Friday, 31 July 2009

Is it a Twig?

Last night one of the mots young Theo wanted to see was a Buff Tip. Unfortunately none appeared at Kingsdown Wood.

There was one in my moths trap here, so these two pictures are for Theo. The cryptic colours of the Buff-tip never cease two amaze me.

The front view shows the broken twig effect.

Now we are at the end of July migrant birds are beginning to move back towards their winter homes, and some of the wader species are normally in the vanguard of this passage. There were still two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers on the island in front of the hide.

There have been a couple of interesting reports in the last few days, including a Wood Sandpiper seen this morning. I did locate a Green Sandpiper, right in the left hand corner, but it was always half hidden by the reeds just to the left of the hide. One lone Snipe quietly went about its life.

This scruffy bundle of feathers is a Meadow Pipit that's just bathed.

Even though it will be August tomorrow several House Martins were collecting mud. I don't know whether this was to do a repair job on the nest they are still using or whether they are rebuilding so they can get another clutch in before they leave for warmer climates.

The scrape is drying out and a good number of Black-headed Gulls were gathering to do their ablutions. At one time they were joined by a Mediterranean Gull, with another circling overhead. unfortunately before I left instead of an increase in the Med Gulls the first one had disappeared. This once rare gull is becoming increasingly common with quite large numbers breeding in Kent.
Murray Orchard reported seeing 250-300 birds (about half youngsters) in the Medway estuary on July 9th. With other areas also being colonised there will be increasing numbers spreading round the county. Copt Point's monopoly is well and truly broken.

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