Friday, 14 August 2015

The last Few Days - Plus my first look at the new 'Kent Breeding Bird Atlas'

Fri. 7th Aug

Down on the beach at 7.30 hoping for some more tern activity but nothing. Met GB who was doing the same I think, he at least saw 7 greenshanks on the beach near the white post. We walked around the patch finding the usual whitethroats, goldfinches and stonechats plus two great spotted woodpeckers which was new for the month. Out on the mudflats, c.50 blackwits redshanks, 2 whimbrel, 15+ egrets but no big numbers of migrant waders.


A nice flat calm this morning, high tide at 10.45, no wind, what a difference the weather makes.  I counted 72 turnstones on the oyster dredger and 7 grebes on the sea but not much else to see with the tide in. Out on the fields it was nice to see a large flock of c.125 goldfinches again, a few years ago there were flock sizes of c.400 feeding on the thistles heads! Other birds included green wpker, reed bunting, whitethroat, 2 stonechats, 19 swallows 3 stock doves, 2 blackbirds and on the field opposite the Sportsman c.100 black-headed gulls with eight common gulls plus a count of 216 curlews which were all flushed by a marsh harrier.
I went over to Oare to see the white-rumped sandpiper, always miles away so just poor record shots.

White-rumped Sandpiper
Thurs 13th

A strong easterly failed to produce much at Seasalter, just 5 gannets in the misty conditions.

Fri. 14th

A humid and dull start but very mild, 19 degs.. First stop was by the NRA outfall where there were 5 greenshanks on the mud, first I've seen for a few years on the mud, normally heard as flyovers. Moving up to the Sportsman accompanied by Ted Lee we saw a flock of c.100 linnets, 1 snipe and 1 yellow wagtail but no sign of wheatears or whinchat.  Returning eastwards the lone rook put in an appearance and a quick look over the sea I saw a fulmar  fairly close in heading west, I've not seen one for a couple years. Moving inland the large goldfinch flock was still evident plus several swallows, sand martins and at least 1 house martin tracking west, some very high. Ted saw a whinchat but I only got on it as it flew away and attempts to re-find it failed. However, scanning the willows revealed a willow warbler which was our 39th specie after which we retired for lunch!

I returned in the afternoon for an hour and found 4 stonechats, a sparrowhawk, pied wagtail and to my surprise a juvenile grey partridge jumped up beside me flying away into the long grass, a 'first' for the year.

A couple of days ago I picked up a copy of the new 'Kent Breeding Bird Atlas', I was surprise how well it was put together and presented, a most professional job, congratulations to all those involved. Well worth a purchase, 216 pages on quality paper, lots of photographs and text.


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