Thursday, 29 July 2010

July 28th (Holborough marsh and river)

Before I looked at the scrape I stood by the river to see how many Common Sandpipers would come into the high tide roost.I estimated between 15-20 birds,while I was there 3 young Shelduck flew down the river heading towards Halling and 1 Buzzard was seen high over the Downs at Burham.
I had a look at the scrape on Holborough marsh from 1:30pm-2:30 it was nice and warm so quite a few birds were dropping in for a drink.The birds I saw were - Little Egret 1,Grey Heron 1,Lapwing 40+,Green Sandpiper 2,Stock Dove 3,Wood Pigeon 20,Kestral 1,Swallow 2 and Linnet 2.I was very pleased to see the Linnets as they were the first I have seen at Holborough since 2001,the Linnet population crashed there between 1996 and 2001,from ten pairs to one (the habitat stayed the same,it wasn`t just a local decline).

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

July 27th (Halling Common)

7:45-9:30am patchy cloud,very warm and close,river low.
This morning I walked along the river path to the far end (salt marsh area) and then retraced my steps.Full list of all species seen or heard (29) Little Egret 1,Grey Heron 3,Cormorant 3,Mallard 6,Mute Swan 2,Herring Gull 5,L B b Gull 3,G B b Gull 1,Common Gull 2,B h Gull 200+,Crow 6,Magpie 15,Starling 25,Greylag Goose 2,Woodpigeon 40+,Collared Dove 4,Moorhen 6,Greenfinch 3,Goldfinch 1,Dunnock 1,House Sparrow 5,Linnet 4,Reed Bunting 4,Common Whitethroat 3,Reed Warbler 5,Blue Tit 6,House Martin 3,Yellowhammer 1,Redshank 1.The Redshank was the first I have seen in the area since the winter (February).

Monday, 26 July 2010

July 26th (New Hythe)

7:45-9:30am.cloudy northwest.Most of the young Herons in the Heronry on Eccles island have now fledged,recent estimates of occupied nests there have been between 30-40.I remember recording the first instance of nesting on the island with one pair in the spring of 1993,the year winter shooting was stopped on the island.
On the walk round the lakes this morning far fewer birds were singing just 2 Reed Warbler,2 Blackcap,1 Blackbird,and 2 Song Thrush.Along the river which was low I had 25+ B h Gulls,2 Herring Gulls,5 Mallard,7 Canada Geese and 1 Common Tern,the latter of which was on the gravel island opposite the small wood and was probably one of the birds that frequents Brookland lake.Both of the scrub areas were rather quite,just a small mixed Tit flock,1 Green Woodpecker,1 Chiffchaff and 1 Nightingale family.This July I have heard far less of the Nightingales than in past years (whistles and croaking call,used mainly when with young).I have a feeling that some pairs may have failed in their nesting attempt,which is probably not surprising considering the increase in thoughtless dog walkers.I would be interested if anyone knows whether the pylon (east scrub bird) stayed on territory this spring ( most of its territory was reduced to ground level not long before it arrived back).Only I heard it for a short while when the birds first arrived back,but then I have a feeling it might have moved across to the railway lake area where 3 birds were singing against each other in quite a small area of scrub by the entrance gate to the central causeway.
On the way back to the car along the millstream I had another Green Woodpecker,1 Great spot and the usual small flock of Goldfinch feeding on the thistles that border part of the stream.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

July 25th (Leysdown)

The pics of the Oystercatchers were taken from the track leading down to Shellness (Sheppey) by the way they were acting their young couldn`t have been far away.

When I got back from Leysdown I had a look at the scrape in the north field on Holborough marsh,its retaining water nicely.Birds seen - Common Sandpiper 1,Mallard 2,Lapwing 18,Moorhen 3.I also had 4 Swifts overhead and a purring Turtle Dove.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

July 24th (Cuxton river at Pools)

Remaining bright and warm.river (high water) birds seen - several L B B Gulls,20+ B h Gulls and 2 ad and 3 Juv Shelduck.
Pools birds seen - Little Egret 1,Lapwing 5,Kingfisher 1,B h Gull 26,L B B Gull 1 and Common Sandpiper 1.

Has anyone else noticed a fall off this year in local Buzzards sightings.Only last year I was seeing birds practically every time I went out (North Downs/Birling/Halling/Wouldham/Burham).

Thursday, 22 July 2010

July 22nd (New Hythe)

Another nice day,6:am-9:am I was ringing this morning in the hawthorns alongside the river.Birds ringed - Cetti`s Warbler ( 1 ad) Reed Warbler (4 ad 1 juv) Blackbird (1 ad) Dunnuck (1 ad 1juv).

Birds seen - 3 G B B Gulls,2 Green Woodpecker,2 Great spotted Woodpecker,2 Bullfinch,1 Nightingale,1 Common Tern,2 Whitethroat and 2 Oystercatcher.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

July 20th (New Hythe)

Overcast,still and very humid.8:am-10:am.Birds of note during my walk this morning were 2 Commom Tern and 1 Kingfisher at Brookland,11 Canada Geese and the family party of Shelduck along the river,3 Bullfinch and 1 Nightingale seen in in the riverside hawthorns,3 broods of Tufted Duck on the dipping pool,2 Green Woodpecker in the east scrub and totals of 7 singing Blackcap and 4 singing Song Thrush.The Whooper Swan remains on Tesco lake,along with many well grown young Greylag.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

July 18th (Halling Common)

1:pm-2:pm nice and bright,light SW.Not a lot to report in the way of birds but it was nice to see the Grey seal again hauled out on the west bank in its favourite spot.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

July 15th (Dungeness)

I found myself at Dungeness (7:am ARC pits) this morning looking at a distant White-tailed Plover,a bird I could have seen on Sunday and probably a lot closer if I had known it was in the area.Jeanette and I had called into Dungeness on the Sunday but didn`t call in at the reserve centre like we usually do to see what was about.Anyway today I spent most of the morning and early afternoon hoping it would fly closer but it never did preferring instead to stay on small vegetated islands which are way out to the left of the screen hide.However I did have good views through a scope,a cracking bird with its soft plumage tones and long yellow legs.I have seen the species before many years ago when myself and Bod Bland went on a bird watching holiday to Eilat.My note book reports we saw one bird on the salt pans there but it flew off before we had a chance to see it properly,so to be able to watch this bird today over such a long period was very pleasing.
Other notable birds seen from the screen were - Little Egret 3, Med Gull 1, Green Sandpiper 2,Common Sandpiper 1,L R Plover 1 and Garganey 1.I aso had a short visit out along the Denge marsh road seeing - Bittern 1,G W Egret 1 and Purple Heron 1,what a day---GREAT.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

July 13th (Halling Common)

I was pleased to see the Grey Seal that had been reported in the area earlier.Not very many birds were seen but the more interesting are listed - Oystercatcher 2,Skylark 3,Yellowhammer (2 males) Linnet 5,Whitethroat 2 and Reed Warbler 2.

Monday, 12 July 2010

July 11th (Holborough marsh)

Sunny and warm. I walked around Holborough marsh during the morning -birds noted Oystercatcher 4,Lapwing 30,Green Woodpecker 1,Lesser Whitethroat 1,Cetti`s Warbler 1,Reed Bunting 2,Turtle Dove 2.

Thursday, 8 July 2010


WADERS Common Sandpiper 1 New Hythe 2nd,2 on 23rd.Green Sandpiper 2 along the river 6th.HERON 4 in the Eccles island area during the month.COMMON TERN 4 New Hythe 23rd.CETTI`S WARBLER first breeding record for the area,juvenile trapped (Reed island site) 13th.TREE SPARROW 1 trapped (Reed island site) 13th.L S WOODPECKER 1 seen on Eccles island during the month.

July 8th (New Hythe)

8:am-10:am overcast to start slowly clearing.This morning I parked in the Brookland car park,as I walked past the lake out to the river I noted 2 Common Tern,1 Kingfisher,3 Green Woodpecker,6 Goldfinch 1 Blackcap and 1 Lesser Whitethroat.At the river which was almost high the Shelduck were seen again and 1 G B B Gull ( Herring Gulls and L B B Gulls are seen most days in the area and in all months) small numbers have been breeding on the Alyesford Paper Mill site which is on the edge of the recording area for many years).Two Linnet flew over the sunken marsh and along the river path I again came across the family of Nightingale.I find it possible to locate the adults by the croaking note but that whistle appears to come from all directions.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

July 6th

During the afternoon I called in at New Hythe and saw one Common Tern on Brookland,a Cuckoo and a flyover Med Gull.

Monday, 5 July 2010

July 5th (New Hythe)

I was out between 8:am-10:am. the weather continues warm and dry,although there was more cloud today.
Walking around this morning I noticed that there was still quite a lot of bird song Whitethroat,Reed Warbler,Chiffchaff,Blackcap,Garden Warbler,Cetti`s Warbler,Willow Warbler,Song Thrush and Blackbird.Along the river I noted 4 Cormorant,1 Oystercatcher,2 Stock Dove,6 young Heron and a flock of 15 Lapwing (probably part of the late summer returning movements).The Shelduck brood was seen but I could only see 5,originally there were 8.The river path through the hawthorns held 4 juvenile Lesser Whitethroat,2 Bullfinch,a family party of Nightingale and a mixed Tit flock consisting of Great,L T T and Blue,a Jay was also seen.Crossing over the railway I had a a very quick sighting of a Hobby over the east scrub and on the way back along the millstream a juvenile Green Woodpecker was seen along with 2 more Nightingale,1 Garden Warbler and a Sparrowhawk.

I went back in the afternoon to photograph a Purple hairstreak that was frequenting the Oaks on top of the mound at Brookland lake.Unfortunately I had to be content with just a record shot as most of the time it was just out of camera range.Although they can be common in some years this was a New Hythe tick for me,nice one Phil.