As you may well imagine today even a fairly stationary Swift was difficult for me to get a reasonable picture of and I'm sure there will be some outstanding images from today, but a massive thanks to Martyn Wilson who sent me these pictures from this morning for my blog.Although, I was standing next to Martyn mine don't look like this.
It felt like a good morning to be out today and with yesterday's Pallid Swift at Foreness I hoped that another would arrive today or maybe a Red-Rumped in with the Swallows or even a Desert Wheatear bouncing around on the pitch and putt that was.A good start to the morning came in the form of the first tweet from Barry was a Woodlark over and I was soon at Foreness just before 9.00 a,m.Within five minutes a Swift sp. became a clear Pallid and the rest is history.Alan arrived as did a sprinting Chiddy and Martyn soon behind.Over the next hour we were treated to some spectacular views of a "Lifer" for Martyn, Mark and myself.At one stage the bird was only 10 feet over our heads and winked at Martyn.More people were arriving when I left to enjoy this Kent mega.
You know it's going to be a good session when the first birds you see are 5 Lapland Buntings flying over your head and although there was nothing spectacular on Saturday it was still a great morning in excellent company with a steady flow of good birds.Mark, Barry and Adam had already had 3 Jack Snipe, an excellent record for the area and we managed to re find two of three birds on the pitch and putt.There were fewer Bramblings than earlier in the morning but an interesting Wheatear with a massive bill and a strange Reed Bunting added to the conversation.A flock of twenty plus Scoter wizzed past and a Redstart in the doctor's surgery completed a good morning had by all.Oh, nearly forgot the grass was carpeted with Redwings.Two weeks now with a decent picture!
It's always good to have a rare bird on your doorstep and Friday's late news that Dylan had found a Great Grey Shrike in the field behind my house was welcome news.After breakfast a gentle stroll across the field and five minutes later I had the Great Grey on the wires.Unfortunately a Peregrine found some breakfast in the field and the Shrike headed for cover.It was extremely flighty and a little overcast so I decided to return in afternoon.The bird was still showing well in brighter conditions and reasonable record shot was obtained.With Gary and Mike finding a very late Lesser Grey on Saturday night I hoped it would remain as it would be a new bird for me and Heathy.With Chidders on site early doors and a confirmed sighting we were soon on our way and viewing the bird by 9.00A.M.It performed magnificently and as we left more and more birders were arriving to view this rare Kent visitor, the first since 1995.Thanks to Mark Chidwick for the photos of the Lesser Grey.