Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Up, Up and Away

Finally this morning after 5 cancellations i got my balloon flight. A brilliant experience pity about the cloud cover. 
Dungeness from 2500 feet
The walk from The Moat towards the north end of the trapping area was virtually bird less untill i got there i found a flock of 40+ Yellow Wagtails. In the bushes 12 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs, 10 Common Whitethroats, 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Sparrowhawk.

Monday, 29 August 2011


The Moat and the trapping area this morning produced the usual Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroats. Chiffchaffs are now appearing 6 today, with 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Common Redstart, 2 Swifts, 2 Tree Sparrows over, 4+ Sparrowhawks and 2 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard all of which came over high had a look at the sea and went back inland.
An hour and a half at the fishing boats at lunch time found just a few Common and Sandwich Terns with Gannets feeding off shore.
Highlight of the day was the re-appearance of the Cattle Egret at Boulderwall Farm though distant. 

Chasing a young Rabbit

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Common Terns

First stop The Midrips this morning where there was 10 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 juv. Sanderling, 6 Ringeed Plover, 3 Oystercatchers, 4 Shelducks, 32 Yellow Wagtails and 40+ Linnets, which was disappointing as there has been no shooting on the ranges for a week now.
At Scotney Highlights were 2 Marsh Harriers, 54 Golden Plover and 5 Curlew.
 Galloways highlights were 6 Wheatears, 1 Stonechat and 6 Common Whitethroat.
Dengemarsh highlights 1 Hobby, 2 Wheatears, Little Owl and the Great White Egret.
An hours sea watch from the fishing boats early afternoon produced 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 4 Arctic Skuas, 2 Black Terns, numerous Gannets, Common Terns and Sandwich Terns feeding off shore including an oiled Common Tern, 1 Grey Seal and several Porpoises.
In my garden a an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar munching my Geraniums.


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Fishing Boat Watch

An hour and half sea watch from the fishing boats late afternoon produced 8 Arctic Skuas, 2 Balearic and 2 Manx Shearwaters, numerous Gannets, Common and Sandwich Terns, 2+ Little Terns, a couple of Arctic Terns, 4 Swifts out to sea, several Porpoises and 1 Yellow Legged Gull on the beach.   

Friday, 26 August 2011

Sea Watching

Excellent sea watching from the fishing boats this morning and late this afternoon producing 40+ Arctic Skuas, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Manx Shearwater, large numbers of terns mainly Common and Sandwich with at least 2 Artic Terns, 1 Roseate Tern, 10+ Black Terns, 20+ Little Terns, 1 Little Gull, a few Kittiwakes, Good numbers of Gannets, 5 Teal, 15+ Guillemots off shore and the Glaucous Gull still, also Harbour Porpoises on show constantly and 1 Grey Seal.

At the ARC highlights were 2 Little Stints, 1 Ruff, 3 Common Sandpipers, 200+ Golden Plover and the Goosander.
At Galloways/Dengemarsh 4 Northern Wheatears, 10 Common Whitethroats, 1 Little Owl, t5he Great White Egret and a Sprrowhawk bathing in a puddle on Dengemarsh Road.
At Scotney Highlights were 150 Golden Plover, 2 Ruff, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Marsh Harriers also 1,000+ Greylag Geese

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Western Bonelli's Warbler

I started the day at Galloways where there was 1 Common Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 4 Northern Wheatears, 2 Stonechats, plenty of Yellow Wagtails overhead and several each of Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat. As i made my back towards Dengemarsh i received a call from Mark to say that a Bonelli's Warbler had benn trapped at the obs. A few minutes later i was at the obs being shown this fantastic little warbler and a bit later the juvenile Green Woodpecker.  

After the warbler was released into The Moat i spent some time hoping to see and photograph it in the bushes alas it was not to be. Around The Moat and the Desert Willow Warblers were numerous as were Common Whitethroats, Yellow and Pied Wagtails, also seen 2 Common Redstarts.
On the sea from the fishing boats a mixed flock of 100+ Common and Sandwich Terns feeding off shore with a few Gannets, also a raft of 22 Guillemots and the Glaucous Gull gave a fly by.
At the ARC this afternoon a Cuckoo by the track to Hanson. From the hide 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 1 LRP, 1 Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin, 244 Golden Plover,300+ Lapwing and the Goosander. Also a Little Egret fishing only a few yards out giving superb views of its fishing skills.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Swallows and Martins

First thing this morning sheltering from heavy rain 200+ Golden Plover, 2 Common Sandpipers, 1 Knot, a few Lapwings, the Goosander and the usual Wild Fowl.
A soon as the rain eased the Goldies departed but in came 4 Wood Sandpipers, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 9 Dunlin, 1 Little Stint to be joined by another later, 2 Sandwich Terns, 2 Common Terns and many more Lapwings with many Swallows and Sand Martins over the pit.
At The Point no sign of the Wryneck in a brief search but 1 Black Redstart, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 10+ Northern Wheatears and little else of note.
At Scotney 100+ Golden Plover, 2 Ruff, 1 Whimbrel, 5 Curlew, 10+ Yellow Wagtails and many more Swallows and Sand Martins over the pit.

Monday 22/08/2011

At The Point the Wryneck showed for enough time for me to grab this poor shot, but the best yet for me. Also there 40+ Yellow Wagtails and many Swallows and Sand Martins 8 Northern Wheatears and little else.
 At the ARC Pit this Wood Mouse? feeding unconcerned on the track to Hansen. From the hide a bit of clear out with just the regular Goosander, Little Gull, LRPs, Golden Plover and Common Sandpipers with many Swallows and Sand Martins over the pit. Also 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Northern Wheatears and 30+ Yellow Wagtails  by the Screen Hide.
 At Galloways 4 Whinchats, 6 Northern Wheatears, 4 Stonechats, 30+ Yellow wagtails, 6 Willow Warblers, 14 Common Whitethroats and Common Redstart.
 At Dengemarsh 4 Hobbies, 5 Willow warblers, 6 Common Whitethroats, the Great White Egret from Springfield Bridge also there 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, many Reed and Sedge Warblers and 100+ Yellow Wagtails.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

More Cricket

After having a lay in this morning and arriving late at the lighthouse to find that the Wryneck was still present, though just as elusive as yesterday, I wasted another couple of hours trying to get pics of it and failed miserably.(Steve thought his pics were dodgy he should see mine). There were still plenty of Yellow and Pied Wagtails also 6+ Northern Wheatears and good numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins moving through. At the south end of the ARC Pit a Little Gull and the Goosander hiding amonst the Pochard and more Yellow Wagtails.
Hanson Hide was full so I cut my losses and spent the rest of the day listening to and watching the cricket.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


I'd like to be able to say the image below was taken today. But the Wryneck today was very elusive, just seeing it was difficult let alone getting pictures of it. There was very little else of note around apart from Yellow Wagtails and 1 White Wagtail so i spent alot of time this morning listening to the cricket.  
Wryneck Dungeness 3rd September 2010

Friday, 19 August 2011

Yellow Wagtails and Sand Martins

Around The Point this morning hundreds of Sand Martins moving through with a few Swallows. On the ground 100+ Yellow Wagtails, 8 Willow Warblers, 25+ Common Whitethroats, 8 Northern Wheatears, 6 Stonechats, 30+ Pied Wagtails and a Black Redstart. On The Patch 1 Black Tern, 3 Little Gulls and a few Common and Sandwich Turns with the Gulls. From the fishing boats 2 Black Terns, with small numbers of Gannets, Terns and 2 Guillemots feeding off shore.

On the reserve highlights were 6 Common Sandpipers, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 30+ Yellow Wagtails, the Great White Egret, 4+ Marsh Harriers, still plenty of Reed and Sedge Warblers, 3 Cetti's Warblers singing, 1 Water Rail, 2 Stonechats, 2 Hobbys and many more Sand Martins.

 At the ARC Pit this afternoon, highlights were 76 Knot, 200+ Golden Plover, the Goosander, 2 LRPs, 2 Marsh Harriers, 1 Little Gull and 20+ Yellow Wagtails at the south end.
Knot at the ARC after being flushed by Marsh Harrier

Golden Plover after being flushed by Marsh Harrier

Grey Heron and Little Egret fishing infront of Hanson Hide.

Marsh Harrier from Hanson Hide

Thursday, 18 August 2011

A Slow Start

First stop this morning at the ARC Pit was disappointing. Very few birds there not even the Lapwings and Golden Plovers just the usual wild fowl and the Goosander 2 LRPs and Common Sandpiper.
At the fishing boats Mark and Bob were already there not seeing much. When they left at 10.00 I decided to carry on for another couple of hours. In that time there was 2 Arctic Skuas E, 1 Balearic Shearwater W, 150+ Gannets W, a mixed flock of 50+ Common and Sandwich Terns with 2 Little Terns back and forth feeding along the shore, also the  2W Glaucous Gull gave a couple of fly bys.
Back at the ARC just after Midday was much better, with the Lapwings back 200+ Golden Plover, 56 Knot, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Dunlin, 1 Green Sandpiper, 6 Little Egrets, 1 Ad Med Gull and 200+ Sand Martins over the pits.     

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A Small Fall

A drive across Walland Marsh first thing this morning was very productive with 20+ Tree Sparrows at various stops along with 4+ Marsh harriers, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great spots and 1 Turtle Dove. The ditches were still full of Reed and Sedge Warblers.
At the ARC an Avocet was new in joining 200+ Golden Plover, 400+ Lapwing and a few LRPs, Common and Green Sandpipers and Dunlin also the Goosander and a Little Gull. On the track to the Water Tower a few migrants with 6 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 15+ Common Whitethroats, 6 Willow warblers also many Reed and Sedge Warblers, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spots, 1 Sparrowhawk, the Cetti's Warblers being particularly vocal this morning. Later in the day 25 Knot joined the waders. 

Around The Point, The Moat and The Desert 16+ Yellow wagtails, 40+ Pied Wagtails, 6 Willow warblers, 15+ Common Whitethroats, 2+ Black Redstarts, 6+ Stonechats, 8+ Northern Wheatears one with an apparently deformed bill, a few Linnets and Mippits and a few Swallows and Sand Martins moving with 2 Swifts.
Note the elongated upper mandible.

A sea watch this afternoon was uninspiring with just a few Terns and Gannets feeding off shore with 1 Black Tern and a few Sand Martins going out to sea. On the the beach a party of 7 Turnstones and the Glaucous Gull still present.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Purple Patch

My day started at the ARC Pit where the Goosander was sitting on an island near the hide, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, 200+ Golden Plovers, 500+ Lapwing, 4 LRPs, 1 Snipe and no sign of the B.N.Grebe. In the pines by the water tower 4 Willow Warblers, 6+ Common Whitethroats, 2 G.S.Woodpeckers, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 200+ Sand Martins, 6 Swifts, 2 Marsh harriers and Common Redstart.
Another visit to the pit late morning added 24 Knot, a confiding Little Egret catching tiddlers and Damselflys infront the hide.

 A mid morning visit to The Patch found 2 Black Terns amongst the Comic and Sandwich Terns. Behind the hide 2+ Black Redstarts and 2 Willow Warblers flycatching from the perimeter fence.
Mid afternoon at the RSPB reserve was very quiet probably due to the strong SW wind, but as i plodded around the south end of Dengemarsh to view the flooded field i flushed a Juvenile Purple Heron from the ditch beside the path. The Heron flew off to the north end of Dengemarsh and i managed to get poor record shots of it as it first headed straight into the sun and then dirctly away. I let the Obs know and Mark Hollingworth who shortly met me at Hookers looking for the bird. We went back to the Dengemarsh hide where a short while later the Heron gave a flight view to 7 of us as it flew across the reed bed and appeared to land in the channel where last years Purples nested.
A short late afternoon visit to the fishing boats found 50+ Terns fishing off shore with 3 Black Terns also seen 2 Fulmars, 1 Kittiwake, several Gannets and 6+ Harbour Porpoises.
Purple Heron

Purple Heron

Monday, 15 August 2011

Rare on The Point

As i was staring into the Light House Garden a movement in the Sycamore caught my eye. Moments later a Treecreeper sp. came into view in a tree that has probably hosted more Short-toed Treecreepers than Eurasian. I called Dave Walker who quickly arrived and with better views it became apparent that it was an Eurasian Treecreeper still a rare bird for  The Point.
As we were watching the Creeper news of an unfamiliar Warbler in a nearby garden. Despite a couple of hours watching and a very few fleeting glimpses confirmed ID eluded us. Those that had slightly better views had thoughts of Paddyfield Warbler. I doubt we will ever know.   

 On the ARC Pit today no sign of the White-rumped Sandpiper but 212 Golden Plover, 1000+ Lapwing, 4 LRPs, 4 Ringed Plovers, 3 Knot, 9 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Black-necked Grebe, the Goosander and a Common Redstart. Also this Bill Tagged Pochard. The Glaucous Gull was still on the beach.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Lesser Emperor

Today was a little dull after yesterdays excitement. With 2 Blackwits, 2 LRPs, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Little Gulls, 50+ Golden Plovers, the Goosander, 3+ Marsh Harriers and the usual wildfowl at the ARC Pit today.
From the fishing boats 1 Bonxie and few terns. The Patch had c30 Common Terns with 2 Black Terns and little else.
At Springfield Bridge this afternoon a Lesser Emperor Dragonfly was showing well but never settled making pictures of it a challenge. It was to fast for auto focus. The 3 images below were done with manual focus.

I am off to Majorka tomorrow for a week, definitely not a birding holiday!

Lesser Emperor

Lesser Emperor

Lesser Emperor

Thursday, 4 August 2011

An excellent Seawatch

A very poor record of the Manx Shearwater taken through the driving rain

First stop the ARC which was fairly quiet this morning with no Golden Plover and few Lapwings but 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers 2 Dunlin, 6 LRP, Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Gulls, 2 Marsh harriers and 2 Little Gulls. As I left the rain set in so i had a seawatch from 10.15-16.00 in the company of Mark Hollingworth who was on the beach when i arrived, having already seen 2 Manx Shearwaters and a Bonxie which bode well.
Todays Totals whilst i was present was:

Manx Shearwater 1w
Balearic Shearwater 1w
Fulmar 1w
Gannet 500+ conservative
Common Tern 500+ conservative
Sandwich Tern 150+ conservative
Arctic Skua 14w
Bonxie 1w
Black Tern 49w
Kittiwake 60+w
Barwit 5w
Knot 20w
Guillemot 3 on sea
Back at the south end of the ARC Pit late this afternoon, 5 Barwits,16 Dunlin,2 Common Sandpipers, 2 LRPs, the Goosander and 100+ Swifts.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Dragons, Snakes and Ninjas

Record of 4 Wood Sandpipers at the ARC Pit late this afternoon.
The birding at Dungeness was some what patchy today with 20+ Willow Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 12+ Common Whitethroats, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Green Wood Peckers, 2 Little Gulls, 3 Green Sandpipers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 6 LRPs including the now rapidly growing young ones amd the Goosander all at thr ARC Pit this morning. 

The Patch was uninspiring with c50 Common Terns, 1 Juv Yellow Legged Gull, a Peregrine and few Harbour Porpoises and Gannets off shore.

The bushes were virtually bird less, so a lot of time was spent around the Long Pits looking for the elusive Lesser Emporer Dragonflys. David Walker tried in vain to find me one though a pair had been there earlier.  He did find a Red Eared Terrapin and a Grass Snake and several other Dragons and Damsels.

In a late afternoon visit to the Hanson Hide at Arc Pit 4 Wood Sandpipers dropped in and a Greenshank flew over.

Common Darter

Common Darter

Red Eyed Damselfly

Grass Snake

Red Eared Terrapin