31 July 2012

Tuesday 31st July

Juv Long-tailed Tit
Well another full birding month comes to an end and to be honest the next 3 months cannot come quick enough, we are certainly looking forward to the autumn. For today well again it was pretty good with a few more overnight arrivals including a Sedge Warbler which is also a new year tick and a Garden Warbler which showed all to brief. Dave and I watched from 5:50am - 2pm, and recorded a very decent 46 species including another different juvenile Cuckoo in the crematorium our 4th so far this autumn, and a Wheatear which remained in the paddocks. Other warblers didn't fare to badly with 10 Willow Warblers scattered around the cemo, also 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Blackcaps, 13 Whitethroats and 3 Chiffchaffs a good sign of things to come I hope. There was also another impressive total of 13 Green Woodpeckers out shadowing the 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers which we had late on. Other bits around the site included 2 Crossbills east, 3 Hobbies, 15 Swallows, 60 Swifts, 12 House Martins, 6 Chaffinches, 2 Little Owls, 130 Ring-necked Parakeets, 120 Linnets, 3 Goldfinches, 30 Starlings, 29 Mistle Thrushes, 29 Magpies, 50 House Sparrows, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 7 Corn Buntings and the first returning Meadow Pipit.  

Monday 30th July

Star bird of the day and the 6th so far this year was a Honey Buzzard which headed west at 10:50am, but saying that the day as a whole was pretty good. There was certainly a little overnight arrival with a juvenile Wheatear in the paddocks, and at least 8 Willow Warblers scattered around the cemo. To Dave and my surprise there was now 2 Little Owls present but one bird certainly disappeared high to the west after about 5 minutes. At long last there was a better selection of birds of prey, apart from the above we also recorded 3 Hobbbies (including this superb showing bird shown in the picture), 2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Kestrels. Others noted were 14 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 17 House Martins, 80 Swifts, 50 Swallows, 11 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 66 Linnets, 70 House Sparrows, 18 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Corn Buntings, 5 Chaffinches and 5 Goldfinches.

Sunday 29th July

Today produced a few interesting bits including the first of 4 returning Willow Warblers and 2 Lesser Whitethroats near the garden of rest, also another juvenile Cuckoo which was definitely the 3rd of the year due to some different characteristics. Once again there was an excellent total this time of 18 Green Woodpeckers including many juveniles, and at least 6 Chaffinches which have remained throughout the spring. Also recorded was 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 13 Whitethroats, 88 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 40 Magpies, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Kestrels and 28 Linnets.

Saturday 28th July

Today produced very little apart from a Curlew which headed north and another good total of 12 Green Woodpeckers including many juveniles. Other bits in the notebook were 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 8 Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs, 92 Linnets, 2 Chaffinches, 9 Jays, 3 Corn Buntings, 18 Mistle Thrushes and 5 Pied Wagtails.

Friday 27th July

Very little change once again but we keep going nevertheless, bits noted were 1 Sparrowhawk, 7 Green Woodpeckers, 20 Swallows, 3 Swifts, 1 Little Owl, 5 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaffs, 14 Mistle Thrushes, 42 Linnets, 3 Chaffinches, 1 Corn Bunting and 18 Greenfinches.

Thursday 26th July

Different migrants on the move today included 2 Sand Martins north at 6:15am, there was also 1 Little Owl, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 30 Swallows, 7 Swifts, 5 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 16 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 8 Chiffchaffs, 78 Linnets, 1 Chaffinch, 22 Mistle Thrushes, and 2 Corn Buntings

Wednesday 25th July

The Little Owl once again put on a good performance but that was pretty much it, although there was now 80 House Sparrows in the recording area. Others included 10 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 27 Mistle Thrushes, 60 Swallows, 9 Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Blackcap, 60 Linnets, 10 Greenfinches, 8 Jays and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Tuesday 24th July

Best bird of the day was a Little Egret which headed north at 6:45am, also our 2nd juvenile Cuckoo of the autumn which was showing around the cemo. Others noted were 6 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 9 Whitethroats, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 46 Linnets, 1 Chaffinch, 13 Jays, 14 Mistle Thrushes, 1 Kestrel, 1 Lapwing, 20 Swallows, 4 Swifts and 2 Corn Buntings.

Monday 23rd July

Pretty much as yesterday apart from 1 new Lapwing which headed north/west, 1 Little Owl but no Cormorants.

Sunday 22nd July

Very little change from the previous day apart from 4 Cormorants which headed north.

Saturday 21st July

Once again the site was watched for another 7 hours between 6am - 1pm,  this time it produced 1 Little Owl, 1 Grey Heron west, 3 Sparrowhawks, 3 Kestrels, 9 Whitethroats, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs, 70 House Sparrows, 60 Linnets, 2 Chaffinches, 7 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 19 Blackbirds (certainly up on recent days), 1 Cormorant north, 3 Corn Buntings, 11 Mistle Thrushes and 6 Stock Doves.

Friday 20th July

There was not anything unusual today but the numbers and totals of different species was remarkably better. In another 8 hours of coverage from 6am - 2pm, the site produced 22 Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 14 Mistle Thrushes, 7 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 7 Jays, 46 Magpies, 60 House Sparrows, 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kestrel, 98 Linnets, 1 Chaffinch, 122 Black-headed Gulls north/west, 200 Swifts, 30 Swallows, 2 Pied Wagtails, 1 Corn Bunting and 5 Cormorants north/west.   

Thursday 19th July

Dave covered the patch for another 6 hours of hard graft but was rewarded with some excellent views of the long staying Little Owl, the juvenile Cuckoo also remained and there was a very good early autumn total of 15 Jays. Other bits included 11 Green Woodpeckers (including several juveniles), 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 13 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps,Chiffchaff, 80 Linnets, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Goldfinch, 3 Kestrels, 30 Swallows and 30 Swifts

Wednesday 18th July

Best bird of the day was a juvenile Cuckoo a bird that has recently become very scarce here in the autumn, apart from that it was again pretty quiet with 2 Green Woodpeckers (both juveniles), 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 6 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 9 Long-tailed Tits, 118 Linnets, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Kestrels, 8 Jays, 20 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 20 Swifts, 1 Corn Bunting and 4 Stock Doves reaching the notebook.  

Tuesday 17th July

Today produced a nice few bits including the earliest autumn record of Spotted Flycatcher which was showing well in a nice sun trap for most of the day, there was also a nice little increase of House Sparrows with 60 birds present near the allotments. Other bits recorded were 20 Mistle Thrushes, 3 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 110 Linnets, 1 Chaffinch, 8 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Kestrels (including 3 juveniles), 3 Hobbies, 2 Sparrowhawks, 8 Jays, 300 Swifts, 60 Swallows, 3 Pied Wagtails and 12 Stock Doves

Monday 16th July

Dave was out from 7:00 - 11:15am, and after all the latest excitement it was now back to a typical summers day, best of the highlights was an adult Mediterranean Gull that headed north/west. Other bits included 35 Black-headed Gulls, 6 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Blackcaps, 22 Mistle Thrushes, 50 Linnets, 2 Chaffinches, 30 Swallows, 1 Little Owl, 200+ Herring Gulls and 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.    


When Dave found this BEE-EATER on the 6th July little did we know that it was going to stay around for 8 superb days, there I was rushing to the cemo pretty much breathless in the hope of recording the/my 2nd bird for the year. In the past the few records that I have had have always been fly overs with my ultimate wish for a bird to stay just a short  time for a record photo shot. This bird has passed all expectations, giving the best ultimate views/calls that I will/we will ever witness/hoped for in our live times, Dave was overjoyed as this is the 2nd BEE-EATER he has ever found, with the first on the 18th June 2012. That's birding 2 in one year, none in the last god knows  how many years, I then had the good fortune of finding a 2nd bird (now 3 for the year) but this bird did not stay unlike his counterpart. Its been a fantastic last 8 days spending a lot of time with this bird and in return it gave us pretty much everything in return, one in which both Dave and I will remember for a very very long time to come.  

Sunday 15th July

No sign of the BEE-EATER but both Dave and I recorded an excellent July record for the patch of a superb adult male Honey Buzzard which headed west at 3:50pm.

Saturday 14th July

No sign of the BEE-EATER TODAY.

Friday 13th July
Dave Gilbert and I have got to admit that today was one of the best, but on the downside with the wind starting to change direction we both had the same feeling that this bird would go overnight. Today the performance from the BEE-EATER now its 8th day was superb which gave an indication this might just happen, we had sitting views, aerial views, low views and pretty much everything else throughout the day for another several hours, hence also giving me a chance to get some more record shots, and to be honest we pretty much stayed with it with little else done. Other bits noted were 1 Hobby, 1 Little Owl, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Chaffinches, 250 Swifts and 20 Linnets.

Thursday 12th July
Today was a beauty, our little mate the BEE-EATER was still present for its 7th day and thoroughly enjoying himself, this time it showed very very well throughout the day mainly in flight catching bees, insects etc, pretty mobile yes, but what a fantastic sight with a fantastic colourful bird, this beauty also regularly called with the best showing being from 11:50am - 1:20pm, when it spent most of the time in the garden of rest/crematorium. It was also a good day around other parts of the area with 5 Chiffchaffs, 3-4 Yellow Wagtails, 2,000+ Swifts feeding over nearby fields before many birds headed off west, 3 Chaffinches, 70 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 3 Hobbies, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrels, 1 Little Owl, 4 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Pied Wagtails, 15 Linnets, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 40 House Martins, 40 Starlings, 4 Green Woodpeckers and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. The days just get better.

Wednesday 11th July
Extremely elusive but now present for its 6th Day, the BEE-EATER was seen only twice today once from 7:28-7:30am, and 9:15-9:20am, and that was it with no further sightings throughout the day. It was also very very quiet elsewhere with just 1 Hobby, 4 Kestrels, 5 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Chaffinches, 6 Mistle Thrushes, 46 Linnets, 2 Grey Partridges, 80 Swifts and 40 Swallows.

Tuesday 10th July

Now present for its 5th Day quite remarkable, but the BEE-EATER was certainly elusive with only a few sightings, but best of all was when it was sitting in the open near the paddocks, again only very brief but another record shot to the collection. It did call frequently but once again pretty much out of site. Dave and I also noted 1 Grey Heron east, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Chaffinches, 6 Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 1 House Martin, 20 Swifts, 14 Swallows, 2 Hobbies, 5 Corn Buntings, 20 House Sparrows, 20 Starlings, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 20 Linnets and 20 Ring-necked Parakeets.

Monday 9th July

In general not only was there a good local rarity on site but an excellent selection of other species. Once again Dave and I arrived on site to the fantastic greeting of not one but 2 EUROPEAN BEE-EATERS, the current bird is now present for its 4th day, but also present was another bird which was originally heard calling and then seen heading off  strongly in an easterly direction. The current but was more elusive today but it did give some excellent feeding views over the garden of rest/cemo,  also calling on and off but mainly doing this out of site. Other bits noted were 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Hobbies, 12 Siskins west (a very good July record here), 30 Linnets, 31 Rooks east, 1 Whimbrel north, 4 Crossbills north, 1 Cormorant North, 2 Corn Buntings, 65 Ring-necked Parakeets, 50 Swallows, 300 Swifts, 20 House Sparrows, 25 Starlings, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels and 2 Kestrels.

Sunday 8th July

The BEE-EATER is still here for its 3rd day, but today was a little different the bird was certainly a lot more elusive, it called twice from 7:00 - 7:20am, and showed just a hand full of times throughout the day. Even so I did manage a better record shot of the bird as it sat just by the garden of rest for a few seconds before being flushed by a Wood Pigeon. Other highlights included 1 Hobby, 1 Quail still calling near the paddocks, 2 unseen flocks of Sandwich Terns, 3 Kestrels, 1,000 Swifts mainly heading west, 20 Swallows, 2 Corn Buntings, 1 Little Owl, 6 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Chaffinches, 11 Jays and 24 Linnets, and hey its still very much enjoyable.

Saturday 7th July

Now present for its 2nd day the BEE-EATER showed well on and off for pretty much most of the day but extremely mobile and at times difficult to locate, but nevertheless its still here and a little cracker it is, this time seen catching bees and the odd butterfly, I cannot quite believe how quick these birds show and then disappear, once again the bird called well which gave us good clues to where it might be (not always). Today it showed and was heard from 5:30am right up to 7:10pm. Also today there was a singing Quail near the paddocks, 7+ Crossbills west, 2+ Sandwich Terns north, 4 Chaffinches, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 50 Swifts, 10 Swallows, 40 Linnets and 1 Kestrel.

Friday 6th July

Unbelievable that's what I have to say about this bird, once again I was out and about in Margate when I received another call from Dave Gilbert stating he had just found another EUROPEAN BEE-EATER in the cemetery, the 2nd bird this year and strangely found at 11:25am, a mere 5 minutes after the first original bird back on the 18th June.. The weather conditions today were pretty drab, but on a positive note this was good as the bird was certainly making itself known flying from tree to tree, also feeding pretty much everywhere it could find food, but little did we know that this bird was also to stay all day like the last one in fact right up to 8:40pm, when it eventually disappeared. It also called on regular intervals making life a little easier. The photo above shows a pretty close shot at about 40 feet away, but the light was pretty poor making it slightly more difficult. But what a bird. Due to this fantastic long staying bird there was very little coverage of anywhere else but also noted was 1 Siskin, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 4 Chaffinches, 50 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 35 Linnets, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 80 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Kestrel and 6 Rooks.

Thursday 5th July

Collard Doves
Although at present its typical July stuff its certainly pulling in new year ticks, today produced another with 2 Sandwich Terns north/west at 7:48am, but to be fair Dave and I had a pretty good day with a female Peregrine hunting over nearby fields, and another good count of 1,000+ Swifts, with many birds moving through in a easterly direction. Other bits included 1 Little Owl, 6 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 72 Linnets, 4 Chaffinches, 20 House Sparrows, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Hobby, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 62 Swallows, 4 Lapwings, 5 Corn Buntings, 2 Grey Partridges, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 20 Black-headed Gulls and 14 Long-tailed Tits.   

Wednesday 4th July

Another few long hours in the field produced another Curlew which headed west but apart from that it was pretty much a July day. Other bits noted were 2 Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 38 Linnets, 4 Chaffinches, 22 House Sparrows, 2 Kestrel, 3 Hobbies, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 6 Green Woodpeckers, 80 Swifts, 40 Swallows, 5 Corn Buntings and 18 Rooks.

Tuesday 3rd July

There was a few bits around today including 1 Little Owl, 2 House Martins, 54 Swallows, 90 Swifts, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 6 Whitethroats, 2 Hobbies, 2 Cormorants north, 1 Grey Heron east, 8 Mistle Thrushes, now 9 Chaffinches, 3 Kestrels, 5 Lapwings, 122 Linnets, 50 House Sparrows (the best count for a long time), 3 Kestrels and 1 Sparrowhawk. 

Monday 2nd July

There was another new year tick today when 2 Curlews headed east at 6:56am, but that was pretty much it apart from of course another excellent late spring count of 6 Chaffinches near the garden of rest. Other bits included 1 Hobby, 1 Kestrel, 8 House Sparrows, 7 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 85 Linnets, 1 Cormorant west, 40 Swifts and 20 Swallows.

Sunday 1st July

Dave watched the area today and recorded 3 Crossbills north/west,  1 Little Owl, 6 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 House Martins, 20 Swallows, 300 Swifts, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Chaffinches, 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Kestrels, 4 Jays, 6 Corn Buntings, 9 Stock Doves, and 2 Pied Wagtails.