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.

Monday, 14 November 2011

November 14th (Dungeness and Hythe)

After yesterdays sunny weather,today was back to gloom.

Just a quick report from a visit to Dungeness and Hythe,where I spent the day with Bob Bland and Derick Jackson.

Dungeness highlights Great White Egret (2) one was seen on the ARC Pits and the other bird was seen on the Dengemarsh pools.Goldeneye (5) red-heads and (2) drakes (ARC Pits) Bittern two sightings (ARC Pits).Gloucous Gull still on the beach by the fishing boats.Black-throated Diver (2) flew past the fishing boats.

After we came away from Dungeness we drove around to Hythe to see the Rough-Legged Buzzard.

Friday, 11 November 2011

November 11th (New Hythe)

I had a quick look at the river again this morning in the continuing gloomy conditions and noted (40) Teal (70) Mallard (6) Cormorant (1) Redshank (3) Grey Herons and a flyover flock of (20) Stock Doves.
Fieldfare,Redwings and Blackbirds were again very obvious in the hawthorns around the Sunken marsh and it was whilst I was watching these that a single Goldcrest flew over my head and a Chiffchaff was heard calling.
Later on in the morning I had a look at the Streamside lake to see if the Bittern was showing that Phil had seen there a few days ago.Although I had no luck with the Bittern,I saw a Green Sandpiper fly up from one of the small islands.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

November 8th (Sunken marsh and River)

This morning I walked around the Sunken marsh looking at Brookland lake,the river and Abbey Mead on the way.Although it was grey and overcast again there was no wind (

Thrushes were very much in evidence,particularly Fieldfare,Redwings and Blackbirds.I think the recent NE winds must have brought a fresh wave in.Other birds of note were GREEN SANDPIPER (1) LITTLE EGRET (1) and REDSHANK (2) along the river, at least (4) WATER RAILS that were calling from within the Sunken marsh and (1) Grey Wagtail that was seen at the water treatment plant.A total of (41) species was recorded.

Monday, 7 November 2011

November 7th (Sheppey)

Today I went to Sheppey with Bob Bland and Derick Jackson.We had wanted to go there because we particularly wanted to see at least one of the two Rough-legged Buzzards that are known to be in that area at the moment and also with the wind being in the NE,the signs were looking good for a sea watch at Shellness.
As it happens though we didn`t see a Rough legged Buzzards or have a particularly good sea watch,as for the latter we didn`t start watching until about 10:15,so perhaps we missed the best part of it.However we were more than compensated by the finding of nine flyover SNOW BUNTINGS at Shellness and a GREAT GREY SHRIKE at Capel Fleet.
All in all it was a very good day out despite the weather doing its best to spoil things,thanks Bob and Derrick. Other highlights were Shellness GREAT SKUA (3) flying out of the Swale,LITTLE GULL (4) adults,Merganser (2) albino Starling and Knot (1000s) Capel Fleet HEN HARRIER (1) COMMON BUZZARD (1) and MARSH HARRIER (3).
The Great Grey Shrike was seen in the hedge on the left as you go up the hill away from Capel Fleet,heading towards the Leysdown road.
We didn`t see many birds of prey at Capel Fleet today,perhaps it was something to do with the overcast and dull conditions (Marsh Harrier (3) Kestral (2) Hen Harrier (1) and Common Buzzard (1) the latter bird was a very dark individual.

Our total species count was (56).
The wader roost must have contained at least (3,000+) Knot.
Several times the wader roost was put to flight by a flyover Kestral.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


WILDFOWL Brent Goose on the 4th (80) flew over New Hythe,followed by (100) the next day and on the 6th (70) flew over Snodland,all past heading SW. Shelduck (1) at New Hythe 28th.Pochard (50) at New Hythe 8th (150) at months end.Gadwall (1) at Leybourne 13th.Tufted Duck (40) at New Hythe during the month.Cormorant (15) roosting at Leybourne 13th.BIRDS OF PREY Hen Harrier (1) was seen in the Burham/New Hythe area 27th and 28th Sparrowhawk (1) was seen at New Hythe 14th and 15th.WADERS Green Sandpiper (1) at New Hythe 13th Redshank (20) at Burham 14th,with (40) by the 27th Dunlin (20) at Burham 14th Lapwing (150) at Burham 14th Snipe (50) at Burham 14th Ruff (1) at Burham 28th SHORT-EARED OWL in the Burham/New Hythe area (1) on the 7th and 13th,with (2) 15th.THRUSHES Fieldfare (150) at Burham 13th Redwing (100) at Burham 13th.BEARDED TIT (2) at New Hythe 28th (Abbey Mead) GOLDCREST very noticeable at New Hythe by the beginning of the month.TREE SPARROW (2) ringed at Burham 13th.CORN BUNTING (100) roosting at Burham 20th.

At the moment there seems to be good numbers of Golden Plover in Kent.On the 5th (November 2011)) I saw a mixed flock of at least (2000) birds containing this species and Lapwing in fields just past Brenzett on (Romney Marsh) and today (6th) I saw (10) with (50) Lapwing in fields at East Peckham.