30 April 2010

Friday 30th April

Wheatear (1 of 13)
I just had time for a quick hour this morning between 9:30 - 10:30am, which produced a late spring surge of 13 Wheatears including this very obliging individual (seen above) which was showing to a few feet away in the horse paddocks. Also noted within this short time period was 13 Swallows, 4 Whitethroats, 6 Swifts, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Corn Bunting, 2 Sparrowhawks and 15 Linnets.

Thursday 29th April

As soon as I arrived it felt although it could be a good day and it certainly was with 3 new spring arrivals including a very good bird for the site. Star of the day was a male Serin that was calling in the garden of rest at 10:10am, which was then seen well in flight heading off in a westerly direction. Other new arrivals was a Hobby and 2 Lesser Whitethroats by the horse paddocks. Other bits noted were 4 Wheatears, 6 Whitethroats, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 30 Swifts, 50 House Martins, 3 Swallows, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Peregrine east, 3 Sparrowhawks, 4 Grey Partridges, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 40 Linnets. It's a shame the day couldn't finish on a high as Liverpool's dismal season continues losing in the semi-final of the Europa League on away goals.

Wednesday 28th April

Dave Gilbert and I met up during the morning but it was generally pretty quiet, birds we did note were 1 Common Buzzard west at 9:55am, also a Marsh Harrier west at 11:20am. Other bits included 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Wheatear, 1 Swift, 10 Swallows, 6 Sparrowhawks, 50 Linnets, 1 Corn Bunting, 2 Kestrels and 1 Green Woodpecker.

Tuesday 27th April

Once again I met up with Dave Gilbert on a glorious sunny day, it was a pretty quiet start early on with very little of note, and no vis mig taking place until late morning when 4 Common Buzzards were found circling over the cemo including a very pale individual, all birds eventually headed west after a good 5 minutes. So far this spring an incredible 96 Common Buzzards have been recorded including a record total of 60 birds on one day, not surprisingly smashing all previous records since watching this place way back in 1991. Lets hope it can make 100 birds within the next few weeks of spring, and what an achievement that would be. Anyway other bits noted today were 2 Wheatears, 3 Whitethroats, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Swifts, 7 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 6 Sparrowhawks, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Corn Bunting, 1 Kestrel, 10 Linnets and 2 Grey Partridges. A total of 5 Hares were seen by the horse paddocks including 3 chasing each other around, also some more good news, at long last after some absence I once again have my photographic equipment back just in time for the rest of the spring.

Monday 26th April

I met up with Dave Gilbert this morning and between us we recorded 1 Marsh Harrier heading west, and at long last the first Whitethroat for the year, with other new arrivals included 13 Swifts moving north. Other bits noted were 6 Wheatears, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 6 House Martins, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Swallows, 2 Chaffinches, 1 Meadow pipit, 1 Corn Bunting, 10 Linnets, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Tree Sparrow
What a great find in my front garden this afternoon this superb Tree Sparrow was feeding alongside 8 House Sparrows several feet away from the living room window, the bird showed very well on and off for a good 2 hours before going to roost in the hedgerow with the local sparrows.

Away from the area I also visited the allotments at Dane Valley in Margate, which produced 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Blackcap and 1 Whitethroat.

Saturday 24th April

It was another glorious day wandering round the patch and it wasn't bad bird wise either. First of the day was 2 male Ring Ouzels in the cemo, followed by my first Tree Pipit of the year heading west. Other bits noted were 4 Willow Warblers, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Swallows, 1 Sparrowhawk, 29 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 18 Linnets, 2 Meadow Pipits, 1 Kestrel and 2 Grey Partridges.

Friday 23rd April

Iv'e changed jobs and have now taken over as a part time ecologist at a private site in East Kent which looks very good for birds, also great flexible hours as recently the job has taken up quite a lot of time getting surveys organised for the coming year, but now I should also be ready for another good thrash on the local patch over the remaining 6 or so weeks of spring. Today was another short one about 2 hours in all between 5:45 - 7:45am, which produced 1 Common Buzzard east, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Swallows, 1 Lesser Redpoll north, 1 Siskin and a late Brambling, but it did look good today if only more time was allowed.

Thursday 22nd April

I just had time for another quick look round which produced 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatears, 1 House Martin, 1 Swallow, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 1 Peregrine north and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Wednesday 21st April

I could only watch the area between 5:30 - 7:00am, which produced 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 1 Siskin, 57 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Corn Bunting, 7 Linnets, 2 Grey Partridges, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Green Woodpecker and a Common Buzzard which was over the main entrance when driving past late afternoon.

Monday 19th April

After an excellent weekend's birding it was back to some kind of normality, there was a few bits around today including my first Willow Warbler of the spring, also a lovely male Brambling which showed well in the garden of rest. Other highlights was 1 Sand Martin north, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Swallows, 3 Meadow Pipits, 2 Corn Buntings, 4 Grey Partridges, 83 Linnets and 40 Ring-necked Parakeets. There was no Buzzards today but 8 Sparrowhawks headed east during the morning, and a Peregrine north late on.

Sunday 18th April

I met up with Dave Gilbert on another glorious day, between us we managed another 9 Common Buzzards between 11:00am - 1:10pm, including a group of 4 birds heading east. Other highlights were 2 Peregrines, 1 male Ring Ouzel, 4 Wheatears, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 4 Swallows, 1 Sparrowhawk, 20 Linnets, 2 Corn Buntings, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel and 2 Grey Partridges.

Saturday 17th April

WOW what a day, including a new Kent tick. I started out at 9:30am in better expectations with the weather being a 100% improvement on the last few days. As I was on my way to the cemetery I found a Stone Curlew a new kent tick, the bird was present in a ploughed field on the A256 old Haine Road Ramsgate, where it showed very well on and off between 9:30 - 10:30am, opposite the ambulance station, the bird then headed off in a southerly direction and I didn't see it again. After that excitement I headed off for a raptor watch as already the gulls were going mad over the cemetery, but little did I know what was to come. It started to get going at 10:40am, when I found 18 Common Buzzards together (what a sight), soaring over the cemetery from a northerly direction, which were joined by another 8 birds, yes 26 Common Buzzards were over the cemetery at any one time, as you can imagine the gulls went completely mad, they hung around for about 10 minutes then headed off south/east, then literally while I was watching them leave another group of 19 birds again from the north came through tailing just behind the other large group, unbelievable 45 Common Buzzards in a space off a few minutes, after that just a single bird, then 5 more from the north, and 9 more early evening. All these birds headed off south/east , In total there was 60 Common Buzzards that was recorded, how many more could have been missed I don't know but its certainly a spectacle I will never forget. Also today I recorded my first Red Kite of the year heading north, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Swallows, 33 Linnets, 5 Sparrowhawks, 40 Rooks, 2 Grey Partridges and a good record of a Green Sandpiper heading north. Due to all the excitement I didn't cover the cemo but I did hear Blackcap and Chiffchaff singing.

Friday 16th April

I only managed a couple of hours out first thing this morning which produced 2 Whimbrels heading east, 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Swallows, 2 Meadow Pipits, 1 Corn Bunting, 10 Linnets, 34 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Chaffinches, 600 Wood Pigeons and 2 Sparrowhawks.

Thursday 15th April

I didn't expect to much setting out on another cold north easterly morning, but there was a good inland record for the cemo when a Fulmar was seen over the garden of rest for about 5 minutes before heading off east, but that was pretty much it apart from 2 Lesser Redpolls, 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Grey Partridges, 10 Meadow Pipits, 1 Corn Bunting, 22 Linnets, 22 Ring-necked Parakeets, 2 Green Woodpeckers and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, with 3 Hares having a chase around in the paddocks.

Wednesday 14th April

Of note a Common Buzzard headed south over the cemetery at 4:45pm.

Friday 9th April

I managed to get out between 6:10 - 9:00am, and it was certainly a lot more quieter than yesterday morning, highlights included a Crossbill heading west, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps, there was also a small movement of 10 Meadow Pipits, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Corn Buntings, 39 Ring-necked Parakeets and 3 Sparrowhawks but that was pretty much it in the time allowed.

Thursday 8th April

This is one of those days that I don't forget as over the years of watching this place it seems to be lucky, and today once again there was no exception. I started off at 6:10am for a couple of hours, then returned between 10:15am - 12:45pm, to which I carried out a successful raptor watch. The morning started off well with 4 Ring Ouzels (2 pairs), in the cemo, followed by 2 Firecrests, 2 Blackcaps and 4 Chiffchaffs, but it wasn't until the latter session that it really got going. I done a raptor watch in glorious sunshine for 2 hours which produced 12 Common Buzzards, all the birds were seen coming from the east/south east and heading off in a northerly direction, the first of which was seen at 10:30am, followed with a very good spell of 11 birds in 36 minutes between 11:20 - 11:56am, including a group of 5 birds showing extremely well over the garden of rest. While this was happening other migrants began to arrive including my first House Martin of the year, also 1 Wheatear, 7 Swallows and 1 White Wagtail. Other bits noted were 2 Greylag Geese (east), 7 Sparrowhawks, 2 Fieldfares, 56 Ring-necked Parakeets, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 20 Linnets, 1 Corn Bunting, 2 Meadow Pipits, 10 Skylarks, 2 Rooks, 5 Jackdaws, 1 Kestrel, 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 200 Herring Gulls and 200 Wood Pigeons. Just to wrap the day up well Liverpool have just progressed to the Semi-final of the Europa League.

Wednesday 7th April

It was very quiet first thing this morning with no overhead movement of any kind. Grounded migrants included 4 Firecrests, 1 Wheatear, 5 Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps with 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Meadow Pipit, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 4 Linnets, 1 Corn Bunting and 500 Herring Gulls also noted. Of interest away from the site 3 Swallows were once again feeding around the garden.

Tuesday 6th April

Highlights today included 1 Firecrest, 1 Blackcap, 1 White Wagtail and 3-4 Chiffchaffs in the cemo, with 3 Swallows chasing each other around my garden early afternoon.

Monday 5th April

It's been a busy few days over Easter one way or the other but I managed to get out for another couple of hours this morning but wished I could of been out longer. I arrived at 9:15am and left at 11:15am, and it felt like it could off been a good day. It started well with 3 singing Blackcaps and 2 Chiffchaffs in the cemo, followed shortly after by a Firecrest near the rubbish dump. At 9:45am the local gull population went berserk and shortly after I manged to pick out 3 Common Buzzards over the garden of rest, one of which headed north with the other two heading east. As I was around that area I went into the paddocks which produced 2 White Wagtails and 5 Meadow Pipits, I was beginning to run out of time so at 10:35am, I went back into the cemo when once again the gulls went mad, soon after 2 more Common Buzzards headed west, with a very very pale bird west 10 minutes later. In total there was 6 Common Buzzards through in 1 hour, but if time allowed I'm pretty sure it could have been double figures for the day. Other bits noted were 2 Siskins, 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Linnets and just a single Chaffinch.

Sunday 4th April

I couldn't get out today due to both sets of families coming round for the day along with a cracking Easter roast dinner to enjoy, before that I was sitting down looking into the front garden about 9:45am, when to my amazement a Water Rail came out from under the hedgerow and began feeding on seed sprinkled on the ground, alongside 2 Chaffinches, 2 Greenfinches, 2 Collard Doves, 2 Wood Pigeons, 2 Dunnocks, 10 House Sparrows and 1 Robin, the bird stayed around for about 1 minute before disappearing into the back garden but unfortunately was not seen again. Although this very shy bird didn't stay long this was quite a delight to see especially away from its favoured areas of habitat, and what a fantastic garden tick which will certainly take some beating.

Saturday 3rd April

I managed to get a bit of a soaking during the first part of the morning but soon dried out later to eventually get some birding in. Bird wise it was pretty much the same as yesterday with very little moving through, highlights included 2 Firecrests, 5 Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps (all in song), and a Swallow (way outside of the recording area) that was seen over Manston. Other bits included 3 Goldcrests, 20 Linnets, 5 Meadow Pipits, 1 Corn Bunting, 25 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 700 Wood Pigeons and 2 Long-tailed Tits.

Friday 2nd April

It's been a few days since I was last out and about so it was nice once again to get round the local patch, today produced another 2 species for the year including a Blackcap which was in full song within the allotments, also a Grey Wagtail which headed west early morning. Generally it was pretty quiet with very little on the move so it was down to the grounded migrants including 2 Firecrests and 4 Chiffchaffs in the cemo and 1 Wheatear in the paddocks, late on a total of 700 Wood Pigeons were moving west.