Sunday, 31 July 2011

Saturday & Sunday

A late afternoon visit to the ARC on Saturday found the Pectoral Sandpiper in superb light but to distant to get any decent pics. Other Waders there were 2 Ruff, LRPs including the 2 fluff balls, Common and Green Sandpiper, Lapwing, Golden Plovers, Oystercatchers, Dunlin and the usual wild fowl. Today no sign of the Pec. but Golden Plovers had increased to 52, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 3+ Green Sandpipers, 2+ Common Sandpipers, 1 Greenshank, the LRPs and fluff balls are now a week old, the Goosander at the South end, 10+ Willow Warblers in the Willow Trail and 100+ Sand Martins feeding over the pit. At The Patch 50+ Common Terns, 1+ Arctic Tern, 1 Kittiwake and little else of note. In the bushes around The Moat/Lighthouse just 2 Willow Warblers, 18 Whitethroat and 2 Wheatears.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Its that Gull again

In 3 visits through out the day to the ARC Pit there was up to 6 Greenshanks, 9 Dunlin, 6 LRPs including the 2 chicks, 200+ Lapwing + the 2 young that are now nearly fledged, 2 Blackwits, 1 Wood sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpipers, 5 Common Sandpipers, 14 Golden Plover, 9 Little Egrets, 2 Little Gulls, the Goosander still at the south end, 4 Marsh Harriers, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Green Woodpeckers and 5 Willow Warblers in the bushes.

 On the point the Glaucous Gull was in its usual spot by the fishing boats, a few Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns off shore. In the bushes 15 Willow Warblers, 18 Whitethroats, 2 Stonechats and little else.

Common Tern diving for a fish on Dengemarsh

Leucistic Grey heron

Leucistic Grey heron
On the reserve 2, Common Sandpipers, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshanks, 1 Wood sandpiper, the Great Whit Egret, 1 Hobby, 3 Marsh harriers, 4 Willow Warblers and Reed and Sedge Warblers all round the reserve. Also present on New Diggings the Leucistic Grey Heron.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Swift Demise

On the approach to Hanson  Hide this morning i found a recebtly dead Swift on the path. On inspection the Swift appeared to have broken its right wing, i can only assume it collided with a bush and broke it.
From the hide there was not a great deal as a Peregrine had just flown through, but on a later visit  there were 10 Golden Plover, 6 Blackwits, 5 LRPs including the 2 fluff balls, 1 ad Little Gull, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Greenshank, 1 Wimbrel, 1 Curlew, 8 Dunlin, 6 Little Egrets and 3 Marsh Harriers also 4 Willow Warblers in the bushes, 2 Green Woodpeckers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
On the point/The Moat/Trapping area 12 Willow Warblers, numerous Whitethroats, 72 Swifts flew South 2 Green Woodpeckers and another Nightingale was trapped.
On the reserve little of note on the islands on Burrowes Pit, but between Scot Hide and Christmas Dell 12 Willow Warblers, 16+ Whitethroats, a Greenshank flew over and my first Common Redstart of the Autumn. The Great White Egret was on show from Christmas Dell as was the leucistic Grey Heron briefly.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Yellow-legged Gull

First stop this morning the ARC found 30 Willow Warblers between the car park and water tower which bode well for the trapping area. A Peregrine flew through the pit scattering all the birds on the islands. At the south end the Goosander was still present. Expecting plenty of migrants round the trapping area i was surprised to only find 3 Willow Warblers in as many hours and little else. News from Mark of Cory's Shearwater west past St Margarets had me join the locals sitting at The Point expectantly although the Shearwater did not oblige an adult Yellow-legged Gull did and performed for the camera 

Back at the ARC this afternoon highlights were 2 eclipse Garganey, 2 adult Little Gulls, 10 Little Egrets, 26 Golden Plover, 2 Redshank, 6 Green Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers and 5 LRPs including the 2 fluff balls.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

When i pulled up at the south end of the ARC Pit Mark Hollingworth was already there, watching a few Dunlin and Common Sandpipers and little else of note. Mark suggested we go to Galloways and Denge Marsh Gully, so i parked up at the ARC car park and jumped into his car and we went to Galloways. On the way down we saw a couple of Willow Warblers, several Whitethroats, 3 Stonechats a covey of Red legged Partridges and a male Marsh harrier. As we drove slowly back up windows open Mark heard a Grasshopper Warbler reeling, despite his best efforts i just could not hear it old age setting in. (now i know how Dick Walker felt). A bit further up Mark spotted a Little Owl. Whilst i was trying photograph the Owl he got a call from Dave walker at the Obs to say a Wood warbler had been trapped, needless to say the Owl was uly ignored as we drove straight to the obs to be greeted by the sight of a stunning Wood Warbler being held by Paul being photographed by Dave. A couple of minutes later it was released and as far as i know not seen again.  

After a cup of tea and some banter we left the obs and went to Denge Marsh Gully where the highlights were a family of Wheatears, a Hobby, the Great White Egret and another Little Owl on the chicked shed. Then Mark got another call from Dave to say they had trapped a Nightingale so back to the obs we went and saw this little beauty. Later we went back to Hanson hide at the ARC where the LRP fluff balls were still running about, 26 Golden Plover, 1 Little Gull, numerous Lapwing and Oystercatchers and little else of note.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Sand Martins

A slow plod around the trapping area in glorious weather but little in the way of grounded migrants found 6 Willow Warblers, 4 fly over Yellow Wagtails and stream of Sand Martins moving North. By the power station the resident Black Redstarts and Wheatear families. Also a resident Meadow Pipit complete with bling catching Grasshoppers for its young.     By the fishing boats 100s of Sand Martins on the shingle and 20+ Sandwich Terns fishing off shore and another family of Wheatears.
 At the ARC Pit the only new arrivals were 2 Ruff, the LRP chicks have now survived 3 days and the Lapwing chicks both look as if they will fledge. The Goosander still on its island at the south end.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Another missed Wood Warbler

A Quiet day at Dunge today started at the Midrips where there was a party of 14 Avocets(7ads & 7Juvs), 2 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, a family party of 5 Kestrels and 9 Wheatears(6ads & 3 juvs).
Next to the ARC Pit where a Wood Warbler had been seen but alas i could not find it though i did meet Steve Ashton there on away day from Stodmarsh. From Hanson the usual 100s of Lapwing,1 Turnstone, 22 Golden Plover, 2 Green Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers, 6 Dunlin, 6 LRPs including the 2 fluff balls still surviving. From the road i could not find the Pectoral Sandpiper or Little Stint, just a few Dunlin and Common Sandpipersthe 2 Lapwing chicks and the Goosander on its island. 
I photographed this gull with a deformed bill a couple days ago on the beach.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

By the screen hide at the ARC Pit today 6 Green Sandpipers and 3 Juvenile LRPs.

From Hanson Hide 1500+ Lapwings, 150+ Oystercatchers, 8 Blackwits, 21 Golden Plovers, 6 LRPs including the 2 fluff balls, 9 Dunlin, 4 Common Sandpipers, 6 Common Terns and 2 Marsh Harriers. Also Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers  the usual wildfowl and many Sand Martins moving through.

At the South end from the road the Pectoral Sandpiper still showing although distant. Also 14 Dunlin, 4 Common Sandpipers, 1 Little Stint, 3 Little Gulls and Lapwing still with 2 chicks. On the reserve generally quiet, The Great White Egret still showing and 4 Common Sandpipers on Burrowes Pit and many Sand Martins overhead.

Friday 22nd July

Record of an excellent bird
 In 3 visits to the ARC Pit there were up 12 Little Egrets, 2 Hobbys, 3 Marsh Harriers, 8 Blackwits, 8 LRPs, 8 Ringed Plovers, 12 Golden Plover, 100s of Lapwing, 100+ Oystercatchers, 3 Turnstone, 24 Dunlin, 12 Common Sandpipers, 7 Green Sandpipers, 2 Greenshank, 2 Redshank, 2 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Little Stint and best of all 1 Pectoral Sandpiper. In the last visit from Hanson the LRPs eggs must have hatched today as there were 2 feather balls on legs running around on one of the islands. The patch held a few Common and Sanwich Terns and 2 Juvenile Med Gulls. In The Moat and trapping area several Migrant Hawkers and Whitethroats but little else was showing. Th RSPB reserve had 4 Common Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers showing well infront of Firth Hide with Lesser Black Backed Gulls and a Black-necked Grebe was new today. When i got home i had a surprise on my door step in the form of a young starving Fox.
Migrant Hawker

A very hungry cub.

Thursday, 21 July 2011


May i thank every one for the e-mails no matter how sarcastic pointing out that the bird i photographed yesterday was in fact a Melodious Warbler. I will of course suitably chastise my self by consuming many cans of Lager tonight so when i wake tomorrow with a hang over i will be reminded how stupid i was. Oh yes and i wont have to rush off to work like some, i'll have a leisurely breakfast and probabably head for the ARC.Today at the ARC Pit 100+ Oystercatchers, several hundred Lapwings, 10 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plovers, 4 LRPs, 4 Green Sandpipers, 9 Common Sandpipers, 1 Blackwit, 26 Curlew over, 2 Whimbrel over, 2 Hobbys, 4 Marsh Harriers and at the south end 3 Little Gulls (2ads and a 1st summer) also the Lapwing and her 2 chicks have reappeared. Tried  to photograph the Black Redstarts again today and failed but some recompense with a Meadow Pipit posing.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Icky brightens the day

An over night clear out at the ARC this morning leaving just 4 Common  Sandpipers, 2 Green  Sandpipers, 6 LRPs, the usual wildfowl and Lapwings and 3 Little Gulls at the South end.Whilst walking along the concrete road to The Patch, hoping to photograph some Black Redstarts which were on the perimeter fence, I saw a Warbler fly from the fence to the bank and dive into a patch of brambles. The bird showed again straight away and was obviously a Hippolais and first thoughts was that it was an Icterine Warbler. I took a few record pics before having to walk back to nearly the car park to get a phone signal and let the locals know. Fortunately when I got back the bird was still there and after a few minutes the locals started arriving to see the bird. On The Patch there was very little of note.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A couple of visits to the ARC today came up with 2 Moulting adult Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Turnstone, 6 Common Sandpipers, 3 Green Sandpipers, 8+ LRPs, 4 RPs, 1 Little Stint, 9 Dunlin, 8 Little Egrets, a presumed family party of 5 Marsh Harriers, 3 Hobbys, the Red Head Goosander still, 3 Little Gulls, good numbers of Common Whitethoats, Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers and the ever present Cetti's Warblers.  

At the point 3 Black Redstarts by the power staion and 2 families of Wheatears, a Whimbrel over and little else.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Shower Dodging

From the screen hide this morning a Wood Sandpiper showing infront of the hide. Also there 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Snipe, 1 LRP and a Little Egret.

From Hanson Hide the Little Stint moved closer than usual for a terrible record pic with 9+ Dunlin, 6+ LRPs,  4 Ringed Plover, 5 Common Sandpipers, 1 Green Sandpiper, 8+ Little Egrets, 2+ Hobbys and 100s of Swifts and Sand Martins. From the road the Goosander was joined by 3 Little Gulls (2ad Summer + 1st Summer) but the Lapwing and chicks were no where to be seen.

In the Willow Trail a flock of Long-tailed Tits held 2 Chiffchaffs.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Another glorious day at Dungeness

A superb day started and ended at the ARC Pit where there were 2 Little Gulls(Ad summer + 1st summer) 1 Summer Plumaged Little Stint, 1 partial summer plum Ruff, 14, Dunlin, 14 LRPs, 6 RPs, 5 Common Sandpipers, 7 Green Sandpipers, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Goosander, 1 Peregrine, 2 Hobbys, 3+ Marsh Harriers, 12 Common Terns, 8 Little Egrets, the leucistic Grey Heron and 100s of Sand Martins were over the pit and moving through.

Next stop The Patch where the fisherman had taken over the beach but 1 Juvenile Yellow Legged Gull settled briefly before being disturbed.
Juv. Yellow-legged Gull

Juv Yellow-legged Gull

Juv. Black Redstart
 Behind the beach on the power station wall a family of Black Redstarts with at least 2 young.

Most of the afternoon was spent on the reserve where 2 huge explosions, that emanated from the ranges(Apparently the army were destroying unexploded ordnance) put everything up including the Great White Egret which flew to Cockles Bridge and returned an hour later. From the viewing mound  several Bearded Tits were pinging, a Water Rail was squealing, a Sparrowhawk dashed through, 2-4 Marsh Harriers were hunting the fields and reed beds, a Bittern gave a brief fly-band steady stream of Sand Martins moved through. In front of Firth Hide a pair of Oystercatchers were feeding their single off spring.   

Thursday, 14 July 2011


4 of the 5+ at the ARC today
At the ARC today wader passage has started to pick up with 1 Wood Sandpiper still, 5+ Green Sandpipers, 1 Greenshank, 10+ LRPs, 17 Dunlin, 4+ Common Sandpipers, 1 Snipe, a superb summer plumaged Little Stint, 1 1st summer Little Gull, the Red Head Goosander, 1+ Hobby, 6+ Little Egrets, 2+ Marsh Harriers, 3 Yellow Wagtails, and all the usual wild fowl all from Hanson and the Screen Hide. At the south end a moulting Ruff had joined the Lapwing and its 2 chicks. In the car park a Puss Moth caterpillar.
At Castle Water Rye 6 Green Sandpipers, 4 Common Sandpipers, 4 LRPs, 3+ Marsh Harriers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Yellow Wagtails and 5 Juvenile Med Gulls.