Friday, 28 November 2008

Dungeness 2008

Dark-eyed Junco

The unexpected bird of the spring! The second Dungeness record, following a bird trapped and ringed back on May 26th 1960 (the first British record) Although it often gave good views, it compensated for its generally elusive behaviour, by proving to be the longest staying rarity of the spring! Many of the best birds were either seen just briefly, or proved to be frustratingly tricky to catch up with... Almost as many people saw the summer plumaged White billed Diver, that flew past on a seawatch, as saw the singing Common Rosefinch that stayed for two days!

Stonechat (rubicola)

Allthough the camera may slightly exagerate the darkness of the bird, theres no doubting that these are smart looking birds...

Red-breasted Flycatcher

After finding this bird lurking around the Heligoland trap, it was eventually caught and ringed and released, in front of the gatheing of locals. Needless to say, it promptly dissapeared and was never seen again! A second bird appeared on the point, right at the end of October and gave excellent views around the railway station, often showing down to a few feet.

Tawny pipit

Taken just down the road, and accross the county border, at Rye Harbour (East Sussex).


One of two trapped together at the end of April, these stayed throughout the Summer and proved to be the first preeding pair, within the Observatory recording area for at least 15 years.

Terek Sandpiper

After initially being discovered at Rye Harbour, the previous day, this bird relocated to the pools on Lydd Ranges, where it often gave very close views. A lifer for myself, more importantly, it was now within the Dungeness recording area, and gave itself up for many as a Dungeness tick!

Man Orchid

A kent speciality! Not that I can remember where it was taken...


Part of a family, present around the Observatory.

Late Spider Orchid

Taken on the downs just above Folkestone

Large Blue

Taken at Collard Hill Somerset, perhaps the best known reintroduction site in the UK for the species. Sadly, they were past their best by the time we got around to seeing them, but we did manage to connect with around five individuals. More than can be said for the adult American Herring Gull that failed to appear at Chew valley lake, in the time that we spent looking. Hats off to the lesser gull enthuseasts of the trip, who had to put up with three hours of boredom... A breeding family of Goldeneye (3 young) were un unexpected treat!

Bee Orchid

Taken alongside the late Spiders

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