Saturday, 20 May 2017

0345

Yes....0345 exists....bleary eyed somewhat....but it exists....!

0345 - 0635 Foggy, clearing to misty, dull, dark (obviously) becoming brighter (more obviously)

So...here it is....a proper Nightingale survey....a proper time for the little birdies to be singing on their own before anything else joins in.....out the car....and....Cuckoo...!  Cuckoo....the first bird is Cuckoo....Tawny Owl....eh....Tawny Owl....never had one of them around here before even at this time of day....

Hang on....have I been here this time of day before...?  Er....probably yes...or very close to it...and last spring ish I would guess....no complaints, its my first Tawny Owl of the year anyway....so a good start...

Nightingale comes in third on the noise front....worth the wait, not that I waited too long, possibly a minute or less....

DH was already booting up when I got there...very impressive....I thought I was going to be waiting around for a while....so that showed me....

Having suspected 13 Nightingale on site for a couple of weeks todays song proved thus....13....fabulous....though I do have one place to try for another but I think that could be the one that has now moved way out west.

Its not easy being all over the site at once....with them spread out from just about as far east as I go to just about as far west that I go....but today I made it round hearing all of them.  At one point I left DH to clock up a few minutes of listening to one in particular whilst I rounded up a few more through the undergrowth that is now in your face.

Managed to pick up the 10 Willow Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats (hard to find on site now, don't think theres 5 any more) and 2 Garden Warblers.  Plenty of Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.

Initially we found 2 Mandarin Ducks on island pit in the gloom, male and female....later we found 3 males on the puddles area with some Mallards.  Plenty of male Mallards around, with a group of 11 on island pit.

Heres the list in order of appearance:

Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Nightingale, Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Crow, Woodpigeon, Wren, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Skylark, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Garden Warbler, Coot, Sedge Warbler, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Blue Tit, Moorhen, Bullfinch, Long Tail Tit, Goldcrest, Linnet, Starling, Collared Dove, Magpie

Thursday, 18 May 2017

3 sites

Time for a trip out to the nether regions....sometimes called Sussex....across the border...with 3 species in mind....

First stop....Broadwater Warren for Tree Pipit.....and failed....however...there were plenty of Willow Warblers around as well as....

Woodlark

There can be no complaints...although hearing the liquid trickle of Willow Warbler is a fabulous thing...the....er.....liquid trickle of a Woodlark....is supreme....as someone sang...what a beautiful noise....

A good number of Yellowhammers were present as well....a Garden Warbler and a Stonechat were of note.

Time being tight it was moving on o'clock.....Withyham church....MG had a Flycatcher there last week....so...a brief stop was in order....

To no avail....the Flycatcher was not Spotted....nor Pied nor anything else....however....a nice venue to stop....a pair of Mistle Thrushes chased a Kestrel....a Sparrowhawk went over....a Garden Warbler was singing a way away...Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff....sunshine....nice...

Last....Old Lodge.....with zero target birds listed....could I possibly get at least one!  Eventually....yes....Common Redstart....though it took a while and was only a fleeting glimpse....heard plenty of song though.  Whilst I was there I scored a second on the list....Tree Pipit...huzzah....

By this time it was on/off rain....so I offed home....


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Thats wet

0430 - 0545 some cloud, bright, cool

Sun does rise....

So I turned the alarm off at 0357, awake before it had gone off....surely I deserve to lay here for a couple of minutes.....I woke up at 0415....doh!  Not bad I suppose, done this before and not woken up for a couple of hours...still...it was probably enough time to miss a Nightingale or two.....

On site for 0430....im not surprised Brits become obsessed with talking about the weather....the past few weeks have provided cold, hail, frost, hot, somewhere in between and the past few days...rain....after yesterdays downpour it was very wet round the pits....and with the undergrowth aiming to become overgrowth it was rather a wet experience.....

Still, with the re-appearance of the puddles near the quarry 3 Mandarin Ducks were happily sitting around with 3 Mallards....another Mandarin was on island pit.

The aim of this mornings effort was counting Nightingales.....11......it was a very quick whizz round and quite bit of the site was covered....though one or two Nightingales weren't available this morning....ahhhh...the problem of ever earlier daylight times....

Cettis Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler, 3 Garden Warblers, Cuckoo....

Home....

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Another Turtle Dove

0900 - 1115 Sunny, warm, SW f1-3

A wander round to see if I could re-find some warblers.....Nightingales were quiet apart from one bird and another that was st-st-stuttering......

8 Willow Warblers, 4 GardenWarbler,, 3 Lesser Whitethroats......and at least 20 Whitethroats

Whilst I was waiting for a warbler to sing....this shield bug made an appearance....

Ceraleptus lividus

Highlight was a Turtle Dove sitting out on the lines again..

The plan is an early visit later this week to count Nightingales....its a plan....

In the pond

In the garden pond things have moved along nicely....

.....the Yellow Flag-iris is in bloom....which it didn't do last year....




The Water Dock has survived its transplant and is doing well....



...and the Ragged Robin that I planted is also in full bloom....though a lot earlier than  in the wild....


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

I know where you live

0910 - 1200 bright, some cloud, cool but warming W f1-3

So a wander round the pits with DH for a while.  Over all a bit of a hard days birding, very little singing and those that were eventually seemed to give up...

The highlights were.....

......finding out where the Barn Owl lives....accidentally of course....we disturbed it out of a tree and watched it pop in to a hole near by....

............standing at west pit and seeing the Hobby flying over the far bank, it landed on a post which a Kestrel seemed to take exception too and it appeared, from distance, to fly straight at it and push it off...!!

Within a few minutes a Turtle Dove flew over giving brief views....but...it was on site....a real treat after yesterdays outing to see several.  When we were heading back east and nearing the quarry we relocated it sitting on the lines that have recently been cleared under...

Hopefully these are all good signs that both the Hobby and Dove are preparing to stay on site for the summer....


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Way Out West...where the Turtle Doves hang out...

If you don't eat that hat...i'll tie you to a tree and let the buzzards get you.....
                                     Oliver Hardy

So with the promise of Turtle Doves I headed West....further west than the west pit at Whetsted.  Way, way out west....almost to Tonbridge....!

A fine start, Cuckoo overhead....and the first warbler....Lesser Whitethroat....which was soon followed by Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff...and a second Lesser Whitethroat.....a couple of Reed Warblers joined the throng.

Two Buzzards were wheeling around slightly further north....

After walking a little way the fabled 'wires' came in to view...and no sooner had MG said 'we should hear or see them from here' than the purr purring was located....

...yes....it is a Turtle Dove...

We were most fortunate in finding at least 3 Turtle Doves....great birds to see....

With that a Nightingale joined in, not wishing to be left out of the action.....there was also a second occasional entrant....a Willow Warbler and Garden Warbler were soon added to the list.  And Bullfinches seemed to be trailing us for a while.

At one of the locks we found this juvenile Grey Wagtail....


....the adults weren't too far away and, as usual with adult male Grey Wagtails, it was looking superb.

We managed to find some Egyptian Geese, fabulous numbers of Swifts and Swallows with House and Sand Martins sprinkled with them.  A Common Sandpiper was nice to see too.

2 or 3 hours spent meandering along the Medway was a great way to start the day....with some nice birds to see and hear....a real treat....