Monday, 31 August 2015

Dungeness delivers again!

Another visit to Dungeness and again it delivered!
Arriving at the lighthouses around 6.30am, we parked up and were about to head off towards the beach, when two Peregrines were spotted flying around the power station buildings. After circling the buildings they both landed on the nearby pylon allowing good scope views.
A couple of hours sea-watching followed, and although the conditions were not favourable it produced several highlights.
The first being a Honey Buzzard picked up slowly drifting across the horizon, shortly followed by a single Arctic Skua and a couple of Black Terns.
A scan of The Patch" added several species to the day total, with Great Black-backed and Lesser Black -backed Gulls along with Herring and Black-headed. Kittiwakes and Common Terns were also feeding just off the patch.
A scan of the perimeter fencing of the power station from the beach hide was also productive with Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear and Black Redstart all added.
A call from the only other birder present put us onto a single Balearic Shearwater for another year tick!
Heading back along the entrance track we had double figure numbers of both Whinchat and Wheatear before we made our way towards ARC Pit.


As we pulled up alongside the causeway Brian spotted a Merlin flying along the distant fence line, it landed on the fence allowing good if distant scope views.
Black Terns were quickly picked out flying across the pit and the White-winged Black Tern suddenly appeared to give some very nice views.

White-winged Black Tern (B Anderson)

The single track roads along Galloways added several more Whinchat, Wheatear, Stonechat and Common Whitethroat along with a very smart Common Redstart.

Having toyed with the idea of heading for Leysdown in search of the earlier reported Wryneck, we decided to have a drive along the entrance track of Elmley.
With the surrounding fields dried out and no water in sight they were completely devoid of any bird life. The only birds seen were a Marsh Harrier flying across the track in front of us followed by a Peregrine. Both headed quickly away into the distance.
As we approached one of the cattle grids a female Merlin was spotted perched up on the fence. We were amazed to see it remained there seemingly unconcerned even with several cars and vans passing by at close quarters.


A fantastic end to another great days birding!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Shaun.
      It does help when they sit 6-8 feet away from the car!
      Even I can get half decent shots from that distance. :D