Back in Kent yesterday I had some catching up to do, but unfortunately I had no camera, my bag managed to go missing on my trip home from Lancashire. Yesterday I managed to see the Green Heron at West Hythe but the Siberian Stonechat at Bockhill stayed hidden, while I got very wet.
This morning the Siberian Stonechat was nicely on show near Big Bruce, and Steve Ray kindly sent me some of the pictures he took while standing next to me. The shot of his above shows off this little beauty nicely. It was strange how from some angles the pale supercilium showed up and from others it seemed to disappear.
The rather cold colours made this bird stand out and the fact that it spent a long time hovering in the air, fly-catching meant that even when it had disappeared for a while it was easily relocated. In the Helm Guide to Stonechats by Ewan Urquhart the Common Stonechat is divided into three species, European Stonechat, Siberian Stonechat and African Stonechat, while the handbook of birds of the world follows the conventional view of one species with many (24) sub-species.
After seeing the Siberian Stonechat I visited King George VI Memorial Park at Ramsgate to see the red-flanked Bluetail, another Asian visitor. However, great though it was to see it, without a camera the experience was frustrating so I went to Jessops in Canterbury to correct this.
You can see from this Common Stonechat, of the race hibernans, the native British sub-species how different the plumage tones are (this one was taken late this evening so the sun was low and created a particularly warm "glow").
On the Bluebird Tearooms balcony this male Black Redstart surveyed the area, and gave me the chance to take some more pictures with the new camera. Since it is identical to the one that was stolen it really didn't make too much difference.
A quick look along Pond Lane failed to relocate the Snow Bunting, but here were a lot of Redwings and Fieldfares in the area and a large group of Grey Partridges, the five put their heads up before they all ran off to the hedge.
Back at the monument I watched as the sun sank and this Robin carried on his mellow song. I'm sure there's been an influx of Robins as every bush seems to have one in it.