Monday, 7 May 2012

Three days of Pain


Well, a bank holiday weekend and as expected, it rained. Yes Both Saturday and Sunday were, wet, windy, cold and, a might painful although Monday was a lot sunnier and one or two half decent birds were encountered. Saturday started with a 4.30am start and the second visit of my Nightingale Survey and this produced 5 in my tetrad. While conducting this survey and the light was improving I also managed to note several Whitethroats, Reed and Sedge Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 7 Marsh Harriers, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Hobby. At the Water Meadows I spent some time looking for Waders and other than 3 Common Sandpipers there was nothing. On one particular scan across the back of the flood a ringtail Montagu’s Harrier that passed low to the east and out through Grove at 5.26am. The lake had well over a 1000 hirrundines feeding low over it and during a showery spell many were landing on the Tern raft. Only 1 House Martin and half a dozen Sand Martins were present the rest were all Swallows, sadly no Red-rumps! Also noted over the weekend were 4 Greenshank, 2 Little-ringed Plovers, 1 Ringed Plover, 3 Wheatears, 3 Turtle Doves, 5 Common Sandpipers and 4 Cuckoo’s, one being a hepatic female, a lovely Rufous colour. One or two of these colour variants have been in the Grove/Stodmarsh area for at least 4 years now. There were 9 Shelducks at Harrison’s on Monday (7th) plus a call from Brendan, while carrying out his Nightingale survey, to inform Alan and I that he had just had 6 Avocet flying over Collard’s towards Grove. Over half an hour later they flew past us as we entered Marsh hide and dropped in at the Ramp which took us just 10 minutes to get back too. The Avocets stayed a further 10 minutes before flying off towards the coast. an arrival of 20+ Common Terns and Hobby numbers have increased to at least 16 birds. A notable 7 Bullfinches were seen with a pair in the Buddleia, a female by the Oxbow boats and 2 pairs in the ‘Jungle’. A single Ring-necked Parakeet flew over the river and there were 3 flyover Yellow Wagtails, 1 5.20am Common Buzzard, 3 Little Egrets and 1 Nightingale addition to the count and a Peregrine Falcon mobbing a Marsh Harrier over the Ramp. I also visited Restharrow at Sandwich on the way home on Sunday where I was able to Photograph a close Common Sandpiper as well as a Jackdaw and the odd Gull or two.
Two of six Avocets at Grove 7th May

Common Sandpiper Restharrow 6th

Common Tern Stodmarsh 7th

Great Black-backed Gull Restharrow 6th

Herring Gull Restharrow 6th

Herring Gull Restharrow 6th

Herring Gull Restharrow 6th

Hobby Stodmarsh 7th

Jackdaw Restharrow 6th

Lesser Black-backed Gull Restharrow 6th

Lesser Black-backed Gull Restharrow 6th

Marsh Harrier 1000 ISO Stodmarsh 6th

Marsh Harrier Stodmarsh 7th

Oystercatcher Restharrow 6th

Wheatear Dickson's Corner 6th

Wheatear Chequers 6th

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