14.00-16.45 from the sea watch hide with AJG, BC,JC, RW, MH, DW, PT et al:
Brent Goose: 412E.  4W
Shelduck: 8E
Garganey: 9E
Shoveler: 4E
Common Scoter: 821E.  80W
Red-breasted Merganser: 5E
Red-throated Diver: 12E
Black-throated Diver: 1E
Fulmar: 7E   4W
Manx Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 135E.    18W
Cormorant: present n/c
Shag: 1E (AJG & MH only)
Oystercatcher: 19E.  2W
Grey Plover: 2E
Whimbrel: 86E
Curlew: 10E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 13E
Knot: 1E
Kittiwake: 6E
Little Gull: 7E
Mediterranean Gull: 8E   4W
Common Gull: 247E
Sandwich Tern: 413E
Little Tern: 1E
Common Tern: 505E
Great Skua: 10E
Arctic Skua: 24E
Guillemot: 5E
Razorbill: 1E
Puffin: 1E
Auks sp: 3E
Swallow: 11 in
House Martin: 1 in
Harbour Porpoise: 20+
Elsewhere on the peninsular it seems the Common Crane, Cattle Egrets and Great White Egrets are all still present.
Lunar Marbled Brown which is scarce on the shingle down here, a new moth my trap. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Late afternoon push!

 Mediterranean Gulls passing the sea watch hide this morning
Inevitably a much slower passage today, though a movement of Terns and Brent Geese this afternoon boosted the numbers. As there is a dearth of migrant land birds on the peninsular at the moment, most of my time is spent staring out to sea.
06.00-11.00 & 13.30-17.30 with AJG, OL, JTM, MH, DW
Greylag Goose: 2E
Brent Goose: 810E
Gadwall: 4E
Shoveler: 6E.  2W
Wigeon: 7E
Garganey: 3E
Pintail: 1E
Common Scoter: 1,009E    58W
Velvet Scoter: 2W
Eider: 1E
Red-breasted Merganser: 3W
Red-throated Diver: 31E
Great-crested Grebe:13 around
Fulmar: 10E  2W
Manx Shearwater: 5E
Cormorant: Present n/c
Grey Heron: 1E
Oystercatcher:18E  3W
Curlew: 3E
Whimbrel: 16E
Great Skua: 2E
Arctic Skua: 15E
Little Gull: 7E
Mediterranean Gull: 19E   1W
Common Gull: 200E
Kittiwake: 25E
Sandwich Tern: 520E
Common Tern:1,030E
Guillemot: 27E
Auk: sp: 53E
Swallow: 2 in
Carrion Crow: 1 out
Goldfinch: 2E
Harbour Porpoise: c20 around
Grey Seal: 1
Common Scoter: 147E
Herring Gull A5UX a Mallydams ringed bird regularly seen at Dungeness
The Common Crane is still feeding in its favoured field, the 3 Cattle Egrets are becoming more mobile and up to 4 Great White Egrets are still around. 3 Garganey were at Dengemarsh per PT, also it seems the Glossy Ibis is still to be seen around the small pools at Camber. 

Monday, 15 April 2019

2 more Puffins!

Gannets passing in the early morning sunshine
 2 of a party of 6 Eider past the fishing boats this afternoon
 With the wind just South of East this morning sea watching was the order of the day, which was very productive, 2 more Puffins and a Scaup which nowadays is sadly very scarce at Dungeness and much more.
06.00-11.15 & 13.30-16.00 with AJG, JTM, PT, DW, MH et al
Brent Goose: 85E
Barnacle Goose: 1E
Shelduck: 13E
Mallard: 4E
Gadwall: 12E
Shoveler: 51E
Wigeon: 1E
Teal: 68E
Scaup: 1E
Common Scoter: 2,487E   4W
Velvet Scoter: 11E
Eider: 6E
Red-breasted Merganser: 8E
Red-throated Diver: 15E   1 on
Great-crested Grebe: 6 around
Fulmar: 33E
Manx Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 572E    3W
Cormorant: present n/c
Oystercatcher: 3E
Little Ringed Plover: 2E
Ringed Plover: 1E
Sanderling: 2E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 1E
Curlew: 2E
Whimbrel: 17E
Great Skua: 5E
Arctic Skua: 10E
Common Gull: 139E
Little Gull: 11E
Kittiwake: 117E
Sandwich Tern: 660E   3W
Common Tern: 118E
Arctic Tern: 22E
Commic Tern: 18E
Razorbill: 6E
Puffin: 2E
Auk sp: 649E
Harbour Porpoise: 10+
Grey Seal: 1
Unusual to see a Barnacle Goose passing with Brent Geese this afternoon
White Wagtail at Scotney
A brief lunchtime visit to Scotney where yesterdays injured Avocet was still present, a fine White Wagtail, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Tree Sparrows and a flyover Greenshank my first this year.
Late afternoon the Common Crane was still in the fields off Dengemarsh Lane also a Great White Egret there.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

The Weekend!

As the cold NE wind persisted all weekend passerines were virtually non existent, Saturdays highlight was a Puffin that flew east past the hide with a Guillemot
At Scotney a flock of 18 Tree Sparrows, 8 Yellow Wagtails, a Green Sandpiper and 15 Avocets 1 with an injured wing were the highlights.
The Common Crane and at least 2 Cattle Egrets are still present but the Serin seems to have been just a brief visitor.
 Injured Avocet at Scotney on Saturday
06.15-09.30 & 13.50-15.50 with AJG,RW, JH, SO, L & PH,
Shelduck: 6E
Mallard: 2E
Gadwall: 3E
Shoveler: 22E
Teal: 24E
Pintail: 2E
Common Scoter: 195E   3W  (1 assumed leucitic individual)
Red-breasted Merganser: 4E
Red-throated Diver: 5E
Great-crested Grebe: 6 around
Fulmar: 2E
Manx Shearwater: 1E
Gannet: 106E
Cormorant: present n/c
Oystercatcher: 12E
Curlew: 8E
Whimbrel: 21E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 16E
Arctic Skua: 3E
Little Gull: 16E
Kittiwake: 14E
Little Tern: 3E
Sandwich Tern: 238E
Common Tern: 60E
Guillemot: 27E
Razorbill: 1E
Auk sp: 168E
Harbour Porpoise: 15+
Grey Seal: 1
Wheatear on the Blackthorn in The Moat this morning

Friday, 12 April 2019

Glossy Ibis and a Serin!

Fresh in landing on the bund next to the sea watch hide this morning
Yet another very slow cold morning watch in a bitter NE wind.
07.00-09.00 from the sea watch hide:
Shoveler: 3W
Common Scoter: 9E     24W
Red-breasted Merganser: 1E
Red-throated Diver: 2E
Great-crested Grebe: 1 on
Fulmar: 1W
Gannet: 96E   17W
Cormorant: present n/c
Oystercatcher: 6E
Little Gull: 12E
Mediterranean gull: 6E
Common Gull: 92E
Sandwich Tern: 35E.   9W
Common Tern: 8E   4 at The patch
Auk sp: 4E   2W
Swallow: 4 in
Wheatear: 1 in
Chiffchaff: 1in
A wander around The Desert and The Point found just 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatears, 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Blackcaps and a Common Buzzard of note.

A WhatsApp message by Chris Gibbard saying a Glossy Ibis had been photographed in Camber, gave me a reason to leave a very quiet Dungeness. I checked the most likely pools and fields at Camber and North Point finding just a few Mediterranean Gulls and feral Geese in the sheep fields, I started to make my back and spotted a pool I hadn't checked, as I pulled into the gateway I immediately saw the Glossy Ibis, so got out the car and took a few record images before being shouted at by a farmer for blocking his entrance, I quickly moved off and found a more suitable and safer parking spot then walked back along the cycle path to view the bird, it was completely unconcerned by me and the cyclists and walkers showing very well.

I went back to the fishing boats with JTM but we didn't stay long as absolutely nothing  was passing by on the sea. A drive along the entrance track found 2 Cattle Egrets and a Little Egret by Tanners Pool, from Dennis's hide c50 Sand Martins over the lake. Next I drove to Springfield Bridge where a Garganey was showing distantly in the ditch, a Bittern was booming from the reeds and a Great white Egret was sheltering from the wind. I had just stopped by the manure heap at Dengemarsh to look at the Common Crane again when OL called to say Dave Bunney had seen a Serin with Linnets by his house. A few minutes later I was on site with OL, DB and joined by DW, JTM and DG, after a few minutes searching we pinned the Serin down getting excellent views, hopefully it will still be present tomorrow. 

Female Serin with Linnets
Serin showing its Lemon rump

Angry Wheatear for SG

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Brown Hare early morning along the beach
The cold NE wind seems set for the near future keeping sea watch numbers low and migrants around the bushes virtually non existent.
08.15-09.30 &13.20-15.30 with AJG & JTM
Brent Goose: 4E
Shelduck: 5W
Mallard: 2E
Teal: 2E
Common Scoter: 21E   69W
Red-breasted Merganser: 4E
Red-throated Diver: 9E   1 on
Great-crested Grebe: 9 around
Fulmar: 2E   1W
Gannet: 212E  14W
Cormorant: present n/c
Marsh Harrier: 1 in
Oystercatcher: 4E   3W
Grey Plover: 25E
Curlew: 1E
Whimbrel: 1E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 1E
Mediterranean Gull: 14E
Common Gull: 207E
Kittiwake: 2E
Sandwich Tern: 109E  24W
Common Tern: 39E    c30 at The Patch
Commic Tern: 38E
Guillemot: 5E    9W
Auk sp:13E    8W
Swallow: 1 in
Harbour Porpoise: minimum of 10
 A Wheatear sheltering from the NE wind
2 Wheatears around the NE corner of The Desert were the best I could find, though I didn't stay long due to the number of dogs and dog walkers there. At the top of the Long Pits a couple of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps the pick of a very poor haul. 
1 of 2 Chiffchaffs in the lighthouse garden
The Common Crane was still at Dengemarsh viewable from the road by the manure heap. On Burrowes a trickle of Hirundines through, a Black-necked Grebe and 3 Little Gulls were the highlights.