Thursday, 28 March 2013

PAST TIMES (March 28th 1966)

Leybourne (Castle lake) Great Crested Grebe sitting on a nest,2 Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers,2 Marsh Tits,1 Siskin,2 Bullfinch and 52 Pochard.

East Malling 14 Waxwings feeding on Popular buds at Rocks road..

March 28th (New Hythe)

Little Egret
Brighter,but the cold N E wind remains.(08:00-10:00).

On the river I saw 1 Kingfisher,1 Little Grebe,40 Teal.15 Mallard and 1 Green Sandpiper.On Abbey Mead very few duck remain now,just 4 Pochard,6 Gadwall,45 Tufted Duck and a handful of Coot.One Siskin,1 Lesser Redpoll and 1 Little Egret were of note along the Mill Stream.In all I heard 4 Cetti`s Warbler and 3 Water Rail.

Both Blackcaps are still in the the garden.Although when they meet,which is usually at the apples (front garden) the male continues to chase the female off,usually as far as our back garden.
Lesser Redpoll

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

March 26th

Backcap (5) hatched 2012
Spent a lot of the time today looking through the window at the birds in the garden.It was just to darn cold to venture far outside.
Saw both Blackcaps first thing this morning,but the female hasn`t shown since.The male spent a lot of time on the apples and several times was seen visiting the the pond.We still have between 4-6 Reed Buntings around the feeders.

Just heard from the B T O,about my Czech controlled Blackcap.It was ringed at Chotec 49`59N  14`17E on the 9th September 2011 and was only the third record of a Czech ringed Blackcap in the UK or Ireland.A full report can be seen on the B T O Bird Ringing `Demog Blog`.

A Siskin was seen very briefly on one of the feeders,a rare bird in our garden.
Reed Bunting

Monday, 25 March 2013

March 25th

Overcast,bitterly cold northeasterly.

Walking along the Mill Stream this morning I came across a very obliging Kestral, I only wish the light had been better.I also saw 1 Little Egret,1 Kingfisher,1 Chiffchaff (no song) and the Siskin flock.

The female Blackcap remains in the garden.The ringed male has now gone (last seen a week ago).However  this afternoon a new male turned up (no ring).On seeing him the female tried to chase him off,after a while though he decided he had had enough and turned the tables and chased her off.At the present time he is tucking into the fat ball and apples (front garden).It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

March 22nd (New Hythe)

Brighter,but remaining cold (0900-1030).

Still no sightings of Sand Martin,I even went round to Alders lake where I thought I might stand a better chance.
I did however find two small flocks of Siskin,both of which were feeding in Alders.One flock was along the northern edge of Brookland lake and the other along the southern edge of  Streamside lake.One nice bright male Lesser Redpoll was in with the Streamside flock.
Cormorant (Mill Stream)

Monday, 18 March 2013

March 18th (East Kent)

East Kent today with Bob Bland,Jeff Wynn and Pete Tyler.We called in at the Docks at Dover,Sandwich Bay and Seaton lakes.
It was bright for most of the day,but when we got back to Maidstone it started to rain.

Birds of note we saw at the Docks  1 Guillemot,4 Shags and 2 Rock Pipit.
Birds of note that we saw at Sandwich Bay,1 Wheatear,5 Grey Partridge,8 Common Snipe,1 Stonechat and 2 Raven.
Common Snipe
Birds of note that were saw at Seaton lakes,1 Goldeneye (drake),1 Goosander,1 Grey Wagtail,1 Cetti`s Warbler,1 Water Rail,1 Slavonian Grebe and 1 Black-necked Grebe (summer plumage).
B N Grebe (summer plumage)
Slavonian Grebe

Friday, 15 March 2013

March 15th.

We had two Blackcaps in the garden for a while this afternoon,the long staying male and a new female.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

March 14th (New Hythe)

Bright,not quite as cold.

I was hoping to hear my first Chiff this morning and I wasn`t to be disappointed.Well I was in some way,as it was just a short burst,though  I suppose this was not surprising considering how cold it still is.A Goldcrest was present in the same bush.
On Abbey Mead duck numbers continue to fall and I saw just 8 Gadwall,4 Pochard,4 Shoveler and 45 Tufted Duck.Walking past the Sunken marsh,1 Water Rail and 2 Cetti`s Warbler called and a Green Woodpecker flew over heading towards Burham.A quick look at the river produced 1 Redshank,1 Shelduck,4 Gadwall and 40 Teal.In the trees on the opposite bank,14 Herons were on nests.

 It appears that Terry Laws had a better visit than me.He looked at the river later and had five wader species,Lapwing,Green Sandpiper,Common Sandpiper,Oystercatcher and Redshank.He also had four Waxwings sitting in a tree near to Brook House.

When I got back home I re trapped the garden Blackcap.Its weight had gone down rather than up, (18.6),perhaps this was due to the recent very cold weather.At this time of the year,I would expect it to be trying to put on weight,providing that is it intends to fly back to central Europe for the breeding season.

A recovery came through this morning of one of my garden ringed Reed Buntings

ringed (garden,Snodland,kent) 17 01 2011,re trapped (garden) on the 12 12 2012 and then found dead at Snodland (address unknown) on the 17 01 2013,731 days.

Monday, 11 March 2013

March 11th.

Snow showers,bitterly cold,NE.

There was only one thing for it this afternoon,stay indoors,keep warm and amuse myself by taken pics of our Blackcap,through the front room window.

Friday, 8 March 2013


March 8th.
Misty to start,clear later,mild.

Abbey Mead lake,birds seen - Pochard 100,Red-crested Pochard (drake) 1,Goldeneye 4,Scaup 4 and 105 Tufted Duck.

David had two Red-breasted Merganser on Abbey Mead one day this week.

March 8th.

Overcast,rained most of the day.

The Blackcap was back in the front garden today on the fat ball,so it hadn`t departed after all.I think it had just moved around to the back garden,as Jeanette thought she had seen one there several days ago.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

March 7th (Abbey Mead)

Overcast and damp,quite mild (0900-1030).

Two stunning drake Goosander were present for a while on Abbey Mead.I watched them for about thirty minutes before they flew off NE.
Over the past week many of the wintering wildfowl,including Coots have moved out of the area.

Our garden Blackcap also appears to have moved on,we last saw it on the 5th.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

March 5th (Millstream,New Hythe)

Little Egret
Before I went to New Hythe I had my garden net up for a while and caught just one bird,a male Reed Bunting.It was a re trap,a bird I had ringed in the garden as an adult on the 23 02 2010.I also re trapped it during December 2011,on the 19th.
This just goes to show how  some birds rely on us to put out food for them during the winter months.

Tufted Duck

Monday, 4 March 2013

March 4th (Dungeness)

Red-crested Pochard (ARC Pits)
Red-crested Pochard
Clear and bright,although still quite cold in the SE wind.

I spent the morning in the Dungeness area,I was back home just after midday.Birds of note - 1 female Red-crested Pochard (ARC),2 GW Egret (Burrows),Smew,Goldeneye,Barnacle Geese and 2 Bearded Tit.

Oystercatcher (ARC Pits)
Barnacle Geese (Dungeness)
I saw at least six Marsh Harrier at Dungeness and two on the marsh.
Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier
On the way back I cut across  the marsh (Walland),where good numbers of Fieldfare were feeding.

Common Buzzard
Common Buzzard

Sunday, 3 March 2013

February 3rd.

I havn`t seen any Fieldfare for a while in our area,but this morning I came across a flock of at least 300.They were feeding in Horse Paddocks between Snodland and Birling.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

March 2nd (New Hythe)

Overcast,still rather cold,NE.(1300-1430).

The most notable birds during my visit today were found along the river and on Abbey Mead lake.
River - 2 Gadwall,6Mallard,2 Shelduck,2 Cormorant,8 Teal,4 Lapwing,1 Kingfisher,2 Grey Heron and 3 Oystercatcher.
Abbey Mead Lake - 1 Bittern (NE corner),40 Shoveler,60 Gadwall,40 Pochard,1 Wigeon (drake)and 3 Smew (red-heads).

This morning I saw four Common Buzzards in the air together between Snodland and Birling.