On Saturday the 8th May we headed to Old Ferry Road on the Isle of Sheppy in the hope of seeing the Cattle Egrets that had taken up residence there over the last few weeks.
As we came over the old bridge we could see in the distance at least 3 Cattle Egrets and as we eventually pulled up along the road a further 2 birds flew in making a total of 5 Cattle Egrets !!
3 of the 5 Cattle Egrets.
These birds were in superb breeding plumage and one bird in particular was much further advanced in it's plumage, they came very close at times (we stayed in the car) and on occasion they would get flushed by a Marsh Harrier , they would then fly around and eventually would return to their favoured field.
Having a fly around.
Here are a small selection of photos :
On checking my bird notes these Cattle Egrets are surprisingly the first ones i have ever seen on the Isle of Sheppy.
A day trip was planned in Surrey on the 1st May, starting off at Puttenham Common, i had never been to this site before and we were really trying to get lucky with the Wood Warbler that had set up a territory within the Common.
Silvery white underparts .
I have not seen a Wood Warbler since 2019 and the views were not that great even then , we made our way around to the area it had set up territory and we could hear it singing as we approached.
Wood Warbler in full voice.
We spent nearly 3 hours here watching this delightful Warbler , listening to it singing & calling was as enjoyable as watching it flit about the branches.
From here we headed to Thursley Common.
I really enjoyed birding here, we just don't have this type of habitat in Kent , Dartford Warblers were very vocal from the gorse bushes and even dared to show themselves on occasion.
A couple of Stonechats were seen, a single Wheatear appeared briefly, several Lesser Redpoll flew overhead , then we heard the unmistakable song of a Tree Pipit.
They have such an amazing display flight & song, cracking birds to see.
We decided to have a look to see if 'Colin' the Cuckoo was preforming today as i have never made the trip to see him before, i believe it's his 7th or 8th year returning to Thursley Common which is remarkable considering what he has to go through on each migration route !!!
We were not disappointed as 'Colin' did put in an appearance.
'Colin' the Cuckoo
I also took several digi scoped photos :
'Colin' the Cuckoo.
I have to say i am not a fan of having staging put up for wild birds to pose on however the local resident birds were certainly making use of the meal worms that some had left to attract the Cuckoo.
There were plenty of Chaffinch & Goldfinch coming down to feed plus Blackbird & Mistle Thrush didn't turn their noses up to some free grub.
A Woodlark came down for a feed and a male Common Redstart posed for the camera to.
A really great days birding in Surrey with pretty much all target birds seen and seen well to, i am looking forward to next years visit already.
A short journey over to Stelling Minnis on Friday afternoon on the 30th April to see the glorious looking Hoopoe was very successful.
On arrival we had missed it by approx 15 mins but at least it was still in the area somewhere, anyhow another 45 mins went by with no sign and it had started to rain so things were looking a little grim.
Then the shout went up and theHoopoe gave it's self up to it's admiring audience, here are a selection of digi scoped photos i took.