Monday, 30 April 2012

April 30th (Dungeness)

Dungeness today with Derrick Jackson,Jeff Wynn and Trevor Maynard and wasn`t it good to be out and about on such a nice warm,clear day,a nice change from the recent cold and wet weather. 
Our first stop was the (ARC) Pits.As we walked along the track towards the Hanson Hide we saw Sedge Warblers,Reed Warbler,Cetti`s Warblers,Whitethroats and Reed Buntings.Several of us were lucky enough to have a sighting of a Ring-tail Hen Harrier as it passed quickly through.Over the water swirled at least sixty Common Swifts along with smaller numbers of Swallows and House Martins.On the water itself which was rather quite the only bird of note that we saw was the long staying Long-tailed Duck.In the SE corner of the pit we saw one Redshank,one Common Sandpiper and one L R Plover. 
By the time we reached the sea it was getting on some what (10:45),Poms had been passing during the morning,one just ten minutes before we had arrived but although we watched for at least one hour the only birds of note that we saw was one Whimbrel and two Great Skua.On walking back from the sea we learnt that a Ortolan Bunting had been seen earlier during the morning by the Old Light House.Although we gave the area a good bashing there was no sign of the bird,although we did turn up a pair of Stonechats and Wheatears which was of some consolation. 
We finished of the day on the viewing mound on the R S P B Reserve watching a pair of Marsh Harriers and up to three Hobbies.As we were leaving the reserve Jeff noticed a Hobby sitting on a fence post and it fortunately stayed long enough for me to fire of a number of shots,its nice being retired.
Common Wheatear
Common Wheatear

Meadow Pipit
We watched several Meadow Pipits in display flight as we searched for the Ortolan Bunting.
Greylags (ARC) Pit

Friday, 27 April 2012

April 27th (New Hythe)

After I had completed one of my squares for the Nightingale survey early this morning at Aylesford,I called in at the lakes and put up my small 20ft net in several locations in the Brook House area and caught two of the species,both of which were new birds.
While I was there I couldn`t resist taken more photo`s of the showy male.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

April 22nd (New Hythe)

I didn`t stray far from Brook House this morning,two Nightingales were showing quite well.
Good numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were also seen.Small numbers,along with Herring Gulls have been breeding on the factory buildings on the edge of the area for quite a number of years now.

Friday, 20 April 2012

April 20th (New Hythe and Holborough)

A nice bright morning,with showers developing by the afternoon.
This morning I noted (8) Teal (2) Gadwall and (4) Shelduck on river (10) Nightingales between the water treatment works and Brook House and (2) Common Whitethroats along the Millsteam.
Later I called in at Holborough marsh and added Reed Warbler,Cuckoo,Sparrowhawk and Nightingale to the annual list (71) I also saw (4) Common Sandpipers along the river.

We still have one male and one female Reed Bunting visiting the garden feeders.

Monday, 16 April 2012

April 16th (Oare Marshes)

Bright,although chilly,not as cold as yesterday.
I went to Oare Marshes this morning with Bob Bland and Derrick Jackson.We were hoping the male Ring Ouzel would still be in the area.Although we gave it our best shot,it failed to show for us,maybe it has moved on.
Birds of note we saw - Peregrine,Buzzard,Pintail (3) Pochard (1) Black-tailed Godwits,Cetti`s Warbler,Reed Warbler,Sedge Warbler,Avocets,Brent Geese,Marsh Harrier (3) (Sheppey side of Swale) and Med Gull (2).
The above bird may well be a male (5) rather than a female.
The above bird was singing in the bushes by the carpark.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

April 15th (Ashdown Forest,Old Lodge)

Bright but cold,northerly.
I had a run out to Ashdown Forest this morning and boy was that cold.On the bird front it was rather disappointing,that is apart from Redstart,one of which performed quite well for the camera. Although I visited all the places of past years where I have been successful in finding Woodlark,try as I may,not one was heard or seen.As for Dartford Warbler I gave it a go for about thirty minutes,but I found it was just to dam cold out on the open forest.I also failed to connect with either Common Crossbill or Tree Pipit,but having said that it was quite windy.
Birds I did see amongst others were - Cuckoo,Linnet.Nuthatch,Common Buzzard and Stonechat.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

April 12th (New Hythe)

Sunny during the morning, with showers in the afternoon.
A Reed Warbler was singing at Brookland lake this morning,which was only just audible over the noise from the factory.Along the river the best bird was a Common Sandpiper.I had a total of four Nightingales,(2) were singing in the the east Scrub along with singles at Brook House and along the Mill Stream path.Two Willow Warblers were still singing in the west scrub.
Later during the afternoon after the showers had past,I popped back to Brookland lake to see what might have dropped in and found (1) Common Tern and (6) Swallows.

In the garden we still have (2) Reed Buntings visiting our feeders and up to (8) Goldfinch.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

April 10th (New Hythe)

I only got as far as the river this morning.Best birds were (2) MED GULLS,which flew high over towards Burham calling as they went and (1) GREEN SANDPIPER.

Sunday, 8 April 2012



WILDFOWL Bewick`s Swan (5) New Hythe 2nd, W F Goose (30) over New Hythe 20th, Goleneye (1) New Hythe 2nd, Wigeon (8) New Hythe 2nd (14) 3rd,Pochard (250) during the month, Tufted Duck (250) during the month,Shoveler (4) 3rd,Gadwall (5) 3rd,Smew (2) 6th (14) 8th (17) 14th,Teal (70) Burham 14th,Ruddy Duck (1) New Hythe 8th,Goosander (6) 23rd, Red-breasted Merganser (1) 8th (3) 23rd,GREBES Little Grebe (10) New Hythe 3rd,Black-necked Grebe (1) 23rd,BITTERN (1) New Hythe 6th,HEN HARRIER (1) flushed from a Snipe kill at Burham 20th.WADERS Ruff (3) Burham 9th,Jack Snipe (1) Burham 9th.SKYLARK (1000) flew over SW 23rd.BRAMBLING (50) New Hythe 3rd.TREE SPARROW (100) New Hythe 3rd.


WILDFOWL W F Goose (14) flew SW at New Hythe 17th.Shelduck (50) New Hythe 26th. Gadwall (8) 7th.Pochard (200) 8th.Tufted Duck (210) 8th.Shoveler (9) 17th.Goldeneye (3) 17th. Smew (3) 16th (4) 20th.Red-breasted Merganser (8) Leybourne 16th (13) New Hythe 16th (10) Leybourne 17th-20th.Goosander (2) at New Hythe 6th (6) on 20th.Wigeon (4) at New Hythe 19th.RED THROATED DIVER (1) at New Hythe 12th-13th.RED NECKED GREBE (2) at New Hythe from 16th.GREY PLOVER (1) at New Hythe 13th.HEN HARRIER a male went to roost at Burham 25th.SHORT EARED OWL up to (3) in the area during the month. LITTLE OWL (3) at Burham 25th.STONECHAT (1) at New Hythe 7th.HAWFINCH (1) at New Hythe 17th (only record).CORN BUNTING (100) went to roost at Burham 25th.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

April 7th (New Hythe)

Overcast,rather chilly 8:am-9:15am.
Just a brief visit this morning.Birds of note were a Nightingale at Brook House (2) Willow Warblers in the West Scrub (2) Shelduck (2) Gadwall (15) Teal (1) Lapwing on the river (there was no sign of the Garganey seen earlier in the week) (5) Sand Martin and (1) Swallow high over Brookland lake, but best of all a fine male MARSH HARRIER seen over Burham marsh (watched from the small wood) which eventually moved off in the direction of Holborough.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

April 4th (New Hythe)

Clear early on,clouding over later,SW (8:am-10:am)

It was a joy to be out with the camera this morning,the light was fantastic.I saw a total of (41) species.Although nothing special was seen,I had totals of (15) Chiffchaffs (10) Blackcaps (only summer visitors seen) and (5) Cetti`s Warblers.Of interest was (6) Bullfinch in one hawthorn bush,groups of (5) and (4) Jays and only (2) Gadwall,no other winter ducks were seen,apart from Teal (which has stayed and bred in the past).

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

April 3rd (Holborough marsh)

clear to start,however later in the morning it clouded over,still (10:am-11:30am).

This morning I was hoping to hear perhaps a Sedge Warbler,or possibly a Willow Warbler but it wasn`t to be.I did manage to find (40) species though,with Meadow Pipit (67) being a new bird sighting since I started a yearly list from the beginning of March for (Holborough marsh).The most notable birds I found this morning were - Water Rail (1) calling from the reed bed,Kingfisher (1) flying along the river,Cetti`s Warbler (4) Great Spotted Woodpecker (2) Common Snipe (2) Teal (10) Linnet (1 pair) Lapwing (4) Shelduck (4) and Fieldfare (6).
I had no sightings of either Gadwall or Shoveler.The river was high and consequently very few Gulls were seen,only (4) Black-headed and (2) Herring.

I had the garden net up for a while this afternoon and caught (4) Goldfinch and re-trapped a Reed Bunting (male) that I first caught on the 24-11-2011.

Monday, 2 April 2012

April 2nd (Dungeness)

Beautiful day,clear,warm and still.

I spent the morning and early afternoon at Dungeness with Bob Bland,Derrick Jackson and Jeff Wynn.
Birds of note - Marsh Harrier (6) Spoonbill (1) (ARC Pit) Garganey (1) Raven (1) L R Plover (2) (ARC Pit) Whimbrel (1) nice early record (ARC Pit) Bearded Tit (1) Med Gull (2) and Tree Sparrow.
(58) species for the day.