Sunday, 13 April 2014

Migrants at Last

10th April:
I ventured back to Wraik Hill hoping for nightingale and soon heard one on the council owned block, half way down the hill plus a willow warbler was in song. Back on the top of the hill I met Mark, the new Kent Trust warden for the Canterbury area who was there to do some fencing work with a couple of volunteers. I didn't walk around the site but continued down to the levels finding two cetti's territories along SS. Lane. At the seafront it was hight tide and a flat calm but nothing on the sea except 19 g.c.grebes, 3 shelduck and 19 turnstones roosting on the dredger moored just off the beach. Very little about, although I did catch sight of a stonechat out on the pasture behind the Sportsman PH perched on one of the bushes ripped out by the farmer so there's no bushes at all, plus the 'dam' he ripped out  in the main dyke is still not reinstated so the reedbed will dry out in time!

Went to Oare marsh seeing two garganey that Geoff Burton found earlier plus c.400 blkwits, a good number of redshank and half a dozen sedge warblers. Met up with Geoff and walked along to Uplees finding two swallows and 2 Med gulls in the channel, 58 grey plovers on the other side plus three buzzards. There was a lot of military aircraft over the area starting with an Apache helicopter, 2 Tornados (thanks to Charlie Vint's ID skills) and a Chinook. Not much for the camera this morning.

Another visit to Wraik Hill finding yellowhammer along Pye Alley Lane, blackcaps, chiffs and the usual hedgerow birds. As always, the friendly blue tit wanted to give my car the once over, checking the mirrors, paintwork and tyres.

No nightingales evident on Wraik Hill but the one on the lower slope was still present and further down on the levels a peregrine was perched on one of the pylons and 2 cetti's on the Mt Pleasant corner and another one further along plus the barn owl was still in town. Finished there today!

Again, another visit to Wraik Hill top this time finding a nightingale at last, I was worried with all the savage inroads to the scrub, plus two or three chiffs and a blackcap. I managed to get a shot of a  orange tip, they rarely land for me, almost got it square on but at the last nano second it flew so I had to be content with a side on shot. Speckled woods were also in flight.

A new meaning to scrub bashing!


 Orange Tip

Speckled Wood
Moving down to the levels I met Geoff Burton again who had heard a nightingale at to another site close by, totalling three in the area. There were no sedge warbler song along the road but a stonechat put in an appearance plus a buzzard, swallow and peregrine. Cetti's were evident here and further along the lane but no whitethroats.  Down at the coast there were no terns  but  a dozen turnstones were roosting on the barge. A walk around the plots revealed the two 'wild' horses were now three as a young foal was close to its mummy and a marsh harrier and kestrel were hunting over the fields. A few mallards were jumping up out of the grass and 4 gadwall flew flew up from the dyke it appeared and two sedge warblers burst into 'song'. The 'best' bird and new record for Whitstable was a muscovy duck sitting in one of the damp patches near the conifers! Very little else except several peacock butterflies plus a red admiral and tortoiseshells.

1 comment:

Marc Heath said...

Nice to see you have been out and about Mike, your visits will no doubt be rewarded soon