Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sunny skies slowly gave way to scattered light clouds for todays 5 hour full patch walk. A pleasing total of 49 species were noted, but there were still some regularly seen birds not on the list today, such as Pheasant, Coal Tit and skylark.

The Whinchat that appeared yesterday at Migrant Alley had moved on, so it was down to finding the regular summer visitors today, which was quite hard going, however SWALLOW, HOUSE MARTIN and SWIFT were up over the pasture feeding, a TURTLE DOVE sang for a short time in the wooded headland, and CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, WHITETHROAT and SPOTTED FLYCATCHER were all found in the College Gardens.

There was no sign of a feeding flock over at the Scrubby Woods this morning, but NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER and GOLDCRESTS were easily found, while on the lakes there were 27 CANADA GEESE and 3 GREYLAG GEESE with the ever present MOORHENS and MALLARD, just as I was leaving the area a GREY HERON dropped in.

Nearing the end of my walk, as I crossed the Tree Nursery I spied two large raptors above the Greenhouse Complex, and assumed they were buzzards, I walked over to Ashes lane to get a better view, just as they decided to move off to the NW. As they moved off I watched them frequently stop and hover, not like a Common Buzzard does on the wind, but like a Kestrel, hovering for 15 - 20 seconds before moving further and higher away, I'm pretty sure they were Harriers of some kind, but frustratingly they were not identified sufficiently to give what would have been a very rare year tick, how frustrating!!

Raptors that were identified today included COMMON BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK and HOBBY, oh, and the LITTLE OWL in the Small Holding if that counts as a raptor :-)

A few butterflies were on the wing early on, and this Gatekeeper looked stunning in the low light.

As did this Brown Argus above and below

Below is a young Blackcap, this was seen along the Stream that flows adjacent to the College Grounds

Lastly, the last bird on the list today was this Hobby, I just had time to point the camera and press the shutter as it flashed through the area!


Marc Heath said...

Well done yesterday with the Whinchat, one i need this year at Reculver and some nice butterfly shots as well. Weather permitting I might try for Silver spotted Skipper tomorrow at Lydden, watch this space!

Bob Bushell said...

Wow, those are perfect butterflies, I love them.

Pete Woodruff said...

WOW....Whinchat breeding in Kent, any more info on that one Warren please. I'm intrigued bearing in mind I know nothing of the history of the Whinchat and Kent.

Warren Baker said...

The one I found was a bird on passage. To my knowledge, they dont breed in Kent - unfortunately

Rob said...

You've really captured the beauty of the Gatekeeper there Warren.
I wonder what those raptors were - maybe they'll turn up again.

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
Well done with 49 species today, and some nice photo's to go with the blog.
As for the Common Buzzards I would say that they was the birds hovering. I have seen then hover for that amount of time when I use to got to Wales. Don't forgat that Honey Buzzards hover well, and who's to say that it wasn't a couple of them passing through.

Anonymous said...

Great light up here first thing too, Warren.
Great pics.

I see you had one of my "slip through the net" moments. Painful isn`t it ? in a mental sort of way.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
I hate those situations , not knowing for sure .
I had one yesterday whilst looking for the Gatekeeper . A large , fast flying specimen , in view for 4/5 seconds before disappearing , but what ?