Recently due to other commitments managing site surveys etc etc, I have been away from the patch, but today after a lovely father's day meal in the Harvester I decided to watch the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Pass. I didn't bother to make the trip to Margate seafront but instead watched the episode from the local birding patch at a great vantage point which was just as good, luckily every year these excellent variety of planes also do a superb flight pass over the house giving a great opportunity of some good photo's to which I managed most, including a lot of the Red Arrows, but to see the above two was a brilliant sight in itself these aircraft speak for themselves and although I will not remember these in action I'm sure they will bring back certain memories to the people that have, and what a great service they and all of the skilled aviation pilots did for our country. On the local patch there is an area for some of the service men who lost their lives in the last war which I regularly pass and they like many others will never be forgotten.
Tuesday 14th June
Stop Ignoring Me!! (Swallows on my rooftop)
I went out tonight between 7 - 9:00pm in the hope of hearing some Quail, I covered most of the fields around the cemetery and behind my house but it didn't produce a single bird, but to be honest its one I rarely get on the patch anyway but it was worth a go. Instead the birds I did see (excluding cemo and allotments) were 6 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Swift, 7 Swallows, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Grey Partridge, 10 Linnets and 120 Starlings, there was also 7 Hares and 6 Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies. At home the juvenile Swallows began to appear enjoying the sunshine on the rooftop like they do every year, in fact the numbers will greatly increase as summer and autumn progresses.
Sunday 12th June
I felt today that spring birding for 2011 was finally coming to an end, its gone so quick this year that it doesn't feel like 3 months ago that I was waiting for the first migrant to arrive. We certainly can not complain with the goodies Dave Gilbert and I have had, and although I don't want to wish my life away, I will certainly look forward to hopefully a prosperous autumn. Saying that today wasn't all doom and gloom with the surprise find of a singing Reed Warbler by the cement works, and once again another 10 Jackdaws which are out of season birds for this place. Other bits noted were 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 14 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Hobby, 50 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 20 Linnets, 50 Rooks west, 4 Grey Partridges, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets and 1 Kestrel. There was also a few Meadow Brown Butterflies and 4 Hares.
Tuesday 7th June
Leopard Slug (Limax maximus)
Of late its been a little on the hectic side with wildlife surveys coming out of me ears, but today I once again managed to get a few hours on the patch which turned out to be quite productive. In the past June has proven to be a very good month for scarce/rarities for example (Subalpine Warbler, European Bee-eater, Red-backed Shrike, Golden Oriole and so on, but although this didn't happen today there was a few interesting records. Late spring migrants included a rather smart male Whinchat lingering near the paddocks and a White Wagtail showing in nearby fields. Also of interest was 3 male Cuckoo's which were chasing each other around the cemo. Other bits included 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 14 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Peregrine west, 700 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 45 Linnets, 3 Corn Buntings, 10 Skylarks, 2 Grey Partridges, 2 Pied Wagtails, 1 Goldfinch, now 2 male Chaffinches (whats going on), 4 Jackdaws, 4 Rooks and 2 Kestrels.
Wednesday 1st June
The last 2 days have been all work and no play, today I eventually arrived at 5pm and stayed to about 7pm, it was a quick wander around but I still didn't have time to cover all of the areas, best of the bunch was 2 late spring birds which included a Wheatear in the paddocks and most surprisingly a Chaffinch. Apart from that it was pretty much the same with at least 9 Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Yellow Wagtail with several Swifts, House Martins and Swallows overhead. There was also 6 Painted Lady Butterflies and 3 Emperor Dragonflies.