I arrived this morning at 5 o’clock with a low mist/fog covering the whole valley. It is fairly quiet at the moment with most birds busy feeding young and not many migrants about as yet, however I walked the whole reserve stopping at various vantage points for long periods and even managed to meet other birders enroute including Sue Morton, Adam Faiers and John Cantelo. Another birder I met on the Ramp was a visitor for Perth Western Australia called Ian Mayer who originally comes from this area. He was overjoyed to see the female Garganey that has been on the Ramp pool for the last few weeks although she was playing hard to get and took a while to show. Birds noted today were 112 Lapwings, 5 Grey Herons, half a dozen Skylarks still in song, several Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers now feeding young with many Sedge Warblers in song. The Turtle Doves seem to be on a renewed charm offensive with birds singing in the Paddock, the Jungle and along the river by the Water Meadows with at least 5 birds seen/heard. The three juvenile Marsh Harriers are still around the Marsh hide/Water Meadows with a lot of interaction and air play undertaken and also there were 3 Males and 2 females seen. A couple of Green Woodpeckers were heard, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker flew over Harrison’s, a few Swifts were swirling about and 100’s of Gulls were passing through mainly Herring Gull and Black-heads with a few Lesser and Great Black-backs with them also, 1 Common Gull dropped onto the Ramp pool for a while. A Kingfisher flew upriver and landed on a overhanging branch in front of me for a while and on the Water Meadows were 7 of the 9 Green Sandpipers of today.
Other counts included 6 Tufted Ducks, 1 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Little Egrets, 5 Stock Doves, 3 Kestrels, 3 Common Terns, 6 Gadwall, 19 Teal, 1 Canada Goose, 108 Greylags, 3 Great-crested Grebes and 1 Snipe (drumming), there were three Snipe yesterday with two of them drumming.
Also yesterday there was a juvenile Peregrine Falcon hunting the fields in front of Newbons Farm. The canopy in the Alder Wood had a mixed flock of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits while back at the Ramp there was a single Ruff and a single Black-tailed Godwit plus the female Garganey that was yesterday joined by a male. A family of Bearded Tits were in front of the Ramp and 2 Hobbies fed overhead and 2 distant Common Buzzards were noted. A look at Collard’s on Saturday revealed 5 Hobbies and a family of 7 Mutes Swan (2 adults & 5 juveniles) where two of the young were the white ‘polish’ individuals like the one Steve Ray photographed on worth. Not a lot going on with my visits to Restharrow in Sandwich during the week before work with just a Common Sandpiper the only wader of note, I did however have the Quail singing again on Friday morning and while at the gate to Restharrow talking to Nigel and his wife just a few minutes after Mr Ray had left a beautiful adult Honey Buzzard drifted over the Elms before circling towards the Obs then heading inland.