Monday, 26 December 2011

December 26th ( Sheppey)

The Brent Geese were feeding as usual in the fields just before the car park at Shellness.
Jeanette and I always try to go to either Sheppey or Dungeness on Boxing Day,this year we chose to go to Sheppey.
We parked at Leysdown and walked along the beach to Shellness,seeing on the way,Brent Geese,Redshank,Grey Plover,Sanderling,Dunlin,Knot,Oystercatcher,Turnstones and Sanderling.
On the sea it was nice to see a flock of at least (300)Mallard.Perhaps they had been pushed off the marsh by wildfowlers,although we didn`t hear any shooting,which I thought was unusual for Boxing Day.
At least sixty Sanderling were seen.
While we were at Shellness a Peregrine put the wader roost to flight several times.
The Peregrine can be seen in the left hand side of the above photo.
After leaving Shellness we went to Capel Fleet and parked at the Raptor View Point for a while and then went further along to Harty Ferry.
Along the Capel Fleet road we saw six Kestrals and three Marsh Harrier.
A Short-eared Owl was seen from the Raptor View Point.
A small flock of Brent Geese was feeding on the salt marsh at Harty.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

December 22nd.

I had a walk out to the river this morning.The only bird of note that I havn`t seen in the area for a while was a Little Egret.

Before I went home I looked in on the Goldeneye which is still on the Trout Lake and couldn`t resist taken some more photo`s.


Monday, 19 December 2011

December 19th.

When I returned home I put up my garden net for a while and caught (1) Blue Tit,(4) Goldfinch and (2)Reed Buntings.One of the Reed Buntings was a retrap,a bird I had caught in the garden during February 2010.I have now at Least (8)different Reed Buntings visiting the garden.

The bottom Photo is a first year Reed Buntings tail,note the rather worn and pointed tips.The top photo is a adult birds tail,it is less worn and the tips are rounded.
This morning I walked out to the river and Abbey Mead,passing Brookland lake on the way.When I started the walk it was nice and bright with a heavy frost but by the time I had finished one and a half hours later it was dull and overcast.
I was hoping to find one of the rarer grebes or perhaps a Goosander,but as it turned out it was just another average walk.
Birds of note that I saw or heard were (3)Water Rails,two called from within the Sunken marsh and the third called from the reeds along by the river.Pochard numbered (21) with (9) on Brookland and (12)on Abbey Mead (1)Cetti`s called from the Sunken marsh and I saw totals of (4) Bullfinch (15)Teal (4) Gadwall (3) Jays and singles of Green and G S Woodpeckers.Redwings and Fieldfares had fallen in numbers,with perhaps only 10)of each seen.

Monday, 12 December 2011

December 12th (Oare Marsh)

This morning I went to Oare marsh with Bob Bland and Derrick Jackson.Oare marsh is on the south side of the Swale,opposite to where I was on Saturday/Sunday night.Although it was a beautiful clear bright morning,the only down side was a bitterly cold westerly wind,but this was more than compensated for by the finding of some good birds.Birds of note seen G W Egret (1) Ruff (15+) Avocet (100+) Pintail (6) Hen Harrier (1 ring-tail) Common Buzzard (2) Rough legged Buzzard (1) the Buzzards were seen flying together over Harty Hill,Merlin (1) Marsh Harrier (2) Twite, several were seen in with a flock of (20+) Linnets on the saltings west of the car park and good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit and Avocets.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

December 10th (Swale Wader Group)

Six of us met at Harty (21.15) which was three hours before high tide and caught just over thirty birds.Although it was nice and calm,with a slight frost,there was a full moon,which very rarely results in a large catch.Most of the activity occurred while we were erecting the nets and for a while shortly after,which was rather unusual as the birds usually arrive in numbers from about one hour before high tide.
We caught five species of birds Dunlin (8) Avocet(1) Bar-tailed Godwit (16) Grey Plover (1) and Redshank (3).Although there were no controls we had a number of retraps,including a (5) year old Dunlin and a (14) year old Bar-tailed Godwit.

My thanks to Rodney Smith for a very pleasant nights ringing,spent in good company.
The above Bar-tailed Godwit was one of (16) caught.

Friday, 9 December 2011

December 9th

What a difference a day makes,clear,bright,but remaining cold.

Just a short visit today,still good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing around the Sunken marsh,also one Chiffchaff seen.

In the garden a second Reed Bunting has turned up with a ring.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

December 6th

I saw the Goldeneye this morning,it was back on the Trout Lake where Greenie first found it on the 2nd.This is the third year running that Goldeneye have been seen on this particular lake.

Also this morning the first of this winters Reed Buntings was back in the garden.It has a ring,so is more than likely a bird that I caught in the garden last winter or the year before.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

December 3rd

First thing this morning I popped down to the Trout Lake at Leybourne to see if the Goldeneye that Greenie had found there yesterday was still present.However despite having a good look,it was no where to be seen.It may well have been tucked away close into the bank some where,but I couldn`t see it.I then thought perhaps it had moved onto one of the other lakes,so I had a look at Alders,Tesco,Brookland and then Abbey Mead,but still no Goldeneye.
While I was looking over the lakes I thought I might as well do something useful and had a head count of Pochard and found (49) with the main flock of (33) birds being present on Alders.
Other birds of note that I saw were two Goldcrests and one of the Bitterns that frequents the Streamside lake.

During the afternoon I had a walk out at Luddesdown and saw (3) Buzzards,one of which was displaying (1) Sparrowhawk (1) RAVEN and a mixed flock of Rooks,Jackdaws and Carrion Crows numbering at least (1000) birds.

Friday, 2 December 2011

December 2nd ( Marsh Harrier and Partridge)

I took this sequence of photo`s showing a Marsh Harrier trying to take a Red -legged Partridge along the Harty road (Sheppey) this morning.

Monday, 21 November 2011

November 21st (Dungeness)

How many people,myself included,have mistakenly identified the above leucistic Grey Heron for a GW Egret.
I spent the day again at Dungeness with Bob Bland and Derick Jackson.Once the early mist had cleared it became nice and bright,though it remained rather chilly.
I saw the Black Redstart perched in a small bush opposite the toilet block (reserve centre).To my surprise it then flew towards me and sat just long enough for me to fire off several shots.I believe this bird has been around for a few days now.
Birds of note seen from the Hanson Hide (ARC Pits) were G W Egret (1) Marsh Harrier (2) and Long-tailed Duck (1).
As we pulled up along side the road to view the northern end of the ARC Pits a Merlin flew in.
A forty five minute sea watch from the fishing boats produced Gannet (2) Guillimot (2) Great Skua (1) and Kittiwake (4).The Glaucous Gull was still present.
When we eventually found the Glossy Ibis at Dengemarsh we found ourselfs looking into the sun,hence the poor photo.

Just as we were coming out of the Dengemarsh hide a Little Stint flew over.
A few moments later however I had a great photo opportunity when it flew almost over our heads,but as you can see (below) I completely cocked it up.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

November 20th (New Hythe)

I saw a Bittern this afternoon (14:15) in the usual location at the southern end of the Streamside Lake.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

November 19th (Hoborough Marsh )

Just as I was starting my walk around Holborough marsh this afternoon(13:30),I bumped into the Tortoise Man and his son on their way back.They had gone there in the hope of seeing a flock of Bearded Tits that are frequenting the main reed-bed.Although they had no luck in finding the Tits they were more than compensated when they found a nice drake GOOSANDER on the river,unfortunately for me it had flown off shortly after (the Tits will usually stay in the area until at least the beginning of March,although they may move the short distance across the river to Burham at some stage).

Birds of note that I saw were (4) Redshank,(4) Snipe (1) Little Egret (1) Great Spotted Woodpecker (60+) Fieldfare and (20) flyover over Corn Buntings,which were probably going to roost for the night in the reed-beds at Burham.

I have just heard (18:30) from Phil Sharp that Jerry Warne had a Goosander on the river at New Hythe this afternoon,so it was more than likely the same bird.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

November 15th (Holborough Marsh)

A walk around Holborough marsh this morning produced (2) Lapwing (2) Grey Heron and (1) Oystercatcher along the river and a small flock of about (8) Bearded Tits in the main reed-bed.