Friday 31st

It’s definitely starting to feel like spring migration is coming to an end. It was still enjoyable in the muggy conditions though. A few Cuckoos, a Hobby, two Mediterranean Gulls, and four Corn Buntings were the highlights on the Estate. In the evening a Quail was discovered singing from the rough grassland along the edge of the Worth track.

Thursday 30th

A trip to Pegwell brought late migrants in the form of 40 Ringed Plovers, a Whimbrel, and a very tardy Brent Goose. An Egyptian Goose was honking around HQ.

Wednesday 29th

The Turtle Dove remained at the Obs purring away, whilst two Pochard and a Sand Martin were on New Downs, and both Hobby and Peregrine were messing around over Restharrow Scrape.

Tuesday 28th

New Downs was wet as showers came down throughout the morning. There was little migrant wader activity with just a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Common Sandpiper to shout about. Four Pochards on Prince’s Reservoir were probably the oddest sighting and the annual build-up of Starlings has begun with over 350 in the fields. Back on the Estate a cracking Turtle Dove was feeding underneath the Observatory feeders and a pair of Egyptian Geese were on Restharrow Scrape. In Pegwell a very brief Temminck’s Stint was on the mud at dawn before flying off, as was a Great White Egret.

Skylark Nest May19 RAJ
Skylark nest by R.Johnson

Monday 27th

A pleasant wander in the morning discovered a Black-headed Gull chick on Restharrow Scrape, our first confirmed breeding record there. A Peregrine flew over the Observatory, a Bullfinch in the Gullies was unusual, and 77 Linnets on the Estate was a good count for this time of year. In the evening a 2cy Caspian Gull came in to roost at Pegwell.

Black-headed Gull Chick May19 DMclean (1)
Black-headed Gull with chick by D.Mclean

Saturday 25th

And try harder we did. A brief Golden Oriole was singing in the Haven around 08:30 but quick as a flash upped and flew north towards the Green Wall, where simultaneously a Great White Egret flew over. In the afternoon a Honey-buzzard went south over the Green Wall to be picked up again over Worth a few minutes later. It’s been a cracking few weeks for spring overshoots, will there be a biggie at the end to bring it to a climax? Could do with a Black-headed Bunting . . .

Friday 24th

A Little Stint in Pegwell was really the pick of a poor bunch today, especially after yesterday’s box of goodies. Will try harder.

Thursday 23rd

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.

Wednesday 22nd

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.

Tuesday 21st

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, followed by Purple Heron and Honey-buzzard over Pegwell.

Little Egret May19 SRay
Little Egret on Restharrow Scrape by S.Ray

Monday 20th

An afternoon’s wander to time WeBS counts for high tide produced a male Kentish Plover, 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.

Sunday 19th

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.

Saturday 18th

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.

Friday 17th

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.

Thursday 16th

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.


Wednesday 15th

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.

Tuesday 14th

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.

Monday 13th

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!

Sunday 12th

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!

Saturday 11th

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.

Friday 10th

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.

Thursday 9th

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?

Wednesday 8th

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.

Tuesday 7th

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.

Egyptian Goose May19 SLewis (1)
Egyptian Geese by S.Lewis

Monday 6th

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.

Sunday 5th

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.

Pied Flycatcher May19 SReynaert
Pied Flycatcher by S.Reynaert

Saturday 4th

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.

Friday 3rd

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.

Thursday 2nd

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.

Wednesday 1st

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.