Dunge again today but struggled to find much new. The Tree Sparrows were showing well on the feeder at Boulderwall Farm and the Ring-necked Duck was on the same pool near there. The highlight was a Lapland Bunting seen and heard twice in flight along the Dengemarsh Road, over the stubble field and "Sunflower" field near Springfield Bridge. On the reserve from the Makepeace Hide my gull enthusiast friend managed to find: 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Caspian Gull (2W) and a Scandinavian Herring Gull. We noted 2 Great White Egrets, 3 Buzzards and Raven during the day.
Yesterday late afternoon there were 2 Short-eared Owls and a Barn Owl at Seasalter in the field behing the Sportsman Inn. Today I made the trip to Dungeness where the weather was dry and calm but rather gloomy all day. At the Hanson Hide a Water Rail showed well, and then at the Fishing Boats we noted 4 Velvet Scoters, 20+ Common Scoters and a Red-throated Diver was on the sea fairly close to the shore. After lunch we found 1 Dartford Warbler with around 3 Stonechats in the Kerton Road area before visiting the main part of the RSPB reserve. Here the Ring-necked Duck was showing well near Boulderwall Farm, and 2 Great White Egrets were also seen. The Long-eared Owl showed well in poor light, and Caspian Gull was seen on Burrows. The highlight came late in the day with a Hen Harrier in the Dengemarsh area.
I made a short visit to Hampton Pier, Herne Bay this afternoon to try to photograph Sanderling. There were a small flock of 8 on the shore by the Pier accompanied briefly by 1 Purple Sandpiper, some Turnstones and a Rock Pipit.
Made the weekly trip to Dunge yesterday where we struggled to see much in very windy conditions. During the day we spent some time at the Fishing Boats and the patch but with just a Red-throated Diver, several Med. Gulls, a couple of Guillemots the main interest to go with large numbers of Gannets. Around the reserve the highlights were a Peregrine which flew by just outside the windows of the visitor centre, and a male Goosander. Around 5 Great White Egrets and 8 Little Egrets were noted. The Long-eared Owl, Cattle Egret and Ringed-necked Duck were all keeping out of sight. As we left we heard a report of a Ring-billed Gull but we failed to re-locate it.
With the weather improving I visited Stonelees NR, Pegwell Bay this afternoon, where the 5 or 6 Waxwings were showing well at the south end of the reserve near the traffic light entrance. This morning just a November Moth and a Rusty-dot Pearl in the trap.
Not many moths to report and nothing new for the year. Went down to Dungeness for another wet and very windy day. We started at the ARC where 2 Marsh Harriers, a Great White Egret and a Chiffchaff were noted and the Ring-necked Duck was still showing well near Boulderwall. We then sat out the heavy rain in the RSPB visitor centre from where at least 2 Caspian Gulls could be seen in front of the Firth Hide. After
lunch we looked along Kerton Road where the unusual Stonechat was seen
again but we had no luck with the Dartford Warblers. Back on the reserve
the Long-eared Owl could be seen roosting behind the dipping pond. The
rain drove us back to the centre from where, after a period of
horizontal lash, we finally made it to the Firth Hide. Here 4+ Caspian
Gulls, showing all ages from 1st Winter to Adult, were in front of the
hide. A Yellow-legged Gull, Great White Egret and another Chiffchaff
were also noted. As we left the reserve the Cattle Egret showed briefly
in flight near the cows at Boulderwall, and along the Dengemarsh Road
the 2 Bewick's Swans were still present with Mutes there.
Not run the moth trap for a few days due to the weather. Yesterday I drove down to Dungeness in pouring rain with no great expectations but it turned into a pretty good day. We started at Boulderwall Farmhouse, where the Ring-necked Duck was showing well but photography was difficult in the rain and poor light. After sitting in the RSPB visitor centre till the rain stopped we returned to Boulderwall where the Cattle Egret was close to the track but the RN Duck had moved further away and was mostly asleep. Next on the ARC pit we were lucky with 3 sightings of Bitterns (probably 2 birds) with 2 in flight and another on the edge of a reed bed from the Hanson Hide. A Great White Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk and Marsh Harrier were also noted there. After lunch we followed up reports of a Dartford Warbler along Kerton Road. The sky was darkening but my friend immediately picked up 2 Stonechats and we were pleased to find a Dartford Warbler with them. One of the Stonechats was the unusual one seen the previous day and considered to be possibly an "eastern" type. As the rain started we headed back to the RSPB reserve again where 2 or 3 Great White Egrets, 8 Little Egrets, a Goosander, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls were noted. Finally we drove round to the Dengemarsh Road where 2 Bewick's Swans were with a few Mutes opposite the Watersport Centre, and a Buzzard and 2 Marsh Harriers were at the Springfield Bridge. So Ring-necked Duck, Dartford Warbler and 5 "Heron" species made a very good day.