Sunday 16 May 2010

What a Hobby ...... Grove Ferry


This was one of 20 + Hobby i saw at Grove Ferry today , sorry about the cheesy title of this post by the way , i had a wonderful time looking at and checking these Hobby from " the ramp " today , there was also up to 3 Marsh Harriers about , i was hoping to find a stray Red footed falcon amongst the the high number of Hobby but sadly had no luck with that .


From " the ramp " i headed through the reed bed out towards the " water meadows " and added my first Turtle Doves of the year as 2 birds flew over my head , there were several Cettis , Whitethroat and chiffchaff calling from every bush and Sedge and Reed Warblers calling from every section of reed bed.

Swifts and Sand Martins were flying around with the Hobbies , i did not know where to look first, i finally reached the " water meadows" and instantly connected with my second year tick of the day in the shape of 2 Greenshanks which had a Redshank for company , not much out on the meadows until i found this male Garganey sleeping, there was also a female present briefly before it disappeared out of sight  .

 Garganey sleeping honest !!!!!

The weather was beginning to close in abit so i started heading back along the river and heard then saw a superb male Bullfinch which rather surprising was a year tick for me, i clearly don't get out enough !! plenty more Swifts, Swallows and approx: 100 Sand Martins but strangely no House Martins , then even though i had heard several today i actually saw my first Reed Warbler of the year , plenty of Grey Herons around but no sign of the earlier reported Purple Heron . I headed back towards  " the ramp " for a final look but other then more views of Hobby, i didn't really add much else to my days total.


Saturday 8 May 2010

Lucky Tern

Whiskered Tern over New Diggins.

I planned a trip to Dungeness today and when i left home at 7.30am the weather was not very good, dark sky's and rain , however on my way there the pager went off alerting me to the news of a Whiskered Tern at the " Patch " at Dungeness , great i am half way there , then i thought it wont hang around to long at the patch and then sure enough the news came through that it had flown of with Common Terns .

Damn and blast , but i kind of thought it would not hang around to long , anyhow i made my way down to the sea which was my original plan anyway , as i arrived some birders were heading back to there cars and kindly informed me the Whiskered Tern had been relocated at New Diggins , wow  only 5 mins from where i was standing , so of i shot and headed there , and within minutes of arriving i was soon on this great looking bird , its the 2nd Whiskered Tern i have seen in Britain and both have been in Kent , the 1st one was at Stodmarsh and yet again i turned up not even knowing it was there !

Two more record shots of the Whiskered Tern. 

I watched this bird for  approx: 1 hour noting all the key features , it really is a fine bird ,from here i went back to the sea an added male and female Black Redstart to my year list and i had a flock of 27 Whimbrel fly over head , the sea was very quite , i only added 50 Common Scoter, 1 Red-t-Diver and 2 Gannets to my days totals.  

The " patch " held about 150 Common Terns and 1  very smart Arctic Tern , i then decided to check out the site where the Purple Herons had been seen of late , i spent nearly 2 hours there and bumped into the original finders of the Tern , i year ticked a fine Hobby and then my patience was rewarded with although very brief an appearance of the Purple Heron , it basically flew up from the reed bed and then dropped back down again, one of the other birders present did see it in flight abit earlier , so all in all a good days birding at my favourite area to bird in Kent , of note there were hundreds of hirundines and Swifts about today just a bit surprised there were no reports of any Red Rumped Swallows in Kent today.