Thursday 30 December 2021

Final Bird List Totals for 2021


Hoopoe at Stelling Minnis.

Once again in a difficult year with Covid effecting most things including further lockdowns    birding was once again the one consistent which proved to be very successful both in Kent & further a field.

                                         Here are my final bird list totals for 2021

                                               KENT  BIRD YEAR LIST 2021

My Kent Bird Year List Total finished on 212, which included 3 new birds for my Kent Bird List :

Red Throated Pipit at Worth Marshes.  (Sadly no photo).

Pied Wheatear at Reculver.


Pied Wheatear at Reculver. Photo by AE

Black Guillemot at Swalecliffe.


Black Guillemot at Swalecliffe. Photo by FC.

Many thanks to both AE & FC for the use of their photos.



My UK Bird Year List finished on  260 with a remarkable 9 new species added to my British bird list which are :

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD  at Lona Avenue Exmouth Devon.

Northern Mockingbird.

AMERICAN HERRING GULL  at Newlyn Harbour Cornwall.

American Herring Gull.

RED NECKED STINT  at Blyth Estuary Northumberland.

Red Necked Stint.

BLACK BROWED ALBATROSS  at Bempton Cliffs Rspb Yorkshire.

Black Browed Albatross

GREEN WARBLER  at Buckton Yorkshire.  (Sadly never managed a photo)

LONG TOED STINT  at  St.Aidans Rspb West Yorkshire.

Long Toed Stint.

VARIED THRUSH  on Papa Westray.

Varied Thrush.

TAIGA FLYCATCHER  at South Landing Flamborough Yorkshire.

Taiga Flycatcher.

BELTED KINGFISHER  at River Darwen Samlesbury Lancashire.

Belted Kingfisher.


Garden Birdwatching is something i really enjoy and my Garden Bird List now stands at : 74 
i added 7 new species this year which are :

WOODCOCK seen on 2 occasions flying over garden.

HEN HARRIER Ringtail bird seen flying over garden.

LINNET 3 birds seen & heard flying over garden

FIRECREST heard only several times.

COMMON TERN  2 birds seen flying over garden.

WILLOW WARBLER heard only several times.

BRAMBLING heard only in flight over garden.

As you can see from my added new birds i count everything i can see or / and hear from within my garden  which obviously includes flyover birds. 


So that wraps up  my Birding totals for the year, it's been an incredible year with far to many highlights to mention, let's hope 2022 is just as amazing for birds.

Happy New Year & I wish you all  Great Birding in 2022.

Juvenile Goldfinch.

Friday 24 December 2021

2nd Time Lucky.......What a Belter !!!

                                           23rd December 2021  :  Samlesbury


Belted Kingfisher !!!!

After our dramatic dip of the Belted Kingfisher on the river Ribble a couple of weeks ago,  RR & myself were given a 2nd chance when the Belted Kingfisher had been refound on the River Darwen near Roach bridge at Samlesbury.

This time we were joined by AE on our early morning drive up from Kent, leaving at 02.30am, an uneventful drive saw us arrive at 7am .

white wing patch on dark blue wing.

We made our way around to the area by the river Darwen and joined the assembled birders waiting with baited breath, i think it's the anticipation , hope and keeping everything crossed that makes the twitch so exciting (or maybe thats just me ...).

Daylight broke and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife as the hope , anticipation, dreams and then the unspoken doubt & dread in all our minds as we waited for the appearance of the much wanted to see Belted Kingfisher.

Then we all heard the unmistakable 'rattling' call of this magnificent bird echoing around the river below us, the shear relief that we all felt that the Belted Kingfisher was still present.

Broad blue breast band & white underparts.

And then the wait was over as the Belted Kingfisher gave it's self up to it's admiring crowd , i had really great scope views as it perched on various branches, i was also lucky enough to see it in flight on several occasions.

The slope of Death seems along time ago now, but it was all worth it to see this great bird.

Having a preen.

Belted Kingfisher.


Monday 20 December 2021


Just like to wish everyone who has visited my blog this year a







Tuesday 14 December 2021

Recent Kent Birding Highlights

                                          2nd December 2021  :  Worth Marshes


White Stork.

I managed to catch up with the unringed White Stork on the 2nd December at Worth Marshes, 
Wild or not it was a great bird to see !!

White Stork in flight.

4th December 2021  :  New Hythe

Greater Scaup.

A trip to New Hythe on the 4th December was rewarded with great views of a ♂ Greater Scaup on Brooklands Lake.

Greater Scaup having a splash.

The Greater Scaup was keeping company with approx 200 Tufted Ducks plus a single ♂ Goldeneye.

Greater Scaup with Tufted Ducks.

♂ Goldeneye.

9th December  :  Reculver Marshes  &  Scotney

Black Brant with Brent Geese.

A walk along the sea wall at Reculver on the 9th December produced close views of a Black Brant in the company of Dark Bellied Brent Geese.

Broad white collar & white flanks.

Black Brant.

A walk further along the sea wall soon found us watching a new bird for my Reculver bird list :  Dartford Warbler.

Dartford Warbler.

Really pleased to add this Dartford Warbler to my Reculver bird list , such a showy bird and also called on occasion.

The Dartford Warbler spent sometime in the grass and was often seen in the company of Stonechats.

Dartford Warbler in the grass.

From Reculver we headed to Scotney and saw 18 Bewick's Swans (12 adults & 6 juvs).

6 of the 18 Bewick's Swans

Adult Bewick's Swan

2 Juv Bewick's Swans.

11th December 2021 :  Capel Fleet

♂ Hen Harrier

A long days birding around Kent was finally rewarded with superb views of a ♂ Hen Harrier near the Raptor watch point at Capel Fleet on Sheppy.

Hen Harrier.

A Ringtail Hen Harrier was also seen plus a cracking looking Barn Owl was seen nearby.

12th December 2021  :  Oare Marshes

Redhead Smew.

A txt message from MW (Thanks Murray) on Sunday morning informing me that a Redhead Smew was currently showing on the East flood at Oare soon had me grabbing my birding gear and heading there.

This was only my 3rd ever Smew seen at Oare Marshes and a very welcome year tick, an added bonus was a vocal Spotted Redshank which briefly dropped into the East Flood before flying out again calling.


Monday 13 December 2021

Dipping Kingfisher

                                           29th November 2021 :  Ribble River

I headed to Lancashire with RR to try and see the Belted Kingfisher that had been seen along the Ribble River , however things didn't go to plan how we had hoped !!

We arrived at approx 07.30 and not really sure of where to go we made our way to the river, we found a well beaten path and followed it down to the river, it was quite steep but not as steep as i was expecting, for example i had seen on twitter terms like , ' Death Slope' &  ' Mudslide'   etc.

So i did wonder if we had gone down the right path ?? well as it turned out we did & didn't, the path we went down was another area to look for the BK but as it turned out not the best place to view from.

The BK was seen whilst we were there but from the other viewing place, it takes about a 30 minute walk , climb, slide & scramble to get there from where we was !!!

By the time we had got there the BK had flown down river and not seen again that day !!!

We spent about 5 hours in the vain hope the BK would reappear but alas it was not to be , the climb back up the 'Death Slope' was very hard indeed , don't think i will ever forget seeing RR's legs going about 100 mph on the mud bank trying to gain some traction then sliding back past me.......

I faired no better ending up on my backside several times absolutely covered in mud, the big question was would we ever get up this slope ??? well we did eventually and although we dipped the BK it will go down as one of my most memorable twitches ...... Lol