Sunday, 16 October 2016


13th Oct.

After hearing about the two shorelarks at Reculver from Mark Chidwick I paid a visit on Friday morning bunping into Mike Roser who was just leaving after seeing them.  There were no other birders about so it was a bit of  a search and after a while I started to go back as there seemed no sign then thought 'no don't give up'. I then retraced my steps and went on further east and finally found them but they were very skittish in the strong east wind.  I got several pictures and then put Melvyn and Janice Fagg onto their position as they were also eager to see them.

Other birds included a short-eared owl over the fields behind, a wheatear along the beach and far out to sea a bonxie, several gannets and a peregrine.

14th Oct.

Returning to Seasalter this morning finding, c.200 turnstones, 160 ringed plover, 30 dunlin on the island and a wheatear in the beach gardens.

Along the South  Swale LNR I saw; c.600 golden plovers, 1 peregrine, 1 wheatear and on the sea 2K brents (quite a few juveniles) with 225 wigeon plus a handful of teal amongst them and at least 4 pintail. 

16th Oct

2 shorelark were reported yesterday at Seasalter somewhere so I took the long walk up nearly to C.Coote. No sign unfortunately but there were 2 wheatears, the brent and wigeon flock. I also made a point of counting the little egrets coming into roost on the Coote amounting to 94 birds not including those that may have already been at the roost. Plenty of mipits, a few reed buntings on the beach and a flock of c.30 linnets.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

11th October

8th Oct.

It was a dull, 'about to mizzle' morning but it was very busy on the plots with loads of birds in the bushes.  It kicked off with a pair of stonechats on the way in followed by several jackdaws flying west which is unusual.  Placing myself in one spot I watched the bushes where I saw 6 blackcaps, 3 cetti's, 2 redwings, 10 song thrushes 6 goldcrests, a ring ouzel, c.20 chiffchaffs, 16 long-tailed tits, 1 marsh harrier, 1 great spotted woodpecker, a swallow plus linnets, 17 chaffinches and half a dozen blackbirds, one of which was jet black, black bill and no eye ring, maybe one of the continental types.

There was one small leafless bush holding 4 song thrushes, 5 blackcaps, 2 goldcrests, 1 blue and a great tit plus a cetti's warbler, what was so attractive I don't know!

Unfortunately, no photos, I actually went out with the camera and bins then after a while went back to the car and swap it for the scope as it was difficult to ID the small birds in the distant bushes.

11th Oct

Today the bushes were quiet, just a few chiffs and cetti's so I turned my attention seaward. In the pools left by the receding tide opposite the NRA there were 10 egrets together plus I counted another 17 later on at the LNR.  Near the Sportsman I counted 260 grey plovers as not much else to do and also noted lots of dunlin and c.100 knot and several barwits.

Walking through onto the beach a little bird dropped down onto the front of a boat trailor. I approached slowly as it was on the side I couldn't see and it hadn't flown, I thought it was one of the pied wags but to my surprise it was a brambling that allowed me to get close and take photos.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

5th October 16

5th Oct

Strong easterly winds, I couldn't think where to go and not suffer that blast so Hampton came to mind.  I could even sit in the car, no, there was plenty of shelter and the sun was nice and warm so I sat on one of the benches to seawatch.  Not much was going on but over towards Swalecliffe I could see 10 brents, 42 ringed plovers and 1 knot and closer to me a redshank and a couple of turnstones. Later from the car park I picked up a bonxie heading east and shortly after 12 little gulls approached from the west but doubled back then drifted further out. Also c.200 brents flew west in several small groups plus one Sandwich tern was in the area.

6th Oct.

This afternoon I took a walk along the SS. LNR finding 2 wheatears near the huts, noted one mipit but nothing else except the c.250 brents out on the water riding out the easterly gale.

 This one looks to be a youngster

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

4th October

The last week of September was spent in Rome sightseeing taking in many of the ancient and baroque sites plus the Villa Borghese which holds many paintings and sculptures. One room held six Caravaggio paintings but none of them roped off etc., I could have touched one easily, very little security, plus plenty of illumination, not displayed in virtual darkness - maybe they know more about such things than we do!

'A Caravaggio' - did you know his 'name Caravagio' is the name of the village he lived in, his real name was not allowed to be used as it was Michelangelo Marisi!

Since getting back I nipped out to see the pallid harrier and pm. 30 minutes at Seasalter just seeing a few gannets and 1 arctic skua before having to attend a kids party!

However, on the 3rd, a proper morning at Seasalter finding 31 egrets, a few wader examples but no big numbers. An unusual large amount of herring gulls milling about just off the outfall and c.90 cormorants plus 15 grebes. The plots were quiet, 2 chiffs, 9 linnets, single blackbird, chaffinch, kestrel but a surprise  with a raven honking overhead flying towards Ellenden Wood. A couple of small white butterflies and a southern hawker posed for the camera but very little else.

                               The white spots on the eyes of the hawker must be reflections of some sort

Common Darter

I moved along to the LNR where I saw c.10 bearded tits on the edge of the reedbed where they were cleaning out the ditches, maybe the disturbance caused them to up and leave but they were the first I have 'eyeballed' this year here.  Apart from a few skylarks, 2 reed buntings, 1 swallow and mipits it was again quiet. I could see further west c.250 brents on the mudflats but I didn't go further on.

The best I could do with the beardies, very active, this one with a ring.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Bearded Tits at Last.

20th Sept.

I took a break from my major garden alterations this morning (greenhouse dismantled, new patio, turf laying) and made a visit to Seasalter.  A walk over the plots was very quiet except for 2 chiffs, 1 cetti's, c.30 swallows, 1 kestrel, blue tits and a flock of 46 goldfinches plus a few corvids. The crowning glory of the visit was a nice view of 4 bearded tits moving along the reeds beside the main dyke near the bridge followed by a sparrowhawk as I approached the car and a few minutes later a kingfisher sped along the seawall.

On the 15th last week I had a super view of a honey buzzard over the garden, my first Whitstable record and a few chiffs have been visiting the garden through the week plus a record 34 goldfinches around the feeders.

Friday, 2 September 2016

The Last Fortnight

16th August

A short visit to SS to check the high tide roost finding, 105 ringed plovers, 1 dunlin, 2 turnstones and a few gulls. Further west by the Sportsman, a wheatear next to the huts.


A very short visit as it was very hot, c.29 deg C, I saw230 black-tailed godwits, 9 egrets and 2 g.c.grebes

Birdfair for 2 days

Bank Holiday weekend (6 days)-

TALL SHIPS regatta at Blyth, Northumberland

31st Aug.
A day out to Wingham Wildlife Park with the grandsons, much better value than the Gorrilla parks, more to see as well.

 Humboldt's Penguin

 Checking the underparts

 Ring-tailed Lemurs

Blue and Yellow Macaw

1st September

Some birding at last after nearly two weeks and a visit to Seasalter as usual. Seemed very quiet plus everywhere was so dry and parched. The tide was well in towards the beach but not much on the waders front to see, 5 egrets, curlew and oystercatchers plus loads of gulls and a merlin over the sea going west. On the plots 2 stonechats, 1 sedge warbler, reed warbler, cetti's and 2 chiffs, just 2 swallows, no other hirundines.
Moved up to the LNR where I saw 3 wheatears and 3 whinchats, I only had my tiny camera so no 'proper photos'. Lots of small heath butterflies, 1 com, blue, 1 meadow brown and whites, I only noticed 1 hawker darting about.

3 Wheatears and Whinchats on the wall.

2nd September

Just an hour along the wall with the big camera to catch up with the chats which finally showed after patiently waiting for them! There were four wheatears and one whinchat this morning,



Small Heath

Monday, 15 August 2016

Ravens Galore and Travels Around Kent

7th August
I responded to a tweet GB had posted about four ravens he'd seen at SS. I quickly arrived and just saw them before they flew off inland together but there were five birds, a family group? Also a greenshank flew over head down on the beach where I also counted 26 egrets.

9th August
Had a day out visiting Samphire hoe, St. Margaret's and finally Lydden where I found some chalkhill blues and a silver-spotted skipper.

 Oak Eggar in the gents toilet, Samphire Hoe

 Hoverfly - Espisyrphus baleatus

 Chalkhill Blue

Silver-spotted Skipper

10th August
A visit to the plots at SS. revealed a few Essex skippers, blues and one brown argus , the first I'd found at SS.

 Brown Argus

 Essex Skippers

A visit to Scotney Castle produced a few small red-eyed damselflies and brown hawker plus a boring visit around the old lady's house.

Small Red-eyed Damelfly
Seasalter again, only produced 60 ringed plovers, and 1 dunlin on the roost plus a load of people! Went home.

Some shots from the Herne Bay airshow.

Most shots ruined by all the coloured smoke!

Missed a lovely red sunset at Seasalter, I kept looking out of the window whilst I was doing this blog- I'm spending too much time on the PC, its got to stop. Might have to just keep the Flickr going with a few added notes.