Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Egrets Galore, Kent's MEGA plus new ticks.

A bit of sun at last but I still had to endure the fresh westerly, so another walk around the patch finding my first winter kingfisher then a greenfinch flew overhead, another month tick, fairly scarce here.  A female marsh harrier took off from a small tree and was escorted away by four crows meanwhile 12-15 siskins made their way west. The resident goldfinches, stonechats and cetti's made their presence known plus a half a dozen swallows were heading west.  Other than magpies and crows etc it was fairly quiet.  

Coffee break on the beach bench allowed time to do a count of the egrets spread out along the waterline and I arrived at high count of 54, the most this year!

 Some Of The Little Egrets

I took another look over the patch, accompanied by another regular sighting, Geoff B.. Nothing much different to yesterday but 14 greylags flying towards Oare were new for the year, others seen were  willow warbler, 3 siskins, 1 blackcap, chiffchaff and green woodpecker etc.. Five herons sunning themselves in the conifers was a pleasant surprise.

A work day with kids but managed to get the afternoon off to go and see Kent's mega at Dungeness, the Acadian Flycatcher presumably from the USA.

After all the rain it was strange to have a nice sunny day but still had the wind penalty, however, down to the patch at Seasalter again where I met Martin Wilson (the Whitstable one). Together we had a wander around finding the kingfisher again, a couple of skylarks, c.25 siskins going west, 3 chiffs and my first goldcrest of the year. Another month tick were 7 teal giving the place the once over but decided to go elsewhere, also a few swallows plus three house martins and the usual chats etc..
When discussing the rain, Martin announced his rain gauge had recorded three and a half inches so far this month!

Friday, 18 September 2015

No Birding Today But..........

Friday 18th September

An unexpected school run was dropped on me today plus a appointment in the morning meant I've only one outing over the last five days. However, hirundines were still streaming past overhead and on route to Canterbury I narrowly missed a fifty strong flock of siskins skimming across the road. Later on in the afternoon, whilst tending  my flock, the only birding possible was to  watch the c.20 goldfinches, plus sparrows and blue tits on the garden feeders but an unexpected siskin brightened up the proceedings during the rainy afternoon. I was able to get several shots through the double glazing and rain as it stayed for about half an hour. A year tick for the garden!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Siskin Day

17th September

At last a morning with no rain but an appointment made for a late start, so it was down to the plots at 10.30.  It looked fairly quiet, just the usual stonechats but no whitethroats etc however a flock of c.70 siskins were flying west skimming over the field at a height of about five feet. These were followed by another three flocks of about 30-40 in each, no doubt more before and after I left. A few stock dove singles were also flying west  along with small numbers of mipits.  A couple of cetti's made their presence known and a solitary rook flew in from the east and all the time a steady number of hirundines were flying through.

22 Little Egrets Along The Coast

Next I took a walk up to the wall on the LNNR finding the usual big flock of linnets and goldfinches and on the way back 2 whinchats on the 'chalet track'.  I also came across a lone small heath in the wet grass.

Tonight at 7.00 pm hirundines were still moving through over my house.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Redstart Day

13th September
Another foray to Seasalter seafront finding 2 Sandwich terns, a new tick for the month and inland much the same as before with several stonechats (2 families), 2 blackcaps, lesser whitethroat plus 4 commons, blue and great tits, 1 chiffchaff but no whinchat, however, a nice redstart as I left - quite busy with birds this morning.  I moved up to the Sportsman seeing my first lapwing this month on the field opposite along with a big flock of curlew. Overhead two hobbys were hunting together (another month tick) and around the huts c.10 mipits and c.70 linnets and on the access track 2 blackcaps, 1 lesser whitethroat and a redstart.  


Winter's Back

12th. September

A very late start this morning but just in time to count 370 ringed plovers on the beach with 5 dunlin, the c.100 turnstones preferring to roost on the 'barge'.  Moving up to the Sportsman and a walk up to the start of the wall revealed 2 wheatears, c.80 linnets and a dozen mipits. Out on the sea 2 wigeons and 35 brents were almost mid-channel, very early to see this amount and talking to one of the chalet owners who estimated c.90 yesterday plus 2 redstarts hanging about.  Lastly, a tired looking buzzard came in off the sea it appeared and was attacked by crows as it looked for somewhere to perch and rest.

More Little Terns

Friday 11th

It was a beautiful morning, with just a light SE breeze and 22 degs., my first stop was on the seawall by the YC. Here there were lots of oystercatchers feeding fairly close to the shore where some of the green 'weed' was growing and where its too shallow for the cocklers etc to work. Further out I picked up four little terns resting on the mud along with 22 egrets dotted along the shoreline, not many other waders though.  Back at the NRA pumping station a few robins had taken up winter residence plus a cetti's burst into song. Inland, 4-7 stonechats, 1 lesser whitethroat, 4 blue tits, 1 blackcap, 1 whinchat and a green woodpecker pluus it was good to see the lone rook back on the wires by Waldens. Several common darters and a couple of migrant hawkers were on the wing plus a small copper put in an appearance.

 Migrant Hawker

Common Darter

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Last four Weeks

10th September

Its been a busy period over the last four weeks so no posts and not much photography.  However, a quick note of what I've seen.

 13th Aug. I saw 5 gannets in the misty conditions

14th. 5 greenshanks off the NRA at Seasalter plus a snipe and a couple of yellow wags plus a year tick.......a fulmar. A grey partridge another year tick on the plots.

15th.  Herne Bay Airshow!

16th.,  11 grey plovers, 10 gc grebes, 2 whinchats, 2 stonchats, 1 cetti's, 1 great spot, chiffchaff and lots of whitethroats and goldfinches.

Suffolk for a couple of days visiting Minsmere one afternoon, pretty poor I thought, more birds at Oare and closer then onto the Birdfair Saturday.

25th... c.225 ringed plovers on the beach at SS and a redstart by the pumping station.

28th.. 215 ringed plovers, 5 common sandpipers, a flock of 13 buzzards together, 3 stonechats, 2 whinchats and 1 sedge warbler.

29th.. 9 little terns, c.75 linnets.

30th.. 44 little egrets, 22 g.c.grebes, hardly any waders on the mudflats.

2nd Sept..1 Spotted flycatcher 50yds from the Sportsman, 29 egrets, hardly anything visible on the plots.

3rd.  260 golden plovers by the YC and a cettis at the NRA

5th. 1 hobby perched on a gate just beyond the Sportsman on the pasture.

10th.  2 whinchats, several stonechats and a barn owl