Wednesday 21 March 2018

Bluethroats & Firecrests & A Wandering White Stork all in Kent

19th March 2018  Dengemarsh Gully

White Spotted Bluethroat.

On Sunday 18th March 2 Bluethroats were seen at Dengemarsh Gully Dungeness and they were still present on the 19th so i decided to head down to have a look.

I joined the handful of birders at the sluice with the windmill and soon had my first look at the delightful ♂ White Spotted Bluethroat and i managed a couple of photo's before it flew out of sight down the gully.

I decided to try my luck with the 1st winter Bluethroat which was showing by the concrete blocks and although i saw it quite well it was a bit to far for photos .

 1st winter Bluethroat after eating at juicy worm!!

I spent a couple of hours here before heading off to the Rspb reserve for a warm up and some lunch , whilst i was there news came through that there was now 3 Bluethroats and then that changed to 4 BLUETHROATS at Dengemarsh !!!!!!!

I headed back there and went straight to where the 1st w Bluethroat had been seen earlier and i am pleased i did , this bird came ever so close to me and showed fantastically well.

1st winter Bluethroat

Standing proud

Running fast

1st winter Bluethroat.

I then joined a couple of other birders looking down from the Gorse bank and the ♂ WS Bluethroat was also showing well along the waters edge.

♂ White Spotted Bluethroat

Red in tail

Lovely markings

♂ White Spotted Bluethroat.

Checking my photos from earlier this morning my first thoughts were i could have seen 2 different ♂ Bluethroats as the photos do show dark bill and paler supercillium on this mornings bird compared to yellow on bill and whiter supercillium on this afternoons bird .

However on reflection this mornings bird could have had mud on the bill and the light conditions could have made the supercillium look darker than it was ??!!

Other birders are certain they had 4 individual  Bluethroats , however i can only be 100% certain i saw 1 ♂ White Spotted Bluethroat & 1 1st winter Bluethroat.

However many there were or were not i really enjoyed watching them and was pleased to add them to my Dungeness bird list.


I also saw 2 + Firecrest which are absolutely delightful birds to see and worth the trip on their own. I also saw a Raven fly over the Gully plus a Fox run through between the concrete blocks.

Stunning birds.


18th March 2018  Beltinge

White Stork

News of a White Stork in a field at Beltinge on Sunday morning had me heading over there for a look , and sure enough there it was .

It had a Black ring on it's upper right leg and a Green ring on it's upper left leg , the number on it's Black ring was 1269 and Chidders did some great research on this bird and it transpires it was from a reintroduction scheme in Sweden.

There is much more information on Chidders blog:

White Stork trying to keep warm.

Friday 16 March 2018

Local Birding.....

Barn Owl .

In early March (6th & 9th) i called into Seasalter to do some local birding , i was pleasantly surprised to see 2 Barn Owls on both occasions , they were mainly distant but great birds to see.

This one has a ring .

Barn Owl

Other birds seen on the 6th were  2 Ravens  flying over the sheep fields plus Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Kestrel and a Peregrine Falcon on one of the Pylons.

Peregrine Falcon.

I also had a distant view of a Short eared Owl and closer views of a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a Carrion Crow.


Carrion Crow mobbing a Sparrowhawk.

On the 9th i was pleased to find a Great White Egret here , however it quickly disappeared when it walked out of sight into a dyke only to be seen again later flying around the marsh before once again disappearing into a dyke.

Great White Egret.

Thursday 8 March 2018

Garden Birding........

Garden Feeders.

Since i have lived here i have wanted to put up garden feeders, however i have been very reluctant to because there are so many cats living in the area (at least 6 within my immediate neighbours homes) and i can't stand the thought of them catching & killing the birds.

I have noticed recently (around Christmas time) that there are only now 2 cats living nearby so i decided to go ahead and put feeders up at the start of January 2018 and have been very pleased with the results.

'Rodney' the Wood Pigeon

'Dora' the Collared Dove.

I have even named a couple of the birds (yep finally snapped and gone soft...!!!) Wood Pigeon & Collared Dove are regular visitors to my garden , even before i put up feeders , i also have a couple of Dunnock.


I regularly have at least 4 Blue Tits & 2 Great Tits  visiting the feeders and i am quite hopeful they might breed nearby.

Blue Tits.

There are 2 Robins which are quite possessive of the feeders and are hopefully going to nest in my neighbours shed as they have been regularly checking it out. 

Great Tit , Robin & Goldfinch.

I was especially pleased to attract Goldfinch to my feeders , they just can't get enough of the Nyjer seeds , i get anywhere from 4 to 7 Goldfinch everyday.


I also see 2 Long Tailed Tits on the fat balls most days , plus i was pleasantly surprised to see plenty of House Sparrows and both & Chaffinch , although they don't always tolerate each other.

House Sparrow & Chaffinch not getting on.

Long Tailed Tit.

I see regular Starling's on the feeders and their colours  when the sunshine's on them is quite simply stunning to see.


One of the highlights of visiting birds to my feeders is without doubt a superb Blackcap , i have also seen a Blackcap but that only stays in the foliage (so far).

On suet pie.

♀ Blackcap.

Wren & Goldcrest have both visited my garden , and several Blackbirds made appearances during the recent snow fall.


Blackbird in the snow

Heavy snow on the feeders.

I have seen plenty of birds fly over the garden such as Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk & Ring Necked Parakeet to name but a few, however probably the most unexpected bird i saw sitting on the fence before flying off was a Black Redstart !!!

So to sum it up i have  only had my feeders up since January 2018 and have really enjoyed the experience of what they can attract and of course the main thing is it helps the local population of birds (especially through bad weather) to survive .

I have taken part in the Rspb Big Garden Birdwatch for the last couple of years with very little input , hopefully next year my records will be much better.