Sunday, 25 May 2014

May 25th (Rye harbour and Dungeness)

Rye harbour.8am-10:30am,bright,SW.

Good numbers of Sandwich Terns are nesting on the islands,along with smaller numbers of Common Tern and Black-headed Gulls.I only saw two Med Gulls and that was in flight.
Common Terns

Late morning I made my way across the marsh to Dungeness.There I had a pleasant few hours watching and photographing Hobbies from the mound at Denge Marsh.(at least seven were in the air)

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

May 20th (Grove Ferry and Oare Marshes)

Today I spent the morning at Grove.I was trying my luck at photographing the Hobbies.Unfortunately most of the time they were feeding rather high up,as a slow moving front made its way through.

After I left Grove,I looked in on Oare marshes ( KTNC) reserve.The B T Godwits made a fine sight as a Peregrine passed over and spooked them into flight.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

I went to the lakes this morning.I was hoping to photograph a singing Nightingale or two.The trouble is though the vegetation and leaves on the trees are so much more advanced this spring.I found it difficult to get a clear view of any of the birds I came across.

Has luck would have it however.I came across the above female,collecting nesting material at the side of one of the tracks in the Brook House area.

Great Tit

Sunday, 11 May 2014

May 10th (Marquenterre)

White Stork and young.
Today I had a day trip to Marquenterre with the Maidstone RSPB group.We went through the Channel Tunnel,arriving in France at 8:10am and had reached our destination by 9.45.

We had been accompanied all the way to within just a few miles of Marquenterre by horrendous weather,strong winds,low cloud and rain.Although at the reserve we still had the very strong wind and dull conditions,it stopped raining just long enough for us to nearly complete the loop walk.The sun did come out eventually,but not until an hour before we were due to leave at

I believe our species count for the day was just over (70).It may well have been higher,if it had not been for the strong winds.

Notable birds
White Stork,Spoonbill,Night Heron,Cattle Egret,Common Crane,Crested Tit,Short-toed Treecreeper,Grasshopper Warbler,Honey Buzzard (one bird,first this spring),G W Egret,White Wagtail,Avocet,Med Gull,B W Stilt 2 and L R Plover.Many hundreds of Swallows and Martins,with a sprinkling of Swifts were feeding in the area.

My thanks to the group for a very enjoyable day out,despite the weather.
From a nice big hide,you can look across to where Herons and Storks are nesting in the Pines.
White Stork and Spoonbills

Night Herons and Little Egret
White Stork

Only one Great White Egret was seen.
Med Gull (immature)
Avocets were nesting on the islands in quite good numbers.However,we only saw three Med Gulls and no Terns which I thought was unusual for a reserve in France.
White Wagtail
Common Crane
One of the resident Whooper Swans on its nest.
Chaffinch (pair feeding young)

In the Pine trees a short walk from the Park entrance.We saw a pair of Short-toed Treecreepers taken food into a nest box which had a round entrance.I believe this was the first time we had all seen a tit box used in this way.

Monday, 5 May 2014

May 5th (Dungeness)

Clear and bright,though hazy,S.

I didn`t get down to Dunge until quite late this morning,but fortunately not too late (11:10),to see first five,then a few minutes later four Pom Skua passing east up channel.
Other birds of note - LR Plover 1,Greenshank 1,(hay field),Raven 1,Black Redstart 1(Power Station fence),Swift 4 and singles of Hobby and Garganey at the (ARC).

Reed Bunting
Sedge Warbler
Common Terns

Friday, 2 May 2014

May 2nd (New Hythe)

I was particularly pleased this morning whilst ringing in the Brook House area,when I re-trapped Nightingale T677063.Along with T677041,which I re trapped on April 18th,they are now my oldest ringed Nightingales,(seven years old),both hatched during 2007.

My previous oldest Nightingale was six,which I recorded during a twelve year study of Nightingales just across the river on the former Reed Island Site,(1979 - 1992).

T677063,first caught in the east scrub on the 06 06 08.

re-trapped in the Brook House area on the 17 04 13.

re-trapped in the Brook House area on 02 05 14.

Both birds are males.Male Nightingales are more sight faithful than females.

The re-trap history of T677041,can be found under April.

John Buckingham and I also caught a Garden Warbler,my third so far this spring.The Cuckoo was still in the area of the east and west scrub.