Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Bluebells and Nightingale and Grasshopper Warbler

19th April
Something different, I went to King wood to photograph bluebells!



23rd April

Another visit to the patch and getting out of the car I heard a cuckoo  calling from over on the plots and seaward three whimbrel flew past.  Moments later Julian arrived and then Geoff, who was already there as well, texted,  'greenshank on the beach'. We crossed the road down to the beach just in time to see and hear it flying west.  Last evening, I made a short visit and heard a nightingale on the plots, so this morning I hoped it was still going to be there. Sure enough it was keeping company with the grasshopper warbler close by and further on, super ears Julian heard another which he located enabling me to get a record shot. I could see it singing but couldn't hear a thing!



Two or three cetti's made their presence known plus plenty of song from sedge/reed warblers, wrens whitethroats, goldfinches, one long-tailed tit and a couple of stock doves etc..  Later, I went to the Sportsman and the sheep field opposite held seven wheatears with another three by the huts. A short walk up to the wall revealed  four meadow pipits, 2 pied wagtails and three linnets and in the reedbed reed and sedge warblers.  On the sea there were seven great crested grebes, six brents and three shelducks.


PM.

Called into Dunkirk briefly to see four ring ouzels.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Grasshopper Warbler Returns

Sunday16th April

I had a walk around the plots meeting up with Geoff, birds seen were; 2 lesser whitethroats, 4 common whitethroats, several blackcaps, 7 swallows, c.200 goldfinches as they were tracking west all morning in small groups of 12-15, 1 reed warbler, 2 stonechats, 1 grasshopper warbler, 2 marsh harriers, 2 common terns, c.40 teal. Moving on to Wraik Hill I saw 2 bullfinches on the side of the road, another lesser whitethroat and a nightingale singing away on the Foxes Cross hill slope. Later I returned to the seafront to photograph wheatears again.










Camera Business

9th April

A walk around the plots produced a willow warbler and a sand martin which were new for the year and a couple of cetti's, 3 chiffs and 3 blackcaps were noted.

10th

I went up onto Wraik Hill for a change and could see shelduck out on the levels plus 4 Canada geese and 4 greylags with a white farmyard goose keeping them company. On the Hill itself, a couple of chiffs, 1 willow warbler, wrens, robins and a swallow. Moving back down to SS Lane I saw heron, marsh harrier and a stock dove. 

11th 

A photography day looking for wheatears where I found 3 by the huts plus a few linnets, 3 swallows 1 sand martin and a grey plover on the beach at high tide.




15th

First thing this morning I went to PCworld to get an A3 printer that was on offer then back down to SS finding a few wheatears and pied wagtails to photograph.









Monday, 17 April 2017

Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears

8th April

What a hot day, shirtsleeves at this time of the year! Mainly a photography day along the LNR and around the huts where I found a wheatear and further on 2 yellow wagtails plus lots of reed buntings coming onto the wall to feed on insects.  Also I noted 3 Canada geese flying westwards and I counted 90 shelduck just off Castle Coote with 11 wigeon. 










Heat haze was a problem with photographing birds on the hot wall.

Sedge Warblers Arrive

2nd April

I went to see the judging of the Kent County Photographic Association's annual competition which lasted all day. however, I was back early enough to have a quick visit to Seasalter finding my first sedge warbler of the year but no owls.

3rd April

It was a bright, misty morning with some sunny periods later on as I checked out SS Lane. I saw 2 Canada geese on the levels plus several lapwings, possibly c.30 birds present, 1 heron, 3 mallard, 5 swans, 1 cetti's, blackbirds, chaffinches, coots, 4 jackdaws on the field behind.  At the sea front there were 29 shelduck just off the pumping station, (they seem to gather there at this time of the year lately), 6 redshank, a few brents, 25 curlew and 1 g.b.b.gull.  On the plots; 2 chiffchaffs, 6 wrens, 1 heron, the 2 Canadas flew over heading towards Sheppey, 2 cetti's, 1 sedge warbler and 8 linnets.  

5th  April

A trip to Eagle Heights with the grandchildren, I took several photos but deleted virtually except some head shots of the Steller's.  When they flew the Steller's it did go very high finding a friend in the shape of a red kite which just followed it around, clearly mystified at this huge bird.

A huge 'conk' on the Steller's Sea Eagle.

7th April

At Wraik Hill I couldn't hear any nightingales but saw a pair of bullfinches, 1 blackcap, 1 jay and scoping down on the levels, 7 shelduck, 1 egret, swans and lapwings but little else on the flooded scrapes, kept wet by the pump. Back at the seafront just 1 redshank, 3 curlew, 3 cormorants and inland, 2 cetti's, a blackcap, reed buntings, plus 2 swallows and a wheatear on the track down to the concrete bridge.







Sunday, 9 April 2017

1st April

I took the boys to football first thing but was rewarded later with a view of the waxwing flock behind the Jet Garage at 10.30 as I went to Seasalter. At SS, so quiet so just spent time photographing reed buntings etc. again.





I returned at 7.00pm seeing the barn owl and a short-eared owl plus 4 Canada geese flying over, seemingly going to land on the levels. 

The Last Half of March

I didn't get out much mid March, certainly nothing worth a report but on the 21st at Seasalter 3 greylags appeared and 5 the day before. On the 30th I spent most of the morning at SS finding a chiffchaff along SS lane, 1 cetti's and 7 jackdaws on the field behind whilst out on the levels c.30 lapwing were busy flying about prospecting.  

Skylark

At the seafront the mudflats were empty of wader flocks just, 6 brents, 1 egret, 2 shelducks and a few gulls. Moving up to the LNR I caught sight of a falcon as I got out of the car, a merlin perhaps but I didn't get a good look at it. A cetti's burst into song near the PH and high up a buzzard was circling but otherwise it was quiet. I spent the rest of the time trying to get some photos of reed bunting and anything else that came into range.


 Reed Buntings

 Meadow Pipit


Magpie

On the 30th I went to get some fulmar shots and was surprised seeing a peregrine flying overhead. Fulmars were hanging in the air enabling some good shots....plenty of pipits and skylarks in the area.








Thursday, 16 March 2017

Migrants and a NEW Bird for Kent

13th March

Just a short visit to SS for an hour finding a buzzard, c.300 redwings in the Graveney cherry orchard and along SS seafront, a swallow, my earliest record.

15th

A trip to Rye Harbour for a couple of hours whilst the other half did the town! I have not been for a year or so but every time I visit I'm so impressed with the way it is run and always new improvements made.  The first surprise were c.40 odd avocets on the floods, never seen that many before, however, not many migrants except the c.100 Sandwich terns on the main 'lake', I only expected a couple. Hardly any birders about I had the main 'sea side' hide to myself which was nice.












16th March

I took a drive over towards Belmont/ Eastling hoping to get photos of buzzards but there seemed to be very few, only 2 or 3 today. However, what was of interest was a large bird of prey being mobbed by gulls as I slowly drove along the tiny roads, some more like tracks. Quickly stopping I could see large white wing patches and tail plus a large bill which reminded me of caracaras of Central America. I got a few grab shots as it flew about and it finally landing in a tree. Whilst going back to the car for the scope it flew off but I found it again after a long drive around the lanes, it had returned to the next field amidst the 93 Med gulls I counted! It sat at the back of the field and stayed until I left, it's ID was that of a crested caracara, a first for Kent, lol.  If they can have a Chinese pond heron why not a ship assisted caracara as it had no rings or jessies, its on my list! 

 Crested Caracara




 I counted 93 Med gulls in one field