|Very high Honey Buzzard the 9th bird so far this year|
What a day this was not only did Dave and I record 6 species of raptor, but also 49 different species for the day including some rather unseasonal birds, or perhaps some early autumn birds on the return journey. Highlight of the day and the 9th so far this year was another Honey Buzzard which headed slowly southeast over the cemetery from 2pm - 2:09pm, and although very high was certainly worth watching for the 9 minute duration, unfortunately photographing it was near impossible but at least a record shot was at hand. This started off a late trend with a Sand Martin heading north and a rather rare June record of Meadow Pipit a juvenile which was present in the paddocks. The other bizare record was of a Lesser Whitethroat quietly singing in the allotments, bizare in the fact that again these are not breeding anywhere near the patch and could be another early failed breeder on the move. As mentioned we had a very good raptor day for June with the others being 1 Common Buzzard west and in heavy moult, 2 Peregrines, 3 Hobby's, 3 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels, warbler numbers were slightly up with 13 Blackcaps, 12 Whitethroats and 3 Chiffchaffs. Other bits around included 2 Corn Buntings, 3 Skylarks, 6 Great Black-backed Gulls (Excellent patch count), 18 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Little Owl, 3 Chaffinches, 35 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 12 House Martins, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Goldfinches, 5 Linnets, 4 Rooks, 2 Jackdaws, 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 5 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Ring-necked Parakeets and 2 Pied Wagtails.
Tuesday 25th June
Today was certainly a beauty with glorious sunshine and a very light north/westerly wind, Dave and I between us covered most of the area for just under 8 hours and there was a nice late June surprise with 3 Common Buzzards which headed north/west during the day, but mainly it was all about the young birds with Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs all enjoying the sunshine and to be honest it was just great sitting down having a coffee watching these birds. Totals for the day included 4 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, 10 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Whitethroats, 22 Swifts, 22 Swallows, 1 Little Owl, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Goldfinches, 3 Chaffinches, 4 Jackdaws, 3 Long-tailed Tits and 7 Linnets.
Friday 21st June
Well what a year it has been so far and there is still the dizzy heights of autumn and winter to go, one species in particular has certainly stood out this spring and that is the Honey Buzzard, today produced some more, but the downside was that due to other commitments in the morning I didn't get to see them. In a light south/westerly wind and very low cloud cover it certainly did look good for any late migrant raptors, and this was the case when Dave found 2 Honey Buzzards over the cemetery during the morning with one heading very low west from 9:45 - 9:55am, and the other south/west from 10:55 - 11:00am, this also being the 8th bird recorded so far this spring. I did manage to get out at 12:20pm for a couple of hours and between us although not all of the patch was covered we noted 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 400+ Swifts, 55 House Martins mainly heading west, 35 Swallows, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Little Owl, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Green Woodpecker, 3 Corn Buntings, 2 Skylarks, 2 Chaffinches, 20 Linnets, 6 Ring-necked Parakeets, 7 Mistle Thrushes and 2 Pied Wagtails.
Wednesday 19th June
Before writing up today's sightings I must express my sincere thanks to Birding World for such an excellent 7 page article on the Dusky Thrush in June's edition, for anybody who hasn't seen it it's certainly worth a look including a selection of superb photographs that were taken by various people during the 18th May, that for sure will blow many people away. Now back to today well it started off with more heavy rain showers but soon died away to leave a rather pleasant and muggy afternoon, the rain didn't bring anything down but in general with little moving at this time of year it probably wasnt a surprise. On show was 13 Whitethroats including some rather fat juveniles, but more strangely was a total of 4 singing Chiffchaffs (surely not more very late arrivals). Hirundine numbers were quite low with just 8 Swallows, 25 Swifts and 3 House Martins, the Little Owl put in another brief show as did a family of Pied Wagtails in the paddocks. Its certainly been a good year for Chaffinches with another 6 birds today, and considering a couple of years ago these were rare birds in spring within the patch it was a pleasant surprise. Other bits included 15 Starlings, 9 Goldfinches, 25 Linnets, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kestrel, 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Jackdaws.
Sunday 16th June
The last few days on the patch has been pretty quiet until today that is when another Honey Buzzard appeared high over the paddocks at 10am, before heading off in a south/easterly direction. Dave and I between us have certainly had a good year for this species which is the 6th bird recorded so far this spring. Apart from that there was small numbers of Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Swallows and House Martins, but 400 Swifts feeding over nearby fields was the best this year.
|High flying Honey Buzzard over the paddocks today.|
The 2nd good bird in the last two days, and I have always liked that old saying off, it always comes in three's!!, well maybe tomorrow could be the hat-rick. Dave and I between us watched the area for another 8 hours and with the change in wind direction to a light south/westerly there was always a chance of a nice migrant raptor. Well today it produced just that when I located a Honey Buzzard high up over the paddocks which showed from 12:20 - 12:29pm, before heading off in a westerly direction, this was also the 5th recorded so far this spring, other birds of prey included just 2 Kestrels. Warblers today included 1 Reed Warbler constantly carrying food to a large weedy patch!!, 5 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff and 14 Whitethroats including several juveniles. Hirundine numbers were on the up with 150 Swifts, also 30 Swallows and 5 House Martins. Other bits were 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Greylag Goose west, 4 Corn Buntings, 2 Pied Wagtails, 3 Skylarks, 20 Stock Doves, 15 Magpies, 30 Starlings, 3 House Sparrows, 2 Jackdaws, 10 Linnets, 3 Ring-necked Parakeets, 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 3 Green Woodpeckers.
Monday 10th June
A frustrating day at the office, I didn't get out at the weekend due to other duties at my Brother-in Laws Wedding, so today I was looking forward to the return and was very much delighted when I recieved a call from Dave Gilbert stating that he had heard a European Bee-eater calling frequently around the garden of rest/cemo at 8:45am for a good 20 or so minutes, but unfortunately the bird was out of sight, at the time I was out with Anne (wife), and did not get onto the patch until 11am, but at 11:15 and again at 11:45am, it called once again near the garden of rest, but after another long long search it did not show and this was the case for the rest of the day up until 8:30pm, very frustrating I must admit but even so another excellent bird for the spring. Other bits included a singing Reed Warbler, 75 Swifts, 10 Swallows, 8 House Martins, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Whitethroats, 1 Little Owl, 25 Ring-necked Parakeets, 2 Corn Buntings, 25 Stock Doves, 25 Linnets, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 6 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Jackdaws, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 55 Starlings and 14 Mistle Thrushes.
Friday 7th June
Still extremely hard work out there in these horrid spring north/easterly winds, not the best by any means and I can not wait till they finally go. Saying that at long last I recorded the first Cuckoo of the year which headed west, and a Hobby following suit soon after. Some Juvenile birds are beginning to appear and included 8 Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps and 2 Chiffchaffs, but there was little in the way of hirundines with just 6 Swifts, 3 House Martins and 12 Swallows. Other bits on show were 4 Kestrels, 4 Corn Buntings, 1 Chaffinch, 3 Skylarks, 5 Jackdaws, 3 Pied Wagtails, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 25 Linnets, 3 Goldfinches, 3 Green Woodpeckers and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Thursday 6th June
Little to report.
Wednesday 5th June
Life around the patch was a little better today even if currently the Isle of Thanet is shadowing this run off heavy thick cloud. The wind once again was in a northerly direction so even in early June I didn't expect to much with this kind of wind, but when the sun eventually came out so did most of the birds. Best of the bunch was a Spotted Flycatcher by the paddocks and a Yellow Wagtail which headed west. Hirundines fared better with 55 Swifts, 55 Swallows and 7 House Martins. Other bits included 3 Chiffchaffs, 7 Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Corn Buntings, 2 Pied Wagtails, 30 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Jackdaws, but not one raptor in sight. Away from the birds there was a nice sight of 4 Fox Cubs which were quite happily playing together for a good hour.
Monday 3rd June
Little to report.
Sunday 2nd June
Eventually the sun came out producing a lovely hot sunny day, it also looked good for raptors and this turned out to be the case, first of all was a Red Kite which headed east at 10:30am, and was followed throughout the day with 7 Common Buzzards, 1 Hobby, 3 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels, but the best arrived at 12:45pm, when Dave found a Honey Buzzard the 4th so far this spring which headed north/west to the annoyance of the local gulls, unfortunately I was off site at the time so missed this one, never mind you can not win them all, also present was 4 Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 57 Swifts, 40 Swallows, just 1 House Martin, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Grey Partridges and the patch rarity of that male Pheasant. Away from the patch I must also give my thanks to Steve Ashton who has kindly given me permission to use his picture of the Dusky Thrush on my blog header cheers mate.
Saturday 1st June
Today was a little better with the first Tree Pipit of the spring, along with 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Little Owl which put in a brief appearance by the crematorium. Other bits included 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 72 Swifts, 42 Swallows, 14 House Martins and 1 Yellow Wagtail.