Sunday, 30 October 2011


Arriving in the dark yesterday morning at Reculver it was hoped that one or two migrants would be around.  Unfortunately there was very little on offer.  Two Little Owls were happily sitting on top of the toilet block in the caravan park and a Fieldfare whizzed by the towers.  On a very uneventful stroll down to the Green Wall all the usual suspects were noted in the following numbers.  Kingfisher 1, Reed Bunting 8, Wheatear 2, Little Egret 4 , Rock Pipit 1, Golden Plover c35, Brent Geese c100, Curlew 1, Redshank 6, a very late Swallow and nine Lapwing.  An hour around the caravan park bushes produced some angry Blackbirds and numerous Goldcrests that seemed impossible to photograph.  A trip to Grove in the afternoon was more successful with good but distant views of the Glossy Ibis.  Meeting Ann and Chris Hindle on my stroll to the Marsh hide, the bird  was a little elusive at the beginning but regularly emerged from ditches in the middle of the viewing area.  I was certainly not so lucky as Steve Ashton to have it just under my nose.

Sunday, 23 October 2011


Arriving on Monday I had planned my route to hopefully connect with all the birds currently on st Mary's. My walk to Borough Farm to see the UPLAND SANDPIPER was fairly uneventful and within five minutes the bird was walking up and down the bulb field furrows showing well for 45 minutes.  I strolled down to 'Juliet's Garden' for lunch and within a couple of minutes the three BLACK KITES which had toured the islands yesterday appeared over the Garrison and I tracked them over Telegraph.  I decided on an afternoon of hopefully connecting with the MELODIOUS WARBLER and WILSON'S SNIPE.  The Melodious Warbler was very tricky with an hour and a half wait before it gave itself up.  I then made my way to the ISBG Hide on Lower Moors where the Wilson's Snipe showed immediately and I made my way to the Guest house knowing birding couldn't always be that easy.

Tuesday saw me at Porth Hellick early morning viewing and photographing a very confiding BLUETHROAT.  Fortunately, this bird was almost 10 metres away unlike the Oare one earlier this year which was about a 100 metres away!  I then moved onto Old Town church where I was happily watching 2 YELLOW BROWED WARBLERS when the first made rush ensued.  OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT - Watermill.  Now this was a new bird for me and after a 30 minutes walk   I was standing with about 60 other birders watching 2 birds feed in a fields.  I stationed myself next to Steve Young and attempted to take a few pictures.  Having spent 2 hours with the birds I decided not to go for the RED THROATED PIPITS hoping they would hang around for a few days.  I had another hour with the Upland Sandpiper eventually getting some reasonable photographs.  a quick 5 minutes with the Turtle Dove and two and a half hours with the Northern  Waterthrush ended another good day.

Wednesday was a relatively quiet day with a return to the Bluethroat and the Olive-Backed Pipits.  I decided on a hour with a WRYNECK at Giant's Castle with a few photographs obtained.  I then rather fortunately connected with the RED THROATED PIPIT which flew over my head with a gang of Meadow Pipits by Pelistry riding stables.  For the rest of the day it was a return to Higgo's project for the WATERTHRUSH.

Thursday and my last day saw me go on the Sapphire Pelagic with Joe Pender.  We were very lucky to see MINKE WHALE and BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN and a few birds which included as highlights 1 Storm Petrel, 1 Leach's Petrel, 2 Arctic Skua and 6 Great Skua, 1 very late Puffin, 2 adult Med Gulls and 1 Yellow Legged Gull.

A big thank you to Bob and Tina at 'Shearwater' who provided an excellent base and the M25 on Friday night for not being totally jammed.

I know I've added a RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL picture in the hand as well.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


As a postscript to the last post I did manage to catch up with the Dusky and Yellow-Browed Warbler this afternoon.Arriving at just after 4.00 p.m. I was soon joined joined by the Hindle clan and after about 15 minutes of chasing a tac tac tac noise up the tree line it finally gave itself up for some very good views... for a Dusky. The Yellow Browed was the only bird in the park trees and with Coventry beating Forest  all in all a pretty good day.


Marc called at 7.30 a.m. yesterday morning and I expected him to tell me he had refound the Pallas' Warbler.  However, it was a real mega in the form of a RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL which had been caught by Matt and Chris Hindle.  They were going to release it at 8.30 a.m. at Chambers Wall and I enjoyed 5 minutes with the bird before its release.  This morning I enjoyed a beautiful sunny morning stroll to Cold Harbour and back and 45 minutes around the caravan bushes.  The undoubted highlight was a SHORT-EARED OWL which flew in off the sea and alighted near the Oyster Farm.  We also had good views of the bird when we returned along the sea wall - the second owl that Ann Hindle had spooked in a day following her close encounter with a Barn Owl.  Totals for today included : 22 Meadow Pipit, 10 Skylark, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Little Owl, 1 WATER RAIL, 15 Siskin, 12 Redpoll, 4 Turnstone, 3 Wheatear, 1 Greenshank, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Little Egret.   An enjoyable time - shame we didn't find a Dusky Warbler.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


An enjoyable visit yesterday afternoon to see the Grey Phalarope was successful despite the atrocious weather walking back to the car at Chambers Wall.  Arriving at 3.45 p.m. Mike Gould was directly behind me and we walked down soon to be joined by Steve Ashton and Mark Chidwick. We all enjoyed close views of the bird who was obviously very tired.  At times it was harried by the resident gulls but it seemed quite settled.  Walking back we were all caught in a tremendous downpour.  This morning before subjecting myself to the embarrassment of England's performance in the World Cup, I enjoyed the company of Mark, Martyn and Adam at Grove spending time talking and looking at a fairly empty main pool and an even emptier Green Hide.  A few Marsh Harriers some Snipe and that's about it.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


I wasn't planning on going out this morning but a phone-call from Marc had me speeding down the dual carriageway at speeds almost approaching 60 mph.  The reason for the dash was an OSPREY which seemed to be quite happily sitting in the Oyster Farm on a post.  I spent 45 minutes trying to take a reasonable record shot at about 250 yards and compared to Marc's, when the bird was at Cold Harbour, it is quite embarrassing.  However, I'll let you be the judge.  Heathy also had a RAVEN which he believed had dropped into the fields beyond the railway embankment and line.  I pulled into the lay-by by the Roman Galley and spent the next fifteen minutes scanning the fields.  By pure luck the RAVEN took to the air from a field hidden by trees and flew over my head and the Thanet Way.  This was not only a year tick but a new bird for Reculver for me.  Nice end to a good and unexpected bonus morning.

Saturday, 1 October 2011


Arriving at a fog bound Grove just before 6.00 this morning Marc, Martyn and Mark had already parked up and I made sure that mine was sensibly within the white line (hope you are reading this Steve).  For the next two hours the fog hung around and birding was fairly pointless and definitely uneventful.  A few Marsh Harriers drifted close to the ramp and at the bottom happily feeding were a group of Reed Buntings joined by a single Sedge Warbler.  Our highlights included guessing the first bird to come on the pager and what would be Dylans dramatic announcement tomorrow.  Marc departed to take photographs of Sparrows and Rooks at Reculver.  However, yesterdays juvenile Pectoral Ruffpiper failed to appear through the gloom and despite a sorty to the water meadows it had obviously disappeared into the ether.  The undoubted highlight was c100 Bearded Tits feeding in and around Harrisons which even allowed me the opportunity to take a few photographs.  I left around 10.40 a.m. having not seen many birds but certainly had lots of laughs.