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Saturday, 31 March 2012


8am-11.20 am. After a week of unseasonal warm weather my first day out in a week is dull cloudy cold. Allders lake gave up the only  Sand Martins ( 5 ) of the day. Chiffchaff were singing everywhere and the Medway path had 3 singing Blackcaps and a Curlew on the mud ( Both new to NHGP list 2012 ) Male and Female Bullfinchs were a welcome sight. Holborough gave nothing new. A hunting Kestrel was the only raptor. Still no sightings of Water Vole or snakes      

Monday, 19 March 2012

Monday 16.03.12 NHGP

add from yesterday Sunday: prior to a possible thunderstorm 10+ Sand Martins were seen over the motorway an omen as it is approx 2 years since the Alpine swift was over the motorway ( 27.03.10) and the same for the unidentified swift on 20.03.10 possibly Pallid but whatever it is one of the earliest records of swift in Kent.

Another early morning start 7.30 am bright blue skies but 1 degree when I left and 14 when I returned at 9.30.
Again Allders showed 2 sand martins one of which flew out and away after a few low flights. Entrance woods gave no Treecreepers but 2 singing Chiffchaff.
Brookhouse woods gave 2 further Chiffchaff but I was hopefull and checked all the shallower areas for Garganey. A call from David offering a few hours at Dungeness was accepted arrived in glorious weather but did not manage the Blackneck or the Slav grebe but plenty Goldeneye on ARC . Unusually a water Vole popped out in front of the ARC hide. Added nothing to the yearly list. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday 18.03.12 NHGP

Attempted a walk yesterday 7.30 am but rain stopped play only enough time to check out Allders with no sign of migrants. Today at 7.30 much more like spring with clear blue skies but a temp of 2 degrees. Allders had 3 Sand Martins first for the year at NHGP a walk in the woods gave great views of 2 Treecreepers. Once again no sign of Bittern have they migrated north ? On to Brookhouse area where I managed to get my first Chiffchaff of 2012 was this an over wintering bird or a new migrant we will never know. A check of the east scrub did not add anything even a very early check for snakes was wistfull thinking. Back via the wooden bridge where Water Vole have been seen lately but again I dipped. Back to Allders and by now the Sand martins had moved on but did find a Buzzard overhead.
Blackthorn in Flower 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

SUNDAY 11.03.12 NHGP

Dropped off at Holborough approx 11am . Holborough marshes look so good for birds but only Heron,Little Egret ,Teal, Mallard, Coot ,Moorhen and  Green Wood. The incoming tide on the Medway with the help of 2 canoeists gave 3 Common Sand 1 Dunlin 1 Redshank plus teal and cormorant. No sign of Bearded Tit . Arrived at sunken marsh to have just missed a Raven but added Peregrine to the NHGP total also seen 3 buzzards a Med Gull was calling but did not ID lots of calling Cetti's but still no Chiffchaff .

Saturday, 10 March 2012


A short walk from 8 am entrance woods had drumming Great Spot and a nice close views of a goldcrest.
Looked more in hope for Sand Martins but no sign . I reported Flowering Blackthorn last weekend this week decided to check my findings and of course I was incorrect as most white flowering bushes round the lakes are Cherry Plum and only a few Blackthorn. I am no botanist so only using the adage that  Blackthorn have thorns and Cherry Plum does not ( not very scientific) . No sign of Bittern and a check round Brookhouse lake area still has not given me a Chiffchaff. Displaying Blue/Great Tits / Dunnocks and Robins everywhere a welcome sign of spring

Saturday, 3 March 2012


After reading all the reports on this rarity I thought it was about time to visit . Parked in Five Oak Green and  walked to Whetsted GP. There was at least 10 birders leaving the site and 5 still there and passed another 8 arriving as I left. The HOODED MERGANSER ( female first year) was present  and showing well enough but never very close in the poor light . A first for me in Kent. Lake also held a Goldeneye, Tufted , Pochard, Shovelor , Little Grebe, M Swan. Coot and Moorhen the adjacent lake held a hansome drake Smew a  fly by Green Sand and 2 Buzzards. The surrounding fields held Linnet , Skylark and a flock of feral geese.
Will this bird ever be accepted as genuine so await to see if still present after April ?


A quick early morning walk 8am till 10. Mist / fog was the order of the morning unable to see the far banks of most of the lakes until the last half hour .Spring has arrived at NHGP with Blackthorn in full bloom.

Started with 3 Redpolls on the feeders on Lunsford Lane Great Spot drumming in the entry woods also a Green Wood present. There was no bittern visible so over the railway to Abbey mead and Brooklands. After the chaos caused by the Water board the path alongside Abbeymead has been leveled and seeded but looks a magnet for the local motor bike yobs. Managed Bullfinch , Cetti and all the usual ducks but none of the visitors have stayed from the cold snap. The return alongside the Millstream caused the heart rate to increase as I spotted an unusual duck with a white stripe across the head but on careful examination it turns out to be a tufted with a plastic beer attachment. The chances of catching a Tufted to remove I believe would be very difficult