Monday, 12 August 2019

Squacco Heron & Little Bustard in the Same Week

                                   5th August 2019 : Halsey's Farm Pagham

Adult Squacco Heron.

I teamed up with a couple of birding friends and headed to Halsey's Farm in Pagham in the hope of seeing the Adult Squacco Heron, news was positive , the Heron had been seen in flight but only one of our group had seen it !!! (not me) !!

We had to wait a couple of more hours before the Squacco Heron re-appeared (whilst i was at the car getting supplies !!!) but fear not i got back in time to see the Squacco Heron very well indeed thankfully.

Squacco Heron.

A really great looking bird and one of my favourite Heron species, this was a new bird for 2 of our group.

The Squacco Heron was busy feeding and walking through this field for quite sometime before it decided to fly off towards a nearby pond and out of view.

Squacco Heron in flight.

Other birds of note were 2 adult Cattle Egrets in a nearby field plus several Little Egrets & Grey Herons plus 15+ Whimbrel overhead.

We also saw at Siddlesham ferry Wood & Common Sandpiper.

8th August 2019 : Mickletown Ing's

Little Bustard.

A trip to West Yorkshire to hopefully see the ♂ Little Bustard was taken on Thursday 8th August and thankfully news was positive on the journey , we arrived in good time and saw the Little Bustard straight away as it strutted about in it's favoured field.

Distant but great scope views.

The Little Bustard would often disappear down into a small ditch at the back of the field but with patience it would eventually come out into the open and show us all how great it looks.

Digi scoped Little Bustard.

I think this bird is believed to be the one from Slimbridge (I have no idea myself ??) however it certainly showed much better than it did at Slimbridge , just like to thank the local bird group and the farmer who arranged and allowed access to see this superb bird.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Great Wader Day at....Dungeness

                                   27th July 2019 :  Dungeness Rspb & Arc

                                                Firth & Hanson Hides

4 Wood Sandpipers

A trip to Dungeness on Saturday proved a very good choice as the overnight bad weather had grounded good numbers of waders on the reserve, i missed the early birds but through the day i managed to catch up with most of them.

One of the main highlights for me was Wood Sandpiper which are one of my favourite waders and i managed to see at least 9 birds together on the Arc pit from the Hanson hide .

8 Wood Sandpipers

The most i could get in one photo was 8 birds , here are a few more photos.

5 Wood Sandpipers.

Being spooked by a Tern.

Wood Sandpiper in front of Firth Hide.

Wood Sandpiper.

Later in the day 2 Temminck's Stints were located in front of the Firth Hide.

2 Temminck'c Stints.

I really enjoyed watching these smart birds as they fed busily in front of the hide, Little ringed Plover & Common Sandpiper were keeping these birds company.

Other highlights through the day were 6 Spotted Redshanks (Firth hide) & 3 Curlew Sandpipers (Hanson hide).

6 Spotted Redshank.

Curlew Sandpiper.

A real wader spectacle with my personal total of 17 different wader species out of 22 reported , add that to the several Great white Egrets and hundreds of Sand & House Martins , a single Hobby plus several Marsh Harriers i would say Dungeness was a great place to be on Saturday.

Wader Totals

  Oystercatcher  10+

                     Little Ringed Plover  2 (Firth)

Ringed Plover  2 

                     Golden Plover  50   (over Arc)

Lapwing  500+   

                         Temminck's Stint  2 Ad (Firth) 

                                Curlew Sandpiper  3 Ad (Hanson) 

                           Dunlin  2  (Firth & Hanson)        

                           Ruff  10+    (Firth & Hanson)      

                      Black tailed Godwit  3+ (Firth)

          Whimbrel  1  (over Arc)

       Turnstone  3+  (Firth)

                                  Spotted Redshank 6+ (Firth & Hanson)

                          Redshank  300+ (Firth & Hanson)

                          Greenshank  11+  (Firth & Hanson)

                              Wood Sandpiper  9+ (Firth & Hanson)

                                    Common Sandpiper  10+  (Firth & Hanson)

Great white Egret & Common Tern.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Returning Bonaparte's Gull & Lesser Yellowlegs at Oare Marshes

                                 July 10th  :  Oare Marshes


Adult Bonaparte's Gull on East Flood.

I received a text message from MW on Wednesday 10th July at approx 5.35am informing me the Bonaparte's Gull was back at Oare marshes and roosting on the East flood !!!1

About an hour or so later i joined MW & RR by the East flood looking from the road and sure enough now back for it's 7th year the Adult Bonaparte's Gull was having a well earned kip near the pull-in.

On high tide the East flood is the best place to see the Bonaparte's Gull , low tide it favours the mud near the slip way and can be seen having a feast on all the lug worm. 

Having a preen near slip way.

You can just about see the white on the under-wing.

The water levels are still quite high on the East flood however there is a bit of mud and shallow water in the South east corner , MW suggested it might be worth a look , so we headed off in that direction.

Lesser Yellowlegs.

We were all scanning through the numerous Black tailed Godwits & Redshanks when MW & myself both got on a wader which made us both think ' What's that ??'

After discussing the possibility's MW suggested Lesser Yellowlegs and after making double sure of all the features, we all agreed that indeed that is what it is !!!!

MW sent out more txt messages and i tweeted the news out and RR just enjoyed the bird !!!

Lesser Yellowlegs.

This was a new bird for all our Oare marsh bird lists , there has been 2 previous records however both were one day only birds.

The Lesser Yellowlegs flew out into Faversham creek at one point with Redshank but thankfully soon returned.

Flying back into East flood.

Lesser Yellowlegs.

The Lesser Yellowlegs is still present as i write (18-7-2019) and still favours the South east corner of the East flood, i have seen it alongside Spotted Redshank & Wood Sandpiper , it has also roosted on the island near the road on occasion.

Spotted Redshank & Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs & Wood Sandpiper.

Lesser Yellowlegs roosting near road.

Hopefully the water levels will drop some more to expose some muddy fringes and who knows what else might turn up !!!!!

Saturday, 22 June 2019

King's Wood & Elmley Track & Seasalter

                                       15th June :    King's Wood

Tree Pipit displaying.

On Saturday 15th June we headed to King's Wood near Challock in the hope of seeing Tree Pipit and after finding a suitable habitat we soon heard a Tree Pipit , we eventually located it and had some really good views of this bird displaying .

Parachuting display.

We also saw the Tree Pipit perched quite a few times.

Tree Pipit.

We saw 2 each of Tree Pipit & Garden Warbler here plus we heard at least 2 Willow Warblers.

From here we decided to head to Elmley and just drive the track leading to the reserve with no real target birds.

This proved very successful with superb views of Yellow Wagtail.

Yellow Wagtail.

On the way back down the track we saw plenty of chicks,  with Lapwing chicks at various age & size.

Lapwing chick.

We also saw a superb Redshank chick , we didn't stay to long looking at these for obvious reasons.

Redshank chick.

Our bonus bird was a stunning Bittern flying past us as we were driving along the track near to the entrance.


Wow what a treat and most unexpected , this was a new bird for my Sheppy bird list.

Various Dates : Graveney Marshes

I have been checking the Graveney marshes over the last couple of weeks and have had several sightings of Barn Owl over this time , including 2 birds together on one visit.

Barn Owl.

I also saw Common Whitethroat and heard Lesser Whitethroat on all my visits , on one occasion i saw 400+ Common Swifts low over the marsh which was an amazing sight.

Common Whitethroat.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Day Trip to East Anglia

Great Grey Shrike

On Saturday the 1st June i had a day trip to East Anglia, the first location was Needingworth in Cambridgeshire, and the target bird was a Great Grey Shrike.

Very confiding bird.

On the walk down to the quarry entrance (many thanks James for directions) we heard several Turtle Doves & a distant Cuckoo, there was also a Lesser Whitethroat calling but remained unseen.

Having reached the quarry entrance the Great Grey Shrike was on show pretty much the whole time we were there, only disappearing into the quarry and returning with a large dragonfly to eat every now and again.

Watching us watching him.

Having a preen.

Great Grey Shrike.

Next stop was Rspb reserve Lakenheath in Suffolk , i was hoping to see Bittern here and although my companion did see one , i missed it  !!!!!

We had some really great views of  2 Cuckoo's playing chase.

2 Cuckoo's.

There were several Marsh Harrier's & Common Buzzard's plus good numbers of Hobby

Close view of  Hobby

Whilst watching the Hobby 2 Common Crane's flew over head.

2 Common Crane's

There were several birds with young and i was especially pleased to see a pair of Great crested Grebes with 2 young, one hitching a ride on an adult's back.

'Humbug' Chick.

Trying to get a lift.

Adult & Chick.

It was also great to see this Moorhen chick so close.

Moorhen Chick

The final destination was Weeting Heath which is just over the boarder in Norfolk , this is the site i saw my first ever Stone Curlew many years ago.

Head of a Stone Curlew.

We went into the West hide and was told there is only one Stone Curlew present another kind birder pointed that bird out to us , as i watching this bird i saw another Stone Curlew appear from behind the first bird and then a 3rd Stone Curlew (wow) appeared, although distant we had great views through the scope of these superb birds.

An Eurasian Curlew dropped in nearby and soon got a rebuff from the Stone Curlew.

Stone Curlew.

A really great days birding in East Anglia in great company plus i got home in time for the football 'YNWA'  !!!!!