Saturday, 28 December 2013

December 28th (Sheppey)

Red-legged Partridge (Capel Fleet)
Curlew (Leysdown)
Brent Geese
Brent Geese (Leysdown)
Elmley track as far as the farm produced - Marsh Harrier 2,Common Buzzard 1,Little Egret 2,Lapwing (1000s),Curlew 20,Linnet 15,Peregrine 2,Barn Owl 1 and White-fronted Geese 8.
Barn Owl
Common Buzzard (Elmley)

Monday, 23 December 2013



Wednesday, 18 December 2013

December 17th (Dungeness)


I picked up Bob Bland this morning from Headcorn.The forecast was that today was to be the best of the coming week.It didn`t stop raining until 0900 and then when it did clear it remained dull and dismal,so much for the best day!.

Apart from a sea watch from the fishing boats,we spent all our time on the RSPB reserve (Burrowes Pit).

Shoveler 100s,Pintail 3,Black-necked Grebe 1,G W Egret 1,Wigeon 100+,Gadwall,Teal,Goldeneye 2,Smew (red head 1) and Goosander 1.
We watched the sea from the fishing boats between 08:45 -9:45.

Gannet small numbers E-W.
Kittiwake 4
Red-throated Diver 20 E-W
Guillemot 30 E-W
Razorbill 2 E.
Cormorant  100 fishing frenzy
Great crested Grebe 40+ sitting on the sea.
Turnstone 2 on the beach.
Great White Egret
Goldeneye (female)
A gull sitting on the water way off on Burrowes pit that Bob picked up through his scope looked interesting,we had thoughts of Caspian.When it finally flew I managed to follow it for a while with my camera. Although only record shots,the primary tip pattern we both think looks good for the species,the legs look fleshy,rather than yellow (yellow-legged Gull) and the eye through the scope looked dark,any comments would be welcome.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Caspian Gull ?.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

December 12th (GARDEN)

I now have coming into the garden up to three Reed Buntings (2 males and 1 female).The first to be seen this winter was a single female on the 5th of this month,three weeks later than the first bird last year.

I have noticed a big reduction in the number of Goldfinches coming into the garden this year,(perhaps many more than usual this year have moved south).

House Sparrows continue to do well, with up to thirty birds on the feeders at anyone time.

Starlings are also doing well,with the usual post breeding flock on our estate estimated to be over 1000 birds this year.When I see them all gathered on the roofs of the houses,I often wonder what it is about the estate they find so attractive.Perhaps some of it is to do with the feeding opportunities to be found in the lawns,as I have often seen up to 50 birds swarming all over some quite small ones.If most of the lawns are like mine,(I use no fertilizers etc),this could well account for the numbers present.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

December 10th (Dungeness)

G W Egret (Burrowes)
We left Maidstone this morning at 7:30am in thick fog,which didn`t completely clear until we were almost at Dungeness.The remainder of our visit was in pleasantly bright conditions.

Our first stop was to look at the southern end of the ARC Pit - birds of note - G W Egret 1,Goosander 1(red head),Goldeneye 3,Lapwing 100 and Gadwall 200+.

We then looked at the sea from the fishing boats between 9:30-10:15.Although bird activity was rather quite we did see 40 Red-throated Divers all of which flew west,along with 4 Guillemots,3 Kittiwakes,2 Common Scotor and 1 Oystercatcher.Sitting on the sea was 1 R T Diver and at least 60 Great Crested Grebes.

We had lunch at the northern end of Burrowes Pit,adding to our lists,one more Goldeneye and two more G W Egrets.

Heading back to Maidstone we stopped off  for a while at Scotney,seeing a distant Long-tailed Duck,100s of Wigeon and Pochard and singles of Redshank and Marsh Harrier.From  there we then cut across the marsh and saw the Bewick`s Swan flock which held 39 adult birds,but only 5 young birds.

In all I saw 53 species - Tree Sparrows were seen at the farm feeding station on Walland marsh and on the RSPB reserve,by the track entrance.

Jeff Wynn,Pete Tyler,Bob Bland,Trevor Graves and Trevor Maynard,accompanied me.
Bewick`s Swans
Red-throated Diver

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

December 2nd (Reculver)

Black Redstart
This morning,I went to Reculver with Bob Bland,Trevor Maynard,Jeff Wynn,Trevor Graves and Pete Tyler.We went there with the primary aim of seeing Snow Bunting and Pale-bellied Brent.Trevor Graves in particular wanted to see Snow Bunting,as its one of his bogie birds and only just recently he had missed seeing the birds on Sheppey,at Shellness.

After we had slogged all the way along the beach to Coldharbour and back again,without even a sniff of a Snow Bunting,Trevor was feeling a bit dejected,but it was to get worse.While the rest of us were enjoying our well earned lunch on the benches near the car park,Trevor walked off to spend a penny in the nearby toilets.However,while he was in there,four Snow Buntings suddenly flew up from a bit of rough grass behind the toilets,passed over our heads and then off in the direction to where we had been searching for them all morning.

After lunch we did all agree to walk back along the beach a bit to try and locate them for him,but I`m afraid without any luck.As Trevor said after,`there`s always another day`.

In all I saw about forty species,with birds of note being - Black Redstart 1,Rock Pipit 1,Linnet 60,Stonechat 2,Little Egret 2,Kestral 1,Marsh Harrier 1,Grey Wagtail 1 and Snow Bunting 4.

We did see the Brent flock,but the geese were sitting on the water way off in the distance and there was no chance of us picking out the pale-bellied birds,even with a scope.

I then went to Foreness with Bob and Pete.When we arrived the tide was still out,so we had some difficulty in finding our target species Purple Sandpiper,as they fed in among the rocks and seaweed.All in all though,it proved to be another nice day,spent as usual in good company.
Purple Sandpiper