Saturday, 12 September 2015

It rained as soon as I stepped out of the house this morning so I didn't expect much from my walk. There were still a dozen or so Swallows around plus a couple of House Martins down at the lake.One Coot was feeding on the barley bales which have been put in the water to reduce the algae bloom.On the far side of the lake 13 Mandarins were diving to feed on acorns which have dropped into the lake.
A Grey Heron was sitting in an alder and as I watched it 4 Cormorants came in.
The Great crested Grebe chicks are really growing and are practically the same size as the adults. It's great that they eventually managed to raise two youngsters after two failed attempts.
There were a few Siskins being blown about by the blustery wind.About a dozen Chiffchaffs were around the lake.
On the Shirrenden side there were three Blackcaps in the elders and to my delight yesterdays Osprey flew form one of the pines towards the lake and disappeared into the trees at the southern end.
I hadn't taken my camera as it was raining heavily so I was going to try to get down later.
When I got back to the house I found a Swift flying over the village.
This afternoon I did manage to get back to the lake and stood on the orchard side to give me a good position to watch the lake.It wasn't long before I had some great views of a Hobby as it circled over the wood.
The Osprey reappeared and did a few circuits of the lake before gaining height and drifting off to the south west. I did manage some shots of it before it went,
Today's Osprey

Friday, 11 September 2015

The 9th saw yet another Yellow Wagtail over and probably the last Whitethroat in Kirkins.The Hobby continues  to  hunt over the village early in the morning giving some great views over the house.
A Stonechat(99) was a welcome addition to the list as it hopped on and off the fence in Kirkins on the 10th but sadly it didn't hang around. Another single Yellow Wagtail went over and Siskins went over singly or in pairs. It's been an extraordinary autumn for this species on the patch.
This mornings walk saw summer bird numbers greatly reduced with a dozen or so Chiffchaffs and 5 Blackcaps seen but I was very pleased to find a Spotted Flycatcher in the southwest corner of the lake.
Overhead Swallows were going southeast all the time with a few House Martins amongst them.
This afternoon I popped down to the lake to see if anything had turned up and was delighted to see an Osprey(100) which was trying to fish whilst being bothered by the local Black headed Gulls.It appeared to fly into Shirrenden wood and as I couldn't relocate it I decided to return at 5 o'clock.
The first thing I saw when I returned. was a  Sparrowhawk and as I watched it an Osprey appeared from the north and once again disappeared towards the wood.I stuck around for an hour but only managed a Hobby.
I'm hoping it will stick around till tomorrow so I may get a photo.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

September began with the highlights of the 1st being a Swift, a Peregrine and three Buzzards( one adult and two juveniles from the Shirrenden nest.
On the second the only bird of note seen was a Yellow Wagtail going over as well as a good mix of warblers.
Friday the 4th produced my second Redsart of the year with a bird in one of the windbreak hedges at the southern end of the lake which annoyingly kept it's distance so I could only manage a record shot.
Heavily cropped Redstart.
In contrast to this summer migrant 7 Siskins were also seen.
I managed a good patch walk on the 5th seeing 46 species with plenty of Chiffchaffs about plus a Whitethroat,a few Blackcaps, 45 Swallows,4 House martins,3 Reed Warblers but the Willow Warblers seem to have cleared out.
On the 6th another single Swift was seen and in one Elder bush Whitethoat,Chiffchaff,Blackcap and a cracking little Lesser Whitethroat were feeding.
Even better was to come when a single Tree Pipit then two more went over.
On the 7th another Redstart was seen, this time on the sunny side of the hedge in Kirkins.
This morning at 06:50 a Hobby was hunting over the village giving great views over the house and down at the lake 130 House Martins, 20 Swallows and a Sand Martin were on the wires.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Late summer update

The summer has pretty much passed and Autumn is upon us bringing some much awaited birds to the patch.At the start of the month 20 Mistle thrushes had gathered in the lakeside orchard on the 3rd August.
On the 11th the first Teal (97) and on the 13th five Common Sandpipers(98) were seen(although Geoff had seen 6 or 7 earlier).Six Spotted Flycatchers were around the paddock in Shirrenden.
Throughout the month Siskins were seen on most visits to the lake and on 15th the second Yellow Wagtail of the year was seen plus my third Sedge Warbler of the year.
Adult Hobbies  were around regularly with two on the 23rd. On the same day a Tree Pipit went over and three Egyptian Geese were seen.
On the 27th Canada Geese numbers reached 154 and the second Whinchat was in Kirkins on the 30th.
The following day in horrid conditions 160 Swallows were on the lake plus 2 House Martins,a Sand Martin and a different looking Hirundine which at first had me foxed but when it landed on some wires I realised it was a Swallow/House Martin hybrid!
Having not had many opportunities for photography I've attached some pictures from our week in Lesvos,
Black Stork
Western Rock Nuthatch
Woodchat Shrike (juv)
Red Rump Swallow