28 September 2012

Friday 28th September

Pied Wagtail
After watching 4 Goldcrests in the garden this morning and a further 4 outside of the house I was optimistic that a good day may lay ahead, well it fact it wasn't to bad. Once again I started off just after the school run at 9:10am, and finished off just before 2pm. From the word go there was a movement of hirundines which eventually amounted to 1,200 House Martins north/west and 900 Swallows following on in the same direction, there was also an excellent patch total of 28 Jays with many of the birds coming in for a quick feed before departing in a westerly direction. Overnight also produced a few more warblers (well totals anyway) with 17 Blackcaps and 24 Chiffchaffs, but most of the birds were found late morning/early afternoon with the Black Redstart still present although it only showed once, also 4 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat, 1 Tree Pipit north, 1 Common Buzzard north and 1 Lesser Redpoll east. Other bits included 1 Firecrest, 1 Grey Wagtail west, 30 Meadow Pipits, 28 Pied Wagtails, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Siskins west, 50 Linnets, 5 Jackdaws, 10 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Skylarks, 3 Goldcrests and 1 Kestrel.   

Thursday 27th September

Great Spotted Woodpeckers/with at least one bird ringed.
I DID IT just, for the THIRD DAY in a row I managed to record 50/+ species on the patch (50 today), but for some time I was agonisingly stuck on 49 and still needing Mistle Thrush to complete the target. After a last thorough search I eventually managed to get the respective bird and it was once again another few hours well spent. The day started off brightly with a Pied Flycatcher in the garden of rest and was then followed with a Hen Harrier which was hunting by the paddocks at 10:30am, and is most definitely the same bird from the previous 2 days. Also of interest was the 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers I had with at least one of the birds ringed, the other one I don't know as they both spent most of the time chasing each other around the cemo. The paddocks produced 8 Wheatears, 60 Meadow Pipits, 20 Pied Wagtails and most of the 90 Linnets. Other bits included 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler, 50 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 1 Curlew west, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Redwing, 1 Common Buzzard west, an arrival at long last of 30 Skylarks, 4 Goldcrests, 5 Chaffinches, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Jackdaw, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Golden Plover west, 2 Kestrels, 3 Sparrowhawks, 5 Ring-necked Parakeets and 1 Siskin west.      

Wednesday 26th September

Hen Harrier
Two down One to go, today was certainly a very blustery one with a moderate/strong south/westerly wind, it was certainly difficult watching the patch but once again it didn't disappoint and I managed to record 50 species for the day, two 50/+ species in 2 days can I get the third tomorrow I will by hell give it a real thorough go. Three was 2 good birds today including another SERIN which I flushed in an area of very long grass adjacent to the paddocks in fact it was very close to where I had one on the 17th of this month, and again this bird headed off strongly east calling as it went (interesting). The second good bird was a nice Hen Harrier which was hunting in fields also by the paddocks from 10:10 - 10:20am, and again this maybe the bird I had yesterday before it also headed off slowly east. I watched the area from 8:40am - 1pm, and straight away recorded 1 Spotted Flycatcher which was not enjoying the conditions, also 1 Tree Pipit west and a Grey Wagtail north. The paddocks produced 7 Wheatears, most of the 60 Meadow Pipits, 10 Pied Wagtails and 100+ Linnets. My ever so present Black Redstart put in a nice performance as did the long staying Little Owl which once again eyed up me sandwiches. Other bits included 1 Sand Martin, 7 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs, 8 Lesser Redpolls west, 60 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 2 Curlews west, 1 Golden Plover, 5 Chaffinches, 6 Skylarks, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Reed Bunting east, 3 Jackdaws, 3 Ring-necked Parakeets, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 3 Green Woodpeckers.   

Tuesday 25th September

Little Owl
On another excellent few hours birding I managed to record 52 species, yet unbelievably I didn't record any unusual species within this total, but I did record a very good patch bird when a Hen Harrier was seen heading over the cemo and then relocated a short time after hunting distantly over nearby fields. I watched the area from 9:20am - 1pm, and although once again I spent a lot of time dodging the heavy showers it was pretty good from the word go. The first land migrant was a Whinchat in the paddocks which also produced 2 Wheatears, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 20 Pied Wagtails and most of the 90 Meadow Pipits. Admittedly getting 50+ species for the day you need a little luck with the irregular birds and that happened when 2 Curlews headed east, and another Little Egret for the year which flew west at 12:30pm, there was also an arrival of 45 Golden Plovers and 10 Lapwings which headed north. Warblers were a little thin with 9 Blackcaps and 9 Chiffchaffs but a Reed Warbler was a welcome sight to reach the 50 mark. The long staying Black Redstart was still present in the same location and the Little Owl put in an excellent performance about 10 yards away watching me drink me coffee. Other bits included 2 Tree Pipits east, 2 Goldcrests, 100 Linnets, 110 Swallows north/west, 22 House Martins, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, 1 Siskin west, 5 Chaffinches, 1 Reed Bunting north, 15 Dunnocks, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 3 Green Woodpeckers. 

Monday 24th September

Heavy rain for most of the day was slightly frustrating, stop start, stop start was the name of the game but even so a few nice migrants still managed to show. In difficult conditions I managed to record 43 species which in the light of things was pretty good. Today produced 2 new arrivals for the autumn including a Firecrest which was present with the mobile tit flock also 4 Fieldfares which headed east just after midday. Once again I just managed to relocate the rather elusive Black Redstart but a remarkable autumn record for the patch since this bird has been here since the 12th September, there was also a Redstart and 2 Wheatears in the paddocks and nearby a rather wet looking Spotted Flycatcher which spent most of its time feeling sorry for itself. Other bits included a Garden Warbler, 15 Blackcaps, 13 Chiffchaffs, 2 Sand Martins west, 309 Swallows north/west, 14 House Martins, 1 Brambling east, 30 Meadow Pipits, 120 Linnets, 20 Pied Wagtails, 10 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Goldcrests, 1 Little Owl, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 5 Ring-necked Parakeets, 3 Chaffinches, 13 Dunnocks, 8 Song Thrushes and 20 Blackbirds. 

Saturday 22nd September

Collard Dove
Unfortunately the last couple of days has been all work and no play, today I managed just a quick hour which as little time as it was did produce a few nice bits. Between 2-3pm I recorded 3 Bramblings west, 1 Redstart, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Chiffchaffs, 1 Blackcap, 1 Redwing, 3 Green Woodpeckers and 2 Chaffinches.

Thursday 20th September

After yesterday's not so good performance I was hoping that today would be just a tad better, well actually it was slightly, strangely there was a Black Redstart in exactly the same place that I originally found it within the last week, and presume it is the same bird which I have just missed in the last 2 days. Warblers today included 33 Blackcaps, 9 Chiffchaffs and 1 Willow Warbler, there was another Redwing which headed somewhere in the cemo as did a Bullfinch which still remains a scarce bird here. Other bits noted were 1 Sand Martin west, 27 House Martins, 20 Swallows, 1 Wheatear, 1 Hobby, 1 Little Owl, 4 Chaffinches, 2 Goldcrests, 9 Grey Partridges, 7 Meadow Pipits, 17 Pied Wagtails, 2 Kestrels, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Green Woodpeckers and 1 Skylark (where have they all disappeared to!!).

Wednesday 19th September

Today was pretty quiet with most of the areas holding very little and literally no vis mig to go with it, bits that did reach the notebook included 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 8 Chiffchaffs, 9 Blackcaps, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Grey Wagtail east, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 27 Pied Wagtails, 8 Swallows, 1 Little Owl, 3 Goldcrests, 3 Chaffinches, 10 Meadow Pipits, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Green Woodpeckers.

Tuesday 18th September

Pied Wagtails
A stiff freshening westerly wind made life a little difficult today especially in the open, but saying that the most sheltered areas was the opposite and certainly didn't disappoint. Probably best of all was a total of 31 Blackcaps and 24 Chiffchaffs which along with a Garden Warbler enjoyed the most quiet areas, there wasn't as many species today but I did record 40 which was pretty good in a few hours work, I couldn't find the long staying Black Redstart but the Spotted Flycatcher remained in the same location. The paddocks produced 2 Wheatears, 1 Hobby hunting what ever it could, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 27 Pied Wagtails. Other bits around included 30 Swallows, 35 House Martins, 1 Little Owl, 3 Chaffinches, 11 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Rooks, 1 Jackdaw, 30 Linnets, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 6 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Skylark and 10 Meadow Pipits.

Monday 17th September

Spotted Flycatcher
Reaching the magic 50 species mark for the day is some feat in itself but even more so as my patch doesn't consist of any water. Today was one of those special moments when it was once again achieved (51 in fact) but not for the first time I might add, to go with it was a rather nice find when a SERIN was seen heading east at 9:30am, giving its classic trill call while on its way, there was also a nice selection of other migrants including the long staying Black Redstart which although fairly distant gave a much better display. The day in itself was pretty lively from the word go and continued late into the afternoon recording 1 Tree Pipit east, 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 23 Chiffchaffs, 13 Blackcaps, 2 Sedge Warblers, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 90 House Martins, 20 Swallows, 1 Hobby, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Common Buzzards east, 1 Little Owl, 1 Crossbill east, 1 Siskin west, 1 Chaffinch, 53 Meadow Pipits, 29 Pied Wagtails, 50 Linnets, 6 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Jackdaw, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 50 Black-headed Gulls, 60 Starlings, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 3 Green Woodpeckers. Surely a nice Red-backed Shrike or Wryneck cant be to far away i'll just keep plugging away.

Sunday 16th September

Black Redstart
There was little chance to go out yesterday and today along with Dave we eventually managed a couple of hours from 3:20 - 5:30pm, we didn't manage to get around all of the areas but straight away it felt like a good autumn day and this proved the point when I located a Honey Buzzard heading west at 3:30pm, shortly followed with an adult Mediterranean Gull which headed east. What did we miss throughout the rest of the day and yesterday well who knows, but carrying on we managed to relocate the Black Redstart which still remains very elusive and extremely camera shy, (but at least I managed a distant record shot). The rest of the bits are as follows: 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Redwings, 12 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler, 9 Blackcaps, 1 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 90 Swallows, 49 Meadow Pipits, 7 House Martins, 60 Starlings, 6 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 1 Chaffinch.  

Friday 14th September

Common Buzzard
The cemetery like most of today was a bit on the quiet side, yes there was a few warblers around but the other areas certainly fared slightly better. The elusive Black Redstart was just about present and there was a better arrival of 14 Chiffchaffs. A Sedge Warbler was in scrubby area near the paddocks which also produced 3 Yellow Wagtails, 25 Pied Wagtails and 33 Meadow Pipits. Other bits noted were 8 Blackcaps, 5 Willow Warblers, 1 Common Buzzard west, 1 Little Owl, 1 Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Chaffinches, 40 Linnets, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Green Woodpeckers and 25 Starlings.  

Thursday 13th September

Migrant Hawker
Late last night or should I say the early hours of Thursday morning I decided to spend a little time trying to relocate or hear more like Tuesday's Tawny Owl, but unfortunately after a good search there was no further sign of it. I must admit it was pretty spooky wandering around the cemetery in the dark early hours especially when I flushed a Wood Pigeon which ended up flying very close to my face. I then ventured back in the morning and stayed till 1:30pm recording another 47 species. There was a few bits around today included 1 Redstart and one of yesterday's Black Redstarts which still remains pretty elusive, with overnight rain (at long last), I was hoping for a nice scarcity, it didn't happen but it did produce a good total of 26 Blackcaps scattered around the area, also 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaffs and 2 Willow Warblers. The paddocks produced 5 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wheatears and an arrival of 71 Meadow Pipits which dropped in late on. Others noted were 80 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 1 Common Buzzard west, 1 Little Owl, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Chaffinches, 2 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, 80 Linnets, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 36 Pied Wagtails, 7 Long-tailed Tits and 1 Ring-necked Parakeet.

Wednesday 12th September

Willow Warbler
Today definitely felt like autumn was just lurking around the corner, with a good variety of birds and a daily total of 47 species it was well worth the 8 hours of coverage. Best of all was 2 Black Redstarts an autumn rarity for the patch which showed by the paddocks early afternoon, and was followed with 1 Whinchat and 2 Wheatears. Either yesterday's bird or another Redwing was in the cemetery which also hosted 2 fly over Grey Wagtails and a variety of warblers with today's overall totals being 18 Blackcaps, 5 Willow Warblers, 5 Whitethroats and 3 Chiffchaffs. Other bits included 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Hobbies, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 80 Swallows, 7 House Martins, 15 Meadow Pipits west, 42 Pied Wagtails, 3 Chaffinches, 2 Peregrines west, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 20 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Ring-necked Parakeets and 3 Goldfinches.

Tuesday 11th September

Common Buzzard
*NEW BIRD FOR THE PATCH* and what a gem it is, I will also start off with this one as it didn't come until 9:45pm. After watching Margate beat Faversham Town 3-0 in their FA Cup replay at Hartsdown Park I was heading back towards the cemo when I heard a bit of a racket from some rather late agitated Blackbirds, at first I thought it was probably and most likely a fox, but little was I to know that after about 30 seconds a TAWNY OWL was about to call to which it did for a further minute, I then tried to get to where I thought the bird was but as I did this it stopped calling, but hey by that time I didn't care as this is my 1st ever record for the patch and another one towards the magic (200) mark. Today Dave and I between us covered the patch from 7:30am - 2:30pm, and although it was a slow start it certainly improved as the day went on. Other bits noted included the first Redwing of the autumn over the paddocks also 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat, 5 Wheatears, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Reed Warbler, 8 Willow Warblers, 5 Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, 1 Common Buzzard, 3 Hobbies, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Little Owl, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 30 Pied Wagtails, 80 Swallows, 22 House Martins, 4 Meadow Pipits west, 30 Linnets and 4 Green Woodpeckers.

Monday 10th September

At long last a slight change in weather but it still didn't produce anything out of the ordinary. Probably best of all was a slight increase of Wheatears with 10 present by the paddocks along with a single Whinchat. Warblers today included 4-5 Garden Warblers, 7 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff and just 1 Whitethroat. Other bits noted were 6 Sand Martins, 22 House Martins, 15 Swallows, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Little Owl, 21 Pied Wagtails, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Grey Heron south, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 10 Linnets and 1 Kestrel.  

Sunday 9th September

Sightings to follow.

Saturday 8th September

Nothing to report.

Friday 7th September

On another hot and humid day there was another arrival of 10 Common Buzzards, 5 Hobbies and 10 Sparrowhawks which mainly headed north/west late morning/early afternoon. Swallow numbers peaked 600 also heading west along with 2 Sand and 10 House Martins, grounded migrants were pretty thin but there was a few bits including 3 Wheatears, 6 Willow Warblers, 1 Garden Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 7 Whitethroats and 4 Yellow Wagtails, also on show was 1 Little Owl, 1 Siskin west, 1 Kestrel, 20 Pied Wagtails, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Cormorant east and 1 Skylark.

Thursday 6th September

Willow Warbler
Today once again we had to wait until the afternoon before the bird life got going, the morning was very quiet apart from a total of 12 Blackcaps and a Common Buzzard which was sitting in the paddocks, the afternoon well that was a different story especially from 2-3pm when a few migrants started to show/arrive. There was another arrival of 14 Common Buzzards which headed north/west within the hour and 3 Wheatears which dropped in late on. Apart from 11 Sparrowhawks there wasn't any other real numbers of birds, but other bits that were noted included 1 Little Owl, 4 Hobbies, 6 Whitethroats, 6 Willow Warblers, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 75 Swallows, 24 House Martins north, 4 Chaffinches, 8 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 74 Linnets, 32 Pied Wagtails, 22 Long-tailed Tits, 15 Blue Tits and a far better total of 120 House Sparrows.

Wednesday 5th September

Spotted Flycatcher
The day started off with a brisk northerly wind which didn't make birding very easy, but when the weather did improve so did the birds. Between us Dave and I watched from 7am - 2pm, which produced a further 9 Common Buzzards including 5 birds which headed west at 10:55am. Other highlights today are as follows: 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat, 1 Redstart, 2 Wheatears, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Whitethroats, 17 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 200 Swallows, 8 House Martins, 9 Siskins, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Meadow Pipits, 7 Green Woodpeckers,10 Long-tailed Tits, 20 Pied Wagtails, 50 Linnets and 1 Ring-necked Parakeet.

Tuesday 4th September

Dave was out on his own today as I was otherwise engaged elsewhere, records show that he had a pretty good day including another excellent autumn count of 19 Common Buzzards, including a strange record of 5 birds sitting in nearby fields before heading off, other raptors included 1 Hobby and 7 Sparrowhawks. There was a decent total of 4 Pied Flycatchers scattered around the area, also 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 5 Whinchats, 2 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 60 Swallows, 1 Little Owl, 80 House Sparrows, 46 Linnets, 11 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 22 Pied Wagtails. 

Monday 3rd September

4 Distant Common Buzzards
Although at first it was very hard work in the end it turned out to be a very enjoyable day, It was another long session out in the field where between us Dave and I watched from 6:30am - 5:00pm, the weather at first light wasn't to clever but soon cleared up to be a lovely fine and sunny day, but the birds thought otherwise and it was just after 3pm, when eventually a nice trickle of migrants began to arrive. First of all there was a superb autumn count of 22 Common Buzzards which came through between 3:00 - 3:30pm, in groups of 5,6,7 and then 4 singles to which all birds were seen heading off pretty high up in a westerly direction, in fact apart from the single birds the 3 groups of Buzzards were tail gatting each other. This was certainly a count more associated with spring not autumn and is by far a cemetery record for this time of year. There was also a few other raptors coming through around this time including 6 Hobbies, 2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Kestrels. As mentioned other birds also began to arrive with our first autumn Redstart, also 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Wheatear. There was an overnight clear out of warblers with just 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 10 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps and a rather tatty Garden Warbler which was a right mess. Other bits noted were 2 Yellow Wagtails, 70 Swallows, 9 House Martins, 10 Linnets, 3 Green Woodpeckers and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.       

Sunday 2nd September

Mistle Thrush
Between us Dave and I watched from  7:30am - 1:20pm, and once again it produced another nice selection of migrants and started off well when a Common Buzzard was seen sitting on posts by the paddocks, the bird then got mobbed by the local Magpies and headed into the cemetery, unfortunately after a little search we couldn't again relocate the bird. This was the first of 2 Common Buzzards with the other heading west early afternoon. There was also another good show of 4 Tree Pipits and 2 Sedge Warblers which were different birds to yesterday. In fact warbler numbers were pretty good with at least 19 Willow Warblers, 17 Whitethroats, 11 Blackcaps and 3 Chiffchaffs also on show, the paddocks produced 1 of the 2 Whinchats, 10 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Sand Martin, 3 House Martins and most of the 216 Swallows which were feeding overhead. Other bits included 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Little Owls, 2 Grey Herons south/west, 29 Long-tailed Tits, 7 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 13 Pied Wagtails, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 54 Linnets, 16 Dunnocks, 2 Goldfinches and 4 Jays.

Saturday 1st September

From Top Tree Pipit Sedge Warbler and Little Owl.
This was an excellent start to September with a nice drop of overnight migrants, the down side was that both Dave and I had to leave by 10am, a real pity as I am pretty sure there would of been a few more birds found. We started off just before 6am, and didn't have to wait to long before the first good bird appeared in the form of a Marsh Harrier which was hunting over nearby fields before heading off west, this was certainly the start of things to come and shortly after 2 Little Egrets (a superb year for them) headed north being mobbed by a couple of Herring Gulls. Also noted was a total of 4 Tree Pipits and a record 3 Sedge Warblers which showed pretty much together in the same bush. Other bits included 1-2 Pied Flycatchers, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 10 Willow Warblers, 12 Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Whinchats, 1 Wheatear, 1 Hobby, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Swifts, 60 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 1 Little Owl, 24 Pied Wagtails, 60 Linnets, 1 Chaffinch, 7 Meadow Pipits, 60 Starlings, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 6 Ring-necked Parakeets and an increase of Dunnocks with 16 recorded around the area.