Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Isle of Sheppy , Bosseneden Woods & Grove Ferry

                                                January  15th 2022 

                                       Leysdown- on- Sea  Isle of Sheppy


                                                               

5 of the 7 Shorelarks



A trip to Leysdown-on-Sea on Saturday 15th proved very successful with superb views of the wintering flock of Shorelarks , we managed to see all 7 birds together.


Shorelarks


We had planned to bird on the Isle of Sheppy up until lunchtime but it was so misty we decided to head to the woods near Canterbury.


                                                           Bossenden Woods

                                                                        

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

We had checked out Bossenden Woods before New Year and were successful with 2 LSW (heard only) , so we went to the same area but were unlucky there this time, however Nuthatch ,Coal Tit & several Treecreeper were seen here though.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker


We spent quite abit of time in the woods and eventually located a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers , the female especially showed well.


Grove Ferry

The final destination of the day  produced 6+ Marsh Harriers & 1 'Ringtail' Hen Harrier going to roost plus several Little Egret seen from the Ramp .

We waited almost until complete darkness and were lucky enough to see 6 Woodcock come out of roost by the paddocks.

However my personal highlight was seeing for the first time ever 5 Long Tailed Tits all huddled up together in their roost !!!





Monday, 10 January 2022

Kent Birding in the New Year

                                                       JANUARY 1st   2022


                                                    St.MARGARET'S at CLIFFE


First site visited today was Bockhill Farm Wood and we heard the wintering Hume's Leaf Warbler several times before we managed any sort of view, i did see it quite well on a couple of occasions but sadly never managed a photo.

Other highlights here were  2 Raven over the cliffs plus Gannet, Fulmar , Razorbill & Guillemot on the sea.


                                             SANDWICH BAY  &  WORTH MARSHES


                                                                      

Velvet Scoter

We left Bockhill Farm and headed to Sandwich Bay , despite a good search we were unable to find the Snow Bunting this time, however we were more than compensated with a fine Velvet Scoter quite close in on the sea.


Velvet Scoter.

Driving along the Ancient Highway on our way to Worth Marshes we were also very happy to see 5 Grey Partridge , sadly a hard species to see in Kent these days.


Grey Partridge  (photo from 2021)


It didn't take long to connect with the unringed White Stork at Worth Marshes as it happily and successfully fed in the fields near the 'Round House'.


White Stork with a Grey Heron



SWALECLIFFE


We then headed to Swalecliffe in the hope of connecting with the recently re found Black Guillemot.

We had a scan over the sea and picked out 10+  Red Breasted Mergansers , 3 Eider, 1 Great Northern Diver, several Red Throated Divers & Great crested Grebes.

We bumped into Andre Farrar who kindly informed us (thankyou Andre) the Black Guillemot & Slavonian Grebe were showing further down the beach nearer to Hampton.

We soon headed to the area and had decent scope views of this rare Kent bird plus the Slavonian Grebe was also great to see.

Black Guillemot  (photo by FC)

We added lot's of waders here including, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Turnstone & Curlew.


OARE MARSHES


Barn Owl


We ended a really great days birding at Oare Marshes and had decent views of a Barn Owl, other highlights included a Greenshank in the creek , 30+ Pintail on the East Flood and a high flying Cattle Egret over the East flood heading towards Uplees.









Thursday, 30 December 2021

Final Bird List Totals for 2021

                                                                     

Hoopoe at Stelling Minnis.

Once again in a difficult year with Covid effecting most things including further lockdowns    birding was once again the one consistent which proved to be very successful both in Kent & further a field.

                                         Here are my final bird list totals for 2021


                                               KENT  BIRD YEAR LIST 2021


My Kent Bird Year List Total finished on 212, which included 3 new birds for my Kent Bird List :

Red Throated Pipit at Worth Marshes.  (Sadly no photo).


Pied Wheatear at Reculver.

                           

Pied Wheatear at Reculver. Photo by AE

Black Guillemot at Swalecliffe.


                                                                              

Black Guillemot at Swalecliffe. Photo by FC.


Many thanks to both AE & FC for the use of their photos.

                            


UK BIRD LIST  2021


My UK Bird Year List finished on  260 with a remarkable 9 new species added to my British bird list which are :


NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD  at Lona Avenue Exmouth Devon.

                                                                     
Northern Mockingbird.


AMERICAN HERRING GULL  at Newlyn Harbour Cornwall.

                                                                           
American Herring Gull.


RED NECKED STINT  at Blyth Estuary Northumberland.

                                                                              
Red Necked Stint.


BLACK BROWED ALBATROSS  at Bempton Cliffs Rspb Yorkshire.

                                                                                 
Black Browed Albatross


GREEN WARBLER  at Buckton Yorkshire.  (Sadly never managed a photo)


LONG TOED STINT  at  St.Aidans Rspb West Yorkshire.

                                                                          
Long Toed Stint.


VARIED THRUSH  on Papa Westray.

                                                                                
Varied Thrush.


TAIGA FLYCATCHER  at South Landing Flamborough Yorkshire.

                                                                                 
Taiga Flycatcher.


BELTED KINGFISHER  at River Darwen Samlesbury Lancashire.

                                                                                
Belted Kingfisher.



GARDEN BIRD LIST 2021


Garden Birdwatching is something i really enjoy and my Garden Bird List now stands at : 74 
i added 7 new species this year which are :


WOODCOCK seen on 2 occasions flying over garden.

HEN HARRIER Ringtail bird seen flying over garden.

LINNET 3 birds seen & heard flying over garden

FIRECREST heard only several times.

COMMON TERN  2 birds seen flying over garden.

WILLOW WARBLER heard only several times.

BRAMBLING heard only in flight over garden.

As you can see from my added new birds i count everything i can see or / and hear from within my garden  which obviously includes flyover birds. 


Dunnock.



So that wraps up  my Birding totals for the year, it's been an incredible year with far to many highlights to mention, let's hope 2022 is just as amazing for birds.

Happy New Year & I wish you all  Great Birding in 2022.


Juvenile Goldfinch.












Friday, 24 December 2021

2nd Time Lucky.......What a Belter !!!

                                           23rd December 2021  :  Samlesbury


                                                                 

Belted Kingfisher !!!!

After our dramatic dip of the Belted Kingfisher on the river Ribble a couple of weeks ago,  RR & myself were given a 2nd chance when the Belted Kingfisher had been refound on the River Darwen near Roach bridge at Samlesbury.

This time we were joined by AE on our early morning drive up from Kent, leaving at 02.30am, an uneventful drive saw us arrive at 7am .

white wing patch on dark blue wing.

We made our way around to the area by the river Darwen and joined the assembled birders waiting with baited breath, i think it's the anticipation , hope and keeping everything crossed that makes the twitch so exciting (or maybe thats just me ...).

Daylight broke and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife as the hope , anticipation, dreams and then the unspoken doubt & dread in all our minds as we waited for the appearance of the much wanted to see Belted Kingfisher.

Then we all heard the unmistakable 'rattling' call of this magnificent bird echoing around the river below us, the shear relief that we all felt that the Belted Kingfisher was still present.


Broad blue breast band & white underparts.

And then the wait was over as the Belted Kingfisher gave it's self up to it's admiring crowd , i had really great scope views as it perched on various branches, i was also lucky enough to see it in flight on several occasions.

The slope of Death seems along time ago now, but it was all worth it to see this great bird.

Having a preen.



Belted Kingfisher.










 

Monday, 20 December 2021

MERRY CHRISTMAS


Just like to wish everyone who has visited my blog this year a


MERRY CHRISTMAS 


&


GREAT BIRDING

FOR

2022



 

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Recent Kent Birding Highlights

                                          2nd December 2021  :  Worth Marshes


                                                         

White Stork.

I managed to catch up with the unringed White Stork on the 2nd December at Worth Marshes, 
Wild or not it was a great bird to see !!


White Stork in flight.


4th December 2021  :  New Hythe

Greater Scaup.

A trip to New Hythe on the 4th December was rewarded with great views of a ♂ Greater Scaup on Brooklands Lake.

Greater Scaup having a splash.

The Greater Scaup was keeping company with approx 200 Tufted Ducks plus a single ♂ Goldeneye.

Greater Scaup with Tufted Ducks.

♂ Goldeneye.



9th December  :  Reculver Marshes  &  Scotney


Black Brant with Brent Geese.

A walk along the sea wall at Reculver on the 9th December produced close views of a Black Brant in the company of Dark Bellied Brent Geese.

Broad white collar & white flanks.

Black Brant.

A walk further along the sea wall soon found us watching a new bird for my Reculver bird list :  Dartford Warbler.


Dartford Warbler.

Really pleased to add this Dartford Warbler to my Reculver bird list , such a showy bird and also called on occasion.




The Dartford Warbler spent sometime in the grass and was often seen in the company of Stonechats.


Dartford Warbler in the grass.

From Reculver we headed to Scotney and saw 18 Bewick's Swans (12 adults & 6 juvs).

6 of the 18 Bewick's Swans

Adult Bewick's Swan

2 Juv Bewick's Swans.


11th December 2021 :  Capel Fleet

♂ Hen Harrier

A long days birding around Kent was finally rewarded with superb views of a ♂ Hen Harrier near the Raptor watch point at Capel Fleet on Sheppy.

Hen Harrier.

A Ringtail Hen Harrier was also seen plus a cracking looking Barn Owl was seen nearby.


12th December 2021  :  Oare Marshes


Redhead Smew.

A txt message from MW (Thanks Murray) on Sunday morning informing me that a Redhead Smew was currently showing on the East flood at Oare soon had me grabbing my birding gear and heading there.

This was only my 3rd ever Smew seen at Oare Marshes and a very welcome year tick, an added bonus was a vocal Spotted Redshank which briefly dropped into the East Flood before flying out again calling.