Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Easter Bunny is Dead


Over the past few weeks the weekend weather has been absolutely atrocious with freezing easterly winds lots of snow showers and no sunshine at all. There has been no migrants of note and the birding in the Stour Valley has remained static for much of the time although an Avocet did drop in on the 24th and numbers of Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits started to increase.
Avocet with 14 of 16 Black-tailed Godwits on 24/03/13
The Water Pipits have dropped from there high numbers in the 20’s to just five over the Easter weekend but there still remains a large number of winter Thrushes in the area. A couple of days when I didn’t bird, I was able to take down my aviaries and break up copious amounts of concrete in our garden where we found three small Slow Worms presumably a nest of youngsters.
Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Redwing in the Snow

Redwing

Redwing

Slow Worm
There still appears to be six Hen Harriers in the Valley including 2 adult males, 1 1st year male and 1 adult female, a Barn Owl that hunts the fields between the road and the Ramp and between 8 and 12 Marsh Harriers. The Easter weekend didn’t really produce much and on Sunday I made a trip down to Samphire Hoe to see the female Bluethroat that had taken up residence, picking up Alan Ashdown from home as he’d never seen one before and meeting Sue Morton at Grove before heading of in my car.
Bluethroat female at Samphire Hoe Dover

Bluethroat female at Samphire Hoe Dover
 
 
n the morning of the 1st April I met Chiddy at the entrance and we started as ever on the Ramp to watch the Harriers out of roost and note anything else that might have turned up overnight or may pass through. At 6.25am after a Marsh Harrier had been seen and we were Watching the Barn Owl hunt I noticed a bird gliding across the reed in front of the Ramp and called Hen Harrier to get Chiddy on and we soon realised this was no Harrier but a female Goshawk. The bird alighted a gate post in the field beside the Ramp about 800 yards out and, despite the rather dim dawn light, we were able to note the fine barring on the heavy barrelled chest, the rather prominent supercilium, the strongly barred slightly rounded tail and just make out the hint of yellow in the eye. Other than this bird the day was fairly mundane with hardly any Ducks on the lake at Stodmarsh, no waders except 24 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plovers at Marsh hide. We were joined by Richard Hoult, a friend of mine from Ramsgate who lives in Lancashire with his girlfriend and visits family in Thanet a few times in the year, and he’d not seen Penduline Tit before so some time was spent watching this splendid bird as it prized small grubs from the heads of Greater Reedmace at Stodmarsh
Penduline Tit


Penduline Tit


Penduline Tit


Penduline Tit

Robin behind us at the Penduline Tit

 
It has come to my attention that one or two people are starting doubt the sightings I have here in the valley and tarring me with the name of stringer! So from now on I won’t bother reporting any sightings on the pagering or twittering type machines and will just post a diary entry and any photos obtained on the blog as and when I see fit to do so.
Marsh Harrier male over Stodmarsh

Snipe at Restharrow Scrape Sandwich on the way to work before light!!
 

2 comments:

  1. Its a shame that people are accusing you of stringing Martyn anyone who knows you would realise that this is not the case. Keep up the reports as it is only by reading your blog and reports that someone like me who lives in the North of the county gets to know whats around.

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  2. Unbelievable!I just hope the people who doubt the validity of any of your sightings at least have the confidence to challenge you outright and not whisper in the quieter corners of the interweb under aliases!

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