Monday, 31 December 2012


December 30th,1985.Clear,cold,freezing.

New Hythe,birds noted - G C Grebe (14),Little Grebe (4),Slavonian Grebe (1),Mute Swan (18),Canada Goose (94),Greylag (2),Gadwall (35),Pochard (388),Tufted Duck (499),Mallard 202,Shoveler (4),Ruddy Duck (1),Coot (618),Shelduck (4),Redshank (20),Dunlin 240) and Tree Sparrow (100).

Sunday, 30 December 2012


I caught just three birds in my garden net first thing this morning,two Reed Buntings and one Blackcap.Its always nice to catch a winter Blackcap,I usually manage to catch at least one each winter,but this bird was  special,it was already ringed and it was from the Czech Republic (PRAHA MUSEUM).
Its been known for a while now that many of our wintering Blackcaps come from central Europe and to catch one which helps to confirm this is very special indeed,one of my best controls.

I had a quick walk around New Hythe this afternoon.Apart from (80+),Gadwall on Abbey Mead and a flyover Sparrowhawk,I saw very little of note.That is until I reached the Streamside lake,where I saw a very nice duck Scaup.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

December 19th.

Had a female Blackcap today (first this winter) feeding on apples in the front garden.The apples have been put out to hopefully attract Waxwings,but  so far I havn`t had any luck..

Monday, 17 December 2012

December 17th (Cliffe Pools)

Velvet Scoter
Six of us went up to Cliffe Pools (RSPB) reserve this morning,with two species on our minds,Velvet Scoter and Scaup,happily both were still present.

In all we managed to see sixty species,the more notable being - Common Buzzard (1),Marsh Harrier (1), Raven (1),Greenshank (2-3),B T Godwit (100s),Little Grebe (100s),Pintail (8),Goldeneye (8),Kingfisher (1),Corn Bunting (4),(Velet Scoter (1) and Scaup at least (2),Radar Pool).

Thursday, 13 December 2012

December 13th (East Malling/Ditton,Waxwings)

Rather cold,dull and overcast,(9:30 -11:30 ).

I walked into the Research Station via the East Malling end (by the church).I had only gone a short distance  along the path when I bumped into John Davis,who was also on the lookout for Waxwings.Although we saw good numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare,which were mainly feeding on the fallen apples.It wasn`t until we had almost walked all the way through the Site,that we had our first sighting.Seven in all,which came up from one of the orchards and flew across to Ditton quarry,which is on the very edge of the Research Station.(eastern end).It was there that we spent the next hour watching the birds feeding, which was mainly on wild Rose hips.

Our thanks to Adam Whitehouse (East Malling/Ditton and Barming Blog)


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Monday, 10 December 2012

Six of us spent a bright,but cold day in the Dungeness,Walland marsh area.We managed to see a total of (73) species,the most notable being - ( Dungeness)  B T Diver (1 New Diggings),R T Diver (1 sea),G W Egret (3),Avocet (1),Goldeneye (3),Smew (2),Goosander (2),Pintail (2),Tree Sparrows and Marsh Harrier (3).Good numbers of Guillemots were seen on the sea.

Walland Marsh - Common Buzzard (4),Marsh Harrier (6),Sparrowhawk (1),Kestral (2),Tree Sparrows,Yellowhammer (5) Bewick`s Swans and Whooper Swan (3).Hundreds of Fieldfare were present in the area.

Lydd (roundabout) Waxwing (8).

We failed to see the drake Ring-necked duck,which was seen at Dungeness yesterday.
G W Egret
Whooper and Bewick`s Swans
drake Goldeneye
red-head Goldeneye

Saturday, 8 December 2012

December 8th

I only saw one of the Waxwings today.Two Ravens flew east over Brooklands car park and on Holborough marsh three Little Egrets were present.

I have just received three recoveries from the BTO.

Y221956  Reed Bunting. ad female. ringed at Snodland (garden) Kent.24-Jan -2012.

found dead (cat). Beeston Regis,Sheringham,Norfolk. 28-Mar-2012.188 Km NE.

TP94656  Greenfinch  juv male  ringed at Snodland (garden) Kent. 26-Aug-2012.

found dead.Tick attached to neck.Snodland Kent.02-Sept-2012.

EW87927 Sparrowhawk.young female.ringed Snodland (garden)Kent.09-Sept-2011.

found dead (hit wire).Aylesford Kent.24-Oct-2012.4Km east.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

December 7th (Snodland)

I saw two Waxwings this afternoon feeding in the same tree at Snodland (juntion of St Katherines road and Birling road),where a flock was present from December 23rd 2010,into January 2011.
Abbey Mead lake this morning produced (6) Wigeon,(30) Gadwall,(50) Tufted Duck,(100+) Coot and (4) Bullfinch,small numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing were also in the area.

Monday, 3 December 2012

December 3rd (East Kent)

Four of us went chasing Waxwings today in East Kent.First we made for Stonelees where only yesterday two hundred had been seen,but despite us stomping all round the area at times through thick mud and not seeing a single one,we came to the conclusion that they must have moved on.We thought this rather surprising as the bushes were still covered in berries.However we didn`t give up hope of seeing Waxwings today and next made for the observatory at Sandwich,where fifty had been reported,also only yesterday.
Still we saw no Waxwings,although three had been seen in the car park earlier in the morning,these and the others yesterday must also have moved on.By this time we had giving up hope,but while we we sitting in the hide overlooking the scrape a report of a flock of thirty birds at Yorckletts,behind Young`s lorry Park came up on the pager.At last Waxwings (34),but no sooner had we got out the car,down came the rain,shame,but I guess this winter we will hopefully see many more and in better light.

Monday, 19 November 2012

November 19th (Sheppey)

Marsh Harrier (Raptor Watch Point)
Marsh Harrier (Raptor Watch Point)
A small group of us went to Sheppey this morning.We were hoping the Desert Wheatear seen there yesterday,near Harty would still be around.When we arrived we were told it had been reported earlier,at about 8:30 am,but despite us and several others looking we saw no sign of it.
Bearded Tits
A flock of about ten Bearded Tits was present by the Raptor Watch Point.
Bearded Tit (male)
Bearded Tit (male)
Marsh Harrier (Capel Fleet)
Marsh Harrier (Capel Fleet)
Marsh Harrier (male,Elmley)
Golden Plover (Elmley)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

November 14th (Holborough marsh)

Marsh Harrier
Beautiful day,mild,sunny,very little wind.

I walked around Holborough marsh this morning,it proved to be very interesting.
Birds of note seen - Little Grebe (1),Kestral (1),Lesser Redpoll (1),Redwing (10),Green Woodpecker (1),Bullfinch (1),Water Rail (2 heard),Green Sandpiper (1),Kingfisher (1),Bearded Tits (6),Teal (5) and Marsh Harrier (2).

Two Reed Buntings turned up in the garden this morning,both birds have a ring.
Marsh Harrier (male)
Marsh Harrier

Monday, 12 November 2012

November 12th (Dungeness)

Glaucous Gull
Overcast to start,rain by the early afternoon.
This morning I went to Dungeness with Bob Bland and Jeff Wynn,where we met up with Trevor Maynard at the fishing boats.The first bird of note we saw was a Yellow-legged Herring Gull.Its back was a darker grey than nearby Herring Gulls,its head was pure white and the legs yellow.A little while later we came across the Glaucous Gull,back for its third winter.
We then spent the next thirty or so minutes looking at the sea,in which time we saw - (2) R T Divers,(2) Kittiwakes,(3) Eider Ducks,(1)Guillemot,(40) G C Grebes and (1) Velvet Scotor.
Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull
From the fishing boats we moved along the coast to Lade Pits and added a rather distant Long-tailed Duck to our list.
Wigeon and Gadwall
On the RSPB reserve,good numbers of duck were in,which included - Goldeneye,Pochard,Shoveler,Tufted Duck,Gadwall,Teal,Wigeon and Pintail (4).Ten Snipe were roosting on one of the islands and on Burrows Pit we saw two of the G W Egrets.
Common Crane
While we were having our lunch at the reserve.We heard that a Common Crane had been seen earlier during the morning at Scotney Pits.Being only a few miles from Dungeness,we decided to go and try for it.After a great deal of searching,with no luck,we moved further along the road towards Camber.It was here that we came across the Ploddingbirder,parked in his car overlooking the marsh.Yes,he was looking at the Crane and quickly put us onto to it.Although it was at some distance,a scope job,none the less,it was very nice to see,thanks.
Whooper Swans
Our  last port of call before heading back to Maidstone,was Romney Marsh.It was here that we hoped to see two Whooper Swans.Our luck was in,in more ways than one,both birds were quickly  found and they were feeding very close to the road.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

November 10th (Harty,Isles of Sheppey)

I went wader ringing this evening with members of the (Swale Wader Group).We met at Harty (Isles of Sheppey),at 1800,three hours before high tide.The weather was nice and calm,with a clearing sky.

We had a nice variety of birds,but the re traps proved to be more of interest.

Teal  (1) young female.
Grey Plover  (2) and (1) re trap,ringed in 1990.
Knot  (1)
Dunlin (43) mostly adults and (2) re traps,one recent and the other from November 2008.
Bar-tailed Godwit  (7) and (2) re traps,one ringed five years ago and the other eight.
Curlew  (4) and (1) re trap,ringed in October 2003.
Redshank  (5) and one re trap from October 2010.

Thanks to Rodney Smith for a well organized session,spent in good company.  
Teal (Female)
Grey Plover