Monday, 11 January 2021

10-11/01/2021

1 of several Reed Buntings at Dengemarsh in the rime frost
In general it is very quiet at the moment, though  count of 340+ Russian White-fronted Geese at various sites around the peninsular today was the standout highlight, though I can't be 100% sure that some weren't double counted. The Black-throated Diver was still on the New Diggings along with 4 Goldeneye, a large Tit flock on the causeway held 2 Firecrests, 3 Goldcrests and at least 20 Long-tailed Tits. At the ARC I couldn't find either the Dusky Warbler or the Glossy Ibis though both could easily still be present, plenty of squealing Water rails and several unseen calling Bearded Tits.
At Scotney the Long-tailed Duck is still on its favoured lake per JY.
The 2w Iceland Gull is still making intermittent appearances at The Patch per DW.
 Dengemarsh in the freezing fog
A new viewpoint has been cut into the brambles at Hookers
Gadwall on Ice at Hookers
Pintail at Hookers
Storm damage to Scott Hide
Black Redstart on the football club fence, year ticked from the garden.
Goldeneye on Burrowes
1 of at least 6 Great White Egrets around
At least 128 Russian White-fronted Geese on the Boulderwall Fields today
Another 23 White-fronts were in the Whimbrel field by the entrance track


At least another 86 white-fronts opposite Cockles Bridge

 There were at least another 90 White-fronts at Dengemarsh making a total of 340 today though there could be some double counting.

Friday, 8 January 2021

08/01/2020

It seems that today was my last look at the sea for sometime as the Dungeness Estate closed to cars this afternoon for the foreseeable future, perhaps I'll invest in an electric bicycle if it goes on to long.  
Highlights of this mornings freezing sea watch was a Red-necked Grebe flying East into Lade Bay, also a juvenile drake and 3 female  Eider flying West. There were still lots of Auks and Red-throated Divers but little else of note.  The Patch was disappointing with few Gulls present as it was barely bubbling.
A lovely metal ringed male Black Redstart was briefly by the old lighthouse before disappearing into the power station. The Black-throated Diver was still on the New Diggings. A half hearted count of the Cormorants on Burrowes arrived at a figure of c4,700, even the Great Black-backed Gulls have been pushed off the islands by the Cormorants. The ARC was very quiet, with again no sign of the Dusky Warbler, a party of Long-tailed Tits being the highlight for me as the freezing fog descended. 
While I was In the garden during a brief clear patch a flight of Russian White-fronted Geese flew low over me giving super views, I wasn't quick enough with the phone to record the lovely calls emanating from the flock.
Ringed Black Redstart by the old lighthouse
A superb Russian White-fronted Goose over the garden today
Part of the flock of Whitefronts flying back out onto Dengemarsh

Thursday, 7 January 2021

6/7-01-2021

A sea watch yesterday with CP from the fishing boats in appalling weather conditions produced plenty of Guillemots, Razorbills, Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Kittiwakes and of course Cormorants but little else.
At the ARC in the rain these 3 Green Woodpeckers were probably the highlight.
Green Woodpeckers at the ARC
Black-throated Diver
Plenty of walking today eventually resulted in superb views of the long staying Black-throated Diver on the New Diggings in the lovely sunshine. A search of the ARC for the Dusky Warbler drew a blank, though party of 8 Bearded Tits were good compensation, all the usual wildfowl were present but still no Smew. A Kestrel was posing as I walked through the car park, in the Brambles a Firecrest and a Chiffchaff were feeding. 200+ Russian White-fronted Geese flew over and settled in the fields at Cockles Bridge, unfortunately not for long as 1 of the peninsulars guardians of the countryside soon arrived to chase off them off again. I don't know why they won't settle with the 100s of feral geese at Scotney where they would at least get some peace.
Black-throated Diver

Kestrel
A flock of 200+ Russian White-fronted Geese
Raven over the field in front of my house
Late afternoon at Scotney a Kingfisher sat in the orange glow of the setting sun, a drake and and duck Scaup were still on the eastern back lake along with the Long-tailed Duck. On the sward, 1,000+ each of Lapwing and Golden Plover along with 100s each of Wigeon and feral geese but I could find no wild birds among them. 


Monday, 4 January 2021

04/01/2020

A soggy Dusky Warbler 
A day of non stop rain and drizzle on the peninsular made birding challenging. First stop at The Patch was very disappointing with very few Gulls present compared to recent days and no White Wingers except Mediterranean Gulls.
At the ARC plenty of the usual wildfowl, but no sign of the Ibis or Black-throated Diver, I was fortunate enough to come across The Hamstreet Birder who just happened to be watching the Dusky Warbler. It was very active and always managed to keep twigs between it and my camera, considering the appalling weather I was surprised to get any images of it all, 2500 iso to get any shutter speed and light. Please note the ARC car park is closed at the moment.
I spent an hour sheltering behind a fishing boat this afternoon and racked up 3 Bonxies, 3 Fulmars, 270+ Kittiwakes, 650+ Guillemots (not a single Razorbill), 40+ Red-throated Divers, 40+ Mediterranean Gulls, Gannets and Great-crested Grebes.

2w Mediterranean Gull
 

Sunday, 3 January 2021

03/03/2021

1 of the 2 Iceland Gulls at The Patch this morning
Part of the flock of 227 Russian White-fronted Geese in the fields at Cockle Bridge this morning. 304 were recorded at Dengemarsh this morning per CP.

In the almost constant drizzle today The Dusky Warbler was reported as still being present this morning, but I was unable to find it in a couple of visits. The Glossy was still visiting its island in the lake, the usual Marsh Harriers and Egrets were also around, a lovely sight this morning was the flock of 227 Russian White-fronted Geese flying into the fields opposite Cockles Bridge. Click HERE for a short YouTube video of the White-fronts.14 Bewick Swans turned up on the ARC this afternoon which made my visit there in the pouring rain worthwhile. At the fishing boats this afternoon a couple of Caspian Gulls, a flock of a minimum of 260 Kittiwakes sat just off shore along with 40+ Mediterranean Gulls, also present were a few Red-throated Divers and Gannet.
12 of the 14 Bewick Swans on the ARC this afternoon. (9 adults + 5 juveniles)
1w Caspian Gull behind the fishing boats
2 x 1w Caspian Gulls at the fishing boats this afternoon
1w Caspian Gull
1 of 40+ Mediterranean Gulls at the fishing boats this afternoon
 

Saturday, 2 January 2021

02/01/2021

Dusky Warbler in lovely sunny conditions New Years Eve

Today at least 3 Iceland Gulls were at The Patch along with several each of Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls. Offshore the sea was littered with Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets and Red-throated Divers. Early morning on the ARC saw the 2 Whooper Swans roosting, while the Black-throated Diver was on the New Diggings. The Dusky Warbler was showing well at the ARC today if you happened to be in the right place at the right time, the Glossy Ibis was again frequenting the what is left of the old Cormorant Island, it is also seen frequently flying back forth over the track to the screen hide. In the reeds Bearded Tits, Water Rails and a Kingfisher.
While in the bushes at the ARC at least 3 Firecrests, Goldcrests, Chiffchaff and Long-tailed Tits, also a party of 8 Fieldfares over.
At Boulderwall the usual Egrets, Lapwings, Golden Plover and a few Ruff, also a Peregrine over. The Greater White-fronted Geese flock is quite mobile at the moment, usually due to disturbance by the farmers or helicopter.
Late yesterday afternoon  the male Hen Harrier was out on South Brooks where it seemed to roost. At Scotney all the usual feral Geese, along with Green Sandpiper, Long-tailed Duck, 2 Scaup and good numbers of Corn Buntings.
Dusky Warbler in todays dull overcast conditions

1 of several Firecrests at the ARC
Kingfisher ARC
A distant Glossy Ibis on its favourite Island
2 x 2w Iceland Gulls at The Patch early this morning
2w Iceland Gull early this morning
The regular 1w Iceland Gull on New Years Eve still present today
1 of the many Caspian Gulls that have been at The Patch recently
Common Seal at The Patch
White-fronts on Dengemarsh