Tuesday 6 February 2024

Bit of a catch up..........

                                                           13th  January 2024 

                                                         Oare Marshes


Male Hen Harrier

I had a walk around Oare Marshes on the 13th January and had superb views of a Male Hen Harrier as it flew across the East Flood.

Hen Harrier.

20th January 2024

 Ebbsfleet Lane nr Stonelees 

9 Waxwings.

I made a  pleasant trip to Ebbsfleet Lane nr Stonelees on the 20th January to hopefully see the 9 Waxwings that had been seen the previous day.

After a short wait they flew into the top of their favoured tree to have a preen & tidy up, i could hear their 'Trilling' call which is always great to hear.

They remained at the top of the tree pretty much the whole time.


5th February 2024

Godmersham Park  

Little Bunting.

I headed to Godmersham Park on Monday 5th February and my target bird was Little Bunting which was found by Michael Linklater over the weekend (Great find Michael).

I had 2 good but brief views at around 8.30am , however i decided to wait and hopefully get longer views and was rewarded with superb views at approx 11am.

Little Bunting with Dunnock, Chaffinch & Reed Bunting.

Reed Bunting & Little Bunting

Little Bunting.

This was a new bird for my Kent Bird List.

Many thanks to Andre Farrar for arranging parking & Godmersham Park for access.

Friday 12 January 2024

Some early 2024 Birding Highlights .........

                                                        1st January 2024 

                      Dungeness Seawatch  &  Rspb Reserve

2 Great Northern Divers.

I started 2024 with a visit to the Dungeness area , i started of by the fishing boats and was lucky enough to see 2 Ad & 1 1st w Caspian Gull, plus large numbers of both Razorbill & Guillemot with good numbers of Red throated Divers, Gannets & Kittiwakes all being seen.

From the fishing boats i headed to Dungeness Rspb reserve and saw a superb Great white Egret along the entrance track.

From the Dennis Hide i eventually managed to find the Black throated Diver which appears to be spending the winter there , i also saw 2 Great Northern Divers from the benches outside of the hide.

Black Throated Diver.

I finished my day at Oare Marshes where i was lucky enough to see Barn Owl, Spoonbill & a Bittern.

So all in all a great start to 2024 !!

3rd January 2024 

Oare Marshes

Whooper Swan.

I received a txt message from MW (Thanks Murray) informing me there was an adult Whooper Swan on the East Flood , i didn't have much spare time this morning so headed straight there and had some great views !!

Mute & Whooper Swan.

I have only seen one Whooper Swan here before and that was a very, very distant bird on the Swale so i was very happy to this bird so close.

4th January 2024

Ebbsfleet nr Stonelees

Long Tailed Duck.

I popped down to Ebbsfleet to have a look at the Long tailed Duck that seems to be very loyal to the stream behind the sewage works and i wasn't disappointed, remarkably very close at times, often diving & preening and not bothered by it's steady stream of admirers.

Having a preen.

Long tailed Duck.

7th January

Oare Marshes

Another flying visit to Oare Marshes thanks to another txt message from MW (thanks Murray) informing me of a close in Black Throated Diver off the slipway, this would be a new bird for my OMBL so i headed there without haste.

By the time i got there it had drifted / swam to the other side of the Swale where i thankfully picked it out , phew !!!!

I phoned Murray to thank him and he informed me there was a 1st winter Little Gull lingering by the buoys.

I quickly joined MW by the sea watch hide and soon connected with the Little Gull, we also saw a further 2 Ad Little Gulls in superb plumage.

9th January 2024

Heybridge & Abberton Reservoir in  Essex

Northern Waterthrush

My first trip out of Kent this year was to see the Northern Waterthrush at Heybridge in Essex, after a few problems on the M25 we eventually arrived on site at about 7.45am.

There were already 50+ birders there and the Northern Waterthrush was pretty much seen straight away thankfully, it was feeding well near the sluice and could often be heard calling.

Photos were pretty tricky in the gloom but i managed a few although all are  very grainy,  you can at least see what it is............

Northern Waterthrush

This was a new bird for RR and a very welcome year tick for me. We spent an hour here enjoying this bird before we headed of to Abberton in the hope of some winter ducks !

Once at Abberton we had some superb views of male Goosander plus 2 female Scaup were seen  but a bit more distantly, there were several Goldeneye and we also were very lucky to see 2 'Redhead' Smew from one of the hides.


11th January 2024

Western Undercliff  Pegwell Bay 


It's been a number of years since i have seen Twite in Kent and 2 birds were found by Scott .H. last year at the Western Undercliff (Great find Scott).

Thankfully these delightful birds seem to be wintering and i finally managed to catch up with them.


Thursday 21 December 2023

                                                       MERRY CHRISTMAS

Just like to wish everyone who has visited my Blog this year 








Tuesday 12 December 2023

Afternoon with the Owls at...........Elmley Marshes

                                            6th December 2023 :  Elmley Marshes


Short-eared Owl.

There has been very good numbers of Short-eared Owls reported on the Isle of Sheppey this winter so after checking the weather forecast i decided to head to Elmley Marshes to try and see some for myself.

 A slow drive down the entrance track towards the car park produced 2 Cattle Egrets, 1 Merlin & several Marsh Harriers.

I also had some very close views of Lapwing, 3 Ruff & several Skylarks.

On my arrival to a very packed car park i straight away saw 3 Short-eared Owls sitting out on posts.

Another Short-eared Owl on a post.

The weather was glorious , not a breath of wind & the sun was shinning , probably a little bit to much for photographs.

There seemed to be Short-eared Owls everywhere , i was reliably informed there is in fact 30 Short-eared Owls on the reserve !!!

I estimated i saw 15 in total. Here are a small selection of photos i took of the fabulous Short-eared Owls :

Short-eared Owl

Thursday 9 November 2023

Dungeness Seawatch plus Cooks Pool

                                                   4th November 2023 

                                                  Dungeness Seawatch

                                           830am - 1030am   &  12pm - 3pm

LEACH'S PETREL     1  west  (Mid distance view)


GREAT SKUA   3 west

ARCTIC SKUA  3 DP & 1 LP west

LITTLE GULL  20+  west

KITTIWAKE  200+ west

MED GULL  10 west & east





                                             Seen near Containers






                                                         RSPB : Cooks Pool 


3 Glossy Ibis.

GLOSSY IBIS  3  showed very well near road along entrance track.


Glossy Ibis.

Both Leach's Petrel & Purple Sandpiper were new species for my Dungeness Bird List !!

Tuesday 31 October 2023

New Bird for Kent & A Lifer .......... Solitary Sandpiper

                                    27th & 30th October 2023 



Solitary Sandpiper photo by Steve Clinch.

News of a Solitary Sandpiper seen at Stodmarsh on 15th October had got most Kent birders in a bit of a frenzy , a photograph had appeared online, however the area it was taken from was all a bit vague ?! which everyone involved in birding knows to well this can lead to doubt and all sorts of hidden plots can start to form.  

There were cry's of hoax by the dipping birding scene the very next day, however one thing was for sure everyone agreed it was a Solitary Sandpiper, however no one could recognize the place the actual  photograph was taken , 

Solitary Sandpiper photo by Andrew Lipczynski.

There was no other sighting of this bird until the 26th October so once again i headed to the Reed bed hide at Stodmarsh on the 27th and was joined by the Who's who of Kent birding .

After 2 hours 30 minutes and a few false alarms with a Green Sandpiper building our hopes up the Solitary Sandpiper was picked out feeding in the foliage at the back of the pool, i watched intently for roughly 1 & half mins trying to get all the ID details that make this a Solitary Sandpiper !!!

It didn't stay long and flew off to the left down the channel and out of sight, i spent another 2 hours in the hide but it never reappeared.

The Solitary Sandpiper showed really well on the Saturday morning from the Reed bed hide (however i was at home !!), a brief 2 hour visit Saturday afternoon drew a blank so i decided to head to the Boathouse on Monday morning.

30th October 2023


Another 4 hour vigil at Stodmarsh this time looking at a small patch of mud near the Boathouse , heavy rain came & went but no Sandpiper !!

I went back to my car for a drink and rest my back deciding whether to either give it a couple more hours or go home and be content with my Friday views ??

Then the magical Mega alert went off , the Solitary Sandpiper was back in the pool near the Tower hide, so off i went and finally after approx 10 hours in total i had the views i really craved for of this superb Solitary Sandpiper !!!

Here are a selection of photos i took of this superb bird :

Solitary Sandpiper

And here are a couple of Digi-scoped photos of the tail showing the dark bar running through the rump and tail plus the barring.

Dark through the rump & tail.

Barring on the tail.

The Solitary Sandpiper is not only a 1st for Kent but a new bird for me to.

Many thanks to Steve .C. & Andrew .L. for the use of their photos plus a big congrats to the original finder of the Solitary Sandpiper.