Today was fairly quiet apart from a very scarce bird for the patch a Red-legged Partridge which Dave found near the paddocks, there has been very few records over the years so this one was certainly an added bonus and continues the excellent year were are having. Other highlights included 9 Crossbills over the cemo but that was pretty much it with just 3 Blackcaps, 1 Whitethroat, 60 Swallows, 30 Swifts, 1 House Martin, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Corn Buntings, 1 Green Woodpecker, 19 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Rooks and 2 Skylarks also reaching the notebook.
Thursday 28th June
It could be another good year for Crossbill with a single bird west at 9am, followed with an early autumn record of Sand Martin which headed strongly east. There was also a few other bits including a Hobby hunting over nearby fields, 1 Grey Heron west, 6 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 200+ Swifts, 7 Swallows, 2 Pied Wagtails, 13 Ring-necked Parakeets, 3 Rooks, 25 Linnets, 6 Corn Buntings, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Kestrels and 7 Black-headed Gulls.
Wednesday 27th June
On another glorious hot and sunny day Dave and I watched from 6:45am - 12:45pm, yes it was pretty hard work at times going around in such heat but on the bird front it was pretty good. Two good birds stole the show with another Quail which was heard from the cemo, and 5 Mediterranean Gulls all adult summer birds which headed north at 10:45am. Other bits included 18 Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 640 Swifts, 15 Swallows, 5 House Martins, 4 Chaffinches, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Grey Partridge, 4 Corn Buntings, 2 Kestrels, 22 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 5 Rooks, 15 Linnets, 20 Starlings, 7 Black-headed Gulls, 7 House Sparrows and 3 Skylarks.
Tuesday 26th June
Well there is one thing for sure this is the first ever Sparrowhawk picture I have ever managed to photo on the patch, a little distant I know but hey its only taken about 20+ years. Well today's sightings wasn't to bad considering the very hot weather and included an excellent count of 1,100 Swifts which were mainly feeding over the cemo, and the Little Owl which once again showed all to brief, but there was a better count of warblers today including 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 17 Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps and 4 Chiffchaffs. Remarkably my spring patch rarity of Chaffinch continues with 4 singing birds, and there was also another 2 Yellow Wagtails which showed in the paddocks. Other bits noted were 44 Linnets, 1 House Martin, 20 Swallows, 8 Mistle Thrushes, 20 Starlings, 8 House Sparrows, 4 Corn Buntings, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, 4 Pied Wagtails, 7 Stock Doves, 3 Skylarks and 1 Cormorant south.
Monday 25th June
Between us both Dave and I watched the area from 7:15am - 1:30pm, and there was a few different bits around. New arrivals included 9 Crossbills which headed north/east, and 2 Common Buzzards another good June record which also headed in the same direction. A wander to the paddocks produced 2 Yellow Wagtails and a very unseasonal record of Siskin which headed west. Other bits included 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Hobby, 4 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats, 4 House Martins, 60 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 23 Mistle Thrushes, 6 Corn Buntings, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks.
Sunday 24th June
There was another strange June record today and once again it was a Reed Warbler which was singing in a lone Hawthorn bush in the cemo, there was also 3 Hobbies which showed very well hunting over the paddocks/nearby fields and once again the Little Owl which put in a brief appearance. Other bits included 60 Swifts, 3 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethtoats, 1 Chiffchaff, 15 Linnets, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Chaffinch, 36 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Mistle Thrsuhes, 14 Stock Doves and 2 Corn Buntings.
Saturday 23rd June
Warbler numbers for some reason have dipped these last couple of days with just a single Whitethroat!! and 3 Blackcaps on show, but at least there was a few other bits around including 2 Hobbies which were hunting by the paddocks, also 90 Swifts, 1 Chaffinch, 12 Linnets, 30 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 12 Mistle Thrushes, 1 Grey Partridge, 1 Corn Bunting, 3 Jackdaws and 2 Jays.
Friday 22nd June
Well today was again down to the good old traditional stuff with 7 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 13 Linnets, 60 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 21 Stock Doves, 2 Corn Buntings, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and the local patch rarity of Little Owl which was still buzzing around the cemo.
Thursday 21st June
There was another weird record today when a Reed Warbler was singing its head off by the cemo, but once again after 6 hours of coverage it was pretty much back to normal (yes we certainly have been spoilt lately). Other bits included a Common Buzzard north/east at 12:45pm, 2 Lapwings, 1 Sparrowhawk, 16 Swallows, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Whitethroats, 30 Starlings, 17 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Cormorant west, 4 Corn Buntings, 22 Linnets, 2 Jays and 4 Pied Wagtails.
Wednesday 20th June
Well today was certainly back to some kind of normality, but saying that there was a new record broken and an out of season bird. The day started off well with 3 Hobbies which were hunting over the paddocks, but that was as good as it got, but more interesting was a Reed Bunting an unusual June record, and a record number for the patch of 350 Ring-necked Parakeets with many birds heading east around 8:30pm, there was also a Yellow Wagtail in the paddocks which was the first for some time. Others noted were 55 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 1 Grey Partridge, 300 Starlings, 13 Mistle Thrushes, 7 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps and 2 Chiffchaffs.
Tuesday 19th June
A SUPERB DAY FOR THE RAPTORS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE, Dave set off just before 7am and I followed on shortly after, we both had a long look around for yesterday's Bee-eater but without any joy, but instead in looked very good for a raptor day and indeed it was. In another day that recorded 53 species up to 1:30pm, we started off with a rather smart adult Red Kite that headed north at 8:30am, and was then followed an hour later with a Honey Buzzard (4th this spring) which headed south at 9:30am, but the best of the three was to come a little later. We continued to watch the skies but also most other parts of the patch which turned out to be very interesting, first of all was 3 Little Egrets which headed south/east and then a Coal Tit a rather scarce bird here these days which showed near the garden of rest. The Quail briefly called at 9:20am, but at 12:10pm the bird of the day turned up and the 3rd decent raptor when I found a BLACK KITE heading slowly east at 12:05 - 12:15pm over the paddocks, when found the bird was pretty high then got lower but at a much further distance away, nevertheless it was well watched as it eventually drifted off and out of view, I hope this excellent run of birds continues in the autumn and with regular watching there is always a chance. This is also our 2nd BLACK KITE of the year and the latest ever spring record. Other bits noted were 55 Swifts, 30 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 7 Blackcaps, 9 Whitethroats, 29 Mistle Thrsuhes, 4 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kestrel, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 9 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 16 Linnets, 1 Cormorant north, 3 Chaffinches, 4 Jackdaws, 1 Grey Heron south, 10 Stock Doves, 3 Pied Wagtails, 6 Jays, 20 House Sparrows, 1 Grey Partridge, 10 Ring-necked Parakeets, 6 Corn Buntings and 60 Starlings.
Monday 18th June
COLOURED BEAUTY GIVES US A BIG 9 HOUR BUZZ. Who in their right mind would ever give up spring birding in June, no it doesn't stop at the end of May by any means and today once again the patch has come up trumps purely on the fact of not giving up, last spring here was great for scarce/rare birds but this year so far has just been amazing. I had to pop down to Margate for the good part of the morning so Dave started off proceedings, and at 11:25am, I received a call by a very happy man himself stating that he had just found a BEE-EATER in the cemetery, and was showing very well catching bees and calling pretty much continuous, by god I have never got home so quick in all me life, plus I beat my personal best running record taking off 4 minutes from the previous Stone Curlew chase. When I arrived at 11:40am, there was no sign but at 11:45am, the bird once again started calling by the paddocks, and yes there it was shortly after flying over our heads catching bees. Yes the bird was mobile but very settled probably a little due to the very overcast conditions. Both of us very much enjoying the spectacle we couldn't quite believe that this bird was eventually going to stay around for 9 hours up to 8:30pm, when it eventually went to roost (somewhere). Basically it performed very well in its stay, we eventually gave up and left it at 4:45pm, but we both returned at 7pm, for another late showing. Although the light at times was a bit poor, and it didn't show close enough for a crisp photo shot I did nevertheless manage some. What birds we have had this spring and it just gets better, this is the 4th record for the patch but never have I seen one this good here, as all of the others have just been passing through. But we was also convinced that their may of been 2 BEE-EATERS today as one bird came in high from the east and was feeding alongside the allotment before heading in a westerly direction (but who knows for sure). Also present today was the Quail calling in nearby fields. Other bits included 1 Little Owl, 600+ Swifts, 17 House Martins, 50 Swallows, 7 Whitethroats, 7 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 30 Mistle Thrushes, 4 Chaffinches, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 14 Stock Doves, 6 Jays, 6 Corn Buntings, 3 Grey Partridges, 2 Lapwings, 5 Kestrels, 3 Sparrowhawks, 12 House Sparrows, 1 Golden Plover, 4 Jackdaws and 230 Ring-necked Parakeets (mainly heading east). After an exhausting day and a pint we went home very happy.
Sunday 17th June
After another several hours of coverage Dave and I didn't relocate the Quail, but we did record 1 Little Owl, 1 Common Buzzard north, 1 Hobby, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Cormorants east, 60 Swifts, 15 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 8 Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 2 Chaffinches, 10 Linnets, 3 Mistle Thrushes, 13 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Corn Buntings, 1 Jackdaw, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 3 Jays.
Saturday 16th June
Well today was certainly a blustery one and it was pretty difficult at times, but once again it didn't deter the Quail which was calling on and off from 6:50 - 11:20am, overall Dave and I had a pretty good day with 2 Mediterranean Gulls heading south over the allotments, which was soon followed with a Common Buzzard heading north. The local patch rarity the Little Owl was again present and there was a Hobby over the garden of rest. Others noted were 11 Whitethroats, 10 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Chaffinches, 13 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 70 Swifts, 15 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 20 Linnets, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Corn Buntings and 10 Stock Doves.
Friday 15th June
Between us both Dave and I watched from 6:30am - 12:45pm, and today produced the 3rd good bird in a row when another exciting patch tick was heard calling by the paddocks, this time in the form of a Quail (also a new year tick) which continued to call on and off from 6:50 - 9:30am, a very good bird for the site and although there is good suitable habitat it is one that is rarely recorded here, and of course we can not leave out the good old Red Kite with a single bird heading south at 10:40am, certainly a remarkable year for these birds here with about 67 recorded so far. Other bits noted were 60 Swifts, 15 Swallows, 7 Blackcaps, 13 Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs, an amazing spring record of 6 male Chaffinches (all singing) and as mentioned before a spring rarity here, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 25 Linnets, 1 Sparrowhawk, 10 Corn Buntings, 2 Pied Wagtails, 7 House Sparrows, 7 Skylarks, 13 Stock Doves, 7 Jackdaws, 2 Grey Partridges, 13 Mistle Thrushes, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets and 7 Rooks.
Thursday 14th June
WHAT A BIRD WHAT A DAY, Just before leaving the house at 11:15am, to go birding I had just received a call from Dave Gilbert stating that he had just found a MEGA BIRD FOR THE PATCH A STONE CURLEW, which was sitting in fields behind by the paddocks, straight away I ran from the house to the location about 10 minutes away, feeling pretty sick when I got there after carrying a heavy rucksack on the back, but my adrenaline was that high it didn't matter. On my arrival the bird couldn't be seen as at the time although it was still present in the same field it was laying well camouflaged, but soon it reappeared when we both relocated the bird as it flew around the field and then for a short time went out of sight, but once again it was soon relocated this time in the paddocks where it was being mobbed by several Magpies, by sure the bird was certainly nervous and distant at times, but it continued to show between the paddocks and adjacent field, and we still managed to watch the bird very well on and off up to 12:40pm, both standing up, laying down and flight views, the best photo shots was when the bird was in flight as the heat haze pretty much ended the ground shots, eventually the bird flew off out of sight and high to the west, we gave it another go later on for another couple of hours but without any joy, but who cares what a superb bird and my word it certainly gave a great performance the time it was here. Amazingly this is our 2nd bird this year and certainly makes up to the one that we had on the 16th March that we only heard. From 1991 when I started watching here I recorded none now 2 birds in the same year that's birding. To be honest during the great show we didn't concentrate on much else, but other bits we did record was another Red Kite which headed south at 2:10pm, 1 Turtle Dove, 1 Hobby, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, 5 Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs, 10 Blackcaps, 3 Chaffinches, 24 Linnets, 27 Mistle Thrushes, 18 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 6 Corn Buntings, 12 Stock Doves, 60 Swallows, 14 Swifts, 2 Grey Partridges and 16 Jackdaws.
Wednesday 13th June
Bird of the day without doubt was another Red Kite which headed west from 11:50 - 11:55am, there was also a few other bits including 1 Little Owl, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 13 Whitethroats, 10 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 24 Linnets, 36 Swifts, 28 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 2 Jackdaws, 16 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 7 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Chaffinches, 8 Jays, 11 Stock Dove, 1 Corn Bunting and 18 Long-tailed Tits.
Monday 11th June
|Pied Wagtail (Juvenile)|
On a rather wet gloomy day Dave and I watched from 8:20am - 1pm, and considering the miserable conditions it wasn't a bad day. The morning started off well with a Crossbill west, and the Little Owl which reappeared after a short absence, on the raptor front well we didn't expect to much but at least a Hobby put in a short appearance over the paddocks, followed by 2 Kestrels heading north/east. Other bits included 7 Blackcaps, 11 Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff, 12 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 4 Swifts, 8 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Grey Partridge, 14 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Chaffinches, 12 Mistle Thrushes, 7 Jackdaws, 18 Linnets, 3 Pied Wagtails and 2 Ring-necked Parakeets.
Sunday 10th June
I've been a bit busy lately in one way or another so today was my first proper day out this month. I spent a good few hours wandering around in my own little world enjoying the bird life/nature, and I was pretty lucky whilst having a nice cuppa when a fox cub came within touching distance and just stayed around for a good 10 minutes (probably waiting for a sandwich!!), a lovely sight and a rather cute character. For the birds well it wasn't to bad with a Hobby west early on, and 2 Chaffinches in full song which for my patch is a late spring rarity. Also noted was 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 10 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 6 Swifts, 3 Corn Buntings, 1 Pied Wagtail, 10 Linnets, 2 Kestrels, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Green Woodpecker, 10 Mistle Thrushes, 3 Goldfinches and 4 Ring-necked Parakeets.
Saturday 9th June
Dave watched the area today and noted 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 30 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Grey Partridges and 1 Corn Bunting.
Friday 1st June
Highlights today included 3 Common Buzzards east at 11:30am, also 2 Hobbies, 10 Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcaps, 1 Chaffinch and 2 Corn Buntings.