Bempton Cliffs.

Bempton Cliffs.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

** Dungeness RSPB Reserve. **

Not the best of days to go to Dungeness RSPB Reserve, on a weekend, But I took a chance guessing  that quite a few  birders and photographers would be at Cliffe looking for the Black Winged Stilts, Spoonbill etc. It was lovely weather when Pam and I left and when we arrived. I went into the centre to see if  a particular bird was still there and it was Pam and I sat down by the coffee machine and I set my scope up because the bird I wanted to see was on one of the long islands at the far side, the bird in question is a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, It was with a COMMON SANDPIPER.
There was a few other waders about, Little Ringed Plover(3) Black Tailed Godwit(4), Lapwing(2) and Dunlin(2). There was not much else about, the usual gulls: G/B/B. L/B/B. Herring. B/H, and Common. Other birds seen was as follows: Egyptian Goose, G/C/Grebe, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Shoveller, Shelduck, Teal, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Sand Martin.
From here we went around to the Denge Marsh Hide. I was hoping to add a few more species to the days list because there wasn't much on it so far. I was surprised that there was a lack of people around, I had the hide to myself for about 40 minutes. I did pick up some of the usual species of birds, Grey Heron, Gadwall, Mute Swan,  Marsh Harrier. Then not long after I got there a GREAT WHITE EGRET dropped in. I was able to scope up to the full 60x magnification  giving great views right up to the pale green at the base of it's bill and into it's eye. There is enough mud showing for waders to use, and those which was were: Ruff, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Lapwing, Dunlin, Black Tailed Godwit, Golden Plover, and among many of the Sand Martin was a couple of House Martin. The Last species I saw was 4 Common Tern's and a Little Egret  which shortly after the Egret  landed the heavens opened up, and it through it down for ages, and at this point, as expected most of the birds just hid up or sat it out, heads under their wing. So this was the point when I had to decide whether to wait until it stops, which could have been ages, or go for it, I chose the latter, and yes I got pretty wet.
Others from around the reserve was: Greylag Geese,C/Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie, W/Pigeon, C/Dove, Stock Dove(2)
So all in all for the short period that I was there I has happy with the 44 species seen, and there is only one bird in the running for my "Bird Of The Day" and that is the ** PECTORAL SANDPIPER.**


Friday, 30 June 2017

** Stodmarsh Reserve, Thursday 29th June. **

Yesterday Pam run me down to Stodmarsh to see what was about, apart from the Red Footed falcon that had been reported quite a bit before hand, but alas I dipped out on that one.
I did see that the bee's are nesting again at the toilet block in front of the car park, to which I gave a wide berth. I was talking to a couple of guys in the car park who told me that there was another bee's nest in a oak tree down the path on the right, so off I went to see if I could get a picture of it, to which I did, it wasn't easy but this is the best of the bunch.
I then carried on to the Reedbed Hide. There was one other person in there who told be that there was a wader out in front that I hadn't caught up with this year, and that was a GREEN SANDPIPER.

I stayed in this hide for the full 2 hours because I wasn't up to walking far today, but I was happy with what I did see. There was another bird that I hadn't see for over a year, albeit a female, that bird being a BEARDED TIT, but she was looking good on the sun shining on her. There was a lot of juvenile Reed Warblers flittering about being fed by their parents, the other species seen was: Marsh Harrier. Common Buzzard. Greylag Geese. Cormorant. G/C/Grebe. Little Egret. Mallard. Shoveller. Teal. Coot. Moorhen. Lapwing. Oystercatcher. Chiffchaff. Swift. C/Crow. Magpie. W/Pigeon. B/H/Gull. G/B/B/Gull. Herring Gull. Common Tern.
My "Bird of the Day"  the ** BEARDED TIT.**
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We did have a close encounter with a dragonfly on out way out, all of a sudden a SOUTHERN HAWKER, it flew in through my side window, flying about the windscreen in a panic for a short time and then finally exiting through Pam's side window... great view!
On out way home I stopped off at Blean Woods to see if the Heath Flitillary was about, but it was late in the day and I had no luck, all I saw was a Green Veined, and a Ringlet.


Sunday, 18 June 2017

** Norfolk Bird Sightings.

A couple of weeks ago Pam and I went to Norfolk for a holiday and to see friends and I have decided to list the birds I saw on here. I was not able to due this earlier because I was having trouble with postings. I started off with a "Lifer" which was a DOTTEREL at Choseley Barns.I also saw a RED KITE and a YELLOWHAMMER on the way back to the car. The other birds seen was Gannet, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Egyptian Geese, Cormorant, Marsh Harrier, Shelduck, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Red Crested Pochard, Shoveller, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Dabchick, Avocet, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Turnstone, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Coot, Moorhen, Skylark, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Swift, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Cuckoo, B/H/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Mediterranean Gull, G/B/B/Gull, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, C/Crow, Jackdaw, W/Pigeon, Collared Dove, Turtle Dove(3), Pheasant, Red Legged Partridge, Nightjar(Salthouse Heath), Tawny Owl, While listening/watching the Nightjar I found myself in close contact with a Roe Deer, It shot passed me about 20 feet or so in front through the gorse and then it was out in the open, hearing that thunder by, and it was noisy made me jump. and when we was nearly home that night we saw a Muntjac.

** Rye Reserve. **

Yesterday (15th June)I took am annual trip to Rye reserve to look for one of my top 5 birds and after about 45 minutes I saw 3 of them, the bird species in question is the LITTLE TERN. It is a cracking little bird. The other bird which are nesting in good numbers are Common Terns
and Black Headed Gulls,

but before I got to the hide I saw my first WHEATEAR of the year, it was a female. Later on I was watching the birds when the warden came in, he was doing the rounds putting leaflets in the hides and a B/H/Gulls swooped in and stole another B/H/Gulls chick, not a site I wanted to see, but that's nature. I was glad that he came in, I was then able to tell him what bird I saw a little earlier, this was about 1 hour after I saw the Little Terns, this bird came from the far opposite end, it was feeding as marsh terns do, it was a BLACK TERN. I couldn't believe it, I haven't seen one of these for quite a few years. The warden was pleased that I saw one because then he knew there was a few around, he also said that they recently had a White Winged Black Tern pass through. There was some waders there, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Redshank, 

Avocet, and Lapwing.There was a Great Crested Grebe that spent all of it's time snoozing, the other duck was Tufted Duck, and a couple of Shelduck baby sitting a lot of ducklings, as they do. The other birds I saw was: Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant which I took a couple of pictures of while in flight, but up in the bright sky they came out in what looks like silhouette 
Herring Gull, Common Gull, Carrion Crow, Starling, Wood Pigeon, Pied Wagtail. Picking my "Bird of the Day was going to be easy but seeing the Black Tern made it a little harder, but because I came looking for one particular species, it has to be the ** LITTLE TERN. **

Thursday, 4 May 2017

** Dungeness RSPB Reserve. **


I wasn't sure as to know where to go today but I chose Dungeness. Before going to the reserve Pam and I went for lunch at The Pilot Inn. After that we headed to the reserve when I saw a couple of birders at the roadside by the entrance to the power station. I stopped to ask what they was looking at and I was told that there was a Common Crane flying high over the power station, it was Dave Walker that told me, from the observatory. After being there for about 5 minutes or so a police motor pulled up and asked us what we was doing, apparently someone phoned them, but after Dave explained all was OK.
It never appeared, it had flown off towards Denge Marsh.
When we got to the reserve I went into the centre and asked about the crane and I was fold that a short while ago it flew over there, typical.
I went to the Makepeace Hide, not somewhere I normally stop at, but I am glad I did. There was a few wader species on various islands, those being, WHIMBREL, GREY PLOVER, RINGED PLOVER, OYSTERCATCHER, and LAPWING. There are still a couple of Pintails and Wigeon there along with all the usual birds those being: G/B/B/Gull, L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, B/H/Gull, G/C/Grebe, Dabchick, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Shoveller, Shelduck. Quite a few of these was seen at the places I looked. There was also 7 COMMON TERNS putting on a good display feeding, but the highlight for me was was watching 4 HOBBY'S.
From here I went to Denge Marsh Hide which was quiet, but I did manage to add a few more species to the days list, Marsh Harrier, Grey Heron, Greylag Geese. When I got back to the car I realised that I had lost a lens cap off of my bins, so I walked back to the hide, but no luck,but just as I got back Pam said that there was a bird of prey bird sitting on a post not far from the car, I quickly got the bins on it and it was a Hobb, I have never seen a Hobby sitting on a before.
Final stop off was ARC Pit. I was the only one there which suited me. There was many SAND MARTIN and SWALLOWS about, on the way to the hide CETTI'S WARBLERand SEDGE WARBLER was in good voice, and on the way back to the car I added CHIFFCHAFF ,a Great Tit, and a Pied Wagtail.
While I was preparing to leave I heard a very distinctive call, that of the CUCKOO. It didn't sound too far away so I scanned the area and I found it sitting on the top of a tree to the right of the hide, I was even able to zoom the scope up to 60x, it looked terrific, it then flew low over the water into a tree to the left of the water tower.
My " Bird Of The Day" is the ** CUCKOO **


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

** Dungeness RSPB Reserve And Some Good Birds Seen **

Took another trip to Dungeness RSPB reserve today because apart from the birds, I promised Pam a meal at The Pilot Inn. We didn't leave home that early so by the time we got to the reserve it was about 2pm. I didn't do many hides today, I started off at the Firth Hide, but after a good look around I didn't see anything out of the ordinary apart from a couple of Dunlin, and 3 Oystercatcher, so my next was to be the Denge Marsh Hide, but not before stopping off at the dipping pool. I stopped of to see if the LONG EARED OWLS was still about, I did see one, along with 3 other people, but there was no sign of the other owl.
At the Denge Marsh Hide I stayed quite a while because I was looking for 1 particular bird and it didn't take long to find it, because it was grazing with the Greylags, the bird in question is a WHITE FRONTED GOOSE. There was a few Marsh Harriers about, doing what they do best, and some really nice Great Crested Grebes in their breeding plumage, but that was about all.
There was 2 stop off points I was going to go, the first was the pool on the right when you come passed the farm house, I cannot remember the name of it, but after parking up for a while and looking all over with the bins I found it, the RING NECKED DUCK. It was a lot easier this time because it was hanging around with the Tufties. 
So, so far so good, there was one to look for and this one was going to be a bit harder, I knew it was about and where it was hanging out. It wasn't the looking that was going to be the hardest, it was where to park, it was on the new diggings and only really visible from the road, well I say road it is more like a race track, I am sure a lot of you know what I mean. Anyway we parked up at the very end on the left in a nice pull of place where one can get good views of the pit. I did get out of the car, but it was so blowy it was not easy standing there, so I asked Pam to turn the car side ways on so that I could check it out from inside. I looked up and down as best I could, half of the pit was in a direct sun so I had to forget that bit, but after a short while I saw this small bird on the left side not far out from the bank. It spent equal amount of time on the surface as it did diving, but when it was up and showing well it looked really resplendent in it's breeding plumage, oh the bird I am talking about is a BLACK NECKED GREBE. It was close enough to see it's yellow/gold ear tufts against it's black head and neck. Why it is still here I have no idea, but I am glad it is.
The next bit is very easy, my "Bird Of The Day" It can only be the  ** BLACK NECKED GREBE **




** Oare Marsh On 6TH April 2017 **


Yesterday afternoon Pam took me down to Oare Marsh, the temperature was 16c. I was surprised that it wasn't very busy, We had no problem parking down the road. After setting up my scope and settling down on my seat I got ready to start scanning around, but the first thing I had to do was take a couple of pictures of Marsh Frogs that was calling from all directions.
Back to the birds.The most numerous birds there was Black tailed Godwits, I am not into counting large numbers, all I can say is there was a few hundred about, quite a few was in breeding plumage. The other waders there was Avocet, Redshank, Oystercatcher Curlew, and Lapwing. On the duck front was: Pochard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Teal, Pintail, Shoveller, Shelduck, Mallard. Other species seen on the East Scrape was: Greylags, Cormorants, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorhen and Dabchick, not including the gulls, those seen was L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, and B/H/Gull. Also while I was scanning through the group of B/H/Gulls I discovered that there was 2 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS  in breeding plumage and looking resplendent. I also spotted a B/H/Gull with a ring on it's right leg with 2FPX on it. Birds of prey seen was: Marsh Harrier(M&F), Buzzard(5), and a male Kestrel. Small birds seen: LINNET, SKYLARK, Reed Bunting, on the Reed Bunting front, the 2 males that have been feeding in my garden all winter are still here), Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Cetti's Warbler, Starling, Robin, Green Woodpecker, plus C/Crow, Magpie, W/Pigeon,

I had no problem picking my Bird Of The Day and that is the bird with the crimson breast and that is the ** LINNET **
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Below are a few scenic shot that I took from Oare.
The oil seed rape shot below was taken en route.