Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Rose-Coloured Starling at Dungeness

Juvenile Rose-Coloured Starling.

Yesterday lunch time on the 19th September i heard there was a juvenile Rose-Coloured Starling near the moat at Dungeness showing well , i have never seen one in Kent before so was quite keen to try and see this one .

Rose-Coloured Starling all fluffed up.

I soon arrived at Dungeness and more or less was straight onto the Rose-Coloured Starling which was keeping compnay with approx 40 Starlings , it was mainly perched high up on one of the pylons but often dropped down behind the bushes onto the ground , great scope views of this cracking bird were obtained , this is my 6th new bird for Kent this year.

The Rose Coloured Starling at one point flew down near the road into the Obs and fed on the blackberries.

Feeding on backberries.

I really enjoyed watching this bird before i decided to pop into the Rspb reserve on the way back , from the Dennis hide i saw 1 Great White Egret plus i noticed a few waders nearer to the Firth hide which needed investigating so i headed of there.

Great White Egret.

I soon located the waders once i had settled into the Firth hide and they were 1 juv Little Stint , 3 Ringed Plver , 2 Common Snipe & 2 Dunlin. There was also another  Great White Egret which soon flew off towards the other end of Burrows Pit.

2nd Great White Egret.

I had a look from the Makepeace hide and added a single Pintail plus lots of Cormorants.


There were plenty of Chiffchaff in and around the bushes plus good numbers of Swallows passing overhead , another really enjoyable birding session.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Midnight Dash to Scilly

Manx Shearwater from the Scillion taken in 2015.

I meet up with Richard at midnight and we set off to Isle of Scilly in the hope of seeing the Cliff Swallow that had been seen on St.Mary's the previous day , we arrived in Cornwall in good time despite two road diversions on route , the Bodmin diversion is horrendous and anyone going to Cornwall should be aware of this and allow extra time for your journey.

We called into Marazion first of all to look for the Buff Breasted Sandpiper which gave great scope views as it fed amongst a throng of waders on the beach picking through seaweed.

Other waders present were Dunlin , Ringed Plover, Turnstone , Redshank, Sanderling & 1 Little Stint.

Fulmar from the Scillion taken in 2015.

The crossing on the Scillion was very rewarding with great views of 2 Cory's Shearwaters ,  2 Balearic & 2 Sooty Shearwaters . There was also several Manx Shearwaters , Gannets & Fulmars .

The news was positive on the Cliff Swallow at Porth Hellick but by the time we got there it had gone missing , it did the same thing yesterday (6th) so a rather anxious wait ensued , however it wasn't  long until someone picked it out over the pines on the left of Porth Hellick house , i only got very brief views and was far from satisfied with these.

It was then lost to sight and went missing , birders spread out and it was relocated near Carn Friars junction but however by the time we got there it was gone again.

Eventually i got a really good  scope view of the Cliff Swallow which i was happy with (thankfully) and i also had quite a few brief views of just it's rump disappearing behind the pines  hence sadly no photo's .

The Scillion crossing back was uneventful as we all relaxed in the after glow of a successful trip. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Pleasant Couple of Hours at Dungeness

Red Necked Phalarope.

I spent an enjoyable couple of hours at Dungeness yesterday , my primary aim was to see the Red Necked Phalarope which was being seen at the southern end of the Arc pits , viewing is not easy at this end of the Arc pits because you are more or less standing on a very busy road , i have often wondered why there are no pull ins along this section or even a hide ??

Anyhow i managed to park my car off road near a gate and walked back to view the Arc pits , the Red Necked Phalarope was quite distant but great scope views were obtained although the digi scoped photos are very much record shot only , it often spent alot of time out of view staying behind the hedge row but every so often it appeared in full view  , i also saw a single Little Stint which flew across the pits towards the back.

Whinchat .

After briefly calling into the Rspb reserve to use the facilities and having no luck in locating the Cattle Egret i headed to Galloways to look for migrants and was rewarded with 4 Whinchats and a single Wheatear which was unfortunate to have a 'tick' on top of its bill.



Standing tall.

Wheatear with ' Tick '

Friday, 2 September 2016

Oare Marsh ..... New Patch Tick

Juvenile Little Stint.

I paid another couple of  visits this week to Oare Marshes firstly on the 29th August , a really enjoyable session with 17 different species of wader seen , the obvious highlights being the great numbers of both Little Stint & Curlew Sandpipers.

6 juv Little Stints.

It's really hard to get an accurate count of these tiny gems as they are always on the move but i counted at least 1 ad & 13 juvenile Little Stints at one time , there were probably alot more , i also counted 5 adult & 20+ juv Curlew Sandpipers .

2 juv Curlew Sandpipers .

There were so many waders to sort through and know doubt other birders will have different numbers to what i saw ,  a single Greenshank was constantly calling and 3 Spotted Redshank flew out to the Swale.

3 Spotted Redshanks.

But the highlight of the day was an Osprey which was picked out flying over the Swale by Alan Pavey (good to meet you), this was a new species for my Oare marsh bird list.

Osprey photo taken on North Uist.

On the 31st August i arrived about an hour before high tide , the usual large numbers of Black Tailed Godwit , Avocet , Redshank & Golden Plover were obvious and there seemed to be Little Stints everywhere with a conservative count of 21 (19 juvs & 2 ads) .

There were two Wheatears on the West flood which were good to see.


There was also 2 or 3 Reed Warblers showing near the pull in .

Reed Warbler.

After checking through all the waders i walked past the East Flood hide and saw a Whinchat on the fence line , there was also 2 Clouded Yellow's  along the track .

1 of 2 Clouded Yellows.

Other birds of note were 8 Curlew Sandpipers (all juvs) & 1 Greenshank.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Baird's Sandpiper at Reculver

Baird's Sandpiper at Coldharbour Lagoon Reculver.

News of an adult Baird's Sandpiper showing well at Reculver on the evening of Friday 26th August was to good to miss , i have seen several before but never one in Kent .

Having a feed.

A really cracking bird to see at close quarters , it was keeping company with a Curlew Sandpiper alot of the time .

Curlew Sandpiper & Baird's Sandpiper.

Redshank , Baird's Sandpiper & Curlew Sandpiper.

There was also a single Black Tailed Godwit which are scarce birds here and a juv Little Stint was also present along with 5 Dunlin.

Black Tailed Godwit.

Little Stint.

Little Stint .

Other birds seen here were single Greenshank & Green Sandpiper plus 30+ Oystercatchers flew west , there was also approx 30 Swallows passing through.

A really great find by Matt Hindle , and after checking my records the Baird's Sandpiper was not only a Reculver & Kent tick i also added Little Stint , Curlew Sandpiper & Black Tailed Godwit to my Reculver bird list.

Baird's Sandpiper & Curlew Sandpiper.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Great Wader Watching Session's at Oare Marshes

Juv. Curlew Sandpiper.

I had a couple of great wader watching sessions at Oare this week , firstly on Monday 22nd August , i was hoping to see the Little Stint's that had been seen over the weekend although i had no luck with these i did see good numbers of Curlew Sandpipers , there was at least 11 juvenile birds and a single moulting adult , really enjoy watching these in their fresh juv plumage.

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper.

The Bonaparte's Gull dropped into the East flood briefly before flying back towards The Swale.

Adult Bonaparte's Gull.

There was 1 Spotted Redshank and at least 6 Knots amongst the hundreds of Black Tailed Godwits , Redshank & Avocets.

My second session was yesterday the 25th August and i arrived about an hour before high tide , the sheer numbers of waders here is quite a sight , i instantly saw my first Little Stints with a group of 6 birds feeding out in the middle of the flood.

Juvenile Little Stint.

Where ever i looked there seemed to be a Little Stint with a maximum of 18 birds counted which is the most i have seen together here at one time.

Little Stint.

Keeping them company was at least 25 Curlew Sandpipers (all juvs) plus 250+ Dunlin , 100+ Ringed Plovers, 100+ Golden Plover , 500+ Redshank & 10+ Ruff including a couple of small juv birds in cracking plumage.

3 Golden Plover.

Juv Curlew Sandpiper.

There was quite a variety of different species of wader including a single Greenshank , 3+ Knot , 2 Green Sandpipers , 200+ Avocets , 50+ Lapwing , 1500+ Black Tailed Godwits & 20 Whimbrel flew over head towards Sheppy. 


I also saw the Bonaparte's Gull again as it roosted on the East flood.

Bonaparte's Gull.

A real surprise was 5 Little Terns flying around the flood when all the waders got spooked , when everything settled down again there was in fact 7 Little Terns (3 ads & 4 juvs).

Juv Little Tern & a Dunlin.

2 adult & 1 juv Little Tern.

There was also a single Common Tern & 3 Sandwich Terns on the flood with a further 12 Sandwich Terns flying over head.

Sandwich Tern.

A really great couple of visits and quite a challenge scanning through all these waders , hopefully a Temminck's or something a bit rarer might turn up soon !!!!
 (not that i am complaining...... Lol)