Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Species list stands at 159 so far for 2017

View list Here



If you would like to send any sightings to me for posting, you can at  martynwilson@talktalk.net

October 11th


Still all very much the same at Grove Ferry and  being almost able to write the script before day breaks, it's just a different order of seeing/hearing them and variation in numbers. Greylags, Teal, Grey Herons, single Shelduck and Pintail, squeals from Water Rail, burst of song from Cetti's Warblers, Kingfisher, Little Grebe and Coot in the first bay of the Ramp and Snipe and Lapwing on the small amount of mud there. On the 9th at Collard's there was a field with good numbers of Pied Wagtail and Chaffinch pus 6 Mistle Thrushes and a young Tree Sparrow (new for the Year) and now quite rare in the Valley while yesterday there was a smart male Ring Ouzel on the Ramp and a full plumaged Mandarin drake from Feast hide. Redwings starting to arrive now with at least 53 on 10th but as yet no Fieldfares.



Mandarin at Feast hide

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Species list stands at 159 so far for 2017

View list Here



If you would like to send any sightings to me for posting, you can at  martynwilson@talktalk.net

October 8th


We are into the second weekend of October probably the peak time for migration in Kent, yet still the Stour Valley remains very quiet. The only birds of note being a single Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Egrets, a Whinchat, 3 Kingfishers, 1 Pintail and, the ever present first winter Shelduck. The Barn Owl still crosses the reed bed in the early mornings and disappears into the Paddock. Bemoaning the lack of avian delectation Sue Morton, Chiddy and I made our way to the Marsh Hide where, the best birding had been enjoyed in recent weeks. On entering the hide to day we met Michael Linklater who asked us to confirm the id of a bird he had taken a picture of just 15 minutes earlier. There on the back of his Camera was a smart Dartford Warbler a bird never recorded in the Stour Valley before and, despite extensive searching for the next one and half to two hours there was no sign of it just 3 of 5 Stonechats that were noted today. Dejected we headed back toward the Ramp wondering what might be seen on the way. Just before we reached Harrison's Drove a few feet beyond the Metal Bridge we stopped to look in the 'Whinchat' field to see if the one we had seen earlier was still there and, sure enough it was and was joined by 2 Stonechats. I then put my scope straight onto the errant Dartford Warbler we'd been searching for earlier and spent a frantic few minutes trying to get Chiddy and Sue on to it. Half an hour later we had some cracking scope views of this ever mobile bird with Chiddy managing a very record shot as it sat within a bush.
Dartford Warbler - Mark Chidwick


Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Species list stands at 156 so far for 2017

View list Here



If you would like to send any sightings to me for posting, you can at  martynwilson@talktalk.net

September 24th


Al still fairly quiet at Grove Ferry at the moment and with still no muddy fringes it looks like this year will be a Spotted Crake free zone, even the Water Rails aren't showing as well as they normally would!. Occasional Green Sandpiper from the Ramp, Feast or Harrison's hides but the best for waders at present is Marsh hide although, with the water level dropping at Marsh hide the birds have moved to the adjacent non viewable pool but, recent days there has been 4 Ruff, 4 Dunlin, 2 Wood Sandpipers and 3 Green Sandpipers here (thanks Steve Ashton for the Dunlin and Wood Sand news). There were plenty of Ducks and geese on the Ramp pool this morning but counting was completely obliterated by a dozen shotguns going of as some Greylags passed over the next field to the reserve boundary thus causing absolute panic on the pool with birds off in all directions. A couple of minutes later just 2 Lapwing and 5 or 6 Teal were all that was left!!! A Kingfisher was performing well at Harrison's hide catching a small Frog, Fish and regular hovering. Highlight, however, toady was as I had just crossed the iron bridge between Harrison's and Middle droves a flock of 7 Great-white Egrets flew past me heading out towards Pegwell/Sandwich at 08:30. Back on the Ramp at 09:00 and very little there except 2 Little Egrets, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Great-white Egret. Seven Great-white Egrets is a record number for the Stour Valley with the highest count being 3 birds together just 2 years ago.
Six of todays seven Great-white Egrets,
sadly I was to late extracting the camera
and they had passed before I got a shot off!!!



A lovely sunny morning at Grove Ferry and there was a Great White Egret at the ramp, one of several Martyn has seen this morning, quite a few Bearded tit's around and 1 Whinchat. At harrisons a Kingfisher was on the branch fishing, 2 caught, when the Great White flew up from the ramp and landed at the far end of the hide. A female Sparrow Hawk was being mobbed by 2 Carrion crows near the river and also seen were 2 Kestrels and 1 Marsh Harrier . There were 3 Common Blue, 1 Peacock, 2 Small White and 1 Red Admiral along harrisons drove.
(Bryan East)

Great-white Egret - Bryan East


Kingfisher - Bryan East

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Species list stands at 156 so far for 2017

View list Here



If you would like to send any sightings to me for posting, you can at  martynwilson@talktalk.net

September 14th


A visit to the marsh hide this morning from the Grove end and there were approx 40 Lapwing and 4 Ruff on the waterlogged field to the left of the hide. In front were 1 Green and 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 2 juvenile Lapwing and 10 Snipe. Other birds seen were 3 Kestrel, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Little Grebe,4 0+ Goldfinch mostly juveniles and 3 Swallow's. At the begining of the week, 10th,there was a Mink crossing the river near the water meadow. There were a few Butterflies seen, 1 Clouded Yellow ,3 Speckled Wood, 3 Comma, 5 Small White, 1  Red Admiral, 1 Peacock.
(Bryan East)
Little Grebe - Bryan East

Green and Wood Sandpiper - Bryan East

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Species list stands at 156 so far for 2017

View list Here



If you would like to send any sightings to me for posting, you can at  martynwilson@talktalk.net

September 13th


Highlights of the past few days. Monday and today there were gale force westerly winds which kept small birds at a premium but Tuesday was a mere gentle breeze and passerines were more on show with upwards of 110 Goldfinches between Harrison's and Middle Drove plus, there 12 Meadow Pipits, 14 Blackcaps, 11 Sedge Warblers, 6 Reed Warblers, 12 Chiffchaffs, 8 Whitethroats, 3 Dunnocks, 3 Greenfinches, 2 Lesser Whitethroats. 1 Goldcrest, 2 Willow Warblers and our first Stonechat of the Autumn, a fine male. Contrast today and, although the Goldfinches were still present there was just 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 female Blackcap and the male Stonechat. Bird of the day on Monday (11th) was a fly through ringtail Montagu's Harrier that passed the Ramp at 06:20 towards the coast and at Marsh hide (the place where the best birding is at present) were 3 Green Sandpipers, 4 young Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 4 Snipe and a Wood Sandpiper all but the Greenshank present yesterday and today. Yesterday and Osprey flew up river towards Stodmarsh before veering north over the fields plus among the raptors noted were 1 Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawks, 9 Marsh Harriers, 5 Kestrels and 17 Common Buzzards. No sign today of the 1st winter Shelduck that had been present until Tuesday but 3 Garganey were still on the mud from the  Ramp including two eclipse drakes. A Barn Owl was hunting over fields beside the Ramp early doors before moving to the back of the Oxbow.

Ruff 

Gadwall

Stock Doves

Wood Sandpiper


Monday, 4 September 2017

he Species list stands at 155 so far for 2017

View list Here



If you would like to send any sightings to me for posting, you can at  martynwilson@talktalk.net

September 2nd/3rd

The morning of Saturday 2nd started with the call of a Greenshank coming from the Ramp area where there were also several Lapwing, 1 juvenile Ruff, 30 Greylag Geese, 3 Pochards and 3 Garganey but, no sign of the still calling Greenshank. Teal numbers are slowly growing, a Little Egret is still in attendance and at least 4 juvenile Marsh Harriers on site plus 5 or 6 adults. The best of the birds at the moment seem to be at Marsh hide where there was 5 of todays 6 Green Sandpipers, 1 juvenile Ruff, 3 Greenshanks, several Meadow Pipits, a high flying Great-crested Grebe over and a showy Bittern. Other birds included 1 Kingfisher showing well at Harrison's, 4 Whinchats, 70+ Goldfinch, 3 Water Rails, an adult and juvenile Common Tern and a Common Buzzard. Sunday was just a short visit but the 3 Garganey were still off the Ramp, a single Whinchat in fields beside the Ramp and a fly through Sparrowhawk. There was a Wheatear along Harrison's drove by Savi's pool, 2 Kingfishers flew down river and a Spotted Flycatcher was doing just that in the Paddock on the way out.





Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Species list stands at 154 so far for 2017

View list Here



If you would like to send any sightings to me for posting, you can at  martynwilson@talktalk.net

August 29th

2 juvenile Ruff and 2 Green Sands from a very brief visit to the Marsh hide this evening and a Barn Owl and 2 Hobbies seen out over the Water Meadows from Paddies Bench.
(Steve Ashton)