Friday, 27 September 2013

Since the last time....

Well to be honest, it's been reasonably hard work finding stuff recently in the hour before work each morning, highlights have been the first few SISKINS of autumn and 1 TREE PIPIT, which flew south yesterday morning. MEADOW PIPITS, SWALLOWS and MARTINS still continue to flow southwards, a SAND MARTIN on Saturday was the only one of the autumn for me which is unusual. A few SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS have been hanging around and Dad had a HOBBY on Tuesday 24th. CHIFFCHAFF numbers remain steady at around 10 birds each morning and a couple of BLACKCAP were heard this morning while a SNIPE flew over the first of the autumn.
We have been checking the moths regularly and on Wednesday morning counted over 500 LUNAR UNDERWINGS!! almost a record. Other moths have included FROSTED ORANGE, RED UNDERWING, PINION STREAKED SNOUT, BORDERED BEAUTY, AUTUMNAL RUSTIC and a couple of BEADED CHESTNUTS certainly enough to keep us interested.
A guided walk last Saturday did produce 50 species although only 3 participants!!! hopefully they enjoyed it though. Here are a few random pics from the last few days.

Reed Bunting

Autumnal Rustic

Frosted Orange

Red Underwing

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Long overdue Kent tick!!!!

This morning I headed to Oare Marshes to look for the well photographed Spotted Crake. It was a beautiful morning hardly any wind and bright sunshine. The tide was high, as Debbie Harry would say! and there were good numbers of waders on the East Flood. A WATER RAIL disappeared into the ditch by the road as I headed towards the East Hide. The Crake was seen at 6.30am, I arrived at about 7.40am and waited until around 10am before moving on with no sign of the Crake. Luckily I was talking to Steve Ashton and mentioned I needed Spotted Crake for Kent, I had been gone a minute or two and the Crake came into view!! I noticed Steve waving, thankfully and went back to and had good views of the SPOTTED CRAKE at last. With a couple hours left I headed around the rest of the reserve, a HOBBY flew west and there were a few SAND MARTIN, HOUSE MARTIN and SWALLOW heading south.

Spotted Crake

Reed Bunting

Little Egret

Waders included GREENSHANK, CURLEW SANDPIPER, AVOCET, BAR and BLACK TAILED GODWITS, GOLDEN PLOVER, RINGED PLOVER, RUFF, SNIPE, DUNLIN and lots of REDSHANK and LAPWING. Overall a very enjoyable morning talking to fellow birders and a rare trip off patch!!
Back on the patch this afternoon SWALLOWS and HOUSE MARTINS were heading south and a COMMON BUZZARD posed in the field above Park Field, otherwise there wasn't much else to report.
Thanks again to Steve for attracting my attention as I wandered off aimlessly.

Friday, 13 September 2013

A Week Away.....

I have been back nearly a week now but we did go to Corfu for a short break last week, it was very relaxing and I was hoping I would find a few migrants, despite it not being a birding holiday. It was actually really slow for migrants until the last couple of days when a few raptors started to move south. Most of the activity for the raptors centred around a couple of short sessions, so much more was probably going on, the highlight was a smart young BONELLI'S EAGLE, not sure if it was migrating but it did head south. Next was a nice group of Harriers on the 6th Sept which included 3 male MONTAGU'S and 1 male PALLID, these were followed within the hour by several MARSH HARRIER, 1 OSPREY, 5 HONEY BUZZARDS and a couple of unidentified Falcons. A couple more Montagu's came through on the 7th and another Marsh plus a group of 8 assorted raptors! but too far away to identify. Other birds in the week included RED BACKED SHRIKE, BLUE ROCK THRUSH, SUBALPINE WARBLER, COMMON REDSTART, SARDINIAN WARBLER, RED RUMPED SWALLOW, ALPINE SWIFT and a WOOD WARBLER. As there weren't too many birds around I did look out for some insects and enjoyed a few butterflies and dragonflies, these included GERANIUM BRONZE, SCARCE SWALLOWTAIL, SOUTHERN COMMA, SILVER WASHED FRITILLARY, LANG'S SHORT TAILED BLUE plus a couple of other butterflies still to be identified, VIOLET DROPWING was the highlight for the dragonflies, the first I've seen although probably common in Corfu.
Here are a few holiday snaps........zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
A view around Agios Gordios Corfu

Geranium Bronze

Violet Dropwing

Southern Comma

Blue Rock Thrush

Common Redstart

Scarce Swallowtail

Common Water Snake

A couple of walks at the castle this week have produced a few bits moving through with CHIFFCHAFF numbers were upto 15 yesterday and a WHINCHAT, REED WARBLER and a GREY WAGTAIL. This morning there were probably only 8-10 CHIFFCHAFF and 3 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS. 5 SWALLOWS through this morning is the biggest count this week!!