2nd May 2016.
Western Rufous Turtle Dove (Form Meena)
This incredible bird has been teasing Kent birders since February of this year , it had been visiting & photographed feeding in a private garden in Otford and despite several hours of searching by the Kent county recorder & friends there was no sign of this very rare bird , a few weeks passed and then another report came through and finally the Western Rufous Turtle Dove (form meena) gave it's self up on Saturday 30th April when it flew into the trees near the garden it feeds in before it goes to roost.
First record for Kent.
I was there early Monday morning the 2nd May and after a short wait i saw the Dove fly into the trees and then watched it for approx 15 minutes sitting out in the open before it dropped down to feed , it then reappeared for a few minutes deeper in the trees before eventually flying off at 10,15am , it goes missing during the day and reappears later in the evening to feed up before going to roost .
The Western Rufous Turtle Dove (form meena) is the first ever recorded in Kent and the first of this race i have seen , so many thanks to the residents for allowing us to view it.
3rd May 2016
I spent a few hours at Stodmarsh and then Grove Ferry on the 3rd May and added 3+ Hobby to my year list , cracking birds and always one of the highlights of the year. there were plenty of Blackcaps in the Alder wood plus a single Garden Warbler.
One of three Hobby at Stodmarsh .
I then went around to Grove ferry and from the ramp a very showy Kingfisher put in an appearance plus several Sand Martins came down feeding over the pool , there were also 2 Nightingales showing on & off along the entrance track plus a Stoat run across the path but sadly to quick for the camera.
5th May 2016
13 Wood Sandpipers & 1 Little Stint.
I got a phone call informing me at 2.30pm that there ws at least 10 Wood Sandpipers from the ramp at Grove plus a smaller wader which was causing some confusion , these are one of my Fave waders so i wasted no time and headed there and sure enough there were 10 Wood Sandpipers , the smaller wader was out of view by the time i got there , eventually it showed and my initial impression was Little Stint although it did look bigger than i expected next to the Wood Sandpipers it also appeared to be elongated at the tail end , opinions were divided between us all , eventually it showed much better and flew around with the Wood Sandpipers and was clearly a Little Stint (it's amazing what heat haze & time of year can do to your id skills) anyhow the final total of Wood Sandpipers was an incredible 13 birds.
Coming into land .
I also saw my first Common Swifts of the year , a really enjoyable birding session.