Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Knot Arrive.

14th November

It was a grey morning at Seasalter LNR and the tide was just about to leave the beach just in time for some wader photography. It wasn't long before birds started streaming in to feed on the freshly exposed mud followed by a huge flock of c.2000 knot, the first big number I have seen this autumn and in amongst them were c.150 bar-tailed godwits.  There was a small passage of meadow pipits, starlings and chaffinches and a pair of stonechat were feeding just behind the huts.  A look across the back fields produced c.100 lapwings but no raptors........what will be there if its covered with solar panels?  Back by the pumping station outfall the kingfisher was dashing about keeping the coots company and out on the the flats c500 dunlin but hardly any curlew for some reason. 

15th Nov.

A day out to Broadstairs revealed 3 purple sandpipers on the harbour outfall/jetty. Late pm at Seasalter I saw the barn owl circling around Cleve Hill.

16th Nov.

Another look at Seasalter doing a bit of a count; ringed plover 122, egrets 3, redshank 70, curlew 58, shelduck 8, kingfisher 1, coots 5, swan family of 8, grt b b gulls 22, rook 1, Goosander 1 close in, linnets 8,  fieldfare 2,  robins 4, goldfinch 2, blue tit 4, cetti's 2, heron 1, skylark 2, reed bunting 2, wren 1, lapwing c.50,  common gull 2, stonechat 1, chaffinches 12, mipits 6.



A trip out to Penny Pot Lane, Denge Wood looking for the hawfinches........managed to see two with the help of others. I took a couple of distant shots of one bird high up in one of the conifers, rather poor but a reasonable record shot.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

November part 1

2nd November

A nice still morning at Seasalter, ideal for a good bird list but it proved quiet although not bad for photography. I counted 14 ringed plovers, c.20 turnstones, c.350 brent, 31 dunlin, 1 cetti's on the plots, no ducks. The usual half a dozen pied wagtails ranging along the seawall, 2 stonechats by the Sportsman, 1 sparrowhawk, green woodpecker, robins, coots etc.. On the LNR or rather the back fields (solar farm site), a few lapwings and golden plovers, 1 heron on the pasture plus a red admiral and kestrel.

Nov. 3rd.
A short visit to Hampton, not seeing the purple sandpiper so didn't stay long.


 Just one redshank at Hampton
5th Nov.

An uneventful trip to Stodmarsh

6th Nov.

Off to Reculver in search of the snow buntings but no luck.........needed to walk on further.

Back to Hampton again this time finding the purple sandpiper on on of the breakwaters but little else.


Day out with the wife driving towards Thanet, lunch at the Capt. Digby then onto Broadstairs.



9th Nov.

Another visit to Reculver, this time finding the 2 snow buntings and had a nice time taking photos with no one else around.

On the way back I could hear a Apache helicopter approaching which made a low fly pass overhead scattering the snow buntings and everything else. Bumped into John from Stodmarsh who said he saw it fly under some pylons!

Friday, 10 November 2017


A quick glance through the rest of October.

A bright but windy day at Seasalter produced 3 marsh harriers coming over from Sheppey and along the LNR c.1250 brents plus one grey plover which still retained some its breeding plumage.

I went to Oare seeing the black-necked grebe, Wilson's phalarope and long-billed dowitcher.

 Black-necked Grebe

 Wilson's Phalarope

Long-billed Dowitcher

8th Oct.

At SS the incoming tide revealed c1500 black-tailed godwits and a similar number of brents. Flying up to roost and on the flats I had a count of 86 egrets and on the seas 45 great crested grebes.


A late afternoon visit to SS revealed c.1200 brents, 1 grey plover and a late swallow.


My first grey wagtail of the year was on the beach near the plots entrance, the plots were quiet. Further on by the YC., 3 grey wagtails, a count of 27 egrets, a couple of grey plovers, curlews and oystercatchers. At the LNR., a stonechat, 2 swans, a wheatear, and on the back fields, 20 lapwings and c.250 golden plovers roosting. Further on another 2 wheatears, 22 chaffinches west and a kestrel.


3 late Wheatears.

A trip to Knole Park to photograph the fallow deer rut.  Should go early or late in the day but I was lucky as a few of them had an arguement.


A strong northerly blow this morning at SS, hoped for some close action as the tide receded......c.200 bar-tailed godwits came to amongst the brent, oystercatchers and curlew plus just one knot. I have not seen any big flocks of knot yet and I also noted I've not seen any juvenile brents amongst the large flocks..  Loads of gannets in the mouth of the Swale, many young ones, several coming close.

I later went over to Hampton thinking I might get some better shots, luckily one gannet came fairly close, unfortunately it seemed to have some vegetation jammed in its mouth. Also saw 4 little gulls and a couple of auks and kittiwakes.


Another look at SS starting with a count of 91 ringed plover, 24 redshank, 1 sanderling, 9 grt bb gulls and 1 egret by the 'island' roost.  At the LNR another swallow and walking down the back track to the road I flushed a woodcock and in the bushes by the Sportsman, 4 redwings and a couple of fieldfares, a pair of stonechats, 1 cetti's, 1 marsh harrier and 4 blackbirds.



Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Danube Cruise day 7 (last)

Monday 16th October

Another lovely day as we motored back towards Budapest arriving just after lunch in time for our last city tour. We boarded a bus which took us to see the highlights of Buda then finished high up on the castle overlooking the city. A short walk there revealed one of Jamie Oliver's restaurants, a quick look in the church then a quick coffee stop before returning to the coach for a short walk in the city centre. 

Motored back past the Esztergom Catherdral

The Emile Bronte moored up in Budapest

One of the Bridges connecting Buda with Pest


 The Indoor Market

Bike Hire

Beautiful manhole covers!

After our tour it was back to the ship, shower, 6 course farewell dinner followed by some excellent Hungarian dancers and musicians, the guy on one of the violins was fantastic.

The following day it was time to leave late morning which allowed us another couple of hours around Buda by ourselves.   It was a great holiday, thoroughly recommended.