Monday, 28 April 2014

April 28th (New Hythe)

Cetti`s Warbler (west scrub)
John Buckingham joined me this morning for a very enjoyable ringing session.One of the first birds we took out of the nets was a Cetti`s Warbler,John`s first,so he was well pleased.

Birds ringed

Cetti`s Warbler  (1)
Garden Warbler  (2)
Long-tailed Tit  (2)
Blackbird  (2) one being a well advanced youngster.
Willow Warbler  (2)
Chiffchaff  (1)
Robin  (3)
Common Whitethroat  (3)
Reed Bunting  (1)
Reed Warbler  (1)
Blackcap  (1)
Dunnock  (1)

While we were there we heard a Cuckoo and a flyover Oystercatcher.
Garden Warbler (west scrub)

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

April 23rd (Sandhole)

The Nightingale at the Hoopoe site was showing quite well first thing this morning.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

April 18th (New Hythe)

This morning I re trapped Nightingale (T677041).He has now reached the age of seven years.This is a good age for a small bird that winters in sub-Saharan Africa.

First caught on April 23rd 2008,age code (5),a bird hatched during 2007.He was holding a territory in the west scrub.

2009 -  re trapped (14 04 2009),in the west scrub.

2012 - re trapped (27 04  2012),this time in the east scrub (pylon territory).

2013 - re trapped,(16 05 2013),east scrub,(pylon territory).

2014 - re trapped,(08 04 2014), east scrub,(pylon territory).

While I was ringing I saw 2 Oystercatchers flying around the Brook House area,4 Swallows flying through north and heard,Cuckoo,Lesser Whitethroat and Common Whitethroat.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

April 15th (New Hythe)

I managed to catch three Nightingales this morning,all of which were already wearing rings.Two were retraps,one was  ringed on the 26 04 2010 and the other on the 17 04 2013.The third was a control,a bird ringed elsewhere by another bird ringer.Only my second controlled Nightingale for New Hythe.I will send the number off to the BTO and in due course they will let me no who ringed the bird and where.

I was hoping to re trap either T677063 or T677041,or both would have been nice.As I re trapped both birds in April 2013,aged six years.If I do managed to catch them later during the month,providing that is they are still surviving.Seven years would be a good age for a Nightingale.

Sunday, 13 April 2014



At one point the Hoopoe went into this classic posture.I think a raptor most probably past overhead.

Friday, 11 April 2014

April 11th (Sandhole)

1100-1130 -While I was watching the Hoopoe,I also noted a pair of Bullfinch,singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff and I heard a Med Gull passing over.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

April 10th (Snodland)

I saw the Hoopoe  this morning between 1100-1230.I watched the bird feeding on the large grassy garden of Sandhole farm (behind the black buildings).I viewed it from behind the wire fence,just off the public path which runs north past these buildings.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

April 9th (New Hythe)

This morning with the fine weather.I was expecting to hear an explosion of Nightingale song,but all I got was a few short burst.Perhaps there holding back until the females arrive,hopefully next week.There is now at least seven singing males present.

As for Blackcaps,they are again back in good numbers and on my walk this morning I heard (15).Chiffs I heard (4),Willow Warblers (2),both in the west scrub and Cetti`s (5).No Sand Martins as yet,but I know they have been seen by others.How Sand Martins numbers have fallen over the years and other Hirundines come to that.When I first started birding at New Hythe back in the 60s,hirundines swarmed over the lakes in their hundreds.

I was hoping that I might be lucky,as Phil was yesterday and a Red Kite or other raptor would pass over,but no such luck.Most of the time its a case of being in the right place at the right time.I could increase my chances I suppose and stand looking skywards on the Brookland lake mound for an hour or two,but most of the time I like to keep walking,1`m very restless.

Talking about being in the right place at the right time.Later on I was on my way to Maidstone in the car and just before I turned onto the M20,I saw a Common Buzzard circling low over over Castle lake Leybourne,my only raptor of the day.

My New Hythe 2014 list now stands at (60).Over the last few days I have added,Stock Dove,Nightingale and Willow Warbler.

Monday, 7 April 2014

April 7th (New Hythe)

Overcast,with drizzle at times.(0900-10:00).

This morning,I was hoping the conditions would bring me my first hirundines of the year,but it was not to be.However,I did see a nice GREEN SANDPIPER along the river and I heard two more Nightingales,I have now had three birds in at New Hythe,I heard my first on the 4th.All three are early this year,there could well be more.Nightingales do not usually arrive in any numbers in the area until the second week of April.

While I was in the area,I couldn`t help but notice large piles of rubble at the side of the dirt track between the Sunken marsh and Abbey Mead Lake.This I presume will be spread along the track to able fisherman`s cars to travel along.It may make life easier for the fishermen,but it will deprive birds such as Nightingales,Thrushes and many more species of a large foraging area.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

April 5th (Sandwich Bay)

Cetti`s Warbler
I was ringing at Sandwich Bay today from 0730 - 1400.Clear,light SW.

Birds ringed.

Bullfinch 1 Female (rather a scarce bird at the Bay.
Cetti`s Warbler 1 (first for two years).
Blackcap 3 (males).
Chiffchaff 1(several more heard)
Chaffinch 2 re traps.
Reed Bunting 8 re traps.
Blackbird 1 re trap.

Common Buzzard 6,Red Kite 1,Sparrowhawk 1 passed over,a Swallow was seen + 1 Small Copper and 1 Small White.A Willow Warbler was heard in the Whitehouse bushes..

Blackcap (male)

Thursday, 3 April 2014

April 3rd (Leybourne)

During a short visit to Leybourne Country Park this morning.I heard a NIGHTINGALE in song,which proved to be my earliest spring record,by one day.

I believe Blackcaps are back in good numbers again this year.I heard four within quite a short distance of each other.

Later in the afternoon a noisy flock of Herring Gulls over the house,alerted me to a passing PEREGRINE.

Yesterday at Snodland,I saw my first Orange Tip and Speckled Wood of the year.