Sunday, 2 February 2020

The Stour Valley list for 2020stands at 101 species so far.
Please send your sightings to martynwilson@talktalk.net

February 9th


A weekend of two very different halves Saturday started with some early rain but opened to a bright sunny day with a light breeze. Sunday was very wet and squally with strong winds from storm Ciara (not many birds about). As usual we started at the Tower hide to watch the Harriers leave roost and great views looking towards Grove Ferry. Nine Marsh Harriers left roost as did 2 ringtail Hen Harriers, a Sparrowhawk shot past the hide and down the dyke alongside the Lampen Wall and in the distance a Great-white Egret took a short flight over Grove. On the lake were 5 Great-crested Grebes, a drake Wigeon, 3 Tufted Duck, 236 Teal and 364 Shoveler while at least 1200 Cormorants left for the coast just like the seven vestal virgins!! Just one Tawny Owl visible in the Alder Wood but a displaying pair of Goldcrests was nice to see and the tame Robins and Great Tits came to the hand for seed and suet pellets. A brief look at Collard’s revealed just 2 drake Pochards and 1 drake Goldeneye while the cow field had 7 Pied Wagtails and 30 Corn Buntings. At the Ramp at Grove was a single Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of Stonechats.


February 6th


Lovely weather at the Grove Ferry end this morning with blue sky and a light frost, just spent a couple of hours going to the Marsh hide and back. There was a Great White Egret at the ramp with approx 30 Black Headed Gull and a few Teal and Mallard Dave Feast hide had 6 Gadwall,1 Lapwing and 1 Little Egret. Along the track i saw 3 Bullfinch 6 Reed Bunting 1 Sparrow Hawk,1 Kestrel and 2 Cetti's Warbler. At Marsh hide were 3 Marsh Harrier and 1 Little Grebe. Sunday the 2nd Feb there were 20+ Corn Bunting in the field with the cattle above Collard's and further down the road in a field opposite the Littlebourne turn off were 6 Little Egret.   

(Bryan East)

Kestrel - Bryan East

February 2nd


The first weekend of February added nothing new to the Valley year list which failed to reach the magic 100 species before the end off January although, it came very close with Mark Chidwick adding Long-eared Owl on the 30th making it the 99th bird of the year. Sunday was very quiet with just a Grey Wagtail and 2 Little Egrets of note. A flock of 160-200 Greylag Geese in fields at Middle Drove did not contain any Bean Geese, have they expired (shot) or just moved on? Also there were 2 Tawny Owls in the woodpecker holed tree in the Alder Wood. Saturday was the better with 4 Hen Harriers out of roost including one adult male plus, 11 Marsh Harriers. Also noted were 2 Sparrowhawks, one displaying, 1 Great-white Egret, 460 Shoveler, 200 Teal, 76 Mute Swans, 3 Grey Herons, 1000+ Cormorants and a single Tufted Duck. A Little Egret, 1 Kestrel, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Great-crested Grebes, 37 Lapwing and several Chaffinches were also noted.