Monday, 29 April 2013

Thursday, 25 April 2013

April 25th (New Hythe)

Light overcast to start,clear and warm later (09:00 - 10:30).

Forty four species - birds of note -  4 Cetti`s Warbler,1 Garden Warbler,2 Sedge Warbler,1 Lesser Whitethroat,9 Common Whitethroat,Nightingales,1 Shelduck,2 drake Gadwall,2 Bullfinch,1 Stock Dove,1 Cuckoo and 6 Reed Warblers.
Willow Warblers which were recorded in double figures last week,appear to have dropped off to just 1-2,which is more the norm.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

April 24th (Ashdown Forest)

I arrived at Old Lodge Reserve at 07:30,in thick fog.This is not unusual,but instead of clearing by say nine,it didn`t clear this morning until around midday,which made birding hard going.
Common Redstart
Tree Pipit
Once the fog had lifted,I saw a total of five Common Redstarts,just one Stonechat,two Tree Pipits,two Ravens,and singles of Cuckoo and Woodlark.
Willow Warbler,good numbers were heard all round the reserve.This bird was photographed in the car park whilst having my lunch.

Monday, 22 April 2013

April 22nd (Dungeness)

Common Whitethroat
Bright at times,cool SW.

Just thirty minutes spent seawatching (08:00 - 08:30,produced 1 R T Diver,1 Great Skua and 40 Brent Geese.On RSPB reserve the highlights for me were 6 Yellow Wagtail,1 G W Egret and 1 Common Redstart, along with good numbers of Common Whitethroat and Sedge Warblers.At the ARC Pits 1 Spotted Redshank was seen.
Sedge Warbler

Sunday, 21 April 2013

April 21st (New Hythe)

Misty start,clear and warm later.(08:00 - 10:30).

During my walk round this morning I saw,1 Shelduck and 4 Teal on the river and a total of 21 Nightingale,4 Common Whitethroat,1 Lesser Whitethroat,20 Swallows,3 House Martin,4 Sand Martin and 1 Reed Warbler.
Common Buzzard
Later,during the early afternoon Jeanette and I walked across the fields to Birling,where I was pleased to see two Common Buzzard,two Yellowhammer and one Cuckoo,our first this spring.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Red-crested Pochard
Drake Red-crested Pochard at the southern end of the Streamside lake.My thanks to Pete Tyler who alerted me to the bird by phone at 17:45,five minutes later I was down there watching the bird.
Thanks again Pete.


Overcast during the morning,brighter by the afternoon.

This morning I caught two Nightingale at New Hythe.One was a new bird and the other a re trap.The re trapped bird (T677063 male),was ringed in the east scrub by the pylon on the 06 06 2008 (age 5,hatched 2007,which makes it six years old.Interestingly this morning it was not caught back in the east scrub,but in a traditional territory in the Brook House area held by male (L529973),during 2011 and 2012.

Females are known to change nesting territories more than males,but I know the pylon territory held by T677063,during  March 2011,was raised to the ground,which probably moved him on..
The oldest BTO ringed Nightingale on record is seven years.
Nightingale (6,full adult)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

April 16th (New Hythe)

Bright,moderate westerly.(13:30 - 15:00)

A walk around this afternoon produced (3) Oystercatcher and (4) Gadwall on the river and a count of (9) singing Nightingale.
Willow Warblers appear to be in better numbers than in previous years,with at least six in song.

The last of our wintering garden Blackcaps was seen on April 10th and the last Reed Bunting on the 12th.

Tufted Duck
Tufted Duck

Monday, 15 April 2013

April 15th (Oare Marshes)

Ring Ouzel and Green Sandpiper
Bright,but cool in a moderate SW.

This morning I walked around Oare Marshes with Trevor Maynard,Jeff Wynn and Pete Tyler.

Birds of note we saw - Whimbrel (1),Swallow (1),Wheatear (3),Ring Ouzel (1),Common Buzzard (3),Common Sandpiper (1),Green Sandpiper (1),Pintail (2),Stonechat (1) Greenshank (1),Yellow Wagtail (1),Sedge Warbler (4),Nightingale (1),Med Gull (4),Avocet (8) and B T Godwit (6)  (58 species).

Later we called into Conningbrook lake (Ashford) to see the drake Ring-necked Duck.No photos though,scope job.Other birds we noted were - 40 Linnets,1 Yellowhammer,1 Little Egret and 1 Green Sandpiper.             

B T Godwit
Meadow Pipit
Med Gull

Sunday, 14 April 2013

PAST TIMES (New Hythe,1970, April 14th and 15th)

Bright and mild (15:00 - 17:30).14th.

Brookland lake,water level low,birds seen - 4 Yellow Wagtail (first),2 White,6 Pied,1 Water Pipit,small flock of Meadow Pipits,1 Redshank,1 Green Sandpiper,1 Ringed Plover and 9 Little Ringed.

Abbey Mead - 5  G C Grebes,1 drake Goldeneye and 1 Common Sandpiper.

Brook House - 17 Tufted Duck,1 British L B B Gull,10 imm Herring Gulls,1 imm drake Goldeneye and 20 Sand Martin.

Rubbish tip (Ham Hill) - 10 Brit,3 Scan L B B Gulls,many imm Herring Gulls.

Motorway Lake - Canada Goose on a nest,G C Grebe on a nest.
Wood/Castle lake - 12 Lesser Redpolls,2 Tree Creepers,2 Willow Tits,2 Bullfinch,1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker,1 Goldcrest,1 Teal (on a small pool),1 Redwing and 4 Chiffchaff.

Overcast,with light drizzle 15th.

Brookland lake, only 6 L R Plover today,2 Water Pipits,4 Yellow Wagtails still,10 Pied,2 Swallows (first) and 2 Shelduck.

Abbey Mead,2 Goldeneye,2 Willow Warbler (first),4 Chiffchaffand 1 Common Sandpiper.

As I was crossing the marsh later (Brook House),a tight flock of 15 Ruff passed over low and headed off in the direction of Brookland lake.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

April 13th (New Hythe)

Overcast to start,brighter later,south.

Country Park (09:30 - 11:00)  few more birds in this morning,with totals of  - 4 Nightingale,4 Swallows,1 Willow Warbler (west scrub) and 4 Blackcap.

Friday, 12 April 2013

April 12th (New Hythe)

At last a change in wind direction to a milder SW,but it also brought rain,(12:00 - 13:30)
Birds of note today were 2 House Martin and 1 Swallow over Brookland lake.A total of five singing Chiffchaffs and 1 singing Blackcap.

Since the Czech controlled Blackcap (caught December 30th 2012) (w.t.18.3grms),which I last saw on March 15th,we have had a further 4 Blackcaps in the garden.

Female -  from March 15th  -  April 11th,caught on April 10th, (w.t of 21.5grms).

Male -  from March 25th -  April 9th,caught on March 29th (w.t.19.0 grms).

Male - caught on April 11th, (w.t.21.6grms).

Female seen on April 21st ( new bird)

Both the April caught birds had a good w.t.,with a fat score of (4).If they had wintered here,which I suspect they had,they would need this extra gain in weight as fuel to get them back to their breeding grounds.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

April 10th (New Hythe)

Grey Heron (Millstream)
overcast,with a light mist,remaining cold.(08:00 - 10:00).

As I left for New Hythe this morning,I was fully expecting by now to see Sand Martin,but it wasn`t to be.I did however see one Swallow,which flashed overhead as I walked alongside Abbey Mead,(Swallow,before Sand Martins,that`s a first for me).The only other thing of note was short bursts of song from two Chiffs and that I`m afraid just about sums up my mornings visit
Maybe next time I will go later in the day,when it should be a little warmer and hopefully induce more birds to sing.

 I see Terry Laws had 10 Sand Martin today,but had a later visit,between 10:00 - 14:00).
The Shoveler flock on Abbey Mead has now increased to 26 birds.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

PAST TIMES ( April 10th,1971)

New Hythe ( Abbey Mead )

At last I believe birds are moving.
One drake Red-breasted Merganser,1 duck Common Scoter,3 Goldeneye,1 Tufted Duck,3 pairs of Teal,3 pairs of Great Crested Grebes (one of which is nesting) and a few Coot.
Along the bank (western) were  good numbers of Pied Wagtail,at least 15,also 3 Lapwing (which were the first for a while),about 15 Linnet,25 Meadow Pipit,3 Skylark and 1 Green Sandpiper,a small flock of Redpoll  also passed over east.

Monday, 8 April 2013

April 8th (Dungeness)

For me to spend most of a visit to Dungeness seawatching,it has to be good and this morning it was.Although I don`t think todays totals will exceed Sundays exceptional totals,especially for R T Diver 3,171 and Brent Goose 5,612,there was non the less an almost constant stream of birds passing east to keep my interest high.

My totals are from the point (08:00 - 09:30
Brent Goose  144 up
Gannet  not counted,constantly on view.
Common Scoter  200 up
R T Diver  103 up 2 down
B T Diver  1 up
Eider Duck  6  up
Auk 20 up
Pintail 13 up
Wigeon 6 up
Teal 20 up
Shoveler 8 up
Common Tern 1 up
Sandwich Tern  6 up
Shelduck 2  up
Crow  2 in
Kittiwake 8 feeding along the beach

(11:30 - 12:35)
Brent Goose  450 up
Common Scoter  24 up
R T Diver 4 up  2 down
leuistic Herring gull 1 feeding along the beach.

1`m sure much higher totals for the day will be published elsewhere,see (Ploddingbirder)

At home this morning just before I left for Dungeness at (06:45),I heard a Med Gull passing over.
R T Divers
Brent Geese
Brent Geese
Med Gull (immature)
leuistic Herring Gull
This bird could possibly be miss identified as an Iceland Gull.
leuistic Herring Gull

Sunday, 7 April 2013

April 7th (New Hythe)

Much better day,bright and quite warm in the sun.

(09:00 - 11:00) Although the red-head Smew was seen yesterday (Abbey Mead),this morning,although I spent quite a bit of time looking,it eluded me,but it does have this habit of disappearing every now and again.Birds that I did manage to see though on the lake and in the surrounding area included the lone drake Pochard,a handful of Gadwall,25 Shoveler,2 Bullfinch,1 Water Rail,3 Reed Bunting and at long last 2 singing Chiffchaff.

Along the river which was halfway up,I saw at least 50 Teal,3 feeding Grey Heron,1 Kingfisher and a flyover Stock Dove.

In the Country Park (west side of the railway) I had 2 Med Gulls and the Little Egret.I saw  a total of 45 speices ,still no Sand Martin.
Med Gull

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

April 3rd (New Hythe)

Little egret

Birds of note - Abbey Mead,1 red-head Smew,11 Shoveler,1 Pochard,1 Common Buzzard.
Brookland lake,2 Med Gulls (flew over west),1 Kingfisher.
Millstream,11 Redwing,1 Chiffchaff,1 Little egret.

Both male and female Blackcaps remain in the garden.