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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.