Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Seasalter and Oare

I haven't been far this week just down to Seasalter and over to Oare where waders numbers are on the up. At SS a walk on the plots only produced a few whitethroats etc and a few butterflies. On the incoming tide the shingle bank was full of herring,  grt b bk. gulls plus three lessers, one of the herring gulls covered in some yellow marking of unknown origin.

 Yellow marked Herring gull

 Essex Skipper


An Evening Visit to Seasalter

I visited Oare this afternoon as the weather was good plus the tide was high  which put the light in the right position.  A thousand blackwits maybe, c.50 dunlin, 2 ruff, 4 curlew sandpipers, 1 wood sandpiper at least, c.200 redshank plus a handful of golden plovers etc. etc.. One clouded yellow flew past the layby Also a bevy of birdographers in the form of Mark Chidwick, Mike Hook, Tim Gutsell and later Steve Ashton plus a couple of unknown's.

Wood Sandpiper

 Little Grebe Family

 Curlew Sandpiper

 Juv. Med Gull spotted by MC

On the way home I called into West Beach at Whitstable and got a couple of shots of the clouded yellows that seem to be all along the coast, even a report of one in Thornden Wood.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Too Hot This Week

I don't like this hot humid weather so I only managed a few short outings around the local area. Its still quiet on the patch but on the 20th there were 12 common terns along the shore half a dozen egrets, lots of blkwits, a marsh harrier around the pumping station area. I caught up with another family of  stonechats, that's three pairs with fledged young, the best season so far, mind you they are well of the 'reserves'. A couple of short walks up to the seawall at S.Swale was as usual, a couple of reed buntings and reed warblers, still can't find a bearded tit!

 No swallowtail but several tortoiseshells

On the 24th a text from Andy Malone informing that he had seen a swallowtail along west beach whilst walking his dog that evening but a quick search with others revealed it was long gone!

 Egrets at Seasalter

Another trip out on the 25th revealed a healthy vista of wild flowers on Wraik Hill but no birds to speak of, the only highlight was a hare on the brow of the hill, the first I've ever seen!

 Heron at ISO 640

An evening visit to Oare produced the usual avocets, blackwits, herons etc but just a beautiful time to be out. A ruff flew in and landed nearly close to the road giving a few opportunities for the little camera.

On Saturday 26th I went to Swalecliffe after an uneventful hour at SS and spent time socialising with GJWB and Ted Lee. However, two clouded yellow butterflies were flying about over the beach and I finished off helping GB with his flat tyre and the messy kit of fluid and pump given these days to get you out of trouble. It did work to an extent even with a split in the side wall. I then followed him some of the way home where after he disappeared into the distance still inflated!!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Is Autumn On Its Way

I've not been out since my last post due to 'work' but managed a couple of hours on the plots Saturday. I first had a stop along Seasalter Lane where, in the gloomy weather I saw a female marsh harrier perched on a post out on the marsh, then later two juvenile harriers flew up close by. It would appear the pair had success in raising a brood somewhere. I noticed another nest on one of the pylons, maybe a crow perhaps... 

Fairly quiet otherwise, a couple of reed warblers, goldfinch etc.. but birding along a road with no path isn't wise for too long.  Moving down to the seafront I was surprised to see eight egrets in one of the tidal pools as the tide was rapidly coming in.  On the  plots, near the concrete bridge, my earliest autumn kingfisher unless a breeder somewhere. Several young linnets, 2 great tits, 1 blue tit, 4 swallows and whitethroats etc. were flitting about and over the sheep field c.200 curlews plus one blackwit and 18 lapwing took flight. Along the dyke 2 common terns were flying up and down fishing.  I had a walk along the seawall, not finding much but took a photo of a small white but nothing much else appeared.

Small White

On the beach I noticed loads of seaweed, Enteromorpha recently washed up in thick masses on the water's edge.

Today, (Sun) I went over to Oare where I bumped into Mark Chidwick. On the flood there were at least 3 wood sandpipers, plus a distant spotted redshank.  Plenty of blackwits as usual, a little grebe with young was swimming up and down the ditch next to the road. A marsh harrier flew over and later caught a frog but nothing much else to get excited about. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Last Few Days

I had a change of scenery and went for a couple of walks in the Clowes Wood complex, nothing to see very special except the white admiral butterflies. My first was at the winding pond along with large red and common blue damselflies plus the odd emperor. Plenty of goldfish in the old large pond and a couple of chiffs and chaffinches in the area. On another day, Thornden wood proved much the same with a few more white admirals close to the road plus a few insect shots for the camera.

 Unfortunately, a tatty specimen!
Long-horned Beetle - Strangalia maculata
 Large Red Damselflies

Azure Damselfly

Today, (the 8th) I made a visit to Seasalter having a walk around the plots and along the nearby beach. The beach only revealing 1 turnstone, the tide was just beginning to leave the beach. The 'island' is not so much of an island now, it will be interesting to see how this effects the roosting birds. More shingle build up from the tidal drift in the years to come may develop into something quite attractive to birds but also to humans!

The 'island' that once was and still is at high tides, just about! Photo taken with phone.

The walk around the plots was quiet but 3 whitethroats, 2 reed warblers, 3 linnets, 1 marsh harrier, 1 pr of swans with six full size cygnets, two other adults plus blackbirds and starlings etc.. Lots of Essex skippers and meadow browns plus 4 peacocks. Odonata was thin on the ground with only one blue-tailed damsel, 1-2 emperors, 2 black-tailed skimmers, and a couple of c. darters, very poor.

Essex Skipper- I think

 Common Darter

Blue-tailed Damselfly - rufescens . Only one shot before it flew