Wednesday, 30 September 2015


A very good day at The Point today, although not awash with migrants on the land by the end of the day I had seen at least 8 Firecrests, 8 Continental Coal Tits,s 5 Goldcrest a Yellow-browed Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, 40+ Swallows, Black Redstart all of which were around the lighthouse area. Also most of them showed very well.
 Yellow-browed Warbler

On my second visit to The Patch today, I caught up with the Grey Phalarope (206 for the patch), unfortunately it was always well out of photographic range, also there of note 4 Common Terns.
 Most of my day was spent at the Old Lighthouse photographing the very obliging Sprites.

 Continental Coal Tit

 Common Scoter
Common Tern
14.05-15.35 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 9E     3W
Common Scoter: 14E
Red-throated Diver: 1E
Great-crested Grebe: 1 around
Gannet: 37W
Dunlin: 25E
Bar-tailed Godwit: 1E
Arctic Skua: 2 around
Mediterranean Gull 1stw: 1 around
Kittiwake: 1W
Sandwich Tern: 38E
Common Tern: 8E
Swallow: 17 out

Monday, 28 September 2015

Continental Coal Tits

I wasn't expecting much on the sea this morning with the strong easterly blowing, which was just as well.
08.05-09.05 from the sea watch hide:
Brent Goose: 4E       16W
Teal: 14W
Wigeon: 32W
Common Scoter: 8E   1W
Gannet: c20 around
Great Skua: 1 around
Arctic Skua: 3 around
Sandwich Tern: c15 around
Linnet: 70E
1 of 2 Continental Coal Tits at West Beach
3 hours covering every patch of cover in the Desert saw:
Redstart: 1
Whinchat: 2
Wheatear: 3
Robin: 9
G S Woodpecker: 1
Skylark: 1E
Meadow Pipit: c200 Grounded
Swallow: 57 into wind
Stock Dove: 8
Siskin: 4+
Chiffchaff: 9
Yellow Wagtail: 1
Continental Coal Tit: 2  My 204th species on the peninsular this year.
Black Redstart: 3
Clouded Yellow: 1
Hare: 1

 Dengemarsh and the Gully held a single Wheatear, 2 Stonechats, 3 Chiffchaff, c60 Meadow Pipits, 5 Yellow Wagtails a Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier and a Raven over. Elsewhere the Great White Egrets have increased to 6 on Burrowes per MH.
A very poor effort!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Quiet Weekend

 Cetti's Warbler at the observatory
A fairly quiet weekend, the short sea watches I have done have been unproductive. The walks around the peninsular have produced reasonable numbers of Siskins, Meadow Pipits, Reed buntings, Chiffchaffs and Hirundines, with small numbers of  Goldcrests, Blackcaps, Common Whitethroats Wheatears, Whinchats and a few Grey Wagtails over. A highlight was a very brief juvenile Red-footed Falcon opposite the Go Cart track on Saturday afternoon, also seen there up to 5 Common Buzzards, Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Hobby.
Scotney held a party of c20 Yellow Wagtails, 20+ Curlew, c100 Golden Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Egyptian Geese among all the other feral Geese.
A check of the Egret Roost at the ARC saw the Cattle Egret, 4 Great White Egrets and 9 Little Egrets, there were 5 Great White Egrets on Burrowes this afternoon per SB.
While checking The Moat this morning I was fortunate enough to witness the harshness of nature, as a Stoat attacked and killed a Rabbit. 
 Finishing the job
Job done
Wheatear, Galloways
The remains of the fort at the bottom of Galloways

Friday, 25 September 2015

Sunshine Day!

 Hirundines at The Moat
As I drove along the approach road to the observatory the sky was full of House Martins and Swallows. A walk around The Desert with AJG found the Wryneck still present, but only 2 each of Common Whitethroat and Blackcap, 8+ Chiffchaffs, a few Siskins, Meadow Pipits and Goldfinches over,
A stroll around the ARC was very pleasant, a couple of Marsh Harriers were over the Tower Pits and 2 Common Buzzards over the airport, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and Common Whitethroat were seen at The Pines, over the lake a party of c70 Golden Plover were looking for somewhere to settle, alas there are no longer any islands for them.  Another wander around The Point this afternoon in the gloriously warm sunshine was fruitless, though the Hirundines were still moving through.
The Cattle Egret was reported as still being present late afternoon, also 2 Spoonbills flew over per PT.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Mainly Skua Watching!

Sea watch totals for  06.45-12.00 & 13.15-15.15 from The Point/Fishing boats with DW,BM and AJG who collated most of the totals:
Brent Goose: 4W
Teal: 1W
Common Scoter: 44E      49W
Great-crested Grebe: 7 around
Balearic Shearwater: 1W
Gannet:   17E      384W
Great Skua: 5W
Arctic Skua: 15E   95W     5 around
Kittiwake: 3W
Little Tern: 5W
Black Tern: 3W
Sandwich Tern: 23E      951W
Common Tern: 134W
Arctic Tern: 2W
Razorbill: 1W
Auk sp: 1E   3W
Sand Martin: 10 out
House Martin: 1 out
Swallow: 1162  out
Meadow Pipit:  103 in
Linnet: 15 around
Harbour Porpoise: 4+

From the entrance track to the visitor centre by Boulderwall Farm 3 species of Egret could be seen, 4 Little Egrets, 2 Great White Egrets and the Cattle Egret which always seems to be distant.
Late afternoon at the ARC still plenty of Sand Martins over the lake, no waders as there are no longer any islands, the usual wildfowl still present along with a couple of hunting Marsh Harriers.
Up at the pines there was not a passerine to be seen, though it was blowing a gale. Hopefully the forecasted easterlies will bring us some passerines in the next few days and maybe something good with them.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Day After!

With clear skies, the short drive to The Point this morning was made with the forlorn hope that the Flycatcher would still be present. The approach road was lined with cars and there was a wall of birders staring into Dave Bunney's garden. Their demeanour told me instantly that the bird had not been seen nor probably would. I was disappointed for them, but especially for Mark who was due back from a Spanish sea watching trip this afternoon. Mark a Dungeness stalwart of many years, who when I moved to Kent 6 years ago made me feel welcome at Dungeness. In those years we have shared many good birds and laughs (Buff-breasted Sandpiper morphing into a Ruff at Scotney and then 2 Buff Breasts appear) to have been able to share the Flycatcher with him would have been the icing on the cake. I dare say tomorrow he will regale me with tales of legions of Pomarine and long-tailed Skuas, with waves of various Shearwaters and probably a few jokes. Mind you if he mentions some of the older Dungeness mega's!!!!!!!
When I reached the observatory I met AJG and walked a lap of The desert with him. It became obvious that there had been an overnight clear out of migrants, with just 4 Common Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Wheatears, a Stonechat, 5 Robins also a few Hirundines, Siskins, Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits over.
Back at the observatory news of a Pallid Harrier and Red-footed Falcon at Worth Marshes came through. AJG who had not seen a Red-footed Falcon for some time suggested we go there, I was more than willing to accompany him there. An hour later we watching a superb juvenile Red-footed Falcon hawking Dragonfly's, amazingly we had the bird to our selves. We didn't see the Pallid Harrier , that would have been greedy.
Back at Dungeness a short sea watch this afternoon saw the usual 6+ Arctic Skua's beating up the Sandwich Terns, a Bonxie west and 3 Kittiwakes west.
Just realised that the Flycatcher is my 201st species for Dungeness this year, not a bad local patch!
juvenile Red-footed Falcon
Juvenile Red-footed Falcon
Juvenile Red-footed Falcon

Monday, 21 September 2015

A Quiet Day!

 A much quieter morning around The Point, though still some Hirundines and Meadow Pipits going through, a few Siskins, 3 Wheatears, a Common Redstart trapped along with a few Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs, a single Marsh Harrier hunting the area and Black Redstart on the perimeter fence.
  Brent Geese
14.10-16.10 from the fishing boats:
Brent Goose: 70W the first reasonable size flock of the autumn.
Common Scoter: 2E
Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Gannet: 95W
Cormorant: 18 around
Arctic Skua: a minimum of 8 individuals loitering off shore
Kittiwake: 1W
Sandwich Tern: 94W
Common Tern: 27W
Swallow: 87 out
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
 Great Black-backed Gull swallowing a whole Plaice!
 Barred Sallow in the trap this morning
Large Wainscot NFY
Another Convolvulus Hawkmoth by the trap this morning!