Friday, 30 September 2016

Excellent day on the Peninsular!

08.10-09.10 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 1E
Red-throated Diver: 1W
Gannet: 54W
Arctic Skua: 5W   2+ around
Sandwich Tern: 114W
Common Tern: 2W
Sand Martin: c30 out
House Martin: c20 out
Swallow: c2,000 out
Pied Wagtail: 9 in
Meadow Pipit : 14 in
Linnet: 32 on beach
Grey Seal: 1
At the Observatory 50 Swallows were caught and ringed along with some Chiffchaffs and a couple of House Martins, also present a few Reed Buntings and a Black Redstart.
 7 of 11 Spoonbills that flew over Burrowes
On the reserve a quick look for the Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egret at Boulderwall was a failure but I did spot a Garganey there. While I was in Makepiece Hide Liz hunt spotted 11 Spoonbills flying over the lake, a few minutes later she spotted a funny Cormorant flying over the lake which on inspection turned out to be a Glossy Ibis which then landed on an island in front of us. It seems this was a second Ibis as DB was watching the other one at Boulderwall at the same time. Also on Burrowes 4+ Little Stints, 4 Ringed Plovers, a Black and a Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Ruff and 3 Great White Egrets of note. 
 Reed Warbler from Makepiece
 Glossy Ibis from Makepiece

 Manx Shearwater over the ARC
While I was in the Visitor Centre a lady came in saying she had seen a Manx Shearwater at the south end of the ARC diving to evade the attentions of a Marsh Harrier. Normally a very unlikely report like this I would take with a pinch of salt, but the lady was insistent and very sure that it was a Manx Shearwater, I quickly drove there and sure enough on the far side of the lake there was a Manx Shearwater, my first ever in land record and I believe a first Dungeness RSPB record unless someone knows different. My sincerest apologies to the the lady for my scepticism.  A very poor long range video of the bird can be seen HERE .
 The afternoon sea watch enlivened by an idiot trying to photograph the waves at the fishing boats
Brent Goose: 1W
Great-crested Grebe: 6 around
Gannet: 48W
Sanderling: 2W
Arctic Skua: 3W   3+ around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 1w W
Sandwich Tern: 270W
Common Tern: 10W
Swallow: 32 out
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Grey Seal: 1
 Sand Martin over the VC this evening
Late afternoon early evening the Cattle Egret and Glossy Ibis were showing distantly at Boulderwall. Along the track a Hobby and Peregrine, 4 Winchats and a Great Spotted Woodpecker of note.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Long-tailed Duck Surprise.

A short sea watch from Th Point this morning in the deteriorating weather conditions, saw plenty of Sandwich Terns and a few Gannets battling the wind, also a single Arctic Skua and 100s of Swallows with lesser numbers of House and Sand Martins.
When the poor weather cleared through early afternoon I visited the ARC from Hanson. High over the lake 100s of Hirundines, while around the islands 4 Great White Egrets and the usual wildfowl but no waders.
 Arctic Skua and Sandwich Tern at the fishing boats this P.M.
14.25-16.30 joined by MH.

Long-tailed Duck: 1 summer plumaged drake north into Lade Bay
Red-throated Diver: 1 on sea
Great-crested Grebe: 11 on sea
Gannet: 77W
Oystercatcher: 2W
Grey Plover: 6W
Turnstone: 1 around
Curlew: 1W
Arctic Skua: 6W   2 around
Pomarine Skua: 1W Juvenile 
Mediterranean Gull: 3 around  2 x ads + 1stw
Little Gull: 1W juvenile
Sandwich Tern: 348W
Common Tern: 23W
Razorbill: 1W
Swallow: 105S
Meadow Pipit: 2S
Harbour Porpoise: 6+

Grey Plover past the fishing boats this P.M.
On Burrowes this morning 147 Sandwich Terns, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Knot, Ruff and Grey Plover per MH.
The Plodland MV held yet another Convolvulous Hawkmoth this morning but little else.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A quick stop off at Boulderwall farm and the Glossy Ibis immediately flew out from by where I parked and disappeared into its usual ditch to be joined by the Cattle Egret. No Sign of the Little Owl from the other day which was the first time I have seen one in that part of the reserve.
A distant image of Sundays Little Owl
A sea watch this morning was as expected disappointing with just a few Gannets and Sandwich Terns off shore, 4 Brent Geese battling westwards and a Merlin chasing Meadow pipits, also a Wheatear on the beach.
Juvenile Gannet
At the observatory it was far to windy for the nets to be unfurled, but Meadow Pipits were being caught in the Crow Trap
On the ARC from Hanson hide 2 Great White and 4 Little Egrets, still a few Sand Martins over the lake also a Ruff, Little Ringed Plover and a couple of Common Snipe all being flushed regularly by Marsh harriers . At least 10 Chiffchaffs around the Willow Trail with Several Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails..
Great White Egret from Hanson
Early afternoon another stop off at Boulderwall managed poor views of the Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egret, also Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzard 
Another sea watch this afternoon in the company of MH was just as disappointing as this morning.
14.30-15.30 from the fishing boats:
Great-crested Grebe: 5 around
Gannet: 15 Around
Merlin: 1 around
Turnstone: 1 around
Arctic Skua: 4 around (2 x DP +2 x PP)
Sandwich Tern: c40 around
Common Tern: 2 around
Sand Martin: 3S
House martin: 2S
Swallow: 158S
Grey Seal: 1 around
Harbour Porpoise: 2 around
Late Afternoon in the increasingly strong west wind around Burrowes, found 4 Great White Egrets, a Little Stint, a Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher.
Last nights moth catch was much better with less Wasps, a Palpita Vitrealis, a Gem, 2 Convolvulous Hawkmoths, many Noctuella, 15 Feathered Brindles and the first Autuman Rustics of the year for me.

Palpita vitrealis
One of 2 Convolvulous Hawkmoths

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Foggy Monterey Pelagic

The sea was mirror calm and the light was so poor and flat that most of the images I took were deleted, the following are the best I could in the circumstances.
Pigeon Guillemot just outside the harbour
Black-vented Shearwater we saw 1,000s of these but this was the only usable image
Rhinoceros Auklet only 5 seen
 Pink-footed Shearwater. These followed the boat all day but I still only got a few usable images.

Red-necked Phalaropes 1,000+ seen

An Arctic Skua about to have an Ashy Petrel for lunch!
 Sooty Shearwater. Many 1,000s seen and 100s of images taken.

This juvenile Long-tailed Skua appeared out of the gloom right overhead, once again the light was challenging.
 Black-footed Albatross several seen.

 3 of these Yellow warblers came aboard along with an American Redstart
This bird was caught, put in a bag and released on return to the harbour.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Mammals from my Monterey Pelagic!

A few images of mainly Mammals from a Monterey Pelagic from. my recent family trip to California. The sea was mirror calm and the fog lingered all day making photography very challenging
 California Sea Lion with Brandt's Cormorants
 Small Ocean Sun Fish with inquisitive 3cal yr California Gull
 Pacific White-sided Dolphinn
 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
 Risso's Dolphins
 White-sided Dolphin
 Small Blue Whale
 Humpback Whale in the gloom
 A huge Blue whale a photograph cannot convey its size.
 A large Fin Whale
 Another Humpback Whale with a photo bombing Sooty Shearwater.
Californian Otter

Saturday, 24 September 2016

2 hours this morning 07.30-09.30 from the sea watch hide started promisingly but petered out.
7+ Arctic Skuas, 4+ Great Skuas and a Manx Shearwater were the highlights, with 100s of Hirundines going out.
 Sand Martin Dengemarsh
Late morning at Galloways saw only of note a couple each of Winchat and Stonechats. At Dengemarsh 2 Stoats were playing in the field and good numbers of Sand Martins were moving through, by hay field 3 2 Winchats and a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Common Snipe flew over. I met DW, GH, DC and SO at Springfield Bridge where we clocked up 7 raptor species Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Peregrine, Hobby, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, but not the hoped for ring tail Harrier.
 Common Snipe Dengemarsh
JU082 Great Black Backed Gull
A late afternoon sea watch was a total non event. I joined Mick & Richard further along the beach where they had attracted many gulls with there popcorn, bread and Fish offal, among the Gulls was JU082 a Norwegian ringed Gull which I photographed on 13th August 2016. As I had been out most the day I left them early to get some tea, which I had just started on when Richard text me to say a Caspian Gull had come in and was showing to a few feet, hunger got the better of me so hopefully it will still be around tomorrow.

Friday, 23 September 2016


 Juvenile male Sparrowhawk caught in the Heligoland trap
This morning plenty of Chiffchaffs around The Point, at least 50 ringed at the observatory, also 3 Willow Warblers, several Blackcaps, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Black Redstarts, a Wheatear, a Firecrest, a Cetti's Warbler, a late Cuckoo, a trickle of Hirundines but no Y.B Warblers. 
 A late juvenile Cuckoo
The reserve was quiet today with few waders, just 2 Little Stints, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers and a Ruff. Several Winchats and Wheatears could be seen around the reserve along with more Chiffchaffs, Common Whitethroats and Blackcaps.
 Winchat at Galloways
Galloways was very quiet this afternoon but a Winchat did pose quite nicely.
This evening while waiting for the Egrets to come in to roost, a Kingfisher was dashing back and forth across the lake, a party of 42 Sand Martins flew through, also a party of c100 Swallows. A Cattle Egret, 8 Great White Egrets and 24 Little Egrets roosted tonight. 
Convolvulous Hawk Moth by the MV last night.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Osprey and Hirundines!

A short sea watch first thing this morning produced my first Merlin and Brent Geese of the Autumn, a few Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns and an Arctic Skua.
100s of House Martins around the new lighthouse
Around The Point 1,000s of Swallows and House Martins, I only saw 4 Sand Martins. A walk in the Desert saw 2 Sparrowhawks, a Raven, 7 Kestrels, c30 Meadow Pipits, 2 Stonechats, 3 Black Redstarts, 3 Common Whitethroats and 4 Chiffchaffs. A the observatory I saw my first Firecrest of the Autumn also a super Clifden Nonpareil moth caught by GH at Tenterden.
 Clifden Nonpareil
A late morning visit to the ARC was disappointing with just 1 Ruff and c150 Golden Plover of note.
 Meadow Pipit bathing in the fishing boat puddles
 This afternoons sea watch from the fishing boats14.30-15.30 I was joined by AJG.
Brent Goose: 12W
Wigeon: 9W
Red-throated Diver: 1W (first of the Autumn for me a super summer plumaged bird)
Gannet: 16E
Grey Plover: 3W
Mediterranean Gull: 1W
Kittiwake: 2W
Sandwich Tern: 107W
Common Tern: 15W
Razorbill: 1 on sea
Auk sp: 1W
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Osprey over the ARC water tower with some of its tormentors
As I was heading back to the reserve an Osprey flew over the causeway being harassed by several corvids, by the time I was able to stop and raise the camera the Osprey was over the ARC water tower heading towards the Mirrors. About half an hour later I was in the ARC car park when a message from PT alerted to an Osprey sitting on a telegraph pole on the north bank of the ARC being viewed from Hanson hide. The bird was quite distant from the hide but enjoyable as most Ospreys at Dungeness seem to fly through very quickly, usually only seen by a couple of people. 
A late afternoon visit to the reserve found a minimum of 7 Great White Egrets, 3 Little Stints, 3 Rull, 4 LRPs, 3 Ringed Plovers and 2 Dunlin. 2 Whinchats were by the entrance track near Boulderwall Farm. The Osprey was still sat on its pole when I left the reserve at 17.30, not sure if 2 birds were involved.