Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Today it was lovely weather so at lunchtime today I went to Elmley NNR to see what was around. When I got there I had the pace virtually to myself. I am restricted as to where I can go so I spent all my time in the Wellmarsh Hide.The scrape out in front was empty of birds, in fact from what I could see most of it was, but I was happy to sit there and scan around. The few birds I did see I will list at the end, but what I most of was birds of prey. As usual there was plenty of MARSH HARRIERS about, probably low double figures. A KESTREL spent a lot of time hovering over the far hide. But the star of the show was a bird I have been hoping to see for the last 2 years, and today I managed to get good views of it, it is one of my top 5 bird species, that bird was a male HEN HARRIER. I couldn't believe my luck when it started to fly low across the scape, whatever I saw after that was a bonus, but I couldn't stop thinking about it, hoping it might come back, but no such luck. There was also plenty of COMMON BUZZARDS around, at one sweep from one side to the other I saw 8. There was some farmyard birds running around the car park, they was 1 Turkey, 1 Chicken, and 8 Helmeted Guinea Fowl,and at the bottom of the reserve entrance was 6 red Legged Partridge. Total birds seen was as follows: MARSH HARRIER, HEN HARRIER, COMMON BUZZARD, KESTREL, G/B/B/GULL, HERRING GULL, GREYLAG GEESE, CANADA GEESE,LITTLE EGRET, LITTLE GREBE, MALLARD, SHELDUCK, WIGEON, COOT, MOORHEN,RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE, LAPWING, OYSTERCATCHER, GOLDEN PLOVER, CURLEW, C/CROW, ROOK, W/PIGEON, STARLING, ROBIN, BLUE TIT, C/CROW, ROOK.

My "Bird of the Day" is simple, the male ** HEN HARRIER **

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

** Good days Birding At Dungeness RSPB Reserve.**

Today was a good day to go birding and with some good birds at Dungeness today that's where I headed. After arriving and going into the centre I asked where the Smews had been seen and they said that they had been seen on Burrows Pit from Firth Hide and Makepiece Hide so that was my where I headed. After scanning the water from the First Hide I saw nothing so then I moved on, again nothing, but as luck would have it a birder told me that they saw it out in front of Christmas Dell Hide. I headed there as quickly as I could because Smew are one of my top 5 birds. When I got there I was so relieved I had seen them, the male and female SMEW.I stayed and watched them for a short while, before heading off to Denge Marsh Hide. The hide was full when I got in there because they was all looking for the same bird as me, but it wasn't showing, then a birder came in and told us all that it was over to the left and could only be seen from about 100 yards up the track through the 5 bar gate. I got there shortly after the others and there it was, probably about 200 yards out, the bird in question is a BLACK THROATED DIVER. I was pleased that I got to see it. After seeing the GREAT NORTHERN DIVER on Sunday all I need now is the Red Throated Diver for the set. There was plenty of the regular species scattered around. after leaving the reserve I went home through the lanes from Lydd towards brooklands, and a few miles on in one of the ploughed fields on the right was a large flock of winter thrushes, FIELDFARE, I estimated between 150-200. So all in all it was a very good day, lovely weather, great birds, and a good lunch at The Pilot in Dungeness. My "Bird of the Day" can be nothing but the ** SMEW **

Monday, 8 January 2018

** 2018 Year List So far. **

I like to go out if possible on the first day of January. I did go this year to Dungeness RSPB reserve, and I the weather was quit heavy I most of the time in the hideI was there.Most of the birds was keeping their heads down, in fact my list was poor. I only stayed for about a hour and a half, but I did see one good bird, it was on the island just out in front of the Firth Hide with the Herring Gulls, and that was ** GLAUCOUS GULL **. It took me a while to find it but once I did it was easy to pick out. The only other decent birds seen was male and female GOLDENEYES. The other birds seen was as follows: G/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, B/H/Gull, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveller, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Pintail, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Coot, Moorhen, Blackbird. Robin, it was still raining when I left.
** HOME ** I also started my home bird list, and to date stands at 19. The best one so far is 2 Pied Wagtail, they seem to be turning up most days. The rest of the species are what I would normally see in the garden, except for one species that turns up every winter and that is the ** JAY **The rest are B/H/Gull, which dropped in to take some food off of the garden, W/Pigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Starling, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, robin, Dunnock, and directly over home was a Herring Gull, if they go over home than I add it to my list.
** OARE MARSH. ** On 4th January I headed for Oare Marsh to see if I could add a few more to the list, preferably waders. The weather wasn't too bad, just windy. I headed for the hide to see what I could find, I had already seen a few of them when I was at Dungeness, but there was some to add which was mainly waders. The tide just coming in when I arrived so that was just right because it was pushing the birds in and on to the flood. Most of the birds the flew in was Black Tailed Godwit. Another birder and I was able to see 4 Bar Tailed Godwit among them. They was followed by a large flock of Avocet, plus a few Dunlin, Curlew, Redshank, Grey Plover, A pair of Dabchick was at the far side, and a handful of Brent Geese flew up The Swale. I spent quite a while looking for the Green Winged Teal and the Dowitcher but to no avail, but considering that I haven't spent that much time looking for birds my years total so far stands at 51.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

** Dungeness RSPB Reserve. **

Although it was spitting with rain, I decided to go to Dungeness RSPB Reserve. When I got there, there was nothing at all on the daily sighting board, apparently there hadn't been many birders there before I got there, although there was a large party doing the rounds and unfortunately they caught up with me in the Denge Marsh Hide. I went there because Burrows Pit was very quiet. There wasn't much here either because off to the left workers was out in their little boats planting new reeds and putting fences around them, so I had to hope that the ARC Pit was more  entertaining.
There was more birds here than over the road, there was one species that I heard but didn't see and that was a BITTERN.  There was at least 300 Gadwall plus a large number of Coot. 3 Marsh Harriers was quartering the reeds, occasionally flying over the water putting most of the birds up. There was 3 birds birds that was nice to see, and they was 1 male, 2 female GOLDENEYE. There was a couple of  GREAT WHITE EGRET feeding in reeds a short distance out from the hide, and when I left at 15:30 the total went up to 8. The total species seen/heard was as follows: G/B/B/Gull, L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, B/H/Gull, Cormorant, Mute Swan,  Canada Geese, Bittern, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, G/C/Grebe, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Coot, Moorhen, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier. Mallard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Gadwall, Shoveller, Shelduck, Goldeneye, Wigeon, C/Crow, Magpie, W/Pigeon.C/Dove, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Reed Bunting, Starling.
My "Bird of the Day" is the male ** Goldeneye **

Thursday, 5 October 2017

** Knowle Park. 3rd October 2017.

I took my yearly trip to Knowle Park this week  to see the deer and see if the stags have started their rut yet, but I was too early. Looking back at my previous records I have been going in the middle of the month so I will be going back then,
I didn't see any white stags, I know there a couple there but I did get some pictures of some other stags.

Monday, 25 September 2017

** Dungeness RSPB Reserve. **

The first order of the day was the visitors centre for coffee, and to scan the islands on Burrows Pit, I didn't see much which is what I kind of expected being as the islands have only recently been reconstructed, but there was plenty of Sand Martin's in the air, feeding up before their long flight back to Africa.
On the way to the Denge Marsh Hide 3 Green Woodpeckers flew across the track. Once I was settled in the hide the first, and most obvious species I saw was 3 GREAT WHITE EGRET, which was feeding close to their relative, the LITTLE EGRET. At the moment this area seems to me attracting wading birds, today I saw: Ruff, Lapwing, Snipe, Redshank,Golden Plover. A female Marsh Harrier was perched in a bush opposite the hide, until it decided to take to the wing and quartering the reads for food. Other species of bird seen from here was as follows: Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Grey Heron, Great Black Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Pochard, Coot, Moorhen, 
Being content with what I had seen from here my only other stop was over the road to the ARC Pit, and the Hanson Hide, this is where I was hoping to see the species of bird I had come for.
There was about 6 or 7 people in the hide, and this is what a couple of them had come for too. I scanned the water, then the islands making a note of what I hadn't already seen, and after about 40 minutes in the far distance on the right near the reads was what I hoped for, the RED NECKED GREBE . I probably wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't turned up the magnification slightly. I told the guy next to me who got his scope on it, but it disappeared as quickly as it appeared, still at least I saw it, even if I hadn't it wasn't the end of the world. There was some other nice birds there, 2 LITTLE STINTS, which are a small wading bird, and 2 BLACK TERN, , and another Great White Egret.
Some of the species there I had already seen, but the one's I hadn't was as follows: Cormorant, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Common Gull, Tufted Duck, Shoveller, Wigeon, Black Tailed Godwit, Dunlin,
The birds listed here are ones that was seen in general from the tracks: Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Starling(large numbers) Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, C/Crow, Cetti's Warbler.
My Bird Of The Day is easy today, it can only be the  ** RED NECKED GREBE **

Friday, 1 September 2017

** Twitch To Oare Marsh. Thursday 31st August 2017. **

Today I took a trip to Oare Marsh. to do a twitch. . It isn't something I do very often, I will do it if there is a good bird in Kent. This bird has been there for about 3/4 days, the bird is a juvenile RED NECKED PHALAROPE.  When I got there was quite a few people, as you would expect, but we did get to park just off of the road past the pull in. I walked back up the road a short distance and started looking around with the scope, but I didn't have to look for long, it was straight out in front just past the first island doing what a Phalarope does, swimming quite quickly when it feeds, swimming round and round, and short distances back and forth. I was able to get good views of this bird while the weather was nice, but after a while the heavens opened, when I got in the car it was dry outside the door, and after this short down pour I had a lovely  puddle to walk through to set my scope up again. I did manage to get a couple of record shots of it but not brilliant.
After having good views if it I then started looking around for the LONG BILLED DOWITCHER. It was to the far left with the Lapwing. it also gave great views. I didn't look anywhere else, only on the east flood, there was plenty of waders there, those being:
Avocet.  Redshank. Spotted Redshank.  Golden Plover.  Little Ringed Plover.  Black Tailled Godwit.  Dunlin.  Ruff.
The birds on the flood seen was: Grey Heron.  Cormorant.  B/H/Gull.  Herring Gull.  Common Tern.  Mallard.  Teal.  Shoveller.  Moorhen.  Starling.
My "Bird Of The Day" has to be the ** RED NECKED PHALAROPE **.