Miserable weather for most of the day limited observations with highlights from the sea including nine Velvet Scoters, 54 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua. The best on the land was a Firecrest in the Moat.
Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.
There was a small arrival of migrants today with the highlights being a fine male Common Redstart at the Long Pits and the first Reed Warbler and Whitethroats of the year along with 15 Willow Warblers, 12 Chiffchaffs, 12 Wheatears and three Siskins.
The sea was not as busy as yesterday but still produced some good totals with 174 Brent Geese, three Canada Geese, six Eider, four Velvet Scoters, 666 Common Scoters, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 1278 Gannets, a Whimbrel, 48 Kittiwakes, 367 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, five Great Skuas and two Arctic Skuas.
Four Porpoises were seen offshore and the boat fisherman reported a pod of White-beaked Dolphins again and feeding about two miles out but not seen from the land.
Virtually all of the days interest was offshore with a considerable easterly movement of birds although fairly limited in species range. Around 8.5hrs of observations produced a Garganey, three Velvet Scoters, six Red-breasted Mergansers, a Shag, a Mediterranean Gull, nine Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua while numbers were provided by 541 Brent Geese, 1984 Common Scoters, 144 Red-throated Divers, 2015 Gannets, 165 Kittiwakes and 613 Sandwich Terns. The regular Iceland Gull was still present at the Patch.
Mammals were also well represented with the most significant being a party of thee White-beaked Dolphins which headed east at 1000hrs. One of the individuals was very distinctive in that it had lost most of its dorsal fin leaving an uneven stump where it should be and might prove to be a trackable individual. Also seen were at least six Porpoises and a Grey Seal.
Insects of interest included the first two Comma butterflies and two Light Orange Underwing moths of the year.
Seven Blackcaps were the best on offer on the land while over five hours of seawatching produced 92 Common Scoters, 630 Gannets, a Whimbrel, two Mediterranean Gull, 237 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua.
Four Porpoises were feeding offshore and five Brown Hares were seen on the land.
A day for large birds (not that I managed to see any of them) with a White Stork and a yellow wing-tagged Red Kite being seen but these were eclipsed by the passing of a White-tailed Eagle though unfortunately unseen by all and sundry. It was a satellite-tagged bird, G463, from the Isle of Wight project and was tracked from Bockhill this morning. From there it flew south along the coast and then inland over New Romney and Lydd before turning SE, heading over the recording area at a height of 1078metres and then out to sea at 1305hrs. Forty minutes and 47kms later it arrived in France at Boulogne and continued onwards in a SE direction.
The morning seawatch was very slow going with just two Gadwall, three Mediterranean Gulls and 86 Sandwich Terns of note. Migrants in the bushes were equally scarce with a Firecrest and three Blackcaps of interest.
Four Porpoise were feeding offshore.
A cold and windy day with slightly limited coverage. Seawatching produced the highlight of the day with a White Stork flying over this afternoon and other bits including 13 Pintail, two Mediterranean Gulls and 142 Sandwich Terns. A Willow Warbler and a handful of Chiffchaffs and three Wheatears were seen on the land.
Twelve Porpoises were counted offshore.
A much better day weatherwise but migrants remain thin on the ground with just a Blackcap, a Firecrest, four Wheatears and two Siskins of note although a Red-rumped Swallow was reported on the bird info services.
The sea was not a great better with seven Shelduck, six Fulmars, 18 Whimbrel, three Mediterranean Gulls, the regular Iceland Gull and 21 Sandwich Terns of interest.
At least 18 Porpoises were feeding offshore but frustratingly a pod of White-beaked Dolphins were reported by the boat fisherman from about five miles out to sea (and thus out of sight for us). A Grey Seal was also seen and a Stoat was seen near the New Lighthouse.
Another cold and windy day with not a great deal to be seen in the Observatory area. A two-hour seawatch this morning produced just three Red-breasted Mergansers, 245 Gannets, a Ruff and 129 Sandwich Terns. The Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again. The only migrants of note on the land were a Merlin and two Wheatears.
Six Porpoises were seen offshore.
There was a good spread of birds across the rest of the peninsula including the long-staying Glossy Ibis at Boulderwall, six Garganey still at Dengemarsh along with a Blue-headed Wagtail, three White Wagtails and a Water Pipit and Little Ringed Plover and 18 Yellow Wagtails at Scotney.
Another cold and windy day with few migrants to be seen. The morning seawatches produced 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Shag, a Mediterranean Gull, an Arctic Skua and 85 Sandwich Terns of note while the regular Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch along with a first-winter Caspian Gull.
Very quiet on the land with just a couple of Swallows and three Wheatears of note.
Eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
A bit of a turnaround in the weather with an increasingly strong and cold NE wind developing. There was very little on the land except for seven Wheatears and a Firecrest although there was a bit of passage overhead including two Swallows, two Rock Pipits, 70 Linnets and 35 Goldfinches. The sea was also fairly slow with just four Shelduck, two Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and 61 Sandwich Terns along with the first two Common Terns of the year. The Iceland Gull was feeding at the Patch again this evening.
Sixteen Porpoises were seen offshore.
There was a distinct improvement in the moth trap overnight with the best being only our sixth record of Red Chestnut.
Two Mottled Shieldbugs were seen.