This blog has been too quiet of late. Work commitments in London, Builders tearing the house apart and strong North Easterlies haven’t given me much to shout about BUT this weekend I’ve put in some time on the headland.

Western limit of Langdon cliffs, Looking West towards the house.

A late start on Saturday produced my first 4 Lesser Whitethroats of the year, each in song between the path up form the house to Langdon Hole with another on the Farm. A burst of 25 Swallows and my first Common Swift of the year flew over the Lighthouse after lunch, a Greenlandtype Wheatear was on the fields and an hours skywatch from the farm produced a Tree Pipit over N, c35 Stock Doves NE and an adult female Marsh Harrier (below) that appeared from the West, flew towards st Margarets and decided to head back East along Reach Road. (I think Ian Hodgson mentioned that this is often what often what Raptors do viewed from this spot). I’ll add that local Birder Colin J had a RoughLegged Buzzard over the area on the 19th which was later seen in the Sandwich area. Gripped!

It seems like Saturday morning was a good time to be watching the sea. I, however didnt have free time then so attempted my first seawatches from the new patch Saturday eve and Sunday Morning. I think the combination of not figuring out where I’m going to look from and missing the push of activity on the sea made it a little lack lustre but between the two brief sessions the highlights were an Arctic Skua following a ferry with the Gulls, A summer Plumage Black throated Diver, a single Shag, 10 Arctic terns, small numbers of Brent Geese and Common Scoter, commic and sandwich terns were moving further out along with small numbers of Auks. some Swallows in off all to the soundtrack of Black Redstart Song from my Sheltered spot. I probably would have benefitted from joining other locals at better known seawatching sites but hey.

Today was very windy with gusts up to 30mph apparently, with so little to look at on the land and not lots on the sea I Sky watched after lunch for an hour or so. A few migrants appeared to come in off the sea including My first Hobby of the year followed by 2 Common Swifts and several Swallows plus a female Wheatear that made landfall just to the east of my seat.

Butterflies and Lizards everywhere, more on that soon.

Slow Start

A slow first half of April for me down here despite taking this week off work I’ve struggled to find many migrants since the previous post beyond the trickle of Swallows, a handful of Common Whitethroats and a high count of 9 Wheatears at Reach road and 1 or 2 Black Redstarts remaining. The weathers not really conducive for coastal falls here but today’s light winds and poor(er) visibility first thing helped a little with (at last) 6/7 Willow Warblers and a noticeable increase in Blackcaps. Still loving it though!

5/04/21 White Tailed Eagle

Another windy and cold weekend delivered a mere morsel of migrants including my first of the year Common Whitethroats (one on Saturday and another today) and half a dozen Swallows in of the sea, 2 White Wagtails, a few freshly arrived Chiffchaff (complete with Pollen horn) and Blackcap but Im still to see or hear a Willow Warbler.

Black Redstarts continue to be present and entertaining with a high count of 9 today including a singing male.

The highlight of the weekend was picking up a White tailed Eagle that had reportedly flown in off the sea at Samphire Hoe 5 minutes beforehand. It came in high over Dover Castle, drifted over my house and got higher higher. I lost it in the sky whilst dicking around with the camera, poor shots as a result but enjoyed the views and Ive just learned that its an Ilse of White bird that flew out into the Channel before coming back inland.

The Ravens have been hassling the Peregrines near me for the past few days, you can hear the stress in the female Peregrine’s calls, I wonder what their up to.

The Iceland Gull was flying around the eastern end of the Harbour after not seeing it for a week. I had nothing more interesting than two Argentatus Herring Gulls at my Gull spot, a 2nd Winter and a 4th winter, big northern looking beasts. Numbers of small gulls really down.

P10 mirrors on the 2nd winter is pretty cool and black on p5 of the 4th winter, both were large birds.