Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Bearded Tits at Last.

20th Sept.

I took a break from my major garden alterations this morning (greenhouse dismantled, new patio, turf laying) and made a visit to Seasalter.  A walk over the plots was very quiet except for 2 chiffs, 1 cetti's, c.30 swallows, 1 kestrel, blue tits and a flock of 46 goldfinches plus a few corvids. The crowning glory of the visit was a nice view of 4 bearded tits moving along the reeds beside the main dyke near the bridge followed by a sparrowhawk as I approached the car and a few minutes later a kingfisher sped along the seawall.

On the 15th last week I had a super view of a honey buzzard over the garden, my first Whitstable record and a few chiffs have been visiting the garden through the week plus a record 34 goldfinches around the feeders.

Friday, 2 September 2016

The Last Fortnight

16th August

A short visit to SS to check the high tide roost finding, 105 ringed plovers, 1 dunlin, 2 turnstones and a few gulls. Further west by the Sportsman, a wheatear next to the huts.


A very short visit as it was very hot, c.29 deg C, I saw230 black-tailed godwits, 9 egrets and 2 g.c.grebes

Birdfair for 2 days

Bank Holiday weekend (6 days)-

TALL SHIPS regatta at Blyth, Northumberland

31st Aug.
A day out to Wingham Wildlife Park with the grandsons, much better value than the Gorrilla parks, more to see as well.

 Humboldt's Penguin

 Checking the underparts

 Ring-tailed Lemurs

Blue and Yellow Macaw

1st September

Some birding at last after nearly two weeks and a visit to Seasalter as usual. Seemed very quiet plus everywhere was so dry and parched. The tide was well in towards the beach but not much on the waders front to see, 5 egrets, curlew and oystercatchers plus loads of gulls and a merlin over the sea going west. On the plots 2 stonechats, 1 sedge warbler, reed warbler, cetti's and 2 chiffs, just 2 swallows, no other hirundines.
Moved up to the LNR where I saw 3 wheatears and 3 whinchats, I only had my tiny camera so no 'proper photos'. Lots of small heath butterflies, 1 com, blue, 1 meadow brown and whites, I only noticed 1 hawker darting about.

3 Wheatears and Whinchats on the wall.

2nd September

Just an hour along the wall with the big camera to catch up with the chats which finally showed after patiently waiting for them! There were four wheatears and one whinchat this morning,



Small Heath

Monday, 15 August 2016

Ravens Galore and Travels Around Kent

7th August
I responded to a tweet GB had posted about four ravens he'd seen at SS. I quickly arrived and just saw them before they flew off inland together but there were five birds, a family group? Also a greenshank flew over head down on the beach where I also counted 26 egrets.

9th August
Had a day out visiting Samphire hoe, St. Margaret's and finally Lydden where I found some chalkhill blues and a silver-spotted skipper.

 Oak Eggar in the gents toilet, Samphire Hoe

 Hoverfly - Espisyrphus baleatus

 Chalkhill Blue

Silver-spotted Skipper

10th August
A visit to the plots at SS. revealed a few Essex skippers, blues and one brown argus , the first I'd found at SS.

 Brown Argus

 Essex Skippers

A visit to Scotney Castle produced a few small red-eyed damselflies and brown hawker plus a boring visit around the old lady's house.

Small Red-eyed Damelfly
Seasalter again, only produced 60 ringed plovers, and 1 dunlin on the roost plus a load of people! Went home.

Some shots from the Herne Bay airshow.

Most shots ruined by all the coloured smoke!

Missed a lovely red sunset at Seasalter, I kept looking out of the window whilst I was doing this blog- I'm spending too much time on the PC, its got to stop. Might have to just keep the Flickr going with a few added notes.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Interest Coming Back

5th August

Gradually awakening from my summer slumber and getting out a bit more although grand children are on holiday now, which I do enjoy (to a point) so time is still difficult. However, a few highlights from my brief excursions included a wheatear on the evening of the 30th of July followed by a brent goose the next morning at Seasalter.  

On the 1st August it was outing to the African Experience at Port Lympne zoo where its nothing like Africa one little bit. The animals are out of range for the camera and they drive around without stopping in an old lorry, I spent over £100 on the day, never again.  However, the gorrillas were good when they let them out into the paddock area.

 'What hairy arms you have got grandad'

'Just one more'

On the 3rd I went to Oare finding the Bonaparte's Gull, rather white-headed now plus the curlew sandpiper, gone are the days when we used to see over one hundred!  On the way home a coupleof Sandwich terns were off Seasalter.

5th August

I thought I would try and stay at SS for longer than half an hour, lol.  Out on the mudflats I counted 202 black-tailed godwits, 3 grey plovers, 1 brent just off the outfall, 24 egrets, 1 bar-tailed godwit and an odd sighting of 2 snipe sitting out on the mudflats their legs gradually getting covered by the incoming tide before they eventually flew off.
The plots were very quiet just a stonechat, blackbird and a couple of whitethroats but I soon got interested in the butterflies, lots of common blues, gatekeepers, large skippers and a couple of small coppers all in one small area.
I only had my little Panasonic camera and standard 24-70 zoom so I had to crop in an awful lot.


Large Skipper

 A Stable Fly I think

Small Copper

 The first time I have noticed the large flats on the antennae on common blues which also appear to have a series of lines/ridges on the flat.

Friday, 29 July 2016

The Long Quiet Period

Yes, its been that, either other things going on, very little about, rainy, too hot, pollen, grand children or more likely I couldn't be bothered. However, I have had a few short ventures to Seasalter etc.which I will list but nothing doing much with the camera.

6th June
Seasalter Plots;  whitethroat juvs, 2 lesser whitethroats, the usual cetti's, marsh harriers, goldfinches, c.15 swifts etc. plus 1 hairy dragonfly.

11th June
Much the same as the above plus a visit to Wraik Hill where a cetti's was singing from the bottom of the hill. On the top, 2 chiffs, a few robins, chaffinches and a couple of whitethroats, rather quiet plus no butterflies during my walk around. Back down to the seafront again revealed a hobby, 2 stonechats, 2 linnets, 2 stock doves, 5 egrets, 2 shelducks.

29th June
Seasalter again, sunny and windy; finding 1 whimbrel, 65 curlew, 50 blk. hd gulls, 60 herring gulls, 4 linnets, 2 swifts.

16th July
2 common terns on the SS outfall, c.50 herring gulls and 15 juveniles, 3 grt.b.b.gulls, no  waders. On the plots same usual stuff, whitethroats, reed buntings, nothing new except a kingfisher by the bridge.

Something different, chasing steam trains at Canterbury, missed it in the morning as it was an hour late but got it in the evening.

26th July
A short morning walk for excercise seeing 7 black-tailed godwits, 1 whimbrel and 1 bar-tailed godwit near the outfall plus 2 juvenile marsh harriers flying up the Swale.
An evening visit to Reculver seeing c.200 sand martins.

Oak Eggar in the garden

29th July
Another evening walk finding 54 turnstones, 5 ringed plovers, 2 lesser blk. back gulls and 5 whimbrel.

Sunset at Reculver