Tuesday 8 February 2022

Cattle Egrets join the Heron invasion.

For most of the 70+ years I've been bird watching it would have been impossible to see one Cattle Egret in the UK. Yesterday I watched a total of eight between littlebourne and Ickham. One on its todd and seven in the next field. Like several other herons they have spread north in Europe as global warming has changed conditions in their favour.


Saturday 5 February 2022

Dinner for the local Gulls.

 Being by myself now, I wasn't too sure what to do with the Chicken  carcass I ended up with. pam had ensured that the freezer was full so that we would all be well fed at Christmas, even if she didn't make. Sadly we said goodbye on the 16th of December and I am left with 59 years of memories and a life that feels rather empty with out her. But thee Herring Gulls did benefit from my lack of enthusiasm for boiling up the remains and making soup.

Friday 4 February 2022

It is SEO time.

 After a few days with no car it was good to get it back and take a wander this afternoon along the Ancient Highway. Short-eared Owls are mesmeric when they are hunting, and although this one never came very close it was well worth watching.

Friday 28 January 2022

Dung Heap Pipit

I decided to have a walk round Bockhill, including calling in at "Farm Wood" for another look at the Hume's Warbler. there are quite a few piles on dung on the fields, waiting to be spread over the area. On the way down to the farm I stopped to look at a Pipit was was feeding along the top of one of the heaps. 

It was obviously not a Meadow Pipit and although it was quite away from the seashore where they are normally found  it quickly became obvious that it was a Rock Pipit.

The only thing to consider was whether it was a littoralis (Scandinavian) or the usual petrosus,(British).

Although the bird was not as heavily marked as some petrosus  but the lack of grey tones on the head didn't look good for littoralis. 

In the wood there was no sounf of the Hume's Warbler and after a while I was watching a Great Spotted Woodpecker when a Warbler came into vew and moved into a large area of ivy, the usual story for the Hume's Warbler. I did get some better views, although it still stayed silent. Over the next hour and a half  I saw it a couple of times and as I left it became very vocal, but I still failed to get it into focus one my camera.

Kearsney Abbey and Bushy Rough.

While my car was being MOT'd I wandered down to Kearsney  Abbey and Bushy Rough. 

Adult Mediterranean Gull.

Adult Mediterranean Gull.

First Winter Black-headed Gull 

  Adult Winter Black-headed Gull 

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Coal Tit

Coal Tit.

Monday 24 January 2022

Wandering White Stork

 The un-ringed White Stork that has been frequenting the same field on Worth Marshes for several weeks.Occasionally it has taken a trip away, but returned later. Unfortunately on the occasion I've walked from Worth to the usual area it has been on an away trip both times. The first time it to a trip and flew over Kingsdown ns would possibly been a garden tick had I been at home. The second time wasn't so bad as it had move just a few hundred yards for where I had parked, and although I wasn't possible to get very close, I did get some good scope views.

Aa I passed Pegwell Bay, on a wander about, I took this photo of two Oystercatchers, nothing brilliant, but I do like the pattern they make.

Saturday 22 January 2022

 There are usually a few wild swans in Kent and in a group on Walland Marsh yesterday there were nine Bewick's, and five Whoopers grazing with around 30 Mutes. At one point one of each species were together. The left one is a Whooper, as big as a Mute, with the yellow on the bill going a long way down and finishing in a point. The Bewick's, is at the front, it is about 10% smaller with a smaller amount of yellow in the bill which in in a curve, behind is the Mute Swan. They were quite a long way away on a rather gloomy afternoon, so not the best photos, but they do show the differences quite well.

Two Mutes and a Bewicks.

Two Mutes,  a Whooper and a Bewicks.

two Whoopers, a Bewick's and two Mutes.

two Whoopers, a Bewick's and two Mutes.

Friday 21 January 2022

Restharrow Scrape.

After popping in to see the Dartford Warbler at the "Sandpit" and a nice little party of Tree Sparrows (not photographed) I popped into the hide at the Scrape and took a few easy piccies.

Female Teal

Drake Teal

Pairof Shovelers

Drake Shoveler


Drake Pochard

Drake Pochard - an infrequent visitor to the scrape.


Cormorant and Moorhen.

Tufted Ducks

Drake Tufted Duck.

a few Gadwall grazing.

Three Wigeon grazing.

Monday 17 January 2022

I get a lesson in Caspian Gull ID

 After the very difficult Christmas and New Year I finally got enough enthusiasm to pick up my camera and met up with Jamie Partridge to lookatthe gulls in the Bay, with the specific intention of looking for Capsian Gulls. Jamie is a Caspain obsessive and very skilled at Gull ID, (and all other species), but itwas several loaves of bread later that a Caspaian Gull appeared amongst the Herring Gull multitudes. 

Herring Gulls.

Eventually Jamie drew my attention to a 2nd year bird. In flight the very white head, broad dark tail band with a very white upper tail were very striking. It settled on the rocks some way off. 

It showed s0me very good features for Caspian Gull. The long parallel sided bill, Dark Eye, Longish legs and very full chest.

The wings are long and the black patch in the tertials is a good character.

It isn't all that obvious, but there is a slightly speckled collar. 

The greater coverts are uniformly brown and look very neat.