Birds: May 2019
A Little Stint in Pegwell was really the pick of a poor bunch today, especially after yesterday’s box of goodies. Will try harder.
Another warm, sunny, and eventful day. Nine Buzzards, three Kestrels, seven Hobbies, one Red Kite, and a Honey-buzzard completed a decent spell of raptor watching over Worth. At the opposite end of the recording area a Golden Oriole was singing in Pegwell at dawn, with singles of Spoonbill, Little Gull, Red-breasted Merganser present and 180 Ringed Plovers.
A few Red Kites still knocking around this morning but nowhere near yesterday’s astronomical numbers. The two Egyptian Geese were flying to and fro on Worth and an Alexandrine Parakeet was in Pegwell.
An impressive day at birds utilised the gloriously sunny weather. Six Red Kites flew north in the morning before a ringtail Montagu’s Harrier put in an appearance at Roaring Gutter. A Turtle Dove was at Dickson’s Corner. After a brief siesta the Red Kites continued with a ridiculous 47 north over towards Sandwich in the afternoon.
An afternoon’s wander to time WeBS counts for high tide produced two Spoonbills in Pegwell, a Garganey, six common Sandpipers, a Greenshank, and a Mediterranean Gull on New Downs, and three Red Kites north. A sizeable flock of 197 Woodpigeons on the field outside RSGGC was also the news you’ve all been waiting for.
Out and about before the AGM saw three Wheatears new in, the regular two Egyptian Geese roving around, a Yellow Wagtail over RCPGC, and good counts of six Turtle Doves and ten Cuckoos on Worth marshes.
Warm and still at dawn allowed the beautiful fluting of a Golden Oriole to be heard coming from the Great Wood on Worth Marshes. There is no entry into the wood but it could be heard from the public footpath which runs along one side of it. Elsewhere two Spoonbills and a Golden Plover in Pegwell were the best with a few Greenshanks and Common Sandpipers dotted about.
Murky conditions for most of the day. However a beautiful summer-plumaged Black-throated Diver north offshore brightened things up briefly. A distant Black Tern followed soon after and in Pegwell a female Kentish Plover appeared (our third this spring) and the Spoonbill was present again.
Back to reality after a few days away. A walk around the Estate was fresh but full of sunshine. A Little Egret flew south offshore and 18 Tufted Ducks on Restharrow Scrape was a particularly high count. Meanwhile two Marsh Harriers and two Yellow Wagtails were on Worth. Unfortunately this afternoon also saw some particularly bad behaviour down in Pegwell. The garage pool has understandably proven popular with people recently in no small part to the regular Spoonbill. This does not give people the right to enter the saltmarsh (during the breeding season!) in order to get photos of the bird. Pegwell has enough problems with dogs, joggers, kite-surfers, drones, canoeists, etc without photographers joining in. The bird is reasonably tolerant and excellent photos can be obtained from the Public Footpath. If you really don’t know what you are doing then the Royal Photographic Society Code of Practice can be read HERE. The next time we see someone out there we might not be so diplomatic.
The Spoonbill was on the Garage pool at Pegwell again. Meanwhile many of us were looking at it’s brethren (plus White Storks, Night-herons, Cattle Egrets, Great White Egrets and more) over the Channel in Marquenterre. To check out the rest of our day trips and holidays on offer this year click HERE.
A day with most of us away at Grove Ferry leading boat trips. On Worth a Hobby, two Greenshanks, a Turtle Dove, and 50 Swifts were the best.
Yesterday’s Spoonbill was on New Downs this morning with four very smartly plumaged Grey Plovers and 12 Whimbrels also on the pools, and a presumed Swallow x Sand Martin hybrid flying around. See you tomorrow at the Grove Ferry river trips for Nightingales, Turtle Doves, and more hopefully!
Another showy Spoonbill on the Garage Pool at Pegwell, this time a German-ringed bird, with an Arctic Tern on the mudflats and a few Hobbies dotted around. In the afternoon a stunning Hawfinch flew across Worth marshes towards Ham Fen. Quite a surprise!
A little quiet. A single Pochard, two Mediterranean Gulls, and two Corn Buntings were on New Downs, with nine Sanderlings and 18 Dunlins moving offshore.
Sunny spells punctuated with downpours produced a couple of Mediterranean Gulls and Egyptian Geese on Restharrow Scrape, a singing Garden Warbler in the Haven (scarce here in spring), and on Worth a returning Turtle Dove, plus Little Ringed Plover and two Hobbies.
Getting out early before the rain hit produced a Little Egret and two Egyptian Geese (getting up to no good) on Restharrow Scrape, with two Cuckoos and a Yellow Wagtail on the Estate. In the afternoon a flock of 110 Stock Doves out on the asparagus fields was particularly high for this time of year. Though big numbers can be expected during the winter surely they should be on their breeding grounds by now?
Awful weather for most of the day meant most people stayed safely indoors. Pegwell however scored some good birds with two Wood Sandpipers, eight Black Terns, and an Osprey seen during the day.
Still fresh but altogether very nice out there this morning. A reeling Grasshopper Warbler was the star on Worth where it showed amazingly well at times along the Pinnock Wall. Two Bar-tailed Godwits and 28 Whimbrels were on view at the Drove whilst four Egyptian Geese were on Restharrow Scrape. A Turtle Dove was sitting above the Observatory at dawn with Hobby over the Estate and a Spotted Flycatcher at the Little Elms.
Action down in Pegwell saw 80 Bar-tailed Godwits and singles of Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint on the mud, plus three Red Kites over. Five Hobbies were on Worth in the afternoon and a flock of 36 Stock Doves still resides in the asparagus fields on the Estate.
Cold out there but a Pied Flycatcher flitting around the Little Elms was just rewards. Parties of Swifts were hawking overhead and a Hobby or two were keeping an eye on them, whilst a Red Kite drifted over. A Garden Warbler singing on Worth was new in, and 35 Whimbrels and a Greenshank were on the pools.
Two Egyptian Geese continue to do the rounds in the area. This morning they were on Restharrow Scrape in foul conditions. A Merlin and 16 Swifts were darting around Worth marshes.
A dark and dreary morning in the low cloud dodging rain showers. A walk to the Point in these conditions maybe wasn’t the best idea but it was enjoyable none-the-less. A flock of 39 Sanderlings, a Yellow Wagtail, and a good selection of Warblers were the main highlights, but it was good to keep a loose eye on the breeding birds in the outer reaches of our recording area. Out on Worth a Greenshank was the best whilst the Spoonbill continues to perform spectacularly on the garage pool at Pegwell.
A mixed day with sunny and rainy spells taking it in turns. A BLACK KITE and five Red Kites toured throughout the day, being seen 3-4 times in different parts of the recording area. Two Egyptian Geese and a Pintail were on Worth, two stunning summer-plumaged Red-throated Divers were offshore, 87 Swallows flew north, and a Spoonbill was on the garage pool at Pegwell.
A really good day despite the fresh conditions. A spell watching offshore produced a good movement of Terns, namely 106 Sandwich, one Common, and 36 Little, all heading north, as well as 57 Common Scoters. A lovely summer plumaged Bar-tailed was on Restharrow Scrape and at least 68 Whimbrels were dotted around the area. Mid-morning a pair of cracking RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS were hawking over Restharrow Scrape and the nearby dunes, but disappeared shortly after. A Spoonbill flew over whilst trying to relocate them.