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'  !!!!!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Star Terns at Dungeness plus a Red Backed Shrike

                                   20th May : Dungeness Rspb

Adult Whiskered Tern

On the 20th May a superb adult summer plumage Whiskered Tern appeared on Burrowe's Pit at Dungeness Rspb reserve , i didn't get down there until late afternoon and managed some superb views of the Whiskered Tern both in flight and at rest.

Constantly twisting and diving.

The light wasn't great for photography (my fave excuse....) however the Whiskered Tern put on a tremendous display in front of Dennis hide.

Whiskered Tern.

Whilst we were all enjoying the Whiskered Tern DW from the bird observatory picked out a Roseate Tern on call alone (Wow) and sure enough a superb pink flushed Roseate Tern flew in and landed among the Common Terns.

Here is a small selection of photos i took.

Pink flushed Roseate Tern.

In flight.

Roseate Tern with a Sanderling.

Roseate Tern getting some Coot aggro.

Roseate Tern.

We also managed to see both the Whiskered & Roseate Tern in the same field of view at times.

Roseate & Whiskered & Common Terns

Roseate Tern Flying over Whiskered Tern.

22nd May :  Dungeness NNR

Adult male Red backed Shrike.

On the 22nd a male Red backed Shrike was seen in the moat by the Dungeness bird Ob's early in the morning and then went missing for most of the day.

It was relocated early afternoon back at the moat , so plans were made and i was soon heading to Dungeness in the hope of seeing this superb bird.

Eating a beetle.

The Ob's staff managed to catch and ring the Red backed Shrike so we were all treated to viewing this stunning bird close up in the hand.

Although i am not a fan of birds being displayed like this i have to say the Observatory staff were very professional and handled the Red backed Shrike with all due care and attention , they did not keep it for to long before releasing it where promptly it ruffled it's feathers and perched out in the open preening.

Red backed Shrike.

A superb male Black Redstart was also seen nearby plus plenty of Common Whitethroats, a Peregrine was constantly heard but remained unseen somewhere in the Power station.