Sunday 19 September 2010

Nearctic comes to Kent

White-Rumped Sandpiper.

I went to Oare today in the quest of seeing the White-Rumped Sandpiper  , i arrived at Oare late morning and made are my way around to the east flood where the usual large numbers of Golden plover and Black -tailed Godwits were easily seen , there was a scattering of Ruff here and there and amongst the Godwits were several Redshanks , i continued around the flood towards the sluice and joined the already assembled birders who informed me that the target bird was showing really well about 10 mins ago but has now gone behind the nearby island out of sight (oh joy !!!)

White  Rumped Sandpiper.

Well whilst i was waiting for the hoped for re-appearance of the Sandpiper i checked out Faversham creek and added several Curlew Sandpipers and a scattering of Dunlin flew along the Creek , there was also several more Redshank seen here. 

I walked up further along the sea wall and re-located the White Rumped Sandpiper tucked in a little channel preening  , its white rump was easily seen whilst preening , then it went walk about and its extended primaries just beyond its tail were very obvious , this was a very welcome year and patch tick for me   , the bird spent a lot of time on the island and then went onto the mud feeding , sorry about the poor quality of photos but you can just make out the extended primaries in photo 1 (Ok i know you have to look hard )

Other birds of note seen here were Peregrine , Hobby , at least 6 Little Egrets and 10 Avocets , plus there were a few Common Seals basking on the sand bank.

I then set of to Grove ferry to try and see the re-found Wilsons Phalarope as  i was hoping to get better views than i had the previous week , I soon arrived at Grove and went to the viewing ramp and would you believe it ?? once again i were told that it had just flown into the inaccessible pool out of sight , damn and blast birding can be very frustrating some times

 Well i waited and waited some more than i thought i would go and  check out Harrisons drove as it might have flown there un-noticed , and not more than 5 minutes had gone by when news broke it was showing at Harrisons !!!! i set of and within 15 mins i was  enjoying good scope views of the Wilsons Phalarope , now if you think my record shots of the White Rumped were bad you have seen nothing

Wilsons Phalarope  right hand bird (Honest !)

I was really pleased to see this , it was walking around the pool feeding very well , its feeding motion was really interesting with continuous jabbing motions as it was walking around this shallow pool , one bonus point if you can i.d the wader on the left !!

I also saw a small lizard which not being an expert on lizards or anything else really i thought was a Common Lizard , sorry no photos as i would have been strangled by the other birders who were straining to get better views of the Wilsons , with time against  me i had to head off after about an hour here , i did see Marsh Harrier and 2 Ruff from the ramp and heard several Cetti's warblers  .

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Record Breakers ....... Oare Marshes

5 of the 8 Spoonbills present.

I called into Oare Marshes after work hoping to connect with Spoonbills and as i walked up to the East flood not 1, not 2 , BUT 8 Spoonbills flew over the sea hide and landed on the east flood , quite amazing my previous best total was 2 birds on numerous occasions but to get 8 is a real personal  record breaker , 2 adults and 6 juvs , sadly i could not get all 8 in one photo so have taken a pic of 5 and another pic of 3 birds.

3 Spoonbills with 2 Avocets.

There was the usual large numbers of Black-Tailed Godwits and Redshanks, Golden Plovers were gaining in numbers all the time with approx: 200 counted , a mixed flock of smaller waders flew around the East Flood and i counted 2 Curlew Sandpipers and 5 Dunlin , there were 50 + Avocets and several Ringed plovers .

A quick circuit around the east flood and past the sea hide did not add much more apart from 7 Linnets and 4 Pied Wagtails near the hide , with several Bearded Tits calling and briefly showing themselves.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Kent Mega at Grove and Shrike at Gosport

Daurian Shrike. 

 On Sat. 11th my target birds were Wilsons Phalarope and Daurian Shrike , well i had just enough time Friday evening to get over to Grove ferry to see the Wilsons Phalarope which is only the fifth record for Kent and the first record for the Stour Valley , i saw it from the viewing mound and although it was tricky to get onto as it was feeding in between the much larger Lapwings and Teal , i saw it quite well . 

On the Saturday as i arrived at the viewing mound at Grove ferry  it was not on show then after about 10 mins the shout went up that it was flying with some Lapwings over Harrisons drove hide , everyone was quickly onto the Wilsons enjoying a prolonged flight view , grey upperparts and wings , white rump were clearly seen , pale underwings were also noticeable , it landed briefly amongst the Lapwings then took to flight again and landed in another pool which had no viewing access .

I gave it  another 45 mins but it did not reappear , other birds of note here were 1 Spotted Redshank , several Ruff , a fine male Marsh Harrier drifting over the reed bed and one or two Cettis being very vocal nearby, i then decided it was time to set of to Gosport in the hope of connecting with the Daurian Shrike , as i made my way through Chislet i noticed a falcon flying over the road and with closer inspection i  soon realized i was watching a superb Hobby and after a couple of mins i headed onward to my next destination.

Daurian Shrike 

The traffic was quite horrible on my way to Gosport being caught up in 3 traffic jams , don't you just love the M25... anyway once i arrived on site the weather had turned to light rain and the gathered birders were not on the bird , although i have to comment i thought they were standing far to close to the area of where the Shrike had been seen , i have seen two very bad bird field craft skills in the last couple of weeks i hope this is just a blip and not the sign of the times ??? 

Well  i stood further back and after a few minutes i managed to connect with the superb , fantastic Daurain Shrike just  perching in amongst the brambles quite low down , i put the most welcome shout out , " i 've got it ! " and soon we were all enjoying this fine bird , i have now seen 3 Daurain Shrikes ,  1 in Kent at Stodmarsh , 1 in Cornwall at Sennan and i never tire of seeing them , i just love Shrikes i guess .

Daurian Shrike low down in brambles .

Sunday 5 September 2010

Double Dip ..... and Year tick

Barred warbler.

Well i decided very late Friday night to head off to Flamborough for the Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and after approx 5 hours driving arrived on site just as it was getting light , well the news was negative and after 5 more hours waiting for this elusive Warbler to show i finally gave up and accepted this as a rather disappointing dip.

Then news then broke of a Barred Warbler and Common Rosefinch at the nearby golf course so of i set and within minutes i was adding Barred warbler to my year list , it was rather skulking in some small bushes at the top of the hill but then popped out in full few , these are splendid warblers very bulky large billed birds , the above picture is not one of the Barred Warbler i saw at Flamborough but of one i saw on Scilly a few years ago but it was in the same plumage as Flamborough .

My second dip of the day was the Common Rosefinch it had flew just before i got there which was a real shame but hey that's birding .

I paid a visit to my local patch today ( Sunday ) Oare marshes , and bumped into the Ruddy Shelduck , which i know will never be accepted as a " real bird " but took some pictures anyway :

My real reason to visit Oare was to try and catch up with Curlew Sandpiper but yet again i had no luck with them , still i had a good view of a Peregrine as it flew over the east flood plus good numbers of Golden Plover , Black Tailed Godwit and Ruff .