Thursday, 18 January 2018

Grey Partridge!

A breezy start to the day this morning at the fishing boats:
Red-throated Diver: 9up   7 down
Great-crested Grebe: 10+ around
Fulmar: 3 up .  2 down
Gannet: c100 down mainly distant
Caspian Gull: the regular 1w bird around
Kittiwake: c150 down mainly distant
Auks: 300 mainly distant up and down
At The Patch mid morning nothing of note among the very few Gulls present.
2 visits to Scotney produced 2 Ringed Plover, 6 Redshank, a Dunlin, c100 Golden Plover and c300 Lapwing among the usual feral Geese.
 Part of a covey of 15 Grey Partridge
A message from Owen about some Grey Partridges in Caldecott lane just a couple of minutes from home. When I arrived 15 birds were sun bathing on the rail way the first I have seen here in nearly 3 years! Also there c50 Fieldfare with a few Redwing.
1 of 4 Great White Egrets on Dengemarsh
An early afternoon walk around Dengemarsh saw the Black-throated Diver distantly and at least 4 Great White Egrets, a flock of c50 Linnets was notable.
Late afternoon on the reserve the 1w Glaucous Gull was roosting among the Great Black-backed Gulls, a drake and duck Goosander flew in as did a drake and duck Smew.
Last thing from the screen hide 5+Great White Egrets flew into to roost along with 7 Little Egrets, at 17.08 35 Bewick Swans flew in to roost.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


First thing this morning at the fishing boats in strong and very cold west wind, there were masses of Gulls feeding along the tideline on the large amount of Sea Mice, Sponges, Shellfish and numerous Dog Fish that were being washed ashore, among the Gulls the braying of the regular 1w Caspian Gull could be readily heard but sadly I was unable to find any white wingers, maybe tomorrow when the wind is expected to be even stronger.
Off shore Guillemots and Razorbills were tooing and froing, as were Red-throated Divers and Great-crested Grebes, Numerous Kittiwakes were feeding on the horizon with many Gannets and at least 2 Great Skuas were in  attendance. This afternoon there was no change from this morning.
 The 1w Caspian Gull stealing a meal

On the reserve late morning the 1w Glaucous Gull was on the islands on Burrowes, among the Great Black-backed Gulls which contained at least 5 Norwegian ringed individuals. Also of note a drake and duck Smew and a drake Goosander along with at least 6 Goldeneye there. Another duck Smew was on Tanners Pool and the Black-throated Diver was still present on Dengemarsh.

Monday, 15 January 2018

A thoroughly miserable morning with a brief break in the weather this afternoon.
The regular 1w Caspian Gull joined us at the fishing boats this afternoon
4.00-15.00 from the fishing boats with MH:
Gadwall: 1 down
Red-throated Diver: 33 down
Great-crested Grebe: c50 around
Fulmar: 1 down
Gannet: 38 down
Cormorants: c300 down
Caspian Gull: the regular 1w bird
Kittiwake: c20 around
Auks : c250 down   60/40  in favour of Guillemots
Late afternoon on the reserve the 1w Glaucous Gull and a another 1w Caspian Gull came into roost.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A quieter Day!

What a difference this morning at the fishing boats, after yesterdays plethora of birds, this morning there was very little by comparison. Just a few Auks and Cormorants feeding off shore with a small number of Gannets and Kittiwakes, though there were large numbers c1,500 Great-crested Grebes this afternoon.
 White-fronted Geese dropping into Scotney
At Scotney the 2 Tundra Bean Geese and 20+ White-fronted Geese were on the sward viewed from the double bends. Nearby at Jury's Gap 3 Velvet Scoter on the sea and Male Black Redstart there.
1w Caspian Gull at the fishing boats this afternoon
This afternoon back at the fishing boats the regular 1w Caspian Gull came to Mick & Richards offerings, the 1w Glaucous Gull appeared but flew straight through.
The reserve was apparently very busy today and all the usual birds were seen with the exception of the Long-eared Owl which usually roosts elsewhere if the wind is from the East.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Excellent Sea Watch!

The Long-eared Owl showing well yesterday, sadly hiding today.
 Gannet fishing off the fishing boats this morning
An excellent sea watch at the fishing boats with 1,000s of birds either passing or on the sea, with so much going on I didn't count much, I just enjoyed the spectacle.
08.30-10.30 from the fishing boats with DW & SO:
Brent Goose: 76 up
Common Scoter: 6 down
Red-throated Diver: 120 down around
Great-crested Grebe: many around n/c
Fulmar: 1 down
Gannet: many around n/c
Cormorant: many present n/c
Great Skua: 3 down
Mediterranean Gull: 2+ around
Caspian Gull: regular 1w bird around
Kittiwake: many present/down n/c
Auks: 7,300 down around 60/40 in favour of Razorbills (counted by DW)
 Some of the 7,300 Auks past the fishing boats this morning
Some of the 7,300 Auks past the fishing boats this morning
 Pair of Great Skuas past the fishing boats
 Lightly oiled Gannet at the fishing boats
 Kittiwake with a tasty shellfish snack
 Red-throated Diver past the fishing boats
 Red-throated Diver at the fishing boats
Again no sign of the Red-necked Grebes or wild Geese at Scotney.
This afternoon on Burrowes an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 2 x 1w Caspian Gulls, the 1w Glaucous Gull came into roost, 2 Goosander and a Smew among the usual wildfowl.
35 Bewick Swans including 4 juveniles were on the ARC at dawn this morning per SO. The Black-throated Diver was still on Dengemarsh , 2 Long-tailed ducks and the Slavonian Grebe were still on Lade Pits all per BW. 
 This poor Herring Gull really freaked out all the other birds as well as its self, hopefully it will free itself of it's quickly from it's plastic burden.
1w Glaucous Gull came in as the the already poor light faded this afternoon.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Glaucous Gull!

A quick stop at the southern end of the ARC on my way to the fishing boats saw at least 13 Bewick Swans and 2 Great White Egrets of note.
At the fishing boats the sea was covered in birds, 1,000s of Cormorants and smaller numbers of Great-crested Grebes, Guillemots and Razorbills with Gannets diving in among them all feeding on what must have been a huge shoal of fish very close inshore.
 Atmospheric image of 1 of many Gannets at the fishing boats this morning
08.00-09.00 from the fishing boats:

Brent Geese: 48 up
Red-throated Diver: 108 down    18 up
Great-crested Grebe: c300 around
Gannet: c150 around
Oystercatcher: 3 up
Dunlin: c200 in a single flock in
Turnstone: 5 on beach
Caspian Gull: the regular 1w bird
Glaucous Gull: the regular 1w bird
Kittiwake: 14 down
Guillemot: c400 around
Razorbill: c200 around 
Unusual to see a Flock of c200 Dunlin at Dungeness 
 1w Glaucous Gull performing at the fishing boats in very poor light


The Patch late morning was fairly quiet but very wet in the constant mizzle, though there was c1,000 Black-headed Gulls and c500 Herring Gulls with at least 10 colour ringed birds among them. A Peregrine was on the power station and 3 Meadow Pipits were feeding by the track.
2 visits to Scotney drew a blank on the Red-necked Grebes and the wild Geese. At Pigwell 2 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest by the sewage works were the best I could find there.
At Lade the Long-tailed Duck, Slavonian Grebe and Dartford Warbler were still in residence today per BD, also The Long-eared Owl was actually showing at the Dipping Pool today.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Wild Geese at Last!

 Common Buzzard Scotney
As it was lovely morning I decided to walk out to the back of Scotney to the wind turbines. The walk was very nice but avian wise a non event, 20 + Bewick Swans could just be seen at extreme range at Cheyne, passerines were non existent except for a couple of Stonechats and a few Pied Wagtails, 2 Common Buzzards, a Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine were seen.
 Black-throated Diver at Dengemarsh
MH called me to say the Black-throated Diver was showing very well on Dengemarsh, on my arrival it still was as was a Great-crested Grebe. Also seen there of note were 2 Great White Egrets and Golden Plovers with all the usual species.
 Black-throated Diver at Dengemarsh
Black-throated Diver at Dengemarsh
Great-crested Grebe at Dengemarsh
Late morning back at Scotney to see the 2 Red-necked Grebes found by Owen, Bernie, Dorian and Eric visitors from Selsey Bill. The Grebes were quickly located and while checking the Greylag flock 20+ Russian White-fronted Geese, 2 Tundra Bean Geese and 3 Brent Geese were located.
Late afternoon on the reserve no sign of the Long-eared Owl at the Dipping Pool. In the gull roost the 1w Glaucous Gull and 2 1w Caspian Gulls were noted, on the lake 2 Goosander among the usual wildfowl. 2 Smew were at Christmas Dell.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A Gloomy Day!

Pintail & a Teal past the fishing boats
08.00-10.00 from the fishing boats with MH, OL, DW & AJG.
Brent Goose: 22 up
Shelduck: 2 up
Pintail: 12 down
Wigeon: 8 down
Teal: 1 down
Common Scoter: 20 up.  5 down
Red-breasted Merganser: 3 down
Red-throated Diver: c50 around up & down
Great-crested Grebe: c40 around up & down
Fulmar: 2 down
Gannet: c30 around up & down
Cormorant: 6,000+ flew into Lade Bay including a single flock of c4,500!!
Oystercatcher: 10 up   2 down
Curlew: 1 up
Great Skua: 1 around
Caspian Gull: regular 1w bird
Guillemot: 100s around
Razorbill: 100s around
 Great Skua over the fishing boats this morning
The regular 1w Caspian Gull in the morning gloom
Late morning at The Patch was disappointing as the power station was flying a drone which spooked all the Gulls.
Early afternoon around Walland found a few Tree Sparrows and Fieldfare but little else. Apparently there are 32 Bewick Swans on the marsh.
Late afternoon on the reserve the 1w Glaucous Gull and a 1w Caspian Gull came into the roost but no sign of the Iceland Gull. A single drake Goosander  was among the usual wildfowl. The Long-eared Owl was still present behind the Dipping Pool but showing very poorly.

Monday, 8 January 2018

An Excellent Day at Dungeness!

A thoroughly dull bitingly cold day turned out to be a brilliant birding day at Dungeness. It was well worth braving the the cold at fishing boats this morning to witness the best sea watch of the year so far.

 1 of 10 Great Skua's that passed the fishing boats this morning
08-10-11.10 in the company of RW & DW.
Brent Goose: 88 up.    4 down
Shelduck: 2 up
Gadwall: 2 up
Pintail: 5 up
Wigeon: 63 up
Teal: 18 up
Common Scoter: 13 up.  5 down
Velvet Scoter: 1 up
Red-throated Diver: 234 up
Great-crested Grebe: 447 up
Fulmar: 5 up
Gannet: 156 up
Dunlin: 2 up
Great Skua: 10 up
Mediterranean Gull: 9 up
Caspian Gull: regular 1w bird
Kittiwake: 289 up
Guillemot: 2,755 up
Razorbill: 1,181 up
Grey Seal: 1 around
Common Seal: 2 around
Late morning/early afternoon while I was at The Patch looking for white wingers and colour rings, I was joined by 2 Foxes which sat just a few feet from me on top the newly dumped shingle, then proceeded to have a fight and run amok on the beach scattering the 1,000s of assembled Gulls Grrrrrr! 
Although I didn't find any northern white wingers I did see 3 Mediterranean Gulls, a 1w Caspian Gull, another Great Skua and many more Red-throated divers, Great-crested Grebes and Auks.

An early afternoon drive down Dengemarsh lane I managed to find 6 White-fronted Geese  reported by RW among the Greylag flock. On the fields opposite Herons Park c300 Lapwing with c100 Stock Doves.
From the reserve entrance track of note c400 Golden Plover, 14 Curlew, a Great white Egret and a little Egret.
Late afternoon on the reserve the islands on Burrowes were black with Cormorants, David Walker made the sacrifice and counted them getting an astonishing total of 5,700!!!  A 1w Glaucous Gull, a 1w Caspian Gull and a Mediterranean Gull were also on Burrowes among 100s of Herring, Black Headed and Great Black-backed Gulls, along with 10 Goosander and at least 4 Goldeneye and the usual wildfowl.
Shooting lures at Dengmarsh yesterday

Saturday, 6 January 2018

 Spot the Caspian Gull 
09.00-10.10 from the Fishing Boats:
Brent Geese: 46 up
Shelduck: 4 down
Red-throated Diver: 11 down   8 up.   4 on
Great-crested Grebe: c200 around
Gannet: 23 down.    9 up
Cormorant: c500 around
Great Skua: 1 down
Mediterranean Gull: 3 up
Caspian Gull: Regular 1w bird on the beach
Razorbill: c60 around
Guillemot: c200 around
Auk sp: 74 down
Late morning at The Patch the 1w Glaucous Gull was showing well.
 1w Glaucous Gull at The Patch
 !w Glaucous Gull at The Patch
1w Glaucous Gull  on low building behind The Patch
Late afternoon on the reserve the 1w Glaucous Gull, 2w Iceland Gull and 1w Caspian Gull all roosting on Burrowes Pit. The Long-eared owl was showing very well behind the Dipping Pool compared to recent days. Elsewhere on the ARC the Black-throated Diver, Bittern and Bearded Tits. Nearby at Lade the Long-tailed Duck and Slavonian Grebe still present.