Friday, 5 October 2018

The last decent flock of House Martins, comprised of 100+ was feeding over the orchards on 25th September with 30 Swallows. A few Chiffchaffs continued into this month and two more Stonechats were seen,with one in the ditch by the lake on 26th and one in Kirkins the following day.All this autumns birds have been males.
Stonechat in Kirkins
The first Skylark for some time went over on 29th and the same day two Siskins were seen.
Good numbers of Mandarins are around the lake daily with the drakes back into their fine plumage.
Mandarins on the lake
And in the air
The feeders are attracting plenty of tits with a Marsh Tit the best.
A Sedge Warbler was a nice surprise on the 3rd Oct and this evening 16 Skylarks were seen .

Always a few Buzzards around.



Sunday, 23 September 2018

Well,we're a good way through September and there are still a few summer migrants around the patch but the numbers are dwindling somewhat.
Hobbies have been seen intermittently with the last on 18th.
On the 16th a rather large juvenile female Peregrine was chasing an unfortunate Stock Dove around Kirkins.
There have been good numbers of House Martins pasing through with a lot fewer Swallows with them.
The 14th of the month produced a Whinchat(103) on the fence in kirkins.
The morning of 15th saw a good selection of migrants with 30 Chiffchaffs plus willow,Sedge and Reed Warblers.
The first Meadow Pipits of the autumn went over on the 12th.
Yesterday was a good patch walk with a male Stonechat(104) , two Yellow Wagtails and a Med Gull over.
Yesterdays Stonechat  and one from Mallorca

A Water Rail called from the southern end(two days later than last year).
This mornings walk was a rather wet one but a Spotted Flycatcher and a Willow Warbler were found in a mixed flock and 65 unfortunate House Martins were sheltering on one of the farm buildings with single Sand Martin and a Swallow.
            A couple more from Mallorca
Spotted Flycatcher
Night Heron



Thursday, 30 August 2018

Wednesday 22nd saw 5 Common Sandpipers on the lake early morning.Sadly they had disappeared by the evening.
It was still very gloomy but I managed this distant shot of four of them.
On Friday 24th a Hobby was chasing through the many Martins and Swallows without success.
Two Ravens over north was a great site as they called loudly before one came back south.
One of the Ravens
The following day (25th) there was a good fall of migrants following overnight heavy showers.
These included 20 Willow Warblers,a Sedge Warbler,12 Chiffchaffs, a Whitethroat,4 Blackcaps,3 Reed Warblers and best of all 2 Pied Flycatchers (102)(one found in the sheltered corner of the lake and one in birches on the Shirrenden side)Sadly neither could be found the following morning as alot of birds had cleared out overnight.

                                    SOME MORE SHOTS FROM A RECENT HOLIDAY
Purple Swamp Hen
Amazing birds

Juvenile Stonechat




Tuesday, 21 August 2018

A good day on the patch with a Sedge Warbler(101) added to the year list during an early walk before work.Also seen were 14 Mandarins and a couple of Reed Warblers.

This evening there were lots of hirundines over the orchard with 60+ House Martins and 25 Swallows. A whitethroat and 2 Blackcaps were by the pumping station and a Marsh Tit was also present. Two Yellow Wagtails flew from the bean field in swigs.

No photos to add from the patch so I've added some from a July holiday to Mallorca.

         Audouin's Gull 

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Little Bittern

I'll try to add a few more images in the future.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

The patch has ben in the doldrums of late with occasional better days but autumn passage has begun with good numbers of Willow warblers, Chiffchaffs,Blackcaps and Whitethroats around the lake and in the bean field in Swigs.
Just one Lesser Whitethroat and a couple of Garden Warblers have been found amongst them.
A few Reed Warblers are around the lake and a Kingfisher has recently appeared.
Mistle Thrushes increased to a high count of 35 on 29th July.
Spotted Flycatchers have been hard to find on the patch year so I was delighted to find one in the horse paddock in Furnace Lane this morning.

A juvenile Peregrine was in Shirrenden on 6th August.
Yesterday a Yellow Wagtail went over S/E and Grey and Pied were also seen.It was pleasing to record all three in one day on the patch and probably the only time I have done so.
Another surprise this morning was a juvenile Little Grebe on the lake,
This mornings Little Grebe

Also of note today was a flock of  180+ House Sparrows on the wheat in Kirkins.

Just come back from a family holiday in Devon so I've attached a couple of shots of a Dipper I took there.
Devon Dipper




Friday, 20 July 2018

In May a Common Sandpiper was on the lake on the 24th & 25th. The following day a Curlew (98) went over north, calling loudly as it did.
The first pair of Spotted Flycatchers (99) were on the dam end on the 1st June and a Mandarin with 4 ducklings apeared on the lake
A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was in the orchard on 5th June and Red Kites were seen on 10th and 24th.
On the 11th, 3 Mediterranean Gulls (100) went over ( 2 n/w and 1 s )
A male Cuckoo was calling on 18th and a female was seen the following day.
Three Kestrels fledged on thec18th.
Mandarin numbers increased over the month as birds cme in for their summer moult.
On the 27th another pair of Spotted Flycatchers was on the Dam end but haddisappeared by the next day.
On the 1st of July a Great crested Grebe chick hatched. This was the fourth attempt by the adults.

House Martins appeared in the village and were attracted to a water leak in Back Lane collecting nesting material.
House Martins getting busy

Today 14 Shovelers were on the lake.This is the first summer record on the patch and a record number.
Eclipse drake Shoveler
Female Shoveler

On the insect front the lake had held lots of Black tailed Skimmers and the odd Brown Hawker and Emperor dragonfly.
In the ditch opposite the pumping station up to three Golden-ringed Dragonflies have been seen.
                                                                    G-R Dragonlfy

The sunny weather has meant lots of butterflies with lots of Skippers and Ringlets.
Ringlet
Small Skipper
Essex Skipper ?




       

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The first fledglings have started appearing down at the lake with the first Pied Wagtail and Grey Wagtails seen yesterday.
                                                                      Pied Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

Of note, three more Red Kites went over on the afternoon of the 14th.
Red Kite going over 

We went to Dungeness today with news of a Kentish Plover and were delighted to connect with it.
   
Distant Kentish Plover

We also went over to the Denge marsh Road to catch up with the Hoopoe.
Hoopoe