Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Monday, 20 January 2020

** First Post Of The Year...Why? **

It seems like blogging has died a death, and I must admit I am not posting as much as I use to, but Pam said I should do it again because I seemed to enjoy it, so maybe I should listen to her and take her advice, although I don't go out as much as I use to. Along with many other birders every year I like to try and go out and start a year list on new years day if possible, or close as, this year was no different. I went to Dungeness RSPB reserve for a short while, I never stay long as anyone know it is always heaving on that day. I started the year list off not too bad, including a male Goldeneye, but the best birds of the day was the 32 Bewick Swan on Walland Marsh. This was followed with good views of a Shag standing on a buoy in Chatham Dockyard basin. My next assignment was to visit Elmley in the hope of seeing the Short Eared owls, two trips and on both occasions I dipped out, but at least on my first visit I did get good views of the Long Eared Owl, that is still there now. My second trip I was nothing special, the weather turned very windy but it did give me the chance to add a variety wading birds and Brent Geese on the list. Today is my latest day out, and that was in the hope to see three species, two of those at Scotney Pits, and One at Dungeness RSPB reserve. I was not the only one at Scotney, we was all looking for the 5 Long Tailed Ducks that have been there for quite a few days, but as it happens today was a no no for all of us, but I did get to see the large flock of Barnacle Geese. Onward to Dungeness reserve, and after seeking advice on Facebook Kent Birding as to where to look, I had some idea as to where this bird might be, but as it happens a couple of birders was already looking at it, and if you are wondering what this bird is, it is one of my all time top 5 birds, it is the male SMEW! What a handsome guy he is, being able to stand and admire such a beautiful bird makes it all worthwhile in the end. My year list is not off to a flyer, at the moment stands at 62.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

** Garden Birding, Nice Surprise plus Knowle Park 31st OCT 2019**

It was a grotty day, really dull, and as usual I fed and watered the birds in the morning, then later in the afternoon decided to sit and do a bit of kitchen window birding. Nothing exceptional turned up to feed for a long time, then I noticed a bird on hanging feeder that was different. I had to look carefully to make sure I was seeing what I was, it turned out to be a female BRAMBLING. I have never had one in my garden this early before, it has always been at least at the end of December. I then wanted to try and get a picture of it but my now it had started raining. but I still took one just as a record, I did report my sighting on Facebook Kent Birding with the crap picture just for confirmation, although I shouldn't doubt myself. I am hoping it is one of the first around as I haven't heard of any others being seen, although there must be some. There was one other nice bird that visited which is scarce, and that is a COAL TIT. Today's list was: C/Crow. W/Pigeon. C/Dove. Starling. Blackbird. Chaffinch. Brambling. Goldfinch. Greenfinch. H/Sparrow. Blue Tit. Great Tit. Coal Tit. Robin. Dunnock.
My "Bird of the Day" is the **BRAMBLING**
On 31st October 2019 I took a trip to Knowle Park to see if there was many Fallow Deer stags around, but there wasn't many about. I think I saw 4, but I only saw 1 close up and that was when it came out of some dead bracken. It was still busy with visitors so I will be going back in a week or 2  when it should be less busy, like it has been is previous year's. I did post a short video of the stag but it wouldn't play so I removed it.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

** Halling Grazing Marsh and Meadow, or Lakes? **

For anyone who knows Halling, if they was to look at these pictures, they might say to themselves "How long have they had lakes there"? For others who don't know Halling and they come across any pictures like these, they might say to themselves "They have some nice lakes in Halling".
The reason I decided to post this particular one is because of the extremely high tide warnings you hear of, like the one that was given on 29th September on Sunday evening which included the River Medway. The high tide was between 1 and 3 in the morning and the salt marsh and the dyke's just couldn't cope with it. I have lived here for 16 years, and I have seen this area flooded before, but to this extreme.
Fortunately there was no cattle there, but closer to the top of Marsh Road is a small paddock where a local guy lives in his big static caravan, luckily enough he wasn't there, but when he returned he wasn't prepared for what he saw. The tide was high on Monday too which didn't help. It wasn't until Wednesday lunchtime that I took these pictures of the area. I would have took some more from other angles but most of the road is flooded but receding according to a local I spoke to, but for the surrounding fields to drain will take a whole lot longer. The only thing I can hope for is that as it drains it brings in more birds. I was hoping to see a good number of birds on it , but there wasn't that many, all I saw was: 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 4 Mallard, 2 Teal, 5 Moorhen, and a large flock of B/H/Gulls and Common Gulls.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

** A Short Visit To Dungeness RSPB Reserve **

Well this is a very strange thing to be doing, blogging. because it has been so long since my last one. I had no Idea what was about, so Dungeness RSPB reserve was where I chose to go to today. when I went into the centre the notice board said that on the 10TH there was a couple of little terns there, just my luck, still that's birding. I was going to sit in the corner and have a scan about but there was people sitting there so I went to the Firth Hide, and I am glad that I did, Once I got settled the last thing I was expecting to see was one of one my top 3 favourite birds, a LITTLE TERN, well four of them in fact, one of them was virtually still in it's breeding plumage. The reason why I was surprised is because it wasn't on the days sightings board in the centre. The other 2 good birds was BLACK TERNS, which spent nearly all there time feeding, and after a while one landed on the sandy beach area where the Little and Common Terns were for a wash and brush up. There wasn't many wading birds around, there was a KNOT out in front of the hide with a hint of summer plumage along with 3 Dunlin. The only other couple other waders that I saw was a few lapwing and a Oystercatcher.

  ~~~ I was going to go to the Hanson Hide, ARC pit, but when I got to the gate there is a sign on it, it is tied up to stop people getting by, the notice says that the hide is out of use because it is being repaired and will be opened as soon as possible. ~~~

I wasn't going to bother with a "Bird of the Day", but seeing as the bird I saw today is one of my top 3 species I cannot not do it, so it has to be the one and only ** LITTLE TERN **

Thursday, 28 March 2019

** Elmley NNR and Hedgehog Rescue.**

This afternoon Pam took me down to Elmley to see if I could catch up with a couple of species that I have been trying to see. I did visit last week but didn't stop because the wind was so strong I struggled to open the car door. I spent time in the Wellmarsh Hide. On my way to the hide I was greeted by the noisy squawking of the B/H/Gulls fighting over nesting sites. It was overcast for  a while then the sun came out and the birds came into their own. One of the species I wanted to see took me a while but when I did  see it, it was worth it. What I was looking for was a MEDITERRANEAN GULL , and at first I found 5 but by the time I left I had counted circa 25, that is the most I have ever seen. The other bird I was looking for was a Dabchick, I couldn't believe it has taken me this long to see one. There was a good number of Marsh Harriers on the wing, I saw more males than females. When Pam and I was leaving about half way down the track she stopped and said that there is a small hedgehog on the tarmac track. Not knowing if it was ok or not we took it to a rescue centre. My total species list is: Grey Heron. Little Egret. B/H/Gull. G/B/B/Gull. Mediterranean Gull. Marsh Harrier. Coot. Moorhen. Teal. Mallard. Gadwall. Tufted Duck. Pochard. Wigeon. Shelduck. Shoveller. Greylag Geese. Brent Geese. Canada Geese. Mute Swan. Cormorant. Dabchick. Pheasant. Redshank. Avocet. Oystercatcher. Lapwing. C/Crow. My "Bird of the Day" is the ** MEDITERRANEAN GULL **

Thursday, 3 January 2019

** Another Year, Another Enjoyable Period Of Wildlife Watching. **

Like many other birders the first of January is the day I go out and start my bird lists, my overall year list, my Halling list , and my home list. I started off by going to Dungeness RSPB reserve, I was expecting it to be busy, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I didn't go around the reserve I just spent quite a while in the centre before going around to the Denge Marsh Hide. I made a list of most of the usual species that one would expect to see there, the best one was a female GOLDENEYE. When Pam and I got to Denge Marsh there was a lot of people going in there so we sat and had some lunch, killing time, When I eventually got in there I settled down and the first bird noticeable was a GREAT WHITE EGRET. My main aim was to try and find a particular goose that was mixed in with all the Greylags, and that bird was a PINK FOOTED GOOSE. I was not the only one looking through the geese, but after quite a while I can feel pleased with myself and say that I found it, and the only way I could prove it was there was to show another birder it through my scope because there was no way I could tell anyone where I was looking. I left here while the light was still good because I wanted to go via Walland Marsh home, my reason, to see the BEWICK SWAN'S. I did see them through the scope, they was distant and in with some Mute Swans, and then the last birds I wanted to see wasn't as difficult as I thought because there are many more there now than there was a week ago, and these birds are: FIELDFARE  and REDWING, there must have been at least c700 maybe more. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OARE MARSH 3RD JANUARY 2019: Pam took me to Oare because I wanted to add a few birds to the year list, it was only going to be a quick trip. I was surprised how high the water level is on the east flood, and lack of islands, hence lack of birds, still I did get a few. The main species of bird was Pintail and Teal. I did get species to put on the list including the Peregrine that spend a lot of it's time up on the Pylon.
I have been garden bird watching on and off over the past 3 days, I have only clocked up 11 species so far. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My year list is as follows: Bewick Swan. Blackbird . Black Headed Gull. Black Tailed Godwit. Blue Tit. Canada Geese.Carrion Crow. Chaffinch. Collared Dove. Common Buzzard. Coot. Cormorant. Curlew. Dunlin. Dunnock. Fieldfare. Gadwall. Goldeneye. Goldfinch. G/B/B/Gull. Great Crested Grebe. Great Tit. Great White Egret Greenfinch. Grey Heron. Greylag Geese. Herring Gull. House Sparrow. Jackdaw. Kestrel. Lapwing. Little Egret. Long tailed Tit. Magpie. Mallard. Marsh Harrier. Moorhen. Mute Swan. Peregrine Falcon. Pheasant. Pink Footed Goose. Pintail. Pochard. Redshank. Redwing. Shelduck. Shoveller. Starling. Teal. Tufted Duck Wigeon. Wood Pigeon.

Monday, 10 December 2018

** Dungeness RSPB Reserve & Walland Marsh. **

When Pamela and I arrived at Dungeness RSPB Reserve yesterday lunchtime (Sunday) we couldn't believe how full the car park was, including a coach,and I knew there wasn't a rarity around, what was it, a winter fair, families of all ages, the usual birders, and a coach group of birdwatchers, just what I ordered for the day. I normally never go out at the weekend unless I have no choice. I called in the centre as usual just for a quick chat to see if anything was about but as there wasn't I made my way around to the Denge Marsh Hide. It was comfortable in there, just about 5 of us, God knows where the others were, anyway the sun was shining, but windy. The birds seen from here was many G/C/Grebes, and Cormorants, a G/W/Egret eating a eel, and the highlight was a Bittern flying passed the hide window about 25-30ft out, all of us couldn't believe it. From here Pamela and I went over to the Hanson Hide, Pamela tends to wait for me in the car these days, not that she doesn't still know her birds. When I got in there I found myself birding with about 10 others, and to me that is a lot, not a a crowd person me, but after about 40 minutes I was alone in my corner, I thought it was too good to be true. I knew I would meet up with the coach party at some time, the door opened, and in they come, a never ending stream of bins and scopes, that was my cue to to leave. I heard that that there was 10 BEWICK SWANS  on Walland Marsh so we took a drive through the lanes home, and at about 3.30 as the sun was setting I found them not far from the road with the sun on then, there was 8 adults and 2 juvenile, there was also and probably still is a large flock of FIELDFARE. So overall The birds I saw was not quantity but quality. I look forward to the weather bringing in more of the winter visitors. My "Bird of the Day" was the close fly by of the ** BITTERN **