Friday 17 May 2024

Whiskered Terns .........At Stodmarsh

                                                             12th May 2024

                                                          Stodmarsh

                                                                           

Whiskered Tern.


News of 2 Adult Whiskered Terns flying over the Lake on Sunday morning the 12th May at Stodmarsh soon had me heading for the door to try and hopefully see these superb looking Terns.

I spent a great deal of time watching these stunning looking birds and took lot's of photos, here are a selection of them :


Heard calling.




Both Whiskered Terns together

Having a rest & a preen.



Whiskered Tern.

Many thanks to the finders for putting the news out so quickly as the Whiskered Terns only remained on site for an hour before departing west towards Collards Lake.



Monday 22 April 2024

Whetsted Gravel Pits

                                                        17th April 2024 

                                     Whetsted  Gravel  Pits 


                                                   

Ferruginous Duck

On the 17th Aprill i joined RR on a trip to Whetsted Gravel Pits nr Tonbridge to hopefully see the recently found ♂ Ferruginus Duck .

We parked up in the small car park at the end of Kelchner's Lane and then followed the footpath south until we eventually reached the Gravel Pits.

We heard 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Nightingale, 1 Common Whitethroat & a Cuckoo on route to the Gravel Pits.

The Ferruginus Duck was soon located as it fed amongst several Tufted Ducks , there were several Swallows also feeding over the water which was great to see, plenty of Common Buzzards overhead was also great to see.

 On our return walk we saw a splendid Grey Wagtail by the canal lock.
Here are a selection of Digi-Scope photos i took of the ♂ Ferruginous Duck.




♂ Ferruginous Duck.

 


Wednesday 10 April 2024

Recent Local Birding Highlights

                                                   23rd March 2024

                                        Dungeness Rspb Reserve

Adult Little Gull

Only my 2nd trip of the year to Dungeness , this time with RG, produced some excellent views of 4 Little Gulls (1Ad & 3 Juvs) all seen on Burrowes Pit , Great Northern Diver was also seen as were several Goldeneye.

Adult Little Gull being watched by a Male Goldeneye.


Adult Little Gull.

Lovely Pink flush on the Juv's

Juvenile Little Gull

An afternoon visit to the Arc produced 3 summer plumaged Black necked Grebes and a single Slavonian Grebe still in it's winter plumage which was found by NB, (good to see you today).

Summer plumaged Black necked Grebe. (photo from 2016)

Other birds of note was a close fly-by Great white Egret & a Glossy Ibis took up from the reeds near the screen hide which was a new bird for my Year list.

Earlier in the morning a short look out to sea produced my first Sandwich Tern of the year plus a pair of Peregrines were patrolling the power station.

There were up to 5 Wheatears in fine plumage near the New Lighthouse.


31st March 2024

Oare Marshes  

White-fronted Goose with Greylag Geese & Shelduck



News from MW informing me of a White-fronted Goose on the East flood Oare Marshes had me grabbing my birding gear and heading straight there (Thanks Murray).

White-fronted Goose.

This was a very much welcome addition to my year list, also present still was the superb male Garganey.

Male Garganey & 2 Cormorants

Although the Garganey was asleep the whole time i was there today i had seen it awake on a previous visit.

Male Garganey.

I also saw a distant male Hen Harrier disappearing towards Nagden Marshes plus a brief  Water Pipit dropped onto the East flood before taking off again, i also saw my earliest ever Sedge Warbler in the car park !! (thanks MW & SC)


Alberta Fields  Seasalter



Green-winged Teal.

A very brief visit to Alberta field to see the Green-winged Teal was rewarded with decent but distant scope views of this splendid looking duck.

Green-winged Teal.

It spent most of it's time asleep but on one occasion it did have a preen and a look around, good to catch up with some familiar Kent birders today to !!!
















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.



Waxwing.



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.

Goosander.


11th January 2024

Western Undercliff  Pegwell Bay 

Twite.

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.




Twite.