Monday 29 August 2016

Baird's Sandpiper at Reculver

Baird's Sandpiper at Coldharbour Lagoon Reculver.

News of an adult Baird's Sandpiper showing well at Reculver on the evening of Friday 26th August was to good to miss , i have seen several before but never one in Kent .

Having a feed.

A really cracking bird to see at close quarters , it was keeping company with a Curlew Sandpiper alot of the time .

Curlew Sandpiper & Baird's Sandpiper.

Redshank , Baird's Sandpiper & Curlew Sandpiper.

There was also a single Black Tailed Godwit which are scarce birds here and a juv Little Stint was also present along with 5 Dunlin.

Black Tailed Godwit.

Little Stint.

Little Stint .

Other birds seen here were single Greenshank & Green Sandpiper plus 30+ Oystercatchers flew west , there was also approx 30 Swallows passing through.

A really great find by Matt Hindle , and after checking my records the Baird's Sandpiper was not only a Reculver & Kent tick i also added Little Stint , Curlew Sandpiper & Black Tailed Godwit to my Reculver bird list.

Baird's Sandpiper & Curlew Sandpiper.

Friday 26 August 2016

Great Wader Watching Session's at Oare Marshes

Juv. Curlew Sandpiper.

I had a couple of great wader watching sessions at Oare this week , firstly on Monday 22nd August , i was hoping to see the Little Stint's that had been seen over the weekend although i had no luck with these i did see good numbers of Curlew Sandpipers , there was at least 11 juvenile birds and a single moulting adult , really enjoy watching these in their fresh juv plumage.

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper.

The Bonaparte's Gull dropped into the East flood briefly before flying back towards The Swale.

Adult Bonaparte's Gull.

There was 1 Spotted Redshank and at least 6 Knots amongst the hundreds of Black Tailed Godwits , Redshank & Avocets.

My second session was yesterday the 25th August and i arrived about an hour before high tide , the sheer numbers of waders here is quite a sight , i instantly saw my first Little Stints with a group of 6 birds feeding out in the middle of the flood.

Juvenile Little Stint.

Where ever i looked there seemed to be a Little Stint with a maximum of 18 birds counted which is the most i have seen together here at one time.

Little Stint.

Keeping them company was at least 25 Curlew Sandpipers (all juvs) plus 250+ Dunlin , 100+ Ringed Plovers, 100+ Golden Plover , 500+ Redshank & 10+ Ruff including a couple of small juv birds in cracking plumage.

3 Golden Plover.

Juv Curlew Sandpiper.

There was quite a variety of different species of wader including a single Greenshank , 3+ Knot , 2 Green Sandpipers , 200+ Avocets , 50+ Lapwing , 1500+ Black Tailed Godwits & 20 Whimbrel flew over head towards Sheppy. 


I also saw the Bonaparte's Gull again as it roosted on the East flood.

Bonaparte's Gull.

A real surprise was 5 Little Terns flying around the flood when all the waders got spooked , when everything settled down again there was in fact 7 Little Terns (3 ads & 4 juvs).

Juv Little Tern & a Dunlin.

2 adult & 1 juv Little Tern.

There was also a single Common Tern & 3 Sandwich Terns on the flood with a further 12 Sandwich Terns flying over head.

Sandwich Tern.

A really great couple of visits and quite a challenge scanning through all these waders , hopefully a Temminck's or something a bit rarer might turn up soon !!!!
 (not that i am complaining...... Lol)

Saturday 20 August 2016

Stone Curlew at Dungeness Rspb

Stone Curlew in Hayfield.3

On Thursday the 18th August i checked the bird news  and was surprised to see news of a Stone Curlew was being seen in Hayfield 3 at Dungeness , i have never seen Stone Curlew in Kent so i was very keen to try and see this one , i quickly got my birding gear together and was out the door and on my way .

As usual the traffic was quite slow going this time of day along the A251 , but i just kept on going in the hope the Stone Curlew would still be there , i eventually arrived along Denge marsh road at approx 2.30pm , i met another birder who was just returning to his car who kindly informed me it was still present !!!!

I made my way across Springfield bridge and along the track to Hayfield 3 , there was only one other birder there who gave me directions to where the Stone Curlew was , it took some finding as it was down in a dip and you could only just see it's head.

Eventually it started to move around and feed , a fantastic addition to my Kent & Dungeness bird list , here are a few photos i took.

Stone Curlew.

I watched this bird for approx an hour before i headed back home very happy , i also heard several Bearded Tits and saw a couple of fly over Yellow Wagtails , when i got back to my car i heard then saw 2 Ravens plus a single Marsh Harrier drifted over the reserve.

1 of the 2 Ravens.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Water Levels just right at Oare Marshes

Adult Curlew Sandpiper.

The water levels have dropped at Oare Marshes exposing lots of mud around the East Flood which in turn has started to attract lots of waders and i have been going there a couple of times a week to check them out.

My last visit was on Monday 8th August and i really enjoyed checking through the masses of waders on the East flood , the highlights being 2 adult Curlew Sandpipers & 2 juv Little Stints which were in fine plumage.

Juvenile Little Stint.

There were good numbers of both Golden Plover & Dunlin many of which were adults although a good number of juvenile birds were present to.

Golden Plover


There was approx a 1000+ Black Tailed Godwits and 150+ Avocets on the flood plus a single Spotted Redshank .

Spotted Redshank.

There was really good numbers of Redshanks and at least 3 Ringed Plovers , Lapwings & Ruff were well represented to , 4 Whimbrel flew over the reserve with 3 dropping onto the East Flood.

1 of 4 Whimbrel.

Roosting on East Flood.

A single Greenshank & 3 Green Sandpipers made up the numbers for a great wader watching session  , a Sparrowhawk had a low fly through putting all the waders up at one point plus 7 Yellow Wagtails were feeding along the sea wall and the adult Bonapartes Gull was still around.


Yellow Wagtail.

Bonaparte's Gull.

I also saw my first Clouded Yellow of the year plus a Painted Lady along Faversham Creek.

Monday 1 August 2016

Western Purple Swamphen ..... At Minsmere

Western Purple Swamphen.

News broke yesterday afternoon of a Western Purple Swamphen showing well on & off behind the South hide at Minsmere rspb reserve , i made plans  to go early the next morning leaving  at 4.30am.

I arrived in good time and made my way around to the famous pool where the Swamphen has set up home , i joined the already assembled birders who informed me it had just flown out of sight 5 mins ago (Don't you just love being told that.....)

Red bill .

White undertail coverts.

Long red legs & feet.

Western Purple Swamphen.

Luckily i didn't have to wait long as the Swamphen reappeared at the back of the pool and showed really well off & on  for the 2 & half hours i was there , i also saw a Juv Water Rail partially hidden in the reeds. 

Juv. Water Rail.

I then had a walk around to the hides to check out the scrape which was a hive of activity with lots of waders including Bar & Black Tailed Godwits , Avocets, Green Sandpiper (3), Ruff (2),Lapwing , Dunlin, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover (2) & Spotted Redshank (18).


I then had a walk back along the North Wall and saw some interesting Bees , Bee-Wolf & Pantaloon bee i am reliably informed.

I really enjoyed watching the Sand Martins at the sand bank near the visitor centre .

3 Young Sand Martins waiting to be fed.

There were lots of butterflies around the buddleia bushes including lots of Red Admirals, Peacocks & Painted Lady's.

Painted Lady.


A really enjoyable mornings birding & nature watching at a top reserve, as for the Swamphen it goes onto my list pending alongside Dalmation Pelican & Chestnut Bunting .