Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Temminck's stint!

 Juvenile Marsh Harriers
After going through a disappointing MV this morning I went to the ARC where 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers were doing there best to clear the islands of all other birds. What was left on the islands was 2 Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, a Turnstone, 2 Common Sandpipers, a single Black-tailed Godwit, c 50 Lapwing, the usual Greylags, Mute Swans, Cormorants and eclipse duck. Overhead 100s of House Martins, Sand Martins and Swifts with a few Swallows.
 Common Sandpiper
On Burrowes 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Ringed Plovers along with their chick, another Turnstone, 4 Dunlin, a Redshank and a flighty Greenshank. Burrowes was also covered in Sand Martins with many Swifts overhead.
 Juvenile Yellow Wagtail
From Makepiece a juvenile Yellow Wagtail fed on the bank by the hide, unfortunately on the side that for some unknown reason since it's repair has no opening shutters, consequently the images were taken through dirty glass windows. A Common Sandpiper was more helpful feeding in front the hide where the shutters open. 
At Denge Marsh a Great White Egret, 3 Little Egrets, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Common Snipe, 2 juvenile and an adult Redshank, a Green Sandpiper, and 2 Golden Plover among the Lapwings, once again many Sand Martins and Swifts were over the lake. In 2 more visits to Denge Marsh today at lunch time and this evening 2 Ravens and a Peregrine flew over lunch time, while this evening a Sandwich Tern was noted there.
 A 45 minute sea watch from the fishing boats was mercifully ended by a call from Pete Burness saying he was sure there was a Temminck's Stint on Burrowes seen distantly from the picnic area by Dennis's Hide.
14.15-15.00 from the fishing boats with AJG:
Common Scoter: 27 up     9 down
Fulmar: 1 up
Gannet: 7 up     5 down
Cormorant: 7 around
Sandwich Tern: 28 up    9 down
Common Tern: 1 up   1 down
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
Common Seal: 1
Moulting adult Temminck's Stint 
Back at Burrowes the Temminck's Stint was giving good scope views but to far for any decent photographic images, many thanks to Pete and Pam for the call. While watching the Stint Sand Martin's were swirling around with a few Swifts, a Green Sandpiper could be seen on the far bank also 2 Whimbrel dropped in had a bath and were off again. A quick look from Firth revealed nothing new though 2 Black-tailed Godwits appeared to drop into one of the islands.

Monday, 24 July 2017

 Little Owl, Lydd Camp.
Another quiet day on the peninsular, 1 Little Owl was showing at Lydd Camp being harassed by a Mistle Thrush. On the reserve Several Common Sandpipers, at least 1 each of Green and Wood Sandpipers though elusive, also several each of Redshank, Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin, a Greenshank  and 2 Great White Egrets. A Bittern was seen at Denge Marsh by MH the first for a while.
The ARC was unsurprisingly poor today, due to the antics of 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers that constantly flushed everything. Mid afternoon at the fishing boats very little on the sea in the strong NW wind. Late afternoon 100s of Sand Martins and Swifts appeared over the lakes ahead of some rain clouds.
 Common Sandpiper
The MV has been quite poor the last couple of nights the highlights being Scarce Bordered Straw and Bordered Straw.
 Scarce Bordered Straw
 Bordered Straw
A very rare Shining Marbled that came to Ben Lewis trap at Dungeness last night.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Swifts and Sand Martins!

 Redshanks over the ARC
At the ARC from Hanson this morning 69 Redshanks, 33 Whimbrel that departed before I arrived (SO) a Black-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 2 Golden Plover, 7 Little Ringed Plovers and at least 3 chicks surviving running around among the Lapwings and usual wildfowl.
On Burrowes a Curlew Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, 2 Redshank, 5 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Ringed Plovers all from Firth. Earlier a Wood and Green Sandpiper there per PB.
At Dengemarsh 17 Greenshank, 2 Wood sandpipers and 3 Ruff per MH. 
 Ringed Plover at The Midrips
As the reserve was busy and the ranges were open I decided to have a look at The Midrips. As usual it looked superb for migrant waders and as usual it disappointed, just 2 Avocets, 2 Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers and 7 Ringed Plovers including a colour ringed individual.
At Scotney 21 Avocet on the back lake though there could well have been many more as the Maize is now so tall it almost completely obscures the lakes from the path, several juvenile Yellow Wagtails and a Corn Bunting were seen along with a juvenile Marsh Harrier and many Swifts and Sand Martins.
An afternoon sea watch from the fishing boats 15.00-16.00:
Common Scoter: 3 up
Great-crested grebe: 1 around
Gannet: 17 down    3 up
Cormorant: 7 around
Oystercatcher: 1 up
Arctic Skua: 2 down
Black-headed Gull: present N/C
Herring Gull:  present N/C
Great Black-backed Gull: present N/C
Sandwich Tern: 26 down    3 up
Common Tern: 2 down
Swift: 331 out
Harbour Porpoise: 5+
Early evening on the reserve 100s of Sand Martins and 100s of Swifts most which were stratospheric.
 Sand Martin

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Moth Day

It seems all the MVs on the peninsular caught unusual moths last night. In mine a Double Kidney which was a first for my trap. I also caught another moth that despite looking through my books I was unable to identify in the time I had available, but living on the peninsular that is not a problem as there are plenty of Moth experts around. I took it to the observatory showing it to Lee Gregory who instantly identified it for me as a Pale Shoulder a very rare migrant. Barry Banson caught a Tamarisk Peacock another rare migrant, also 2 Speckled Footman 1 by Sean Clancy the other by Dorothy Beck, a Portland Moth was caught at St Mary's in the Marsh. Thanks are also due to Malcolm Freeman who caught a Ringed Border in Ticehurst only the second record for Sussex, allowing it to be displayed on the peninsular today before release.
 Pale Shoulder
 Double Kidney
Dioryctria sylvestrella

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Waders and Martins!

Another poor night in the MV despite not a drop of the promised rain falling. As is usual on the peninsular at this time of year Sand Martins seem to be every where from dawn till dusk. At the ARC this morning a flock of 24 adult Redshanks, a Greenshank, 17 Dunlin, 9 Little Ringed Plovers not including the Fluff Balls, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Golden Plover all among the c150 Lapwing and usual wildfowl on the islands. 11 Red Underwings roosting on the hide and a Great Green Bush Cricket by the path to the hide.
A visit to Dengemarsh in the company of MH found another 21 adult Redshanks, 18 Ruff all adult males, 5 Green Sandpipers, 2 Marsh Harriers and the usual wildfowl. The rest of the day was taken up with domestic stuff.
 Greenshank from Hanson
Great Green Bush Cricket outside Hanson

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Curlew Sandpiper

In 4 visits to the ARC today, a Curlew Sandpiper was the highlight, the 2 broods of Little ringed plovers still have at least 3 chicks each, 10 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper and 2 Golden plover among c150 Lapwing and the usual wildfowl.
Curlew Sandpiper from Hanson as usual distant!

14.00-15.30 from the fishing boats joined by MH & AJG:
Common Scoter:  1 down
Gannet: 103 up
Cormorant: 7 around
Oystercatcher: 2 up
Arctic Skua: 1 down
Black-headed Gull: 27 up
Herring Gull: 19 up    22 on beach
Great Black-backed Gull: 6 up    2 on beach
Sandwich Tern: 57 up
Common Tern: 1 up
Sand Martin: 47 out
Swallow: 1 out
Harbour Porpoise: 6+
Grey Seal: 1

Monday, 17 July 2017

Ruddy Shelduck

After emptying out the MV this morning and finding my second Plumed Fan-foot I made my way to the ARC. On the outside of Hanson were 6 Red Underwings, 2 Copper Underwings and a Knotgrass. From the hide all 8 LRP fluffballs were present, along with 6 adults and 2 juvenile LRPs and 6 Dunlin. While there a call from MH telling me a Ruddy Shelduck had just flown into Denge Marsh. The bird was still present when I arrived though flew off shortly after relocating to the ARC. A Wood,Green and Common Sandpiper, a Ruff and a Dunlin  were all also on Denge Marsh.
At the moment boil at The Patch is virtually non existent so consequently there are few Gulls and Terns to be seen there.
 Ruddy Shelduck, Denge Marsh.
An evening visit to the ARC saw much the same but the Ruddy Shelduck had disappeared, Little Ringed Plover numbers had increased to 12 adults, also 3 common sandpipers, 5 Redshank and 4 Black-tailed Godwits were present. outside the hide a Pus Moth caterpillar was on the path.
Pus Moth Caterpillar  outside Hanson.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

A few waders around the reserve this weekend including up to 12 Little Ringed Plovers not including another 8 fluff balls from 2 nests on the ARC, also on Burrowes another nest has been found so hopefully more success in the near future, also up to 5 Common Sandpipers, 6 Ringed Plovers, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 10+ Dunlin, 3 Redshank, 3 pairs of Oystercatchers with 6 young, the first returning Golden Plover on the ARC, c150 Lapwing. At least 2 young Marsh Harriers are on the wing over the tower pits and my first returning Willow Warbler at Boulderwall this morning. I Joined Barry Banson and the  interns emptying the 2 MVs at Boulderwall, its amazing the difference in moths in those traps to my own approximately a kilometre away as moth flys over open fields.
 Splendid Brocade found in Barry Bansons Greatstone trap
 3 of the 6 Red Underwings on Hanson Hide also 2 Copper Underwings there.
 Bordered Straw from the Plodland trap 
Privet Hawkmoth from the Plodland trap

Friday, 14 July 2017

Quiet times!

Coloured ringed Greenshank
A very quiet day around the peninsular today started with a very poor showing in my MV. First visit was to the ARC where I could only find a single LRP fluff ball (but I am pleased to say all 3 were present in a subsequent visit late afternoon) also there 4 Dunlin, a Redshank, Common Sandpiper and 7 adult Little Ringed Plovers including a sitting bird among c150 Lapwing. A Red Underwing and 2 Copper Underwing were on the outside of the hide. Walking back to the car park 20+ Swallows and 40+ Sand Martins flew south.
Late afternoon at the ARC a colour ringed Greenshank had dropped in.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

France for the day!

This morning CP, MH and myself caught 06.50 chunnell train to Calais followed by a 20 minute drive to Hemmes de Marck in the hope of catching up with the Elegant Tern. On arrival I wasn't hopeful as it was low tide so the sea was c3 kilometers out. The huge sandy beach stretching from Calais to Dunkirk lay before us. Scanning the horizon we could see a group of 4 birders way out on the horizon so we started to move towards them, at about half way we could see that they were all looking in different directions, we could also see that there was a group of Terns fairly near to them, also another group of Terns in the distance in the opposite direction which we decided to head for. We stopped several times to scan the flock but heat haze did not help scope viewing of the Terns, from c300 mts we could at least make out individual birds in haze so began scanning back and forth through the flock, after a few minutes a Yellow bill appeared and much relief for CP who hadn't seen the bird  at Pagham. We moved nearer the flock getting excellent scope views of the Elegant Tern.
 Elegant Tern
 At Oye Plage we failed to find the Common Rosefinch which has been present there for some time, an Icterine Warbler was some compensation also several Turtle Doves. The shooting of Turtle Doves around the Mediterranean and anywhere else is disgraceful, there are still good numbers the other side of the channel, I have no doubt that farming practises this side of the channel are to blame for its demise here.
Out on the sands of Oye Plage among the many holiday makers and dog walkers we eventually managed to find a Kentish Plover with a beautiful fluff ball, sadly not a single Little Tern was seen, I can only hope they have already fledged as the Sandwich Terns seemed to have done well with good numbers of juveniles still being seen today. Around the pools 26 Spoonbills, 3 Cattle Egrets, c100 Avocet, 4 Green Sandpipers, 4 Common Sandpipers and 2 Little Ringed Plovers of note.  Another excellent day trip to France in excellent company,
 Icterine Warbler
 Ringed Plover top left.  Kentish Plover Fluff Ball mid left. Female Kentish Plover mid right.
Turtle Doves


First thing this morning at the ARC from Hanson of note still at least 2 LRP Fluff Balls, 4 Dunlin, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard, I couldn't see the Curlew Sandpiper but it was still present late afternoon, 100s of Swifts and Sand Martins over the lake.
On Burrowes 100s more Sand Martins, a Ruff, 2 Redshank and at least 1 Common Tern chick but little else due to necessary work being done on the islands.
Some of the 100s of Sand Martins
At Denge Marsh a Great White Egret, a Hobby, more Swifts, a Wood Sandpiper, 4 Redshanks and another Ruff.
 Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats.
  Mediterranean Gull at the fishing boats.
An hour this afternoon at the fishing boats with MH was very quiet:
Manx Shearwater: 1 down
Cormorant: 7 around
Gannet: 21 in feeding flock off shore
Sanderling: 1 up
Black-headed Gull:  c20 around
Mediterranean Gull: 2 around
Herring Gull: c50 around
Great Black-backed Gull: 5 around
Sandwich Tern: 15+ around
Common Tern: 4 around
Auk sp: 4 down
Pied Wagtail: 4 around
Skylark: 1 singing behind fishing boats
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 2+
Common Tern at the fishing boats

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

This morning at the ARC of note an adult Curlew Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Little Ringed Plovers of which 3 were gorgeous day old fluff balls, also few Swifts and Sand Martins trickling through.
An uneventful sea watch this afternoon from the fishing boats with MH:
Great-crested Grebe: 2 around
Gannet: 12 up   49 down
Cormorant: 7 around
Black-headed Gull: 46 down
Mediterranean Gull: 4 down
Herring Gull: c20 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 juvenile around
Great Black-backed Gull: 5 around
Sandwich Tern: 61 down
Common Tern: 5 down
Guillemot: 1 down
Swift: 1 out
Grey Seal: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 3+
The MV this morning delivered Plodlands first Scorched Carpet and another Jersey Tiger of note.
 Scorched Carpet
Jersey Tiger
Small Blood-vein

Monday, 10 July 2017

This morning at the ARC of note a Garganey, 4 Little Ringed Plovers including the 2 sitting birds, a Dunlin, 239 Lapwing, a party of 5 adult Little Grebes, all the usual wildfowl, a few Sand Martins trickling through and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Willow Trail.
 The unseasonal Goldeneye
On the reserve 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, the Goldeneye, many eclipse ducks, more Sand Martins moving south and a Great White Egret which flew north. On Denge Marsh 2 more Great White Egrets, 3 Little Egrets  and 2 more Black-tailed Godwits. No sign of the Cattle Egret today as far as I know.
 Sandwich Tern with White Bait
This afternoon at the fishing boats with MH & CP:
13.40-16.30 from the fishing boats:
Common Scoter: 23 up       29 down
Gannet: 13 up        62 down
Cormorant: 14 around
Honey Buzzard: 1 in @ 14.06
Peregrine: 1 in carrying prey
Oystercatcher: 1 down
Arctic Skua: 1 up (DP)
Black-headed Gull: c50 around
Mediterranean Gull: 1 up  8 down
Common Gull: 4 down
Herring Gull: c40 around
Yellow-legged Gull: 1 down (juv)
Great Black-backed Gull: 5+ around
Kittiwake: 2 down
Sandwich Tern: 59 down
Common Tern: 16 down (1x1s)
Sand Martin: 3 out
Swift: 3 out
Harbour Porpoise: 4+
Grey Seal: 1

 Mediterranean Gull
 1s Common Tern
Fen Wainscot from this mornings catch
Batia lunaris also from this morning

Sunday, 9 July 2017


After emptying the MV this morning I went to The Patch meeting DW there. 5 Mediterrranean Gulls and a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were the highlights. At least 2 of the juvenile Peregrines were on the pylons. 
 Juvenile Mediterranean Gull from Hanson
At the ARC from Hanson 6 Little Ringed Plovers including the 2 sitting birds, 2 Dunlin, a Ruff. c150 Lapwing and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull. A pair of Common Terns are trying to nest on the islands.
 Cattle Egret from Makepiece
On the reserve the Cattle Egret still present though always distant, a Great White Egret was new in on Denge Marsh where there was also 3 Little Egrets a Hobby, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and a Bearded Tit. On Burrowes, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, 3 Avocets, a Ruff and a Common Sandpiper, also the Egyptian Goose brood is now down to 2.
 Cattle Egret in the midday heat haze at hay field 2
 And then there were 2!
 adult Great White Egret on Denge Marsh
This evening at The Midrips of note 39 Avocets including 8 juveniles, 2 Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers, a Ringed Plover , 4 Curlew, 2 Wheatears and a creche of 13 Shelduck.
 My first Plumed Fan-foot in my M V this morning
Leopard Moth in the MV this morning