Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

** Oare Marsh. **

It has been ages since I have blogged, it's about time I got back into the swing of things, so I will start with my visit today to Oare Marsh KWT reserve. Pam and I arrived there early afternoon, I couldn't have picked a better day, hot, blue skies no wind. I didn't know what was about, I had read on and off the a immature Spoonbill had been there so that would have been a great bird to see. I was hoping to park down the road in the lay by but it was full up, and not all of the cars was blue badge holders. We waited a while just in case some one left, but it wasn't to be so we parked up the road and I took a very slow walk up to the hide. On the was up the road we stopped and from the car I scanned the scrape and I did see the spoonbill but it was a long way away. Once in the hide with my scope all set up I started looking around for the spoonbill but it wasn't visible from where I was, typical, but all was bot lost, as it happens I came out on top because as much as, like all birders hate it when a low plane comes over and puts all the birds up, well this time it went my way, 2 R.A.F.jet fighters flew over the reserve putting everything up and as it happens they all landed on the mud out in front of the hide....brilliant. There it was this immature SPOONBILL right in front of me, the light was that good I was able to scope it right up to 70x magnification. I then found it quite amusing afterwards because not long after it had dropped in some of the people from down the road made a B-line for the hide to get some pictures, but they didn't stay long. Then it was just how I like it me and 1 or 2 others, now I could settle back and make my list, which is as follows, which includes a GREENSHANK which was looking so white among the other waders I had no trouble picking out, I even gave a new birder a good look at it through the scope along with the spoonbill. The time period I was there was 2 hours: KESTREL(2), COMMON BUZZARD(4), MARSH HARRIER((2F), G/B/B/GULL, HERRING GULL, B/H/GULL, SPOONBILL, GREY HERON, LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, SNIPE, DUNLIN, LAPWING, GOLDEN PLOVER, RUFF, REDSHANK, GREENSHANK, BLACK TAILED GODWIT, MALLARD, TEAL, WIGEON, GADWALL, SHOVELLER, C/CROW.STARLING, PIED WAGTAIL

My Bird of the Day is the ** GREENSHANK. **I know a lot of people might be surprised but to me in today's light it was much the more beautiful bird.

Monday, 16 July 2018

** A Few Random Pics From Norfolk. **

I thought it was about time I wrote something on my blog, so I decided to post a few random pictures from my recent trip to Norfolk. We stayed in a caravan in East Runton, just outside of Cromer, and as it happens it coincided with the time when the Pied Crow was there, unfortunately the only view I had of it is in flight. The first picture is of a PEACH BLOSSOM moth. The second is a FOUR SPOTTED CHASER, and the last obviously is a YELLOW WAGTAIL. The next 4 and from when I got up early on a few mornings to see the sun rise from outside of out caravan, and the bench on the cliff top is where I occasionally sea watched from. The last 2 pictures was taken along the coast road on our way back from Hickling Broad, it was a Hot day just the water was really rough as the short film shows.

I waited until the last few days of our holiday to go NIGHTJAR hunting. I always go to Salthouse Heath, it never gets much of a mention for them. It is quite eerie being along on the heath at this time of night, I have been here before when others have been here, but not this time.This time I had the best views I have ever had and I didn't need bins to see them, when I say them I mean 3, and to do this I did what I saw Bill Oddie do in a birding programme some years ago now, I waved a white hankie in the air, it wasn't planned I just happened to have on with me, so I thought what the heck, well no one was about. I waited until dusk and after a while I heard one churring which was a good start, and then another one started up from a different place. it wasn't long before I started to hear "Quick Quick Quick" call and that means there is one in the air. At this point the first one wasn't that close but visible, and then I did my bit, and, shortly after I did, it went from 1 to 2 to 3, my heart was racing and they was very close over head, I even had glimpses of the white patches on them. I don't think I will ever beat that......but there's always next year. Many of the usual species was seen along with these: RED KITE(2), SPOONBILL(2), GREAT WHITE EGRET, CURLEW SANDPIPER, KNOT, SANDWICH TERN, LITTLE TERN, LITTLE GULL(8), GREEN SANDPIPER, LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, MEDITERRANEAN GULL(26,Titchwell), SPOTTED REDSHANK(2,breeding plumage), COMMON SANDPIPER, RUFF(3, 2 with ruffs), PIED CROW, NIGHTJAR.
My latest birding outing was to Oare marsh last week to see the 4 BLACK WINGED STILTS that are there, and deserve a second visit this week. i also had great views of a LITTLE OWL.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

** Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve KWT.. **

What better weather to go birding, foggy, cold, light drizzle, but my trip to the Sevenoaks KWT reserve was worth it. I arrived at about 12.30 and there was about 10 cars there, and I automatically thought that there would be quite a few people in the public hide, but when I got there it was empty, I then assumed that some of them had gone walkabout to see it they could see the pair of BLACK NECKED GREBES that had been seen from the footpath on the far side that runs parallel to the east lake. I know that one has been there all winter but not two. While I was scanning the lake, a birder came in and told me that he had just been watching the grebes, but he didn't stay long. After he left I started scanning the islands for the LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS that was about, and after a while I saw one of them, and a short time after I managed find the other 2. I knew that there was a few good birds to lookout for so that was why I went. After watching the plovers for a while I wondered if it might be possible to find the grebes from this side instead of doing the long walk, and after scoping through the bad visibility I found them, the 2 BLACK NECKED GREBES swimming about together, looking resplendent in their breeding plumage, the weather being how it was aloud me to zoom in, and I had great views of their golden ear tufts, shortly after they headed right and that was the last I saw of them. I was now thinking about getting ready to leave when I saw what I thought was one of the Pied Wagtails out on one of the islands, but it turned out to be a YELLOW WAGTAIL, what a lovely bird to end on, I have only ever seen them in meadows and cattle fields before. I packed up at about 14.30 and as you do, feeling pleased with ones self knowing that you found these birds with no assistance from other birders, so all in all I had a great couple of hours. here. This is a list of all the species seen today: Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Teal, Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Herring Gull(the only gull seen),Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Blackbird, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail. When it comes to my "Bird of the Day" it has got to be the  ** BLACK NECKED GREBES.**  

Saturday, 7 April 2018

** Oare Marsh. 5th April 2018 **

 This post is about my visit to Oare Marsh on last Thursday 5th April. I arrived late morning. It was a really warm day and nice to be able to sit in the lay by in just a fleece. There wasn't a great number of difference species about. I had heard that where was a wader seen this morning that has been around for a while, but hardly seen. the bird in question is a LONG BILLED DOWITCHER. Some birders passed me now and again, and they had not seen it, so I now decided to go to the east flood hide. From here I was seeing the same species, but after finding out that the Dowitcher was last seen in the far right corner with the Black tailed Godwits,I switched my concentration to that area. I spent ages looking, and to my surprise I saw it. having seen it before I knew what I was looking for. Just before I found it 2 birders came in to ask about it, but because it wasn't showing, one said " Let's go, I haven't got the strength to hang around". I bet they wish they had now because it was only about 10 minutes later when found it. I then asked Andy to post it OK Face book Kent Birding because I was having trouble with it. I watched it for about 20 minutes, and although it is quite a bit smaller than the godwits, it wasn't taking any stick. There was also 1 Bar Tailed Godwit with them.
All the species seen was: Black tailed Godwit, Bar tailed Godwit(1), B/H/gull, Herring Gull, G/B/B/Gull, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Shoveller, Shelduck,  Dabchick, G/C/Grebe, Avocet, Lapwing, Redshank, Common Buzzard(7), Greylag Geese, Little Egret, Long Billed Dowitcher, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Wood Pigeon, My "Bird of the Day" is the ** LONG BILLED DOWITCHER. **

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

** Fallow Deer At Knowle Park Sevenoaks,**

On the bright and sunny Monday afternoon on 26th March Pam and I took a trip to Knowle Park, Sevenoaks to have lunch, and to see the Fallow Deer. I was lucky enough to see quite a few stag all reasonably close together, but the only draw back was they was a bit skittish so I wasn't ably to get as close as I have before. I did take plenty of pictures on the off chance of getting a few reasonably good ones.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

** Lifer twitch At Dungeness. **

After reading about the WHITE SPOTTED BLUETHROAT that has been at denge gulley, Denge Marsh Rd for a while now I thought it was about time I tried to go and see it. I got there about noon and there was some cars parked up at the start of the rough track, but as we sat there a few cars passed us and went further down, so we followed. I saw about a dozen people standing in one particular spot so I though my luck was in. The first person I spoke to when I was getting out was Mike Hook, good to see you again Mike. He showed me where it was, and it was just down the bank, I was expecting to see it further away. It was giving great views. After about a hour or so it want out of sight, I didn't see it again, but I did get great views of another lovely bird, and that was a FIRECREST, a couple in fact. It has been many many years since I last saw one, they have been in the gorse up by the lighthouse at Dunge but I never caught up with them. After leaving there I went over to the reserve for a hour because I was told that a Spoonbill had been seen on and off, but when I got there, there was no sign of it, but I was lucky enough to see the SLAVONIAN GREBE , which was nice. Also seen from the Denge Marsh Hide was a MERLIN and 2 EGYPTIAN GEESE.
After calling it a day we stopped at the entrance to look on the feeders to see the TREE SPARROWS, then we headed for home. I did take my camera with me as usual, but there was no way I was going to get any shots because it was too difficult to hold it steady. When it comes to my "Bird of the Day", it can only be the one and only ** WHITE SPOTTED BLUETHROAT **  Although the FIRECREST came close because of it's lovely plumage.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

** Another Winter Wonderland Garden Birdwatch. **

Another day garden birding, and hopefully some new birds, well that is what I was hoping for, and I wasn't disappointed. The day started off as usual with all the regular visitors on a feeding frenzy to get some food into their bellies to help them through the day, and then again late afternoon to help them survive the night, which alas many do not is they cannot get enough food. As the morning went by some of the not so common birds which also feed daily started to arrive, those being 2 male BLACKCAP, a REED BUNTING, and a PIED WAGTAIL. A  JAY turned up a couple of times, filling up on peanuts, and then the more unusual birds started arriving throughout the day, those being 2 SONG THRUSH, 1 MISTLE THRUSH, and finally just after lunch a REDWING made several appearances, and finally just when I was about to call it a day a FIELDFARE flew in.

These winter thrushes are a rare visitor to my garden.There has also been about 8 Black Headed Gulls coming in daily for the bread. This is the list of species that visited my garden today: B/H/GULL, WOOD PIGEON, COLLARED DOVE, JAY, STARLING, BLACKBIRD, SONG THRUSH, MISTLE THRUSH, REDWING, FIELDFARE, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH, REED BUNTING, H/SPARROW, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, BLACKCAP, PIED WAGTAIL, GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT, LONG TAILED TIT.

My "Bird of the day is going to be the ** FIELDFARE.**