Monday, 8 September 2008

Kingsdown Undercliff

After a disappointing, but pleasant, (there were few birds, but for a change the weather was great) walk round the paddock I decided to check the under-cliff at Kingsdown.


Immediately I was confronted by a line of Wheatears on the sea wall, I counted at least seven, but this may have been an underestimate. No matter how often I see them I have to take another picture or ten, they are just so photogenic. One of the things I like is the way all the feather tracks are neatly marked out. They are ideal for teaching someone the names of all the feather groups on a bird.

Small Tortoiseshell

This year has been poor for butterflies and particularly so for Small Tortoiseshells, so I was pleased to see this pristine specimen enjoying the sunshine. I have to admit its only about the third I've seen this summer.

Large White

Today both Large and Small Whites were abundant, and most looked very fresh, obviously the result of a late brood.

Small White

As well as the numerous whites I did see a yellow butterfly, but lost it when it flow over one of the large humps. My impression was that it was a Brimstone and not a migrant Clouded Yellow, but unfortunately I didn't re-find it.

Common Blue female

There were quite a few Common Blues, mostly bright males, but this tatty female caught my eye. Al thought it's in bad condition, it is very blue for a female.

Little Egret

Yesterday I got a message from Martin Collins, telling me that he'd seen a Spoonbill at St Margaret's yesterday evening. I wondered if it might have been one of those that bred in Scotland on its way south. There was a white bird on the shore at Kingsdown but it was a Little Egret. Thirty years ago there were probably more records of Spoonbill per year than Little Egrets, but not now!

Carrion Crow

A pair of Carrion Crows were playing on the cliff, with the spread of Ravens and quite a few sightings in Kent I wonder how long it will be before they are regulars here. I did see one House Martin along the cliff and the way it was behaving led me to think it was one of the nesting birds, although I didn't see it return to a nest.


Several Wheatears were still popping up on to the sea wall as I walked back. They normally dropped on the the grassy side to feed, in between their sentry duties on the wall.

Rock Pipit

Rock Pipits occasionally joined the Wheatears on the wall but invariably they dropped down to feed on the shore side of the wall, their hoarse seep calls were constantly in the air.

Small Heath

As I reached the gate this small Heath was nectaring on a daisy, it's the first of the second brood that I've seen, although no doubt they've been flying a while.


Simon said...

Fantastic photos Tony, I particularly like the Small Tortoiseshell and Wheatear shots.

fotoface said...

Oh! just fantastic photos
neat looking hide..