Saturday 16 February 2013

Stodmarsh Penduline Tit Revisited

 Penduline Tit .

I  headed back to Stodmarsh for another look at  the Penduline Tit that was still present , i arrived just after 9am and was straight onto the bird ,  it was feeding out in the open at times and gave some great views , all the regular Stour Valley birders were there such as Martyn ,Chidders , Adam and Steve  who arrived a little bit later , it was great to catch up with everybody again , i also bumped into Ephraim who's blog i have just started  following and is well worth a look  plus his birding buddies Chris and Paul , really great to meet you .

Digi scoped shot of the Penduline.

We watched the Penduline Tit for quite awhile and also added Great Spotted Woodpecker , Cettis Warbler and several Siskin  from here , after about an hour i decided to head around to the Marsh Hide and look for some Water Pipits , well i have to say the path there is the muddiest path i have ever walked on so if anyone fancies a mud bath i would recommend trying out this

I eventually reached the Marsh hide and was soon onto the Water Pipits  , i counted approx 15 birds , however another birder in the hide had counted 24 at one point , still i was pleased with what i saw and  they were a very welcome year tick  , a male Marsh Harrier drifted past the hide spooking all the Lapwings which were in good number plus the pipits all took to the air and i still could not beat my total !!!! 
I decided to head back for another look at the Penduline Tit and i really wanted to try and video it , on my way back i heard the familiar  " pinging "   of Bearded Tits  but alas never saw them , i arrived back at the Penduline Tit and after a short wait i was  enjoying this beauty again .

Really digging in for some tasty maggots.

Here is a video of this stunning Penduline Tit .

Thursday 14 February 2013

Owls , Owls , Owls.

I have seen lots of Owls in the last couple of weeks whilst out driving at work , in late January i saw a Tawny Owl near junction 9 Leatherhead , fly across the motorway and land in some trees , this was quite a brief sighting but made a dull day bright , on the 7th  February i was treated to an amazing sight of a Long Eared Owl just past Clackett Lane Services and just past the " Welcome to Kent " sign at 7 am , it drifted right in front of my lorry quite close and then out of sight over the hedge row.

A bit further round the M25 between junction 28 and 27 i saw a Barn Owl drifting over the golf course also on the 7th February ,

On the 11th  February i was on my way to do some farm deliveries along the A251 near Faversham when i saw a Little Owl once again fly across the road in front of me and  i added another Barn Owl on the 12th flying along side the A27 near Brighton , so even though i find my job very tedious i do get one or two surprises now and again.

Saturday 9 February 2013

The Penduline Swings

 Penduline Tit.

I was just loading my car up with my birding gear as i planned a  birding session at Stodmarsh when the pager bleeped into action with the news of a Penduline Tit showing well near the Alder wood at Stodmarsh , wow  my first thoughts were , " will it stay long enough for me to get there ? " , so without haste i was on my way and before long i was parked up in the reserve car park and heading for the Alder woods , there were 3 other birders there and they informed me it had just flown off out of sight about a minute ago , damn blast and a few other words crossed my mind to be honest , i am having a bit of a birders burn out at the moment and this could be the bird to kick me into action again , so i was not best pleased to have missed it , however i ventured further around the broad walk and saw a smart little Goldcrest then i headed back to the area of reeds where the Penduline had been seen earlier , whilst i was chatting to the only other birder there i heard the Penduline Tit calling and i soon saw it in a nearby bush behind us and i quickly put the other birder onto it , yes i was so pleased to see this smart bird , its not a lifer or even a patch tick but it was just an amazing bird to see.

Rear view of this beauty .

The Penduline Tit gave some amazing views but every time i tried to get a photo there seemed to be a twig or a bit of reed in the way , but hey who's complaining , i watched this bird on and off for nearly an hour then walked back through the woods and had a Robin almost land on my camera lens .


I heard a Treecreeper before i located it as it climbed up a distant tree than out of sight plus a flyover Siskin was good to add to my year list , i walked back along the Lampen Wall and looked over the lake , plenty of the regular wildfowl you would expect to see plus a single female Marsh Harrier  was quartering over the reed bed , i decided to have one more look at the Penduline Tit and although i again saw it well at times it was quite flighty and was keeping fairly low so i left the assembled birders to it and headed back to my car and heard a Lesser Redpoll fly over but didn't see it .

Sunday 3 February 2013

Quick Visit To Oare Marshes


I only had a couple of spares hours today so i popped over to Oare Marshes which is fastly becoming a  local patch , i parked up by the East Flood and had a scan across the flood noting plenty of  Ducks and Coots , there were quite a few Pintail which is one of my fav ducks , in and amongst the fringes i counted 16 Common Snipe although there were probably alot more , on the far side of the flood the Lapwings took to the sky and there were a couple of small waders amongst them and i only saw them very briefly but i am fairly certain they were Ruff ??

Two Common Gulls.

There were also two Common Gulls on the nearby spit , i think these gulls are really smart and enjoyed watching them , i then drove down to the slipway and walked along the sea wall towards the sea hide and it was very cold along there , i had close views of a Stonechat which was nice.


I sheltered out of the wind by the hide and had a surprise as a Bar Tailed Godwit flew in front of me and briefly landed before flying off down Faversham Creek , a very welcome year tick , there were approx: 200 Avocet , 200 Dunlin , plus smaller numbers of Curlew , Ringed Plover , Redshank and a single Grey Plover , a scan over Harty Ferry area produced several Shelduck in flight and a single female Marsh Harrier , a couple of Brent Geese flew down the Swale as i made my back to my car , i bumped into Murray Wright and Geoff Burton along the access road and Murray very kindly pointed out a couple of areas to check for Little Owl and although they were not showing this time i will try again .