Monday, 31 August 2009

Halling (Common) August 31st

8am-10am overcast,slowly clearing,light south,quite warm,river on the way up,little exposed mud.
Birds of note today were 8 Avocets resting on the mud towards the northern end of the Common.The birds were present for about ten minutes before a boat came up river and pushed them off,they all then flew in the direction of Cuxton.This was a first for me to see Avocets this far inland along the Medway.
Other birds seen were-Mute Swan 3,Cormorant 4,G W Pecker 1,Wood Pigeon 20,Linnet 20,Greenfinch 15,Reed Bunting 6,Meadow Pipit 25,Yellow hammer 1,Blackbird 4,Wren 2,Collared Dove 6,Crow 6,Jackdaw 17 (flying over to Wouldham) Starling 20,Common Whitethroat 2,Blue and Great Tits.There was a small movement of Lapwing south,about 20 birds in all,7 Mallard were also present.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Halling Common,August 29th.

730am-830am,river high,clear,not much wind,southwest,chilly.Most of the expected birds were seen,but more in evidence were 20 House Martin,with one Sand feeding over the fields and Reed Buntings numbering at least 20.At the third stile whilst scanning the river I heard a Cetti`s call from a nearby dyke,the young birds are dispersing now into different areas.I did hear a bird of this species call from the small wood at the far end of the Common on May 31st,this year.

Sandwich Bay,August 30th.

Jeanette and I popped down to the (S B B O) Open Day,just before we had arrived a Treecreeper,quite a rare bird at Sandwich had just been released.However they did ring a nice juvenile male Sparrowhawk while we were there.

Halling (Common) August 30th.

After we had got back from Sandwich,Jeanette and I had a walk out onto Halling Common,1400-1500 by then it was rather cloudy and windy (southwest) and also very quite.However I did see a bird (two in fact) that I had been hoping to find over the last few visits,Whinchat.Both were put up from the low rank vegetation that is flooded by the high tides.One flew onto a post but with the wind blowing proved very hard to approach close enough for a good photo.The Mute Swans that were resting on the mud,now numbered three.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Halling Common,August 28th.

Weather,clear,windy southwest,chilly,river high,on the turn.

It was rather quite this morning,most of the birds were keeping low out of the wind, only the Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits were noticeable flying about the marsh.However there was a trickle of Sand Martins flying through south and 2 Swallows were over the fields.While I was looking at 4 Pheasants in the far fields a Peregrine came over chassing a Wood Pigeon but both were lost behind a row of trees,I think the Pigeon got away.

Halling Common,August 27th.

1230-2pm.Weather by the afternoon the cloud had mainly cleared.In the first Hawthorns just over the style was a mixed flock of Tits/Warblers and Buntings,comprising-15 Great Tits,3 Blue Tits,3 Whitethroats,1 Lesser,4 Reed Buntings,1 Yellowhammer and 1 Wilow Warbler.Two Buzzards were over the Downs at Wouldham,the remainder of the walk was rather quite,just one Stock Dove being of note.On my way back I met Ken,its nice to have met him at long last, he said he had seen 3 Buzzards over the Downs.After I had left him and on the way back to the car I had 4 (last year at about the same time,I had 7).Back at where I had parked my car,I heard and saw a Common Sandpiper flying down the river.

After I had left Halling I popped into Holborough to look at the river there.By then it was on its way back up,1 Little Egret,2 Common Sandpipers and 40 Lapwing were seen.

In the past at Holborough,I have had up to 17 Common Sandpipers (autumn) flying down the river in a tight flock on a rising tide.

New Hythe,August 27th.

Weather,overcast,grey,southwest,730am-9am.Walked from the Brookland car-park,along the river path,passing the sunken marsh and Abbey Mead,over the rail,past the Railway Lake and back down the Mill Stream path.Brookland lake was very quite,just 2 Mute Swan,1 Cormorant and several B h Gulls.On reaching the sunken marsh 2 Cetti`s called (they have been quite for a while) 6 Pheasants were put up from the path and 11 Cormorants were roosting on one of the Pylons.Abbey Mead has a growth of surface weed and has pulled in 100 Coot,2 G C Grebes and 1 Little were also present along with 2 adult and 2 young Mute Swan.On the Railway lake birds seen were-25 Coot,11 Tufted Duck,2 Mallard and 1 G C Grebe.The Streamside lake held,2 adult and 4 young G C Grebe,20 Coot and 15 B h Gull.By recent standards a very quite walk,very few small birds were seen.
New Hythe,August 30th,1983.Weather,cloudy,easterly.Birds seen-Whinchat3,Wheatear 1,Redstart 1 and Common Tern 1.During the afternoon a Reed Warbler was feeding in our Silver Birch (first and only garden record).

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Halling marsh (Common) August 26th.

The river was high,but on the turn.Weather flat overcast,light southwest,it had started to drizzle by the end of the walk.730 am-9am.

Two dog walkers were already out on the Common by the time I had arrived,but at least the dogs were on leads.Halling marsh (Common) reminds me of what the New Hythe area was like twenty or more years ago,with the numbers of finches,larks,buntings,pipits and wagtails that are in the area and the feeling of space is just great.

Full list of birds recorded-Herring Gull 60,G B b Gull 1,L B b Gull 6,Common Gull 6,B h Gull 60,Cormorant 6,Moorhen 2,Mute Swan 2,G W Pecker 1,G S Woodpecker 1,Mallard 6,Magpie 4,Crow 12,Jackdaw 24 (which flew across to Wouldham) Woodpigeon 20,Collared Dove 8,House Sparrow 4,Starling 30,Blue Tit 4 ,Great Tit 2,Willow Warbler 1,Common Whitethroat 3,Lesser Whitethroat 2,Blackbird 3,Song Thrush 1,Dunnock 2,Robin 1,Wren 1,Chaffinch 1,Linnet 25,Greenfinch 10,Goldfinch 20,Meadow Pipit 25,Yellowhammer 4,Reed Bunting 10,Skylark 1,House Martin 2,Heron 3,Lapwing 6.

A bird I first took to be a female Kestral flying low over the marsh and then across the river to Wouldham,was in fact a brown phase Cuckoo.While I was scanning the Downs in the distance above Upper Halling I saw a flock of Grelag Geese go down into one of the fields,two white Geese were with them,which I thought were probably feral Snow Geese.

I popped back in the early afternoon for a very short visit,by then the river was right down.As to be expected it was a lot quiter but I did find about four Common darter Dragonflies in one of the wet ditches (correct me if I am wrong).I`m surprised I have not seen a Redshank or Common Sandpiper yet,I know though the latter can be hard to see unless of course they fly.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Halling marsh,August 24th.

I walked north along the river wall and then back again to where I had parked the car on the edge of the housing estate (0730am-09:am.It was clear at first,then becoming light overcast,with a light southwesterly,warm,the river was halfway down.

The most notable birds seen were-10 Yellowhammer (mostly pairs)20 Linnet,10 Goldfinch,6 Reed Bunting,15 Meadow Pipits,2 Snipe and 3 Yellow Wagtails,the last named of which flew over south.On returning to the car,2 Little Egrets were seen feeding in the river shallows and 2 Lapwing flew up the river south.

It was nice to see the Yellow Wagtails,they are now very hard to find on my usual patch in the Holborough/Burham marsh/New Hythe/Leybourne lakes area.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

New Hythe,August 23rd 1968,Weather,clear and warm.

Sand Flat area (Brook House) birds seen-4 adult Sandwich Terns,8 Yellow Wagtails,3 Ringed Plover,2 Dunlin,1 Kestral,several Meadow Pipits and 1 juvenile Little Gull.The Gull and Terns later flew off in the direction of Leybourne.

New Hythe,August 23rd.

Ringing first thing in the east scrub,6:am-8:30am,1 40ft and 1 30ft net,weather,early morning cloud clearing,then clear and warm.Birds ringed-1 Garden Warbler,1 Lesser Whitethroat,4 Common Whitethroat,1 Blue Tit,2 Dunnock,1 Song Thrush and 4 Greenfinch.When I first arrived 20 Greenfinch left their roost site in the Hawthorns near the pylon.A Jay was photographed near the warden`s hut.

Later that morning Jeanette and I went for a walk on the Downs above Birling a Kestral and Hobby were seen.Later during the early evening a Sparrowhawk came high over the garden.

I have not heard a Nightingale in the area for about a week now (whistling and croaking calls)

Friday, 21 August 2009

Leysdown,August 19th.

Jeanette and I spent the morning at Leysdown,the tide was high and the weather very warm.About 100 Turnstones were present,along with 30 Sandwich Terns and 4 Little.

Sandwich Bay,August 16th.

Fewer migrants about today,however tape luring for House Martings resulted in about 80 being ringed.A adult female Montagu`s Harrier flew north over the White House trapping area,it was in wing moult (outer primaries).When I first saw this bird it was a lot closer and right overhead but at the time I busy extracting a Robin.

Halling marsh,August 14th.

During the afternoon I decided to go to the marshes at Halling.Walking along the river path I met several other bird-watchers who informed me they had been watching a immature Red-backed Shrike.Shortly after it appeared in its favourite Hawthorn and very nice it was too.A Red-backed Shrike was present in the same place and time of the year in 2008.Other birds seen were-8 Linnet,2 Yellowhammer,10 Meadow Pipit and 3 Little Egrets.A Buzzard which was being mobbed by a Sparrowhawk was seen above the Downs across the river at Wouldham.

Nightingale (control)

Nightingale V376216,ringed as a adult at Kingsnorth Power Station on the 23 04 2008 and controlled at New Hythe on the 26 04 2009.The bird had a wing length of 73mm,which points to it more likely to be a female,also females are less site faithful than males.21 singing males were located in the Leybourne/New Hythe area this year.

New Hythe,August 12th

Ringing first thing in the east scrub 0:600-0:900,one 40ft and one 30ft net.Birds ringed-1 Garden Warbler,1 Goldfinch,1 Chiffchaff,1 Chaffinch,6 Whitethroat,3 Lesser Whitethroats,2 Dunnock,3 Great Tit and 2 L T Tits.

Sandwich Bay,August 8th,9th.

Misty first thing,then clear and warm.The first big arrival of the autumn occurred on the 8th,a total of 106 birds were trapped,which included 40 Willow Warblers.The overall total would have been higher if more ringers had been available.
On the 9th,ringing was concentrated in the Maize field,it resulted in a catch of 90 birds,which were all mainly Reed and Sedge Warblers,apart from one Grasshopper Warbler.Other birds seen on the estate included,3 Redstart,15 Lesser Whitethroat,30 Common Whitethroats,good numbers of Garden Warblers,1 Marsh Harrier,Sparrowhawk and Garganey.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

New Hythe,August 2nd

Ringing in the east scrub from 05:am-09:am birds caught- 1 Nightingale,1 Chaffinch,3 Blackbirds,1 Song Thrush,1 Wren,1 Chiffchaff,1 Willow Warbler,1 Lesser Whitethroat,1Reed Warbler,1 Greenfinch,1 Bullfinch,4 Common Whitethroat and 10 L T Tits,2 of which were retraps,one was ringed in the east scrub on the 28 o8 08 and the other on the 16 09 08.

L T Tits are highly sedentary mainly moving short distances in loose flocks.In some years birds of the race coudatus occur in Britain (white headed birds).The oldest bird I have on record is 7 years (ringed at Eccles on the 18 04 81 and retrapped at Aylesford on the 24 01 88 and the longest distance was of a bird ringed at Cliffe Woods,Rochester on the 20 08 83 and controlled at New Hythe on the 06 04 85.(15 Km S).

New Hythe,July 30th

A quick look in produced one Curlew flying high over the area (only heard) 4:30 pm.