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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Wednesday 21st June 2017

Well, that's it then, the nights will start drawing in again! When I mentioned this to my wife she called me some rather peculiar names - no sense of humour there!
What a HOT day!
Took a trip to Stodmarsh today with my brother which was most enjoyable. 2 Turtle Doves seen by Red Lion public house, On the reserve a Banded Demoiselle just off the carpark towards the alder wood. A few Great Spotted Woodpeckers heard but not seen, 1 Hobby, a few Marsh Harriers around and we did witness a food pass which I failed to photograph. Plenty of mini beasts including at least 5 Commas 10 plus Red Admiral, 3 Peacocks, and an absolute plethora of Meadow Browns. The Reed Bed Hide held 2 Green Sandpipers, A basking Terrapin, Reed and Sedge Warblers, a few Bearded Tits calling and showing, and some cute young Mallard ducklings. Grove Ferry end added a few bits to the list with 4 Black Tailed Godwits from the ramp and 2 Norfolk Hawkers close to David Feast Hide. Just as we were leaving we found an Emerald Damselfly. We also found at Grove end a very aptly named Grove Snail.

 Banded Demoiselle

Tiger Crane Fly

 Emerald Damselfly
 Green Sandpiper
 Grove Snail
 Hover Fly
 Norfolk Hawker
 Reed Warbler
Turtle Dove

Tuesday 20th June 2017

Another very quiet day at RSPB Dungeness. Only 2 Hobbys seen, 2 male Marsh Harriers and 1 female, no food passing or any signs of nesting behaviour which is a bit worrying. The Egyptian Goose pair with 1 gosling was in front of Firth hide and another adult on its usual island seen from the VC just left of the Tern (Herring Gull) raft. Lack of much activity found me looking at all kinds of mini beasts today including a hasty Woolly Bear caterpillar and a vibrant female Black Tailed Skimmer. I even took a rare picture of a flower today, I am quite impressed with the bright but delicate Scarlet Pimpernel. Here are a few pics taken today.

 Female Black-Tailed Skimmer
 Egyptian Geese

 Woolly Bear - Garden Tiger Moth
 Red Admiral
 Scarlet Pimpernel
Yum Yum, lunchtime

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Friday 16th June 2017

Back down to Dungeness today. Hobby numbers have dropped a little today maybe 6 or so. 2 Marsh Harriers quartering but not showing any sign of feeding nesting females. Plenty of damsels and dragons of all shapes and sizes, butterfly numbers should have been better but it was a little blustery. Just a few pics including a nice female Emerald Damselfly. One cuckoo was calling and showing well.

 Peacock caterpillar
 Emerald Damselfly
Green Woodpecker
 3 Pictures of  Black Tail Skimmer

Thursday 15th June 2017

Managed to get to Stodmarsh today at last for a few hours. I was hoping to pick up Turtle Dove and Treecreeper but failed on both attempts. Lots of dragonflys around and some butterflys, I only saw 1 hobby, but also 2 Marsh Harriers while trundling about at Stoddy end. Went into Reed Bed Hide where 3 Redshanks were showing, 3 more Marsh Harriers, 2 Red Kites flew over and a very showy Water Rail quite close.

 Marsh Harrier
 Red Kite
 Red Kite
 Clouded Border

5 Shots of Water Rail

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Tuesday 30th May 2017

Another day at Dungeness, missed the red and black kites from yesterday!
Quite a quiet day today, 2 avocet from Firth hide 4 Egyptian Geese plus 1 remaining gosling, on the viewing mound were at least 6 hobbys, loads of swifts (an alpine swift had been reported but missed by myself) and house martins. Two male Marsh Harriers hunting over the reserve, no females seen so looks promising for a good breeding season.

 Bluetail Damselfly
 Bluetail Damselfly

Monday, 29 May 2017

Monday 29th May 2017

Missing the old place, so I thought id go back into hospital again for a few days - such is life!
I have managed to get down to Dungeness a few times, where waders have been showing and the hobbys are abundant. My personal count of 11 has now been beaten and stands at 13 looking out from the viewing centre across Burrowes.
The Great White Egrets are starting to return with 2 seen on Friday 26th. These are still in summer colours so have black bills, I'm guessing they may have been unable to mate so have come home early, although I may be completely wrong on this.
I have also been out photographing bees for an upcoming id book more info to come on this subject.
I wont be posting any bee pics until I have further information on the book, so here are a few recent shots, including one of a marsh harrier flying past a cuckoo which I didn't notice until I got home.

Marsh Harrier being watched by Cuckoo
Mallard with attitude

 Mallard slightly annoyed

 Hobby winging it
 Coot missing mum
 Come on kids, swimming lessons
 I said swimming not diving lessons, come back you two.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Saturday 22nd April 2017

While down at Dungeness yesterday (Friday) I got a call with reference to an unusual chat. First sightings and views of photos suggest at first sight for it to be a whinchat, but there were some anomalies, the white supercillium was stronger on the left side than the right, but still much brighter than a stonechat. This was left open to debate while better minds than me went for another view. Also around on the day were greenshank, grey plover, ringed plover, redshank, garganey and dunlin all from Makepeace hide. There was also a Common Sandpiper from the VC and also 2 Ravens flew over, and my first Common Tern of the year.
Today (Saturday) I rushed down to Dungeness again, this time to hopefully pick up the reported Lesser Yellowlegs. I was able to see it from the VC but the best views were from Dennis's hide. I did manage a couple of record shots, but the distance didn't really help. While there I got some better pictures of the chat, and after scrutinising it on my PC and with help from the BTO id video, I have come to the conclusion it is in fact a stonechat as the supercillium is too short and the rufous breast coulour does not extend into the throat. Another year tick for me was a Sanderling from Makepeace.
I wont be back out again until next Friday, and hopefully there will be noteworthy sightings.

 Record shot of Lesser Yellowlegs
Whinchat looking female Stonechat

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Saturday 15th April 2017

Didn't think it would last long........I had to go back to hospital on the 1st April for 10 days (no fools) Meningitis and food poisoning would you believe, anyway I'm fine now but obviously unable to get and about until yesterday.
Down to RSPB Dungeness reserve back in my voluntary role. The Ring Neck Duck was on Cookes pool with his adopted Tuftys, LEO was in his usual area in the willows behind the dipping pool, 2 drake Garganey flew by the VC and 4 Whimbrel were around. The reserve is now getting louder with increased bird song especially from very vocal Cettis Warblers and the Sedge Warblers have definitely arrived. A few swallows were noted and there have been sporadic reports of a booming bittern. Butterflies are starting to show well largest quantities were peacocks sunning on the tracks.
Just got a couple of shots to post, I am still trying to get the hang of my new camera, not quite there yet but getting better......I hope.

 Female Linnet

Friday, 31 March 2017

Thursday 30th March 2017

A trip down to Oare Marshes, first one for about 150 years......well it feels that long! Roughly 400 Black Tail Godwits, 5 Redshanks, 22 Avocet, Skylark, 2 Snipe flying over, Marsh Harrier over Mocketts, Knot, Meadow Pipit and Little Gull  are main birds of note over and above usual suspects.

 Little Gull
 Pintail Pair