Sunday, 22 September 2013


Not knowing quite where to go this morning I ended up at Dungeness looking for the Caspian gull but I couldn't find by the fishing boats. Drove around the old lighthouse seeing two wheatears from the car, grabbed a quick shot before moving to the RSPB reserve.


Went to the big corner hide where I watched the two black necked grebes chasing a little grebe and over near one of the islands was another black necked grebe, all rather distant. Hoping they would come a bit closer I looked back towards the power station seeing another one steaming right past me, heading towards the others. Counted and recounted several times to make sure there was four before being joined by a photographer and his wife from Holland.

Black Necked Grebe

Tonight, still struggling a bit with setting up Blogger but slowly coming together!

The Brents Are Back - 21st September

A late morning visit to Seasalter as the tide was coming up to the beach.  From the pumping station, 12 g.c.grebes on the sea plus a lone female wigeon and 9 teal at the water's edge. Feeding/resting on the shingle banks and tidal pools were 46 egrets, my largest count this year.  Inland on the dyke, 3 gadwall, 2 teal, 2 coots, 1 moorhen and 4 mallard.  One surprise was a kingfisher which flew out onto the end of the sluice, two sightings in the last two visits!
Moving up to South Swale, a flight of 8 brent geese, the first this autumn, then another group of 15 sitting on the water and further out on Horse Sands another group of about 20.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Local Patch, Seasalter. 19th September

Trying to keep the cost of diesel down I thought I would scout around the local area starting at Wraik Hill which was totally dead, only six species whilst I was there! Moved on down to the coast where things improved seeing a chiffchaff on the way by the ditch along Seasalter Lane. The tide was still a fair way out but rapidly coming in which had pushed 27 egrets into the tidal pools just off the Ski Club. 76 Ringed plovers were gathering at their pre-roost but most waders had moved off.  Hundreds of house martins were moving west plus a few swallows and over the sea, a flock of 13 teal were going up The Swale.


Further on, at South Swale a sandwich tern was sitting on one of the buoys and 9 great crested grebes were on the sea but no sign of the red-necked grebe reported the last two days. One surprise was a kingfisher flying along the shore and briefly landing on the breakwater but not much else just a few dunlin and ringed plovers below the sea wall.  A total of forty species, missing blackbird strangely but speaking to two other birders who mentioned the same, having not seen one in four days of birding! Come to think of it I've not seen one in the garden for a couple of weeks.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A Day at Dungeness - 17th September 2013

For quite a while I have been thinking of starting a blog after the KOS 'Seasalter site' page finished,  a change of computer and Windows 8 prevented me from making further posts.


Nipped down to Seasalter hoping to see something unusual on the roost but even worse, nothing at all. A text from Chiddy alerted me to the re-appearance of the 'real' semi p at Dungeness again as he put it but the only decent bird was the pectoral sandpiper, tweeted earlier. Making my way to Dungeness I rang Steve Ashton who met me there after leaving Stodmarsh.  As we walked up to the Firth Hide a group of 'Dunge' regulars were piling into the hide after leaving the Makepiece Hide.  We arrived just in time to see the pec sand out on the 'green', still rather distant for photos but converters helped.

Pectoral Sandpiper

Stayed in the Firth hide most of the morning photographing the 3-4 ruffs, c.8 black-tailed godwits, 1 bar-tailed godwit plus a greenshank that came in close. From the Makepiece Hide two black-necked grebes kept to the northern end of Burrowes Pit and never came within range for the camera.

Black-tailed Godwits - note the size difference



With the weather worsening and rain starting we abandoned the hide and headed back to the centre for refreshments then off home in the pouring rain!