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.
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.


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Monday 7th a Yellowhammer was singing in Swigs so I'm hopeful they might stay to breed. The weather remained hot and a Beautiful Demoiselle was on the dam end.
The two male Cuckoos are very vocal at the moment and occasionally come within range for a photo.
Cuckoo at the lake

On a walk in the early afternoon a Little Owl(95) flew from a tree in Shirrenden.This is the first sighting this year so I am glad that this species hasn't disappeared form the patch.
Sitting in the garden on Monday afternoon produced a Hobby(96) circling overhead.
On Tuesdays early morning walk three Red Kites were circling low over the pumping station before flying off to the north.
Yesterday evening the Nightingale was still singing at the Tennis Club and a Barn Owl was also seen there but sadly not by me.
This morning a Turtle Dove flew down the lake and into Shirrenden.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

May started well with a Yellow Wagtail(91) over on the first and later that day another Common Sandpiper dropped into the lake.
Common Sandpiper resting on a pedalo.

Last night a Nightingale was found singing at the Tennis Club in Maidstone Road.

This morning I was delighted to find a Turtle Dove(92)  purring in Kirkins and as I walked down past the farmhouse a Tree Pipit(93) went over calling.
Amazingly another two Common Sandpipers were on Furnace Pond.
Whilst working in the garden the first two Swifts(94) were circling over the house.
The sun has bought out the butterflies which has given photo opportunities:-
Pair of Orange Tips
Small Tortoiseshell

Monday, 30 April 2018

The end of April has arrived and summer migrants have continued to appear on the patch.
Singing Willow Warblers were recorded on the 24th and 26th but sadly didn't stay.On the 26th the first Sand Martin (88) of the year dropped into the lake and 4 Reed Warblers were singing at the southern end. On the 28th a Garden Warbler (89) was singing from lakeside trees and a Coot was on
the lake.
Returning Coot

Sunday 28th gave some good views of a Cuckoo as it flew around the orchard calling as it went.
Cuckoo in the orchard

This evening I had a quick walk despite the horrid conditions and was rewarded with a Common Sandpiper (90) on the lake. A species I didn't record last year.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Yesterdays early morning walk started well with the first of 4 Whitethroats(86) on the patch that had come in over night.
One of the newly arrived Whitethroats

Down at the lake a Grey Wagtail was in the ditch opposite the pumping station and a Mistle Thrush was in the sheep field.
At the lake a Reed Warbler was singing from the southern end and three Cuckoos were present ( 2 males and a female) and I was delighted to find a Nightingale(87) singing on the Shirrenden side.
A pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers were in the alders behind Lake Cottage.
A single Mandarin drake was present.
                                                                     Mandarin drake
This afternoon the Nightingale had moved behind Lake Cottage where I also saw two Marsh Tits.

Yesterday I managed to photograph a pair of Orange Tips.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

The change in weather has got some migrants appearing on the patch with the first Cuckoo(82) calling on an early morning walk.Later that afternoon a Wheatear(83) was found in amongst the rows of apple trees in the orchard next to the lake.
                                                          Yesterdays Wheatear

The good fortune continued this morning with a Lesser Whitethroat(84) in the hedge by the pumping station and down at the lake the first Reed Warbler(85) was singing in reeds in the SW corner.
This evening 2 Lesser Whitethroats were found (1 at the top of Kirkins and 1 in the hedge in Gibbet Lane) and the Cuckoo was calling.
Bee flies have appeared in good numbers and I witnessed two male Orange Tips attending a female in Furnace Lane.
Bee Flies

Orange Tips