Friday, 29 May 2009

May 29th,Elmley and Cappel Fleet.

On reaching the Elmley track the early moring mist was just burning off and by 8:am it was clear and sunny just right for a mornings photography. Four Avocets flew across but unfortunately failed to stop,however a little bit further on two Redshank were more obliging and I managed some nice shots.Skylark,Meadow pipit and Lapwing all fell for the camera,Yellow Wagtail were elusive,just staying out of camera range.I only went as far as the farm and turned and headed off for Cappel Fleet.On reaching the fleet and rounding a bend I was confronted by a Barn Owl sitting on a fence post at the side of the road unfortunately I was looking into the sun and only managed several poor shots.I did notice though that the Owl,after it had flown was following a regular flight path and by carefully positioning myself was able to get some worth while photos.Up to six Marsh Harries were seen,one comming quite close for a photo opportunity.By 10:am it was time for me to head off home, a very happy man,there again Sheppey very rarely fails to please.

Other birds seen at Elmley were Crows,Rooks 20,Little Egret 2,Marsh Harrier 1,Reed Bunting,Mute swan 2,Heron 2,R L Partridge,Mallard ,Shoveler,Starlings,Coots and B H Gull.

At Cappel Fleet, a Common Buzard was of note.

The Hares were being very obliging,one was even stopping the cars for his/hers photo to be taken.

Thursday, 28 May 2009


New Hythe - a Kestral was seen on May 22nd (first for quite a while).

Maidstone - one possibly two Med Gulls were heard passing over the Tonbridge road area on the 28th (1200).

New Hythe - a Nightingale has been singing in the scrub in the northeast corner of the Sunken marsh for the past two weeks or more (this makes my count in the New Hythe lakes area,21 singing males).

Over the past week or more Painted Lady butterflies have been seen to be very numerous,being seen almost everywhere.

A Common Tern was seen on Tesco`s lake on the 28th.
Burham marsh,May 1984 up to 150 Turtle Doves were seen at one of the cattle feeding points on the 10th,with 65 on the 26th.
Garden update the female Blackbird deserted her nest in the Ivy after she had laid one egg,then quickly made a second nest but after sitting for several days deserted that one also.

One of a pair of Great tits was seen entering one of our boxes with nesting material on May 19th,both were seen entering the box up until the 22nd,but there has been no sightings of either since (probably the local cats) we have at least six different ones roaming through the garden.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Stodmarsh (B W Pratincole) 20th May

Seeing as the weather forecast promised a fine day with less wind of late for the 20th,Ithought it best to get down to Snodmarsh before the Pratincole departs,after all it would be a first for me.I arrived at about 8:am and made my way to the Marsh hide,where I was told it could be seen on the ground over the far side of the scrape.I quickly found the bird and had good scope views,after some while it flew closer and showed the black underwing,but not close enough for a good photo opportunity.

From about midday it became a lot more active,spending up to twenty minutes hawking for insects at some height and distance (watched from the viewing ramp).Other birds of note were Wood Sandpiper 1,Green Sandpiper 1,Common Sandpiper 2,B T Godwit 1,Little egret 1,Marsh Harrier 3 and Hobby 7.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Blyth`s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum

North Kent,17th September,2000

Bill length (to feathering) 11mm(from skull 16mm)

Wing length (maximum chord)63 mm both wings

Emarginations 3rd & 4th

1st primary + 1

2nd primary 5 < than point

3rd & 4th primary (point)

5th < 1.5 mm

6th < 5mm

7th < 7mm

8th < 9mm

9th < 11mm

10th < 13mm

notch on 2nd primary 13mm = 1st secondary

2nd primary = 5/6

notch on 3rd primary 10mm

Bill,brown upper,pale tip,all pale/flesh lower,claws pale,feet almost pinkish,legs pinkish.

pale bulge in front of eye,leading to just behind,pale eye ring,upper parts olive/brown,including rump,slight rufous edgings to wing feathers,whitish throat,very uniform looking,not contrasty.

On release it gave several Sylia Warbler like tacc,notes.

The person whose site the the above bird and the Greenish were trapped on has never wanted them forwarded to the rarities committee (and I respect this)the photos and discription are my own.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

New Hythe,May 14th.

Weather,overcast,light easterly.

Should have gone down to Dungeness,probably missed a good day,anyway during the afternoon between 1330-1530,I had one 60ft and one 40ft up in the east scrub,birds ringed were 2 Song Thrush,1 Whitethroat and 2 Blue Tit.While I was there other birds of note were 2 Common Tern (Abbey Mead),1 Hobby catching insects over the west scrub,a Reed Bunting singing in the area of the pond dipping lake and at long last 1 Turtle Dove which was heard purring in the west scrub.

May 12th-13th.

Strong northeast winds on both days,many Swifts in evidence but not low enough to catch,unfortunately.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

New Hythe lakes,10th May.

Weather,clear,little overcast later,less wind,west.

During the morning I went for a short walk from Brookland lake over to Abbey Mead,the only birds of note being 2 Common Tern (my first this spring) and a Garden Warbler singing in the trees by the cafe.

New Hythe lakes,May 7th.

Weather,cloudy and windy,westerly.

I looked in at the lakes during the afternoon,the wind by then had become stronger.Good numbers of Swifts 100+,with 20+ Sand Martin and 4 House Martin ,were flying about in the area of the wader scrape and Tesco Lake.I also noticed that a Nightingale has now turned up in habitat used in past years by the entrance to the sewage works,making my count to 20 singing birds.

May 7th,1988.Weather,clear,moderate east.

Burham marsh Adult Shag seen sitting on the river wall,I approached to within fifteen feet before it flew (looked in good condition) 2 singing Corn Bunting,15 singing Reed Bunting.
May 7th 1982.Weather,rather cloudy,some rain during the day.

Abbey Mead lake 2 Cuckoo heard calling on the east bank of the river (Eccles),25 singing Sedge Warbler around the lake,2 Nightingale,2 Whitethroat,1 Yellow Wagtail,1 Ringed Plover,1 L R Plover,1 Common Sandpiper,fewer Swallows and Martins,pair of Lapwing nesting in the Sunken marsh.Large areas in the Brookhouse area are being Bulldozed and flatterned,also drained (Lapwing,Ringed Plover and L R Plover, nesting habitat).

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

New Hythe,May 5th.

Weather overcast during the morning,with some sun in the afternoon,NW.I was out this morning between 8am and 10am.I walked from Brookland lake over to the river(which was high)over the railway through the east and west scrub then back along the Mill Stream path.Counts included 15 Blackcap,3 Goldfinch,9 Swift,9 Robin,19 Reed Warbler,7 Cett1`s 2 Cuckoo,25 Tufted Duck,32 Coot,2 Green Woodpecker,14 Nighingale,14 Whitethroat,2 Willow Warbler,1 Garden Warbler and 2 Lesser Whitethroat.

I went back between 1230-1500 and put up two nets in the west scrub (not the best of times) but I did catch 3 Long-tailed Tit,one being a retrap from the (west scrub) ringed on the 9-5 08 as a adult female.

While I was there I had 3 Brimstone and watched 2 Hobby patrolling the sky between the Mill Stream lake and the Railway lake.while watching one of the birds I picked up 2 distant Buzzards over the western edge of the park,which slowly drifted over towards Snodland.

May 5th 1987

During a ringing session on Reed Island Site, Bill Jones and I heard a Golden Oriole calling from Eccles Island.We later had good views of the bird in the Oaks on the edge of the Island,we also heard the cat calls.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

New Hythe,May 2nd.

Nice warm,sunny day,sw.

A very quick walk around during the morning produced 2 Cuckoo,one in the sunken marsh and the other in the west scrub,2 Garden Warbler were heard,1being in the Brook House area with the other towards the northern end of the Mill Stream and 2 Sedge Warbler 1 in the scrub on the railway bank at the sw corner of Brookland lake and the other in the sunken marsh (still no Turtle Doves) a Buzzard was watched high over the Downs at Burham and a Sparrowhawk over the Island Site area (seen from the mound at Brookland lake).

April 4th 1970.

Weather,clear and warm.

Brook House lake.12 Black Terns,1 Little Tern and 1 Roseate Tern,the latter flew off northeast.