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Sunday, 8 December 2013

Isle of Mull

With my Doctor giving me a short Chemo holiday a last minute decision we decided on the Isle of Mull as we have never been in winter. Lots of snow on the way up and temperatures of minus 4 and from our Hotel in Oban we could see plenty snow on Ben More. Next morning woke to a glorious day wall to wall sunshine and 11 degrees. Ferry over to Mull was on a mill pond calm sea even managed to see  2 Porpoises. The next 3 days were the same so all snow melted and spotting life on calm waters was easy. Day 2 we had a total of 8 close up Otters others could be seen at long distances. These included a Mum and 2 Kits which were very happily playing along the beach even catching a crab and bringing it onto the beach for the Kits to rip apart. Noted that the adult shows a tail on diving but the 2 youngsters did not. As we decided to return to our house Val spotted a Sea Eagle coming down the valley so we stopped and waited as it flew slow and low over the car a great day.  Day three gave more Sea Eagles and male Hen Harriers ( no females seen)  and Otters, finished the day down at Grasspoint expecting Sea Eagles but an adult Golden Eagle displayed wonderfully probably the best views I have had of this beauty.  Day 4 dawned cloudy with the odd showers which remained till we left the Island . Today we passed one of the Sea Eagle nest areas and found 3 eagles sitting in the forest further on at another regular Sea Eagle Spot we spotted a large shape on a road side tree, Pulling up we saw a Sea Eagle dozing in the tree showing its huge bill. Essential I know but view was spoilt by the Tag attached to the wing. Waited in the car and ate our lunch and after 45 minutes the bird was still there even getting out and getting right up to the tree did not disturb it.  Total number of birds recorded was 64 good birds seen were Merganser , Gooseander, slav grebe, whooper swan, Great Northern diver ,Raven ,Peregrine and tawny Owl outside the house .Bird numbers down on what we get in early summer and with the roads to ourselves birding was more pleasant.
Not many red deer seen and we wanted a mountain Hare which eluded us.
A great break with a nice house and stunning sunny weather for the first few days made it special.  

Sunday, 17 November 2013

SUNDAY 17/11

Decided on another trip to HEMPSTED FOREST to try for 3 different Crossbills. Managed to leave home at 9am but got lost on the way there and wasted a lot of time getting back. Arrived to find 10+ people with the same idea as me and was told that should have been there 10 minutes earlier.
Most people left and I heard the call of Crossbills and 6 landed in the Oak tree one was a stunning male Parrot Crossbill a first for me. After a few minutes of preening the birds were disturbed by a Peregrine which flew casually round the edge of the woods and stopped in a close by Pine tree.
The six birds flew to distant trees and eventually flew back over our heads but the number was now 10 birds. According to a photographer one of the 10 was a Two Barred Crossbill. I decided it was time to leave as it was one better than last visit with 2 kinds of Crossbill ( better luck next time) . The Peregrine was still in the Pine tree showing very well and would have been bird of day if not for the Parrot Crossbill and Common Crossbills.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Wednesday 13/11

Phil Sharp and I had not seen the 3 Crossbills in Kent and decided that today will be the day we tried. After meeting at Sissinghurst at 10 am we drove to the Forest , arriving we were told that 10 minutes earlier the Common and Parrot Crossbill were showing well. After a short while there was a fly over of Crossbills which landed in a nearby tree. Scope gave good views of Common Crossbill and what was possibly a Parrot Crossbill.
After an Hour + flyovers were observed but no great views. After all other birders had left we were lucky to have 5 land in the tree in front of us including a stunning male. No sign of Two Bar or Parrot. The woods were devoid of birds only Great Spot , Blue / Great Tit and Pidgeon , Robin flyover Fieldfare.  Considering the date 2 Butterflies and 2 Dragonflys were seen. Return back over the marshes I found the first Bewick Swans of the winter at Midgley Drying sheds.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tuesday 29/10

Another glorious day and the Kitchen Fitters busy fitting the new kitchen. So dropped into the reserve started by looking for the Pallas Warbler on the Willow Trail with many other birders. No sign and no reports of being seen during the day. Also a reported Rough Legged Buzzard we saw at least 4 Buzzards but unable to change in to Rough Legged. Entered Hanson Hide to check on the Glossy Ibis which was as ever present and 3 Greenshank. distant Buzzards seen from here.  Present in the hide was Phil Sharpe not met him since Mull so great to catch up even though he confirmed he is to stay a 2 Riverside Cottage on Mull lucky lad. Joined Phil for a walk around the reserve 2 Bearded Tits seen (first of the year)  further sights of Buzzards and Marsh Harriers. No Snakes today . Species seen 60

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Another lovely day so decided on a trip to the reserve even though I feel poorly. So decided on Firth hide. Arrived with 100 + birds outside to have someone who followed me in and slammed the door and all but a few Teal left. Little turned up in the next hour except a Pintail and a single Ruff. So little to see and report . Total Species 30

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Friday 18/10

An early trip to the Lighthouse looking for Ring Ouzel again with no luck . But was informed the likely place so will try that next. Only birds of note were the 40+ fly by Brent Geese my first sight of the Autumn. Still no Goldcrest or Yellow Browed today. Species 19 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Wednesday 16/10

A day for chemo so no birding but crossing the marsh to M20 in mist / light rain both Val and I saw for a brief view of a SWIFT which swooped over the road in front of the car. ID was very quick but assume common swift.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Tuesday 15/10

Frank wanted a day out so I arranged a days birding as the weather was lovely and many birds were reported. Started at Dungeness Sea Watch with little of interest except Gannets diving into a shoal of fish and a couple of Sandwich Terns. A walk round the moat gave nothing so no Ring Ouzels. The Lighthouse garden showed well and great views of Yellow Browed  Warbler . Then on to ARC Hide again even when reported still no Ring Ouzel. From Hanson Hide a Glossy Ibis performed well as well as Water Rail .
On to the Reserve Great White Egrets, Peregrine ,Wood Sandpiper and whinchat.
One Grass Snake and 2 field Voles.   

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Wednesday 9/10

Another lovely day so once again down the reserve. 2 Stonechats on the track 4 Pintail from firth and 8 Snipe . Makepeace gave up 3 Black Necked Grebes and Egyptian Geese and flocks of Golden Plover over Arc but none landed. Total species 39. Reports of Ring Ouzel from Light House must try tomorrow if weather OK.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Monday 7/10

Another lovely day so decided on another trip to the reserve as Glossy Ibis have been reported. No Ibis seen or reported. Little Gull , Wheatear, Tree Sparrow, Egyptian Goose, Black Necked Grebe  a few Grey Plover but flocks of Golden Plover but best of all was 4 Great White Egret. Total for the day was 44.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday 6/10

A lovely morning so decided on an early visit to the reserve. To the water tower and Pines. 2 Willow Warblers at least 6 Chiffchaff and 4 Blackcaps a passing Marsh Harrier regrettably no Ouzels, Stonechat, Whinchat or Gold / Fire Crests. Still migrating swallows and Sand Martins. an Hour and a half and 31 species.        

Monday, 30 September 2013


A wonderful day so a visit to Dungeness was on the cards. Pectoral Sandpiper has been present for a few days which has avoided me so great after 15 minutes managed to ID the Sandpiper and later had it confirmed by other birders. also seen Curlew Sandpiper , Curlew , Widgeon and Snipe

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Saturday 14/9

Another attempt to see the sandpiper with no luck but the screen hide gave up 4 Little Stint so onto the reserve at Firth hide spent an hour Ruff, Bar Tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Black Tern, Snipe, Greenshank. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sunday 8/9

The first morning of autumn when temperature was below 10 *. So an early start  with a coat on at the reserve. Tree Sparrows showing well at Boulderwall. At the Second hide with no camera Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper ( 158) Ringed Plover, Ruff, Little Gull, Dunlin and a flock of Golden Plover all at very close range , Light was poor so any Photos may not have been clear ( my excuse) On to Makepeace where a Black Necked Grebe showed well. Denge  Marsh provided Great White Egret , Grey Heron and a Hobbie. Two distant rapters were seen both probably Marsh Harrier but both very high and distant. 100's of Sand Martins and smaller numbers of Swallows on migration.
3 Grassnakes and one Field Vole   
On reaching car at midday weather was now bright and sunny showing 21*

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Saturday 31/8

Woke to another lovely day and with still more reports of Whinchats in the area decided to do the RSPB Reserve. Driving up the track noticed a small bird moving from bush to bush on arriving there was a report of Whinchat on track. Did I dip again ?
Tree Sparrows at Boulderwall a Black Necked Grebe and unusually a Stock Dove and a sleeping Little Gull from Shop. Track to Dengemarsh gave up Whitethroat Green Sandpiper and  3 Ruff. The Great White Egret was on Dengemarsh and later a second bird showed itself. After much searching for the Red Crested Pochard managed to find 3 birds showing well. Total 29

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Thursday 29/8

Another bright sunny day so managed to get out early to the Patch . The path to the patch gave up 13 Wheatears and a flock of Linnets. While at the patch watched viz mig in action as the wheatears flew off to France. A report of a Black Tern and an Artic Tern both which managed to avoid me. a close in Artic Skua was excellent and a flock of Common Scoter flew west.
On to Arc Hanson and Screen Hide gave up the usual lots of Golden Plover a couple of Greenshank and a Black Necked Grebe. Migration again in view as Swallows and Sand Martins sped passed. Total number 35    

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wednesday 28/8

A short walk from the house along the beach on a lovely morning many swallows along the sea wall then a kestrel in the first garden and sight of the first Clouded Yellow. A few birds in the bushes first was a Goldfinch followed by a Whitethroat then a Lesser Whitethroat and one unidentified warbler uniform brown ( Garden warbler like ) but appeared larger stockier than the Whitethroat. I then picked up a Spotted Flycatcher in the second garden  quietly waiting for prey a second Clouded yellow showed itself and the Spot Fly enjoyed a bit of exotic breakfast. Further along added Dunnock and baby Moorhen and mating Collared Dove.   A few birds calling in the land drain cover but did not manage to ID anything new. 4 Clouded Yellows seen.
Late from yesterday a trip via Dungeness gave me the first migrating Southward wheatears of the year. Reports of Redstart and Pied flycatchers did not come my way.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Monday 20/8

A first time visit to Hothfield Common too late for orchids far too dry for Onodanta but a lovely place and an excellent area at the correct time of year.

On to Stodmarsh lunch in the pub at entrance to reserve which was pleasant but the reserve was very quiet except for biting midges not a day for shorts,  

Friday, 16 August 2013

Friday 16/8

A dull miserable day so a mid afternoon visit to Dungeness. Checked out the lighthouse garden with no avail and on to the moat where I managed to get a Willow Warbler (156) then on to Hanson hide on ARC all the hirundines were present.No sign of Black necked Grebe or Garganey.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tuesday 13/8

Another lovely day so started at the Patch once again hoping for Black Tern and once again failed. Other than Black Redstart in power station car park nothing to write home about. On to ARC starting at south end - Screen Hide and then Hanson . Water levels are now at a good level showing plenty of islands. Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper,Ruff ,LRP, Ringed Plover, Black Tailed Godwit , Dunlin Redshank, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Dunlin and Water Rail. Track gave Whitethroat and Tree Sparrow. Overhead Marsh Harrier and only Sand Martins . Total 44   

Monday, 5 August 2013

Monday 5/8

A trip to Dungeness, There were reports of a Caspian Tern in the area but did not bother chasing. All the normal birds and migrating Swifts, House Martins and Sand Martins. Total birds 35 . Was hoping for a photo of Marbled White but did not find any and the rain storm which stranded me in Dengemarsh Hide for 30 minutes did not help.
                               Female Common Darter ???

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sunday 28/7

Another visit to ARC Hanson hide to try and see the Little stint was another dip. Wood Sandpipers were again in evidence and a delight to watch. Little Ringed Plovers again present with Common Sandpipers and a couple of Dunlin. a distant Godwit was seen and assumed as Black Tailed. Bird of the day was a summer plumaged Black Necked Grebe which stubbornly stayed as far away from Hanson hide as possible. This brought back memories of a BN Grebe seen in Majorca a few years back which was extremely tame.  
Informed of a drake Fudge duck at the Mipitts, This is an area I have yet to explore so a followed others to the site. A walk along the Shooting ranges gave up Shelduck, Skylark, Avocet and Kestrel but no sign of any ducks fudge or other.  A pleasant birding area and worth another visit especially in winter.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Saturday 27/7ound

Heat still with us but today a welcome spell of rain which is a shame as it was New Romney's fair day. As unable to pass thru New Romney due to carnival drove round the marsh first. A good number of Yellow Hammers were a nice sight. Eventually got to Hanson at ARC to find the water levels looking vey good for waders and so it was. Immediately got onto a Wood Sandpiper (154) and found 3. A handful of Golden Plover was a sight of autumn also Common Sandpiper no sight of Little Stint. Total 33  

Small Copper

Young newt

Friday, 26 July 2013

Friday 26/7

A visit to Minnis Bay today for a seafood lunch being in the Isle of Thanet managed to see Ring Necked Parakeet returned via Stodmarsh here we saw Green Sandpiper , Common Sandpiper, Ruff great views of a pair of Snipe but also 2 Spoonbill (153) being bird of the day.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Wednesday 24/7

Another very hot day so an early trip to Dungeness. Sea watch first common tern with young Sandwich tern on the beach and great views of one adult Little Gull. Checked every tern but did not pick out any Roseate. neither any sign of the Odd Seal  which has been present for a while. On to the reserve and the only thing of note was a pair of Egyptian Geese. Still not located the Great White Egret which is now present. Total 31  

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Sunday 21/7

Another hottest day of the year so a quick trip down to Dungeness in the airconditioning. South end of ARC produced my first Common Sandpiper (151)of the year . Dengemarsh road did not offer up the Great White Egret and no Hobbies were seen. total 26
Garden is full of Butterfies but unable to get any good photos a Painted lady seen on Saturday ( is this a British Butterfly)
small white
   Meadow Brown

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sunday 14/7

A wonderful summers day so after a quick visit to the local auction decided on a walk along the Military Canal at West Hythe hoping for butterflies and Dragonflies. On the way a flyover of Marsh Harrier on arrival at the Car park the song and sight of a Blackcap was a welcome hello. Wren , Chiffchaff and Chaffinch were evident but not one Butterfly and only a few dragonflies. Rookery and heronry were very quiet. Total a small 21
Water lilies were resplendent

Garden flower are also looking wonderful

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Saturday 13/7

A nice morning and decided on a morning stroll round Dungeness reserve. Little at the south end of Arc little of notice and a walk to the screen did not find Spotted Redshank but Black Tailed Godwits and the swallows young in the hide were eloquent. On to the reserve nothing on the notice board first thing of note was the number of Sand Martins non breeders or too young but an early return to Africa for them. Missed out Makepeace to later see a report of Common Sandpiper there.   Dengemarsh did not show any of the Red Crested Pochards nor any Hobbies . Young Common Terns doing well and surrounding the hide young Dunnocks / Sedge Warblers

 and Whitethroats near the mound a singing Cetti reminding me of NHGP. Total 43  

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thursday 11/7

Another beautiful day per the met office so off to Dungeness wearing fleece and winter top coat.
Patch first at least 5 Little Gulls plus Med Gulls Others found a Little Tern on beach but I was unable to locate. I also saw a quite dark tern which flew off without any proper ID did I miss a Black Tern ? .
On to the screen at Arc hoping for the Spotted Redshank without any luck
In a couple of hours 38 . When will I add any to the list ? 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Sunday 7/7

A glorious sunny day and a change in medicines allowed a walk round the RSPB reserve. Still trying to see a Bearded Tit. Nothing on the notice board so a poor start. Moved quickly to the Dengemarsh hide watched the breeding Common Terns. Noticed that at least one bird flew back with a fish and flew round all the rafts before it landed on one " do they not remember which they breed on and need the young to call". At least 3 Hobbies were seen and a Bittern seen in flight. Nice calling Cetti . Total 38   

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Another visit to the children today for a birthday party of course meant going via Oare Marshes ( a long detour)
Arrived weather was overcast and miserable and no sign of THE GULL but a near summer plummage Ruff was a great sight. with reed and sedge warbler close by masses of Black Tailed Godwit and a sprinkle of avocets sitting watching from the car was no hardship. After an hour an unusual gull appeared in the distance the wing patterns and size looked very "little Gull" on landing it was obvious it was no little gull but the much admired BONAPARTES GULL a vagrant from North America. The gull was much darker than photos seen and did not resemble any description in Collins . Also checking Field Guides of birds of the USA this would be a difficult ID. Noticable smaller than the Black headed Gulls. Watched for 45 minutes as it preened chased starlings and had a little snooze.  Bird number 150 for 2013 also a lifer and the second lifer for Oare Marshes ( should we have moved there instead of Dymchurch/Dungeness) A car pulled up beside us and out came Derek Tutt many a year since I met him, last time was showing him the Medway Valley Eagle Owl . Nice to meet up.
        Visit finished with a fly over hobby. Total only 35 but quality not quantity.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Thursday 27/6

Another blustery cool day still no summer arrived. A couple of hours so went to Dungeness South end of Arc had ringed plover and a noticeable lack of the masses of swifts we have had of late. On to Arc hide again quiet but reed / sedge warblers reed bunting Hobby Kestrel and a great sight of a Bittern in flight. A total of 42   

Monday, 24 June 2013

Monday 24/6

Another miserable day overcast and windy was to visit my daughter and decided to go via Oare Marshes.   With reports of a Bonapartes Gull hoping we could find that. Arrived and it was still high tide so the marsh was awash with birds many Blacktailed Godwits Avocets and Gulls. a good number of Black Headed Gulls but unable to find a Bonaparte. Still lots of swifts about with House Martins . Reed and Sedge warblers seen. Total species 34     

Sunday 23/6

Another blustery day so the masses of Swifts are around the lakes again with a few House Martins and even less swallows. Tried to do a birding walk after arriving at the reserve the strong wind and the cold feel dampened any enthusiasm. The reserve track had great views of Hobbies arrived at ARC and watched from the Hide for a while scanning all the swifts looking for any sign of white with no luck. Eclipse Duck numbers have increased across the reserve. Total  was a low 30 species.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Monday 17/6

A lovely day so a walk round Dungeness Reserve was on the cards. The first thing of notice was the lack of swifts as after days of hundreds if not thousands wheeling around the local lakes the absence today was obvious.
Yellow hammers were present as I drove over the marsh South end of ARC had Little Egret Ringed Plover and Redshank. The reserve showed Cuckoo still calling which is a late date. Still no Dragonflies but other insects were haching in the fine weather giving the hobbies pleanty to eat. Young Common Terns in the rafts were a cute sight. 2 Grass snakes were observed and one Lizard. Total 38   

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Thursday 13/6

Will summer ever begin ??
Yesterday as usual dull windy and cold but did decide to try for the Black Kite at Selling/ Boughton Street had no idea of exact location but arrived at a crossroads to find a few birders on the side of road. Told to hurry as Kite was about to disappear from view. I did not get to see the bird, visited the Church in the drizzle again no sight. Went to Macnades for Lunch and returned to the church and then again to the Crossroads here I found Martin W and Flossie it was before Sarahs Wedding we last met up at NHGP. Kite was reported over the church ( when we were at lunch ) Watched for a while but no luck high winds and rain did not make it pleasant.
Today managed a short trip out to Dungeness even windier than yesterday and still drizzle and dull. Grey Lag Goose with goslings at soouth end of ARC and a vast amount of Swifts over the lake. Nothing on the notice board but Knot and Ringed Plover from the shop. Total today 36 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Thursday 6/6

Not feeling top of the world today but managed the South end of ARC for 20 minutes. Immediately saw a Juv Little Gull on the shore line for a few minutes before a fly through Sparrowhawk sent every thing into the air.
After all had returned to normal after the Sparrow Hawk scare spotted a Ringed Plover, happily the scope was in the boot so out it came and recorded my first Little Ringed Plover of 2013 ( 149) .
Hirundine numbers seemed to be down today compared with other days but may be due to the high winds. A Cormorant that swallowed a fish too big for his gullet gave a few minutes of tension as it tried hard to make it slide down and eventually won.
Lots of Teal but none could be turned into GW Teal. 

Wednesday 05/06

A visit to Maidstone to visit children on a warm sunny day . Local weather was very windy but inland it was a very pleasant 17*. A wishfull trip round NHGP did not get done but having to return via Rochester and Faversham gave the opportunity for a short drop in on Oare Marshes. Tide was a long way out so no waders on the marsh except hundreds of Blacktailed Godwits which in summer plumage is a wonderful sight.  A handfull of Avocets were a nice sight as I have not found any on Romney Marsh as yet, I understand they are at Midripps but do not know that area yet. Still masses of Hirundines ,are these too late to breed ? as it seems unusual to see so many so late. No Terns at all which I thought was unusual. A nice visit but no Tufted Puffin or other rarity. Total 34

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Saturday 1/6

Morning started out sunny and promising but went down hill and ended up cloudy and cold . With the report of a Garganey on ARC managed to get Val to drive me down at 3.30 for an hour. A  stunning drake Garganey ( 148) was found on South end of ARC . The reserve had all the usual with great displays by Hobbies . Total was only 29

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Saturday 25/5

Woke to bright sunshine instead of the forcast rain so decided on an early walk. Yesterday a Beaeater was reported at Dungeness and I have been remiss and not heard any booming. Arrived at Dengemarsh Road and walked onto the reserve, within minutes the distinctive Boom of a Bittern was heard.    A  long time since I last heard that and had always been a wish to hear at NHGP. Of course no Beaeater found and unusually no Hobbies seen. Reurned home after 2 hours with a list of 33 birds.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tuesday 21/5

With a report of a Cattle Egret at Dungeness I had an hour to spare. On arrival with a few other cars scanned the Fields by the entrance track. Eventually picked out the Cattle Egret ( 147) alongside a dun cow which confirmed it was aptly named. While waiting and watching the song of Sedge/Reed Warbler and Whitethroat could be heard. Hobbies and Marsh Harrier put in an appearance total species 37.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday 17/5

A totally different day from yesterday now windy and cold. A 2 hour out while Val was having her hair done. Day started nice as on a quick visit to the local Tesco Express a Little Grebe in the land drain alongside. Tickmarsh seed dump had 4 Turtle doves and one stunning male Yellowhammer.Denge marsh had 2 Hobbies sitting on posts. A drive up the reserve track allowed me to see the pair of Scaup for the second time and hundreds of Hirundines. A nice Cuckoo was sitting on a stick by the Car Park. Species total was 40.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Thursday 16/5

A lunchtime walk with Val along the Canal at West Hythe. This turned out to be the warmest day of the year. All the usual birds one would expect but a fine Peregrine Falcon seen from the return Path. After a garden center visit we drop into Ticehurst lane Seed Patch to find 3 purring Turtle Doves (144)and as I crossed the Railway Line a 4th bird was sitting on one of the tracks.  38 species today

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Wednesday 15-5

Up early after a night of very strong winds as not raining decided to try for the Green Winged Teal. No sign at south end of ARC and went onto the reserve. A very windy reserve managed to get to Makepeace hide where I was informed the GWT had not been located but Scaup were seen from Dennis Hide. So went back there to see a pair of Scaup (143) the first for a few years , scanned all the hirundines for something different. Went over to Arc and find a Drake Scaup right outside the hide ( Camera in car) again scanned all the hirundines with no luck. A Hobby crossed the lake and came straight towards me as it got near I said this is to come  in the hide but it veered off at the very last second a spectacular sight. 31 species seen.

Tuesday 14-5

Unable to get out untill late afternoon and was out only a short while when I got a call to return to see visitors.  So only got to the south end of ARC.
As I pulled up noticed a large light coloured wader in the shallows got the bins on a great Greenshank another new bird for the list within seconds a large Gull spooked the wader not to return. Only managed a total of 16 species. 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Friday 10/5

A trip to Ashford gave me the opportunity to visit Orleston Woods on the return trip. Only a quck pass thru visit but within Minutes managed Blue and Great Tit , Chaffinch,Wood Pidgeon,Magpie, Chiffchaff calling,Cuckoo,Great Spotted Woodpecker and great views of a favorite a Nuthatch. On return noticed the Orchids at Dungeness so must photo and ID


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Thursday 9/5

Woke to another sunny morning but shame about the south westerly wind which was strong at times. A visit to Dungeness Reserve was on the agenda.
Started at ARC which was very quiet then onto the reserve again notching up birds was a slow process. A total of 45 birds was made but the bird of the day was a close up and low flying Hobby (141) The sun did bring out a common lizard and a Grass Snake crossing the Track and Marsh Frogs were calling all over the reserve. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Wednesday 8/5

Another trip to Hospital in Maidstone gave me the opportunity to walk around NHGP near the river at least one Cuckoo could be heard calling and
in the reeds by the fishing hut a couple of Reed Warblers were seen singing making the total 140.

Tuesday 07/05

 A visit to my Mum in Christchurch. Unable yo do any birding but visited the reptile house so great views of Adder/Smooth Snake / Grass snake/Toads/Marsh Frog and Natterjack Toads but the best was the CCTV view of a Goshawk on a nest with 3 Eggs . A pity we do not get to see live birds.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sunday 5/5

Another early start with a bright blue sky no wind and warm so arrived at Dungeness at 8am to find some had arrived at 5.50 am. As usual I am too late and all the good movement was before I arrived. Gannets and Terns were diving everywhere and Harbour Porpoises very evident so fish shoals must have been present. Scoters were passing at regular intervals but no Velvets. No inward migration noticed only sea birds moving west. Managed to pick out a Little Tern as it flew back and a few Artic Skuas harrassing Terns , another 2 for the list. Brent Geese and Red Throated Divers were seen. No further visits so straght home.   

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tuesday 30/4

The first day of 2013 when going out was warm sunny and bright. A trip to the patch at Dungeness gave me 165 and 6 being a Sandwich and Common  Tern. At least 4 harbour Porpoises .Then on to the Reserve to check the notice board which stated Garganey and Cuckoo at Dengemarsh so went round there and did not find either of the two but Marsh Frogs calling and Greylag Goslings in the fields. A total of 40 birds today.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Monday 29-04

On one of my usual visits to Maidstone Hospital gave me the opportunity to visit the old patch for a short while. As I entered via Brook House I was hit with the singing of many Nightingales and one even perched just above my head within 5 feet and sung his  heart out ( of course no camera). Within minutes located a Blackcap but did not find Willow Warbler or heard/saw a Cuckoo. 5+ Slow worms in the usual area and noticed that rangers have put out clumps of logs presumable for invertibrates. A lovely sunny day and great to listen to so many Nightingales.   

Saturday, 27 April 2013

SATURDAY 27/04 Has Spring Sprung ?

After 2 weeks in Scotland it was nice to be back in the Garden Of England. Two trips to the reserve at Dungeness today one mid morning and one mid afternoon the weather was bright and sunny but still cold in the wind.   33 species seen today making the annual total 131.
Spotted Redshank seen at end of ARC  and from hides Swallow/House Martin /Sand Martin then Sedge Warbler  adjacent toWillow trail.
The afternoon trip added yellow wagtail and Lesser Whitethroat finally as I was leaving the reserve. But to finish the day as driving home stopped to see a flight of Swifts (132)

Monday, 22 April 2013

Monday 22.04

Got up at 5pm for a Capercaille watch at RSPB Loch Garten arrived to find 20 cars already there ( so not only me is stupid) 2 Capers were visible on CCTV eventually one came into our view but due to height of heather only saw head and tail as he walked along in the heather. 2nd Caper never came within Scope or Bino vision. A Roe dear was present as well. Returned to Hotel for breakfast at 8am. Later in a trip to Farr via Findhorn Valley a glorious Black Grouse was seen. Day finished early so only other birds seen were Blackbird/Jackdaw/Carrion Crow/Rook/Raven/Mipit/Wheatear/Swallow/Buzzard on road kill?Black headed Gull/Pheasant/mallard and Chaffinch.Saw no Slav grebes at Ruthven RSPB but had 15 young Toads and later a Red Squirrel. 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday 21/04

A new day and a new part of Scotland .First visit was the Osprey RSPB viewpoint to get Osprey and Crested Tit later we located Red Legged Partridge and Dipper complete list was Mallard/Lapwing/Crow/Jackdaw/Tufted Duck/Black Headed Gull/Great tit/Great Spotted Woodpecker/Siskin/Blue Tit/Chaffinch/Sparrow/Starling/Lapwing/Pheasant /Wood Pidgeon/Oyster catcher/Curlew/Grey Heron/Wheatear/Pied Wagtail/Mistle thrush and finally a Buzzard. Total Bird Count now 83.


Saturday 20/04

Last day on Mull catching the 10.30 ferry and then on to Grantown on Spey a 111 miles journey. Left the house early so gave us a chance to finish off with Eagles arrived at Killicrankin to see a Golden Eagle followed by Chaffinch , Great Tit then a White Tailed Eagle a great leaving viewing rest of birds were Curlew/Oystercatcher/Mipit/Swallow/Common Gull/Herring Gull/Crow/Blackbird/Jackdaw/Grey Lag Goose/Starling/Rook/Blackheaded Gull/Mallard and Lapwing. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Friday 19/04

Wall to wall sunshine and a temperature to mach with no wind. Today decided to do the Sea Eagle feeding boat trip.Left Ulva at 10 and travelled up the lock to the Sea Eagle Nest site round the corner from our Holiday Home. The boat stopped and we all watched for the Eagle ,Within Minutes it could be seen flying towards us looking bigger and bigger as it came. It flew round the boat and then a small fish was thrown out the stern, the eagle swooped down and picked the fish off the water no more than 25 yards from boat, Eagle then flew back to his partner with the prize. The Eagle did this a total of 4 times before we set off out of the area. A truly amazing sight the size and strength was awesome.
The boat then cruised up the loch hoping for Dolphins and any other birds,
New birds for the total were House Martin/Razorbill/Guillimot and Common Scoter.
list for today was Collared Dove/Redwing/Chaffinch/Great Tit/Ble Tit/Siskin/Common Gull/Crow/Raven/Oystercatcher/C urlew/Shag/Skylark/Blackbird/White Tailed Sea Eagle/Golden Eagle/Great Northern Diver/Black Guillimot/Eider/Swallow/Buzzard/Herring Gull/Coal Tit/Wheatear/Jay/Common Sandpiper/Mipit/Grey Heron/Mallard/Shelduck and Pied Wagtail.
The puzzle of the day was when at sea a Diver was spotted and viewed at reasonable close range by all and the concensus was White Billed Diver. Much as I would like to believe this I expect it was a Great Northern Diver with a very light or white bill.
This makes a a total of 77 Birds in 6 days .

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Thursday 18/4

Day started off bright and sunny but with a strong wind. Drove to Iona Ferry but decided against going over so went to Croggan hoping for the first Otter first added Blackthroated Diver then a Cormorant and Widgeon, but we did find a large Otter swimming along a good view but he then saw us and dived and we were unable to relocate. At Croggan we saw a small herd of goats and wondered if they were wild. 40 species today Chaffinch/Blue Tit/Coal Tit/Great tit/Pheasant/Song Thrush/Oystercatcher/Pied Wagtail/Great Black backed Gull/Swan/Widgeon/Buzzard/Blackbird/Grey lag Goose/Pied Wagtail/Common Gull/Curlew/Mallard/Wheatear/Mipit/Shag/Lapwing/Red Breasted Merganser/Grey Heron/Skylark/Common Sandpiper/Starling/Gannet/Greenfinch/Black Guillimot/Robin/Redwing/Golden Eagle/Cormorant/Great Northern Diver/Collared Dove/Canada Goose.
Mull Total =  72

Late posting 8.30 pm while eating dinner a Tawny Owl flew over the trees at edge of garden. One more on the total

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Wednesday 17/04

Another rainy start but today it did not improve and stayed wet and windy.
Happily we had decided that today we would indulge in the the best of Mulls produce. As the fish restaurance we elected was in North Mull we decided this had to be a lunch so Oysters/Mussels/langustine/Crab/Smoked Salmon and Mackeral pate was the decision.
As a large chunk of the day and the appaling weather kept the bird count low still managed 24 which included 2 not yet seen a Goosander and a Siskin 
Chaffinch/Great Tit/Thrush/Wood Pidgeon/Common Gull/Rock Dove /Grey Heron/Oystercatcher/Curlew/Herring Gull/Redshank/ Lesser Black Gull/Mallard/Hooded Crow/Mipit/Blue Tit/Greenfinch/Greylag Goose/Goldfinch/Sparrow/Blackbird and Skylark.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

16/04 SPRING ?

Woke up to pouring rain and breakfast tv weather did not give much hope that it would improve so no rush to get out . Never the less we made a picnic lunch and left the house at 11am going to Grasspoint then Lockbuie . Before leaving the feeders gave us Chaffinch/Great Tit/Blue Tit/Coal Tit and sparrow and a flyover Hooded Crow.
Grasspoint was a washout managed to see nothing due to wind and  rain.
The weather improved and by reaching home it was a beautiful warm evening.Pinkfoot Geese still where it was yesterday. Before Lochbuie we found 4 Swallows the first of the year and a Common Sandpiper also a field with 20 Rock Doves.Returning home had great views of a Short Eared Owl.Todays total was 41.
Wood Pidgeon/Collared Dove/Lesser Black Back/Mipit/ed Gull/Canada-Greylag and Pink Footed Goose/OystercatcherRedwing/Fieldfare/Common Gull/Swan/Wheatear/Robin/Thrush/Mistle Thrush/Greenfinch/Yellow Hammer /Mipit/Eider/Gannet/Sea Eagle/Raven/Pied Wagtail/Shag/Skylark/HenHarrier/Buzzard/Curlew/Lapwing/Short Eared Owl.
Later news from yesterday during dinner watching out into the garden what looked like a field Vole kept running out of the undergrowth and picking up dropped bits from the fat balls.   

Monday, 15 April 2013

Monday 15/4

Awoke to a sunny morning which stayed all day with temperature reaching 14 degrees. Bird total today 42. Decided to go up the west coast to Tobermory. Had lunch of Scallops on Tobermory harbour side  . First bird seen was a chaffinch on the feeders followed by a fly over Golden Eagle. A  pheasant crossed the road and soon after saw a male pheasant. Two gannets offshore and Rock Pipit at Calgary beach. A pair of Goldeneye on an inland loch. In a flock of GreyLag a Pink Footed Goose was located. On return a Great Northern Diver in near summer plumage on Lock Na Keal.
Grey Heron/Oystercatcher/Common Gull/Red Breasted Merganser/Pied Wagtail/Herring Gull/Curlew/Teal/Blackbird/Robin/Grey Lag Goose/Redwing/Crow / Redshank/Buzzard/Starling/Black Headed Gull/Mallard/Wheatear/Great Tit/Pheasant/Hen Harrier/Mipit/Song Thrush/Collard Dove/Kestrel/Sparrow/Goldfinch/Greenfinch/Swan/Eider/Shag/Canada Goose/Sea Eagle/Shelduck.



Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sunday 14/4 Mull

Woke to pouring rain which would have locals dancing the jig as Mull has a drought even the distillery has stopped making whiskey due to shortage of water. 2 Fallow deer walked across the lawn early morning. Weather improved and sun broke out so did a trip along Loch na Keal to Lock Scridian and back via Craignure. 31 species in all, Red Breasted Merganser and Wheatear on Lock na Keal and a stunning White Tailed Sea Eagle  near Lock Scridian sitting on the nest after that found a stunning Female Hen Harrier showing fantastic markings as we left that bird we found a male Hen Harrier a wonderfull couple of birds. Back at home walked up the lane and added 3 Golden Eagles one very close. List was Teal/Oystercatcher/Great Black Backed Gull/Mallard/Chaffinch/Wood Pidgeon/Golden Eagle/Shelduck/Eider/Mipit/Raven/Gannet/Pied Wagtail/Skylark/Buzzard/
Lapwing/Shag/Blue Tit/Swan/Starling/Kittiwake and Common Gull.
No Otters seen but sea quite rough so difficult to pick out on the sea.
A dozen Red Deer including a great looking stag.

13 April Dunbarton - Isle of Mull

A Sperm whale has been in Oban Harbour for over 8 days so was hoping to see it as we left on Ferry yo Mull Whale had got out 24 hours previous so a bit miffed.
A Golden eagle circled over the ferry mid way and black guillimots were in harbour. Arrived at a great holiday home to have a G Eagle fly pass as we unloaded the car. A river in front of house has Dippers which hope to find.
An evening walk along river only produce chaffinch / robin/mallard/hooded crows and a pied wagtail.

April 11 home -Kirham

Holiday journey up the M40 showed 14 Red Kites and 3 Buzzards

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Tuesday 2/4

A first for my garden a pair of siskin on my feeders this am. Afternoon trip out started at the lighthouse at Dungeness with at least 2 Black Redstart (122) both looking very elegant at this time of year.Also Gannets at sea checked the gulls unable to locate the Glaucous.On to ARC where we saw Black Tailed Godwit and a drake Goosander (123) and all the usual on to reserve with Curlew in fields and a Wheatear just off track. The resident scruffy looking fox was wandering around the reserve track, returned via Walland  drew a blank other than a field of Fieldfare.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wednesday 27/3

Has Spring Sprung ?
A lovely day with blue skys and a numbing cold easterly wind. A short drive out at 4 pm hoping for Wheatear and a check for owls.Dungeness track drew a blank so out to the lighthouse and happily found a Wheatear (121) by the old lighthouse.Feeling very tired so cancelled any Owl watch and returned home to a roaring fire.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Monday 25/03

An early morning trip to Dungeness starting at the Patch Med Gulls,and a Little Gull (120)as well as usual Gulls, red throated divers on the water with cormorants and GC Grebes.A visit to the reserve notice board only had 2 Black redstarts at the lighthouse which I missed.returned via Walland all the Migrant Swans have left but plenty of Fieldfares and Golden Plover at the Airfield. Temperature felt like minus 5 so very bitter for a Spring day

Friday, 22 March 2013

Friday 22/3

A shopping trip to Ashford Design of course meant a deviation in another attempt for Waxwings arrived at Hestia Way and drove round all the surrounding roads without a sight. Decided to leave and on passing Hestia Way for the last time spotted a large flock of Waxwings(119) in the trees as reported.  A fantastic sight and so late in the spring unusual. Shopping was done and returned via the back roads to Dymchurch birds were few and far between, a flock of Fieldfare was a good sight but arriving at Newchurch the murmuration of Starlings was a a delight not as large as some I have seen but large enough to impress.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Thursday 21/3

With the Spring Equinox now passed with days longer than nights a day checking for migrants was in order.An early start arrived at Dungeness Power station a couple had just returned from watching informed me that they had seen nothing no Little Gulls or Terns so got back into car and drove to RSPB checking for Wheatears on the way. Straight away spotted 2 Avocets ( 116) in front of the shop further along a Kingfisher (117) was seen flying across. 5 Smew also present. Along to Dengemarsh hide with nothing new.
Visited the viewing point and watched the display of mating Marsh Harriers and it was not long before finding and hearing Cetti's Warbler (118) then had the great pleasure of seeing a Bittern fly out of the reeds fly towards the view point and land just in front of me . Even though I saw the exact place it landed the bird dissapeared like magic. On returning to the car a Great White Egret flew over the reserve. Across the road to arc there was a chiffchaff singing outside the hide , inside the hide we had the pleasure of 12 red head smew plus one male.  No R C Pochard located.
A great day but with snow on the forcast spring has not yet sprung.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Friday 15/3

A visit to Ashford gave me the excuse to try for the Waxwings, No luck but the surrounding houses and roads had an abundance  of berried bushes so I see them hanging about there for a while.
Returned via Orlestone Forest to find displaying Great Spots and treecreepers and a Nuthatch ( 115)
also noted Sparrowhawk, green woodpecker. Suprising how much snow is still present on  the road back to Dymchurch.  

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

wednesday 13/3

An afternoon drive out to the fishing boats I found all the gulls loafing all along the shingle
expecting a long look thru the gulls, but with luck found the Glaucous Gull ( 114)  straight away and in trying to get a photo I lifted my arms and away flew the gull. A trip to the reserve to check the notice board was interupted with snow so drove home to find that the snow was very local as none at home. So end of birding for today.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Sunday 10/3 Mothers day

Woke to a dry morning so decided on another early trip this time to see Purple Sandpiper.
Arrived at Stade street about 8 am and tried the east side of breakwater to no avail except
for 5 Turnstones so moved round to the west side and immediatly found 2 Purple Sandpipers ( 113)
hiding in the rocks close to the water. On return trip home decided to check out Willop Outflow in a field to the rear of the Outflow a field held 4 Curlew , 6 Redshank ,few Dunlin and plenty of Lapwings at sea only Great Crested Grebes with a few Gulls. No Spring Migrant.s   

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Saturday 09/03

Felt well enough to go out today so did 9am-11am at the fishing boats at dungeness.
A ringed Herring Gull by fish shack . The weather was misty but at least no wind and about 6*.
No Gulls on the beach so once again dipped in Glaucous Gull. The sea had many Great Crested Grebes on the water and flying east and west, also on the sea was half a dozen Guillimots and 20 +
Auks mostly flying east. Good numbers of Gannets flying East and same amount of Cormorants but they were also undecided and flying east and  west a Fulmar (111) seen and Kittiwakes landed on the shingle close by. Oystercatcher , Turnstone,  and Shelduck also seen with a group of 5 Common Scoter (112) . Main attraction was  Brent Geese during the 2 hours at least 300 flew by in various Skeins as I left could see Geese flying by the Lighthouse and stopped to watch what must have been at least 1000+ flying east a wonderful sight of migration. Returned by New Diggings but unable to see the reported male Red Crested Pochard which has joined the long staying female.       

Sunday, 3 March 2013

A beautiful day if not somewhat cold so a visit from David and Lynda gave the opportunity for a walk so the reserve at Dungeness was the decision.
Unable to locate any Curlew at Boulderwall Farm and did not attempt to pick out the Tundra Bean Geese but a little further up the track David picked out the Stonechat (110). The Reserve list had nothing  to get excited about but a flyover Shag was reported. Reserve produced Marsh Harrier , Goldeneye,Tufted Duck ,Dabchick,Cormorant,Shovelor ,Great White Egret,Canada and Greylag,Blue Tit,Little Egret, Great and lesser Blackback Herring and Blackheaded Gull,Coot, Magpie. A drive over Walland had the usual Yellowhammer at feed station and Tickners Seed Dump and a Merlin, plenty of Redwing and Fieldfare with flocks of starlings a tussle between a Peregrine and Marsh Harrier at the Woolpack . A Car in a ditch did cause some worry but on inspection there was nobody onboard and on return car had been removed.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Saturday 2/3

An early morning visit to the fishing boats at Dungeness. Stupidly left the scope at home when going for a sea watch. Managed about an hour. There was a easterly movement of Hundreds of Great Crested Grebes, 20 Gannet , 4 Red Throated Diver , 12 Osyercatchers, a couple of Kittiwakes 15 + auks 2 being  Razorbills and one Guillimot (109) Cormorants were indecisive and were flying East and West Very few Gulls and no Glaucous. Little else of note . PM went back to Larkfield as I joined the motorway on the way home got a text re 25 Waxwings at Abbeymead just to late for me to turn around.  

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wednesday 27/2

A visit to my daughters in Larkfield gave me the opportunity to visit old haunts . Brookland and Abbeymead lakes are just as muddy and Abbeymead gave me my first Little Grebe (107) a walk along Lunsford lane to check out the feeders added 108 a few Siskin.The Patch has not changed

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sunday 24/02

Another very cold day woke with a sprinkle of snow temperature never got above  1 all day. Dropped into seed bank hoping for a photo opportunity but dull and light snow stopped that. Yellowhammer , chaffinch, Greenfinch and Corn Bunting ( 105) then along to Walland marsh towards the Woolpack There was a lot of birders today. South of the road were hundreds if not thousands of geese without my scope I managed to ID greylag, Brent, Bean and White fronted goose ( 106). Never seen so many Geese on these marshes . Buzzard ,Kestrel, Marsh Harrier plenty of Fieldfare,Redwing,Lapwing, Starling,

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Saturday 23/02

A visit to friends on the Isle of Sheppey of course meant a drive down the Elmley track , as soon as entering the fields we disturbed a Green Sandpiper ( 104) which flew away in its distinctive way. The rest of the track only gave up Lapwing , Starling , Widgeon , Coots, Marsh harrier.
Weather was again freezing with short waves of snow all day

Friday 22/2

Walland and dungeness with Sandwich terns reported at dungeness and Lambs in the field

Why did the temperature not rise above plus 1 with a strong East wind making "feel like "more like minus 3 and light snow showers all day.
Reserve had the population all clinging to the shores to avoid the wind the only exception being the Smew now on New Diggings, Little of interest on the notice board and the stonechat which I need still avoiding me.
Walland had all the Bewicks in a far off field I have yet to pick out the whoopers reported with them.
Only one Marsh Harrier seen but found Tickners seed dump for the first time. A Buzzard was scared off the bush adjacent to the dump. Many chaffinches / Fieldfares/yellowhammers I also "saw" a couple of Corn buntings but due to the poor light I will not count as bird 104 for 2013. A return visit is required  to add them . A Goldfinch was reported on my garden feeders which was missed by me I have not seen one in the garden since moving in last July. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


For the first time in many months I have felt like going out on my own so ventured to the reserve at Dungeness. ARC hide had the easterly wind blowing head on so opening windows was not pleasant and made the eyes water. Nineteen Smew were seen which must be the largest amount ever seen by me in one place. After much scanning managed to find the duck Red Crested Pochard ( 102) many shovelor , tufties a nd a few golden eye with fly over of 2 Marsh Harrier. After my abandoned attempt due to masses of birders to locate Tundra Bean Geese I went over to Boulderwall farm after scanning thru Greylag,widgeon,lapwing,starling , mallard , canada and greylag geese managed to find 5 Tundra Bean Geese (103)just within range.
So although a short trip a welcome return to a bit of birding on my own so now have to target a few winter migrants before it gets warm  Waxwing , skuas, guillimot, white fronted geese etc    

Monday, 18 February 2013

Monday 18/2

A visit to Varne at lunch time  the 2 snow buntings were by the lifeboat ramp after a drive to find woods near Appledore returned via Walland marsh the fields at migley produced thousands of starlings / lapwings and golden plover with a few Ruff (101) for good measure while there the male Hen Harrier drifted over the reeds in the distance, Why can I not find Geese on Migley.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday 17/2 100th Bird 2013

An early morning walk at West Hythe to exercise Rene's dogs gave good views of the heronry and a close view of a tree creeper but nothing new to the list . Afternoon drive to Dungeness found the place swarming with birders so I did not even stop a drive along Dengemarsh road added bird number 100 for 2013 a dodgy Egyptian Goose.   3 marsh harriers and a buzzard seen over Walland.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wednesday 13/2

A shopping trip tp Ashford gave me the opportunity to find Orlestone Forest car park . As it was bitterly cold and some snow on the ground we were the only ones in  the car park . Immediatley a Treecrepper appeared on a tree right in front of the car.   Then we saw great Spot,Redwing Great and Blue Tit  Jay Magpie Sparrowhawk Coal tit. Heard Nuthatch calling but did not locate. On leaving a lady put out bread beside here car and was surrounded by Tits and a Great Spot. Next time I go must remember bread and the camera.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Saturday 09/10

A short drive around at 3 pm tide was well out so Varne was all beach. Boulderwall goose flock did not have a Brent as reported yesterday so on to Walland Marsh scanned the Bewick flock but unable to pick out any whooper  but the Black Swan was very visible. Further along the road a Barn owl was quartering the field
  This was followed by a great view of a Merlin but flew before any record pictures.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Friday 08/02

Early morning walk to Hythe Gravel Pits , more birds than last visit in late summer, Canada Geese,coot,moorhen,tufted duck,gadwall and an assortment of gulls  also wren , no little grebe which was the target. .
Then we went to Dover for lunch going via St Margarets where there was Fulmars a plenty and a rock pipit on the beach.
After lunch a walk along Dover Pier it was windy and very cold 20 + razorbills and 6 Shags in the harbour also 4 adult and one baby comon seal on the hovercraft apron.
Folkestone front had 5 Med Gulls on the grass verge being fed bread.
Kent total now 97. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wednesday 06/02

Last night returned across marsh at dusk to see a Barn Owl . Today a quick drive around Varne / Dungeness and picked out Bar Tailed Godwit at Varne a Canada goose on entry track at Dungeness other than Grey Lag unable to see any other type of Goose. Returned by one of the smaller roads and found a field full of Stock doves . This makes my Kent total for 2013 at a miserable 93. Must force myself for some sea and woodland watching but walking is still painfull. 

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Thursday 31.01

A short trip out at 2.30 to Varne no sign of Snow Buntings but 2 red throated divers seen and what  appeared to be many more just out of ID range. Beach held Turnstone/redshank/sanderling and oystercatcher . A flyby of 7 Curlew and Kittiwake/ blackheaded gull and herring Gulls.
returned via the dungeness road to have all the usual on arc including 2 male and 2 female smew.          

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday 27/01

A quick visit to Varne Lifeboat Station after 4 previous visits I finally managed to see the two Snow Buntings in the car park..