31 May 2012

Thursday 31st May

As this superb month draws to an end there was another MEGA RARITY on the patch, this time in the form of a good old mate Mr Phil Milton who joined both Dave and I for a nice session, but talking through most of the day the birding was in the end a bit limited but what was seen was a Tree Pipit west, 2 Hobbies, 1 Crossbill south, 250+ Swifts, 50 Swallows, 7 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 1 Meadow Pipit, 2 Sparrowhawks and 1 Chaffinch.  

Wednesday 30th May

Red Kites Just some of the 32 Recorded Today.
AND TODAY'S WINNERS ARE THE RED TEAM, what a day Dave Gilbert and I have just had not only did we both smash another kite record for the patch, but we doubled our spring total in just over 2 hours. Strangely this day was similar to the 23rd May when we had 13 Red Kites (then a cemo record) where it was thick mist in the morning followed by a nice kite show, today the weather was similar but cleared up quicker and the birds unexpectedly came through in even better numbers. We both started out just after 9am and finished at 3pm, the first of the 32 Red Kites was 2 birds seen at 10:40 - 45am heading south, but all the birds arrived from the north, with the other 30 eventually heading south/east between 11:00 - 1:10pm, basically it was a kite show all morning with some birds hanging around enjoying the glorious weather, the best counts included 12 south/east from 11:20 - 11:30am, and 8 south/east from 11:35am - 12:05pm, with the latter group staying present over the garden of rest when the 12 were still present, before they to had a good fly round being heading off, we then had another group of 4 birds at 12:10pm which also went south/east and a few single birds which came through at 12:30pm, and stayed around until 1:10pm, some of the birds were very smart adults, some tatty juveniles, and some pretty good but who cares what they looked like once again what a spectacle this was as some of these birds were feeding just above ground height around the wheat fields, I have waited years to photo these birds on the patch and now they have all come together. Every year I hope for a Red Kite but so far a total of 64 birds this spring has certainly by far passed all expectations. Other raptors today included 4 Common Buzzards south/east from 10:45 - 12:10pm, 4 Hobbies, 2 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels.  Once again a superb raptor day, but we are fortunate here in the fact that we can view all circles of the compass giving excellent high views to the north, south east and west where others may be limited. Other bits noted included 1 Little Owl by the paddocks, 11 Whitethroats, 12 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Chaffinch, 100+ Swifts, 3 House Martins, 25 Swallows, 10 Linnets, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 5 Skylarks 

Tuesday 29th May

This Is The Life
It was a little better today (not much) in our 7 hour hike with a new Spotted Flycatcher near the garden of rest, and more interestingly a rare May record of Goldcrest which was in the crematorium. Other bits included 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaffs, 8 Blackcaps, 11 Whitethroats, 30 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 4 House Martins, 10 Linnets, 13 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Corn Bunting, 2 Skylarks, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Green Woodpecker and 3 Kestrels. Also of interest was a very tame fox which was thoroughly enjoying the sunshine. 

Friday 25th - Monday 28th May

I have decided to cover the last few days in one as to be honest there was very little change species wise between them, yes recently these last few days have certainly been very quiet even with Dave and I covering about 6-8 hours each time. Best of the birds/totals within these days was 1 Hobby, 1 Little Owl, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 12 Whitethroats, 12 Blackcaps, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 White Wagtail, 50 Swifts, 40 Swallows, 12 House Martins, 3 Chaffinches, 50 Linnets, 2 Cormorants west, 5 Jackdaws, 2 Corn Buntings, 13 Long-tailed Tits and 25 Starlings. 

Thursday 24th May

Dave and I watched from 7:30am - 1:30pm, and as expected today was never going to meet yesterday's standards, but saying that there was still a couple of late spring migrants around which included a female Wheatear and White Wagtail in the paddocks, but apart from that it was pretty much as usual with the Little Owl surprisingly still on show, also 11 Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 10 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 30 Swifts, 30 Swallows, 10 House Martins, 50 Linnets, 2 Kestrels, 3 Jackdaws, 2 Chaffinches, 25 Starlings and 2 Pied Wagtails.

Wednesday 23rd May

Nightjar And Red Kite
KITE FLYING IN MARGATE WER'E NOW OFF FOR A DESERVED JAR, What a day Dave and I have just had, well eventually after a dismal gloomy start but eventually the weather cleared to bright sunshine and wow what a difference it certainly made. This morning produced very little and it was certainly a hard slog going around looking at bugger all, but when the weather changed just after midday we started to do a raptor watch and my word was it one or what. I had just received a text from Phil Milton stating that there was a Red Kite heading our way, so we continued to watch the skies and eventually found the bird heading east over the garden of rest at 12:20pm, but there was also another 2 birds which were getting mobbed by gulls over the cemetery at the same time, luckily one of the birds headed over our heads (hence photo shot), and then disappeared out of site, but this was certainly not the end of it when another 9 birds came through together from 1:10 - 15pm, basically tail-gating each other, what a sight as they showed very well circling over the paddocks for a good 5 minutes then all the birds headed off in a westerly direction. We couldn't believe that we had just witnessed a total of 13 Red Kites for the day, a smashed cemo record by far, and number 32 for the spring incredible. There was also 3 Common Buzzards north/west at 1:20pm, 1 Hobby, 3 Sparrowhawks, and 3 Kestrels. After all that excitement we also recorded ANOTHER CEMO LIFE TICK AND OUR 5TH SO FAR THIS YEAR WHAT A START TO 2012, I had to leave just before Dave at 2pm, so I headed off in front of him but on the way something caught my eye I couldn't believe it sitting on a branch out in the open was a NIGHTJAR, I quickly gave a few (nice) hand signals to Dave praying that it was still present when he arrived and yes it was, what a bird it was just sitting happily in the open posing for a few photo shots for a good 5 minutes, Its been a long time since both Dave and I saw these birds but we have never seen one here and as close in the open as this, I would not have imagined that I would ever get one on the patch let alone photograph it. We both finished the day in very high spirits, and to go with that the rest of today's birds included 1 Crossbill east, 1 Little Owl, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 16 Whitethroats, 14 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Wheatear, 1 White Wagtail, 2 Corn Buntings, 14 Ring-necked Parakeets, 50 Linnets, 5 Jackdaws, 1 Cormorant east, 2 Chaffinches, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Pied Wagtails, 6 House Sparrows and a final day total of 51 different species wow.    

Tuesday 22nd May

Ring-necked Parakeets
Weather wise it was certainly the best for some time, bird wise it wasn't to bad either. Today Dave and I watched for another 6 or so hours, which produced a small arrival of 13 Crossbills which headed north/east over the cemo, followed with 1 Turtle DoveWheatear and 1 Yellow Wagtail (where are they this year) in the paddocks. Warbler numbers remained pretty much the same with 7 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps and 1 Chiffchaff with 2 Lesser Whitethroats still around from yesterday. Also noted was 1 Sand Martin east, 50 Swifts, 4 House Martins, 30 Swallows, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 13 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Jackdaws, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 30 Linnets and 1 Chaffinch (a rare spring bird here).   

Monday 21st May

Little Owl
After being unsuccessful for the Bee-eaters at Northdown Park this morning Dave and I returned to the cemo, Dave had already been out since early morning and discovered another excellent patch tick when a male Tufted Duck headed north over the garden of rest, which is also our 4th new bird so far this year, we then both watched up to 1:30pm, and recorded a late spring Redstart in the allotments, 1 distant Little Owl, also 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 7 Blackcaps, 7 Whitethroats, 50 Swallows, 15 Swifts, 4 House Martins, 2 Grey Partridges, 1 Chaffinch, 35 Linnets, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Green Woodpecker, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Ring-necked Parakeets, 2 Jackdaws, 15 Stock Doves, 3 Skylarks but no raptors not even a Kestrel!!. 

Sunday 20th May

Little to report.

Saturday 19th May

Dave watched the area today and found 1 Common Buzzard east at 9:30am, also 4 Hobbies, 1 Little Owl, 1 Wheatear, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Whitethroats, 7 Blackcaps, 20 Swallows, 30 Swifts, 5 House Martins, 1 Chaffinch and 2 Corn Buntings

Friday 18th May

Dave and I had a very quiet day, birds that did reach the notebook were 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 20 Swifts, 8 House Martins, 18 Swallows, 5 Sparrowhawks, 35 Linnets, 3 Goldfinches and 2 Corn Buntings.

Thursday 17th May

As expected there was never going to be a repeat of the day before and today was pretty much down to basics, but yesterday's Little Egrets were a cemo tick for Dave so that was pretty good, today the area was covered from 6:30am - 1:30pm, and hard going as it was there was a few bits around including 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Little Owl, 11 Whitethroats, 9 Blackcaps, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails, 30 Swifts, 7 House Martins, 25 Swallows, 6 Grey Partridges, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Chaffinches and 30 Linnets.  

Wednesday 16th May

(Juv) Long-tailed Tit
WHITE STORK 4 LITTLE EGRET 11. What a crazy day this was or should I say a crazy 5 - 10 minutes, I arrived on site just after Dave at about 8:30am, and straight away it had a good feeling to it with Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Lesser Whitethroat all in good song, followed with a few early hirundines moving through, but little did I/we know what was lurking around the corner. At 9:45am, whilst in the garden of rest the local gulls went completely berserk, straight away I rushed to the opposing area and to my disbelief there was 4 WHITE STORKS heading distantly north/west behind the crematorium, I phoned up Dave straight away but the birds were only briefly seen as where I was standing I lost sight of them pretty much straight away (in the wrong place at the right time I guess), both  of us then went chasing for them in the hope that the birds would appear overhead, we also watched the skies for a further 30 minutes without any joy, but to our up most surprise we both recorded 11 LITTLE EGRETS heading high to the west then east at 9:50am, pretty remarkable did all these birds just arrive in off the sea well we will never know, but at 10:20am, I received a call from Kevin Johnson (a website watcher) stating that he had just found these birds heading west from the Quex Park/Acol area, so they obviously went the opposite way to where we were originally watching but who cares its a fantastic bird for the patch, I put the news on Rare Bird Alert just after 10am, so hopefully someone else also had the chance to get on them. Nice briefly in the scope but I didn't have time to take any record shots of the storks, but managed a few of the passing egrets and they also were all to distant to publish (in fact they all look like UFO's than birds. Both Dave and I then carried on in high spirits and also managed to record our 2nd Turtle Dove of the year in the garden of rest, also 2 Spotted Flycatchers in the cemo, 2 Hobbies, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 11 Whitethroats, 8 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 25 Swifts, 30 Swallows, 10 House Martins,  2 Grey Partridges, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Sparrowhawks, 4 Kestrels, 13 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Pied Wagtails, 8 Jackdaws and 4 Ring-necked Parakeets. What a day and we certainly look forward to these south/easterly winds on their way.      

Tuesday 15th May

Singing Chiffchaff
The sun eventually came out after a dismal rainy start, but today did turn out to be one of the quietest Dave and I have had in quite a few days, we watched from 8am - 1pm and within this time there was certainly no raptor movement with just the local Sparrowhawk and Kestrel on show, ground migrants were also a little thin but we did record a fairly late spring White Wagtail in the paddocks and a Yellow Wagtail in nearby fields. Once again the Little Owl put in a brief appearance but that was pretty much it with others being 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Whitethroats, 7 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 10 House Martins, 30 Swifts, 15 Swallows, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Grey Partridges and 2 Jackdaws.

Monday 14th May

Pied Wagtail
Well today certainly wasn't the raptor feast of previous days (are we being spoilt), but it didn't matter as there was still a few nice birds around. Dave and I watched from 7:30am - 1pm, with new arrivals being 2 Spotted Flycatchers by the paddocks and 3 Wheatears in adjacent fields, we did manage 1 Common Buzzard north/east at 12:30pm, also 3 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels. The Little Owl showed again but generally remained very elusive, but other bits that were on show included 7 Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Redpolls west, 10 House Martins, 50 Swifts, 30 Swallows, an excellent May count for the site of 50 Jackdaws mainly heading east, 4 Pied Wagtails, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Corn Bunting, 1 Meadow Pipit, 3 Goldfinches and 25 Linnets.

Sunday 13th May

Red Kite
HEY HONEY WAS THAT A BUZZARD, due to some very important work I didn't get out as early as planned but Dave started out at 7:30am, and luckily in the end for me it wasn't to costly. Just before leaving for the cemo Dave called to say he had just found a Red Kite heading high north/east at 10:30am, but luckily a second bird was to follow shortly afterwards which headed north/west at a far better height. In high spirits we both hoped that this could be another excellent raptor day, and without any doubt it was with a total of 7 different raptors passing through including a much sought after and difficult spring bird for the patch, not only did we record one, but to our amazement we recorded 3 HONEY BUZZARDS with one bird high west at 10:55am, followed by another 2 birds high north/west between 12:42 - 12:50pm, this is by far the most seen in one day on the patch let it continue. Other birds of prey included 6 Hobbies, 1 Peregrine south, 1 Common Buzzard north, 4 Kestrels and 4 Sparrowhawks. If it wasn't for the raptors it would have been a fairly quiet day with many of the recent migrants moving through, but others noted were 2 Sand Martins, 10 House Martins, 30 Swallows, 30 Swifts, 9 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chaffinch, 11 Jackdaws, 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Corn Bunting, 2 Grey Partridges, 10 Long-tailed Tits and 20 Linnets.       

Saturday 12th May

Being lucky that Margate Cemetery/surrounding area lies on a high vantage point compared to most of Thanet does sometimes give the edge, not only for a selection of common/scarce/rare migrants but also for a good chance of finding good raptors, currently surrounded by a good variety of mixed habitat and especially farmland, it's no surprise that it is probably one of the first good areas these birds hit/like after a short sea crossing, in the last couple of days Dave and I have certainly been treated to a nice little kite feast, well today we didn't but we did manage to record 5 raptor species including 3 Hobbies, and at long last another decent total of 13 Common Buzzards which not surprisingly (thanks to the April weather) is our best total in sometime, with 8 birds north/west at 1pm, followed by a further 5 birds north/west at 1:25pm, there was also 1 Peregrine west, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels. Between us Dave and I watched from 9am - 2:30pm, and also recorded 2 Redstarts both females, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Wheatears all present in the paddocks. The allotments produced 1 Tree Pipit with a scattering of 9 Blackcaps, 8 Whitethroats and 1 Chiffchaff around the cemo. Other bits included 35 Swallows, 9 House Martins, 7 Swifts, 1 Siskin east, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Pied Wagtails, 6 Jackdaws east, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Corn Bunting, 35 Linnets, 3 Goldfinches and 1 Ring-necked Parakeet.   

Friday 11th May

Red Kite
THE KITES KEEP ROLLING IN, with a nice change in weather and a promising weekend to come it could be a good few days, today once again was no exception, It was my birthday today so I only watched from 8-10:30am, before heading off out so Dave covered the rest of the day until the close of play at 3pm. But the good thing was I didn't miss to much as a lot of the migrants arrived before I left. Best of all was 4 Red Kites (no 17 for the year and record numbers for the site in any given year), which headed north/west between 8-9am, and which were all travelling at some height and certainly didn't hang around to long. Other bits included a very respectable May total of 15 Wheatears scattered around the paddocks, also 2 Whinchats in the allotments, 3 Hobbies, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 9 Blackcaps, 7 Whitethroats, 150 Swifts, 50 Swallows, 12 House Martins, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Sparrowhawks, 3 Kestrels, 50 Linnets, 2 Pied Wagtails, 1 Chaffinch, 24 Jackdaws south, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Corn Buntings and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Thursday 10th May

Spotted Flycatcher
Dave and I between us watched from 7:30am - 2:30pm, and after the excitement of the last couple of days it was some what back to reality, but saying that there was still a few different migrants around including the 2nd Whinchat of the year in the paddocks, also 5 Wheatears and 1 White Wagtail. The Little Owl once again put in a brief appearance, but a Spotted Flycatcher in the cemo was the opposite, hence I just had to take another photo shot as this bird at times showed to a mere 6 feet away. Other bits included 1 Tree Pipit in the allotments, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroats, 9 Blackcaps, 25 Swifts, 30 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 1 late Fieldfare, 4 Pied Wagtails, 30 Linnets, 2 Kestrels, 1 Grey Partridge, 1 Pheasant, 1 Corn Bunting, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Green Woodpeckers.

Wednesday 9th May

Little Owl
AS HIGH AS A KITE that's how Dave and I feel, not only was a BLACK KITE discovered yesterday but today we recorded 2 Red Kites which headed north/west over the allotments from 12:40 - 1:10pm, but the good birds didn't end there when a Ring-tail Hen Harrier headed south at 10:10am, which is also the 100th species recorded so far this year. We watched the area from 8am - 3pm, and also on show (well briefly anyway) was the Little Owl by the paddocks, and a Hobby which eventually headed west. Other bits noted were 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Wheatears, 12 Blackcaps, 7 Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff, 22 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 19 Swifts, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Chaffinch, 9 Jackdaws, 8 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 52 Linnets, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Corn Bunting, 1 Pied Wagtail, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 8 Stock Doves, 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls west and 15 Collard Doves.     

Tuesday 8th May

IT ONLY TAKES ONE SCARCE/RARE BIRD TO MAKE A GREAT DAY, I couldn't get out at all today due to helping my Brother-in Law move house so I left all the birding down to Dave, what a mistake that was when I received a phone call about 12:30pm, from Mr Gilbert himself stating that he had just found a BLACK KITE arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr heading very slowly north/west over the garden of rest between 12:24-28pm, which also showed extremely well, and very much photograph able which for me was even more frustrating, but did this surprise me no, purely on the amount of good birds so far this year/number of species we have had lately it eventually had to come. By far not a cemo tick but a great bird nevertheless and well done mate, I did get one last year so I can live with it, hmm well just. The rest of the day was pretty quiet but there was still a few bits around including 7 Blackcaps, 8 Whitethroats, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 14 Swifts, 30 Swallows, 3 Wheatears, 22 Linnets, 1 Chaffinch, 3 Green Woodpeckers,  4 House Sparrows, 2 Pied Wagtails, 1 Corn Bunting and last but not least a good cemo record and a difficult new year tick of 2 Great Black-backed Gulls which were sitting in fields by the paddocks.    

Monday 7th May

Lesser Black-backed Gull
After a very busy weekend I was once again ready to settle down for another birding session, Dave and I watched from 9am - 2:30pm, but today was fairly quiet although it did produce another year tick when a Raven headed west at 2:10pm, and our 2nd Hobby that followed suit just after. Another good bird was the Little Owl feeding by the paddocks but that was pretty much it with other bits being 5 Wheatears, 9 Blackcaps, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Whitethroats, 2 House Martins, 7 Swifts, 17 Swallows, 3 Yellow Wagtails and 4 Sparrowhawks.

Sunday 6th May

Well being an avid Liverpool follower/fan this wasn't quite the result I hoped for but nevertheless it didn't detract from a super day watching another Wembley Cup Final. Not surprisingly this stadium is top class, and what a fantastic atmosphere it was from start to finish with both sets of supporters a tribute to the day, mixing together both in the pubs/outside and inside the ground (that's how it should be), the game itself was also very good although for the first 20 minutes both teams canceled each other out, but Chelsea did deserve their first half lead although it came from a sloppy Liverpool midfield era. But the second half was excellent with both teams really going for it, and when Chelsea went 2-0 up I thought that was it until a certain Mr Carroll made it 2-1, but yet once again in football, and not for the first time a possible Liverpool goal was ruled not to have crossed the line, by the reaction of the Liverpool players and supporters behind the goal it would have suggested otherwise, but has hard as it is I agree with the other 20 or so camera replay shots which were all inconclusive, but it beggars belief why o why is it still so difficult for the relevant governing bodies of football not to add simple goal line technology to make sure one way or the other, looking at the referee and linesman reaction on Saturday it really summed it up they to didn't have a clue whether it crossed the line either, after all it's only a cup final after all.

Away from the football I went out today from 1 - 3pm, recording 11 Wheatears, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Little Owl, 8 Blackcaps, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Whitethroats, 57 Swifts, 20 Swallows and 2 Yellow Wagtails.     

Saturday 5th May

Chelsea v Liverpool

Friday 4th May

You Said Something
Once again the day started off with heavy drizzle but eventually it cleared up and along with the birds it turned out to be a very good day. Dave and I watched from 8am - 2:30pm, and to our surprise we managed yet again to record 51 species for the day (surely a good bird is around the corner soon), with a few migrants on the move and in better numbers it made an enjoyable time especially when 8 Whimbrels headed north at 10:10am, which was followed shortly after by 2 late Redwings which spent a short time in nearby fields. Hirundines fared better with a count of 125 Swallows mainly heading west, 20 Swifts but just 4 House Martins. We managed to find another Common Buzzard heading west at 1:30pm, and another surprise was a Little Owl in the cemo. Warblers today included 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 20 Blackcaps (very good spring for these so far), 10 Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Willow Warbler. Our 2nd Cuckoo of the year was seen heading west, and the 2 Spotted Flycatchers from yesterday remained by the cemo. The paddocks held 13 Wheatears and 10 Yellow Wagtails with other bits including 150 Linnets, 7 Sparrowhawks west, 1 Kestrel, 1 Meadow Pipit, 3 Corn Buntings, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Goldfinch, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 4 Pied Wagtails, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Jackdaw, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 17 Stock Doves, 3 Skylarks and 6 Jays.

Thursday 3rd May

Spotted Flycatcher
Well what another miserable day this was with near constant drizzle it certainly frustrated us at the best of times, but hay Dave and I still managed another 6 hours from 8am - 2pm, which wasn't to bad considering. Probably best of all was 2 Spotted Flycatchers which were chasing each other near the paddocks, I did manage a quick record shot when the rain eased so I was pretty happy, birds in the paddocks included 7 Wheatears, 26 Swallows and 10 Yellow Wagtails, and once again it was difficult around the bushes but they did produce 1 Garden Warbler, 12 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 9 Whitethroats, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff. Other bits noted were 1 Crossbill north, 1 Lesser Redpoll east, 2 Chaffinches, 250+ Linnets, 1 Kestrel, 1 Corn Bunting, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 2 Goldfinches, 1 Jackdaw, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Green Woodpeckers and 4 Pied Wagtails

Wednesday 2nd May

Wheatear/Wheatear And Whinchat
Not bird but weather wise it was pretty hard going, with annoying light/heavy rain which was pretty much stop start you didn't quite know what to do first, but it didn't detract from another good species day of 47 birds, and another new bird for the patch which was a surprise when a Greenshank was found heading east at 8:50am, on high spirits Dave and I continued on and then shortly after discovered a Whimbrel heading west, was it going to be a weird and wonderful day, well for those types of birds it did stop, but others were to follow especially in the paddocks with our first Whinchat of the year a nice male (when it dried out), accompanied by 7 Wheatears, 2 White Wagtails and 10 Yellow Wagtails (the latter just out of photo shot). We had a good look around the bushes which produced 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 7 Whitethroats, 10 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs and 1 Willow Warbler. Other bits noted were 40 Swallows, 7 Swifts, 5 Lesser Redpolls west, 3 Corn Buntings, 1 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylarks, 2 Chaffinches, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 5 Jackdaws west, 6 Pied Wagtails, 60 Linnets, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Goldfinch, 15 Stock Doves and 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Tuesday 1st May

Lesser Whitethroat
Once again Dave and I had a fantastic day on the patch not only was their some decent migrants but this time we also managed to record an excellent 55 species (2 off the record) which certainly by any means wasn't to be sniffed at. We started out just before 8am and finished off at 3:30pm, and it was pretty lively from the start when we came across yesterday's Spotted Flycatcher and 1 male Ring Ouzel which was by the paddocks. Another good year tick was a Turtle Dove (a difficult bird to get here now) over the garden of rest, followed with a Hobby which headed west. Another good cemo record was a Little Owl which we disturbed feeding on earth worms and nearby 14 Wheatears were near the cement works. The day was certainly full of surprises and another followed with an excellent May total of 52 Fieldfares which also spent most of the day around the cemo. Other bits recorded were 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Whitethroats, 9 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 44 Swifts, 11 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Stonechat, 1 Common Buzzard north (the first for some time), 2 female Merlins east, 3 Sparrowhawks, 6 Kestrels, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Jackdaw and 2 Corn Buntings.


Warren Baker said...

55 Species is a great local patch count Steve, ive only once or twice reached that many on my patch on one visit.

Steve Tomlinson said...

Hi Warren,

It was very good and has been building up for sometime, the record of 57 was set in October so I am well pleased with this spring total. I love the look of your'e paddocks Red-backed Shrike looks good.

Warren Baker said...

Red Backed Shrike would be something Steve, I'm always on the lookout :-)

Warren Baker said...

Unlucky with the footie Steve )-:

As a life long Chelsea fan I am naturally over the moon (-:

All these goal line decisions even themselves out over time - I remember Liverpool getting the decision in a champions league game - some go for you some dont :-)

Hope you get a consolation mege on the patch to cheer you up mate!

Steve Tomlinson said...

Hi Warren,

Yes I do agree with you mate some you get and some you dont, but hell is it frustrating why simple techniques cant be in place to prevent all this hassle, but over all it was a great game, that last sentence of your's would certainly make up for it but I doubt that will happen.

Warren Baker said...

Enjoy your Birthday Steve ;-) The Kites will have helped that!

Steve Tomlinson said...

Many thanks Warren the kites certainly made it a good day.

Warren Baker said...

Nightjar......amazing record :-)

Steve Tomlinson said...

Thanks Warren the Nightjar was a big treat showing about 8 feet away, but to stay for a photo was even better.

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