31 December 2010


Friday 31st December

I covered the patch for several hours today which produced a record total for the site of 24 Waxwings this included 7 birds which showed briefly by the chapels and then a flock of 17 birds which head east at 1:30pm, also present was 4 Firecrests, 8 Woodcocks, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Goldcrests, 1 Siskin, 2 Fieldfares, 5 Redwings, 6 Chaffinches, 29 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Skylarks, 2 Meadow Pipits, 4 Common Gulls and 500 Wood Pigeons.

Monday 27th December

Away from the patch Dave Gilbert and I were watching our local football team Margate FC when at 2:55pm, 10 Waxwings flew across the pitch heading east, followed soon after by 2 Merlins which headed west, just as well as this was the highlight of the afternoon as Margate lost 2-0.

Thursday 23rd December

I needed to go in to Margate town centre this morning so managed to quickly pop in the cemo for about 10 minutes before I went, within that time I couldn't believe my luck as when entering the main entrance 3 Waxwings headed west at 9:40am, followed shortly after by 40 White-fronted Geese which at one time I thought were going to land in nearby fields, but instead also decided to head off west at 9:45am.

Sunday 19th December

Pretty Winter Scene
It was fantastic being out this morning there wasn't a soul in sight, and with a pretty winter scene it couldn't be beaten, I watched the patch from 9:00 - 11:00am, which produced a few bits including 1 Firecrest, 2 Woodcocks, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Peregrine (hunting around the paddocks), 6 Goldcrests, 1 Grey Heron east, 1 Greylag Goose east, 2 Cormorants west, 10 Corn Buntings, 71 Skylarks, 10 Meadow Pipits, 2 Linnets, 6 Pied Wagtails, 1 Kestrel, 2 Chaffinches, 7 Grey Partridges, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 25 Stock Doves, 3 Common Gulls, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 2,000 Wood Pigeons.

Thursday 16th December

Today I got back to some kind of normality by covering the patch for a couple of hours, I didn't find any Waxwings here but still present was 4 Firecrests which were all together feeding in brambles by the main entrance, other bits included 1 Woodcock, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrests, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel 3 Chaffinches, 3 Ring-necked Parakeets and 40 Black-headed Gulls, just before I went to the cemo I once again covered The Haine Park Industrial Estate and still present at 8:40am, was the 33 Waxwings by the top of Leigh Road.

Wednesday 15th December


My intention today was to cover as many sites in Thanet mainly around the Margate/Ramsgate and Broadstairs areas that I possibly could for Waxwings which I did exactly that, I started off at 9:00am, and my first port of call was on the Haine Park Industrial Estate, where once again 33 Waxwings were present at the top of Leigh Road (1st picture), but today these birds were very mobile as they were also sitting on various roof tops around the park, I then headed over to Pysons road to hopefully catch up on yesterday's birds to which I was successful, in total there was a large group totaling 150 birds sitting in a lone tree near Fuji (2nd 3rd and 4th picture), I watched them for about 10 minutes as they just sat there giving superb views and excellent photo opportunities (even if the light was fairly poor), There was also another 30+ Waxwings over Dane Court School (another or part of the same lot I don't know but they headed off towards Asda, I then went off to Margate cemetery and recorded 3 birds heading west, but on the way I found another 26 Waxwings over Margate Hospital heading towards my patch but couldn't locate them there, I was certainly enjoying this and in high spirits when Phil and Craig texted to say there was over 1,000+ birds near Stoneless, I managed to get over about 2 hours later, I missed the big flock but did record 200+ birds there giving a finishing total of at least 442 Waxwings so I'm well pleased you certainly cannot get bored with these birds. Away from the Waxwing counts there was also 1 Firecrest, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Woodcock in the cemetery.

Tuesday 14th December

Today my plans didn't go as they were meant to as I also needed to get over to Deal and Canterbury, but before I left I had another look around Haine Industrial Park for Yesterday's Waxwings, and straight away at 9:00am, they were in the same location feeding in hawthorns and sitting in a nearby tree near Watkins House at the top of Leigh Road, once again I counted 33 birds, soon after I received a call from Scott saying that there was a further 100 birds around the Nethercourt area, unfortunately I couldn't get to these but tomorrow I am spending my time on a Waxwing hunt including some known areas which I will be seeking out, in this will be the local patch so fingers crossed.

Monday 13th December

Away from the normal site I received a text from Craig early afternoon mentioning the amount of Waxwings that Phil Milton was seeing passing through Pegwell, in total at least 650+ birds Wow, I was desperate to get out of the house but couldn't do so until 3:00pm, I was then driving near the Haine Road Industrial Park when I saw Phil watching about 30 Waxwings some were feeding in nearby hawthorns with the others in a nearby tree, I then joined him for a few minutes and together we got gripping views of a few of these spectacular birds feeding on berries, at the time I didn't have any bins or photographic equipment so I did what I had to do and returned back at 3:40pm, luckily the birds were still showing in the same location and I managed to count a total of 33 birds, unfortunately by this time the light was poor but I did manage some record shots before the group disappeared. Of interest I have checked this area in the last few weeks hoping that some Waxwings may just find these berries and today they have. I will return tomorrow in the hope of some better photo's, or even more birds if they are still around who knows!!.
Sunday 12th December

I managed to get out for just an hour this morning and finally got the chance to take a very quick record shot of one of the overwintering Firecrests, which to be honest has certainly been difficult in recent weeks, its not the best photo but hopefully I may get another chance soon, in total there was 2 Firecrests seen, also 2 Chiffchaffs and a Woodcock which I flushed by the main entrance. Away from the site when I was out and about at Westwood this afternoon 2 Waxwings headed east over the Toby Carvery.

Thursday 9th December

Common Gull
It was in general very quiet this morning, but there was still a nice few bits to be seen including a Crossbill which headed west at 9:40am, also 3 Firecrests which now look certain to overwinter, others noted included 1 Woodcock, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Siskin, 1 Redwing, 3 Jackdaws, 1 Chaffinch, 7 Goldcrests, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Linnets, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Pied Wagtail, 17 Magpies, 52 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Common Gull and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Sunday 5th December

Over the years of watching this place it has always been good, but recently I mentioned about the quality of habitat this place does actually hold for Woodcocks especially in the winter months with snow or when a decent cold spell arrives, but I was a bit gutted that I couldn't get out in the last few days when the snow was here as it would of been interesting to see how many of these birds were around, but today even with the snow gone it was still another successful winter count with a total of 13 Woodcocks this included a total of 8 in the allotments which were all flushed together, followed by another 5 single birds in the cemetery including a bird that stayed motionless for 5 minutes about a foot away as we both stared each other in the face. But the main highlight was a Serin which I originally heard calling over the cemetery at 10:20am, and then managed to see the bird as it headed off west. Other bits recorded were 4 Firecrests and a Common Buzzard which to my surprise was seen hunting in the cemetery and was certainly a rare treat but the bird soon headed off after a few minutes, also noted was 4 Siskins, 7 Goldcrests, 5 Redwings, 10 Chaffinches, 1 Snipe, 1 Grey Heron east, 4 Common Gulls, 33 Black-headed Gulls, 29 Ring-necked Parakeets, 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Linnets, 3 Long-tailed Tits and 2 Meadow Pipits.