About Me

I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Christmas at Castle Water and Pett Pools

This week the weather has started to turn milder and the ice starting to thaw from Tuesday. Thursday -  Christmas eve Frank's afternoon walk to avoid the mud and the rubbish from the Country Park was to the hide at Castle Water from the view point. Very little except the usual ducks at the viewpoint, but the Commorant roost was starting to fill up.
In the surrounding fields there must have been a couple of thousand Lapwings, several hundred Curlew and a Mixed Gull colony of 500.
and 100 Coote were on the bank


From the hide 30 - 40 Mute Swans, another 100 Coote, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall no sign of Pintail or the Smew. After 30 minutes headed back to see the Gulls, Lapwings, etc take flight due to a couple of walkers entering the fields - an impressive sight. Back at the view point no sign of the Bitterns, but a Barn Owl put in a good show quartering over the reed beds.

Christmas morning a biting northerly wind, but I managed an hour down at Pett Pools, the usual ducks, a couple of Redshanks, nothing on the sea, a possible Tundra Bean Goose, but probably a dirty necked Greylag in the distance, a Marsh Harrier with a cream head came over and flushed another from the bushes - 2 quartering together and then the cream headed landed in a tree on the far side of the middle pool.

Terrential rain on Boxing Day but on the 28th got out for a walk from Pett Pools to Rye and back with Frank, of note 2 Red Throated Diver on the sea at the end of the wall, plenty of Turnstone, Dunlin, Grey Plover and Oystercatcher on the beach, at the Long Pit usual ducks, good views of a Great Spotted Woodpecker and Kestrel, by the barns a female Sparrow Hawk sat on the wires and near Oyster Creek a Common Buzzard was high over.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

This week around Pett Levels


The temperature has continued to fall this week ending with  2cm. of snow on Friday morning, other parts of the county having 10 - 15cm. and frosts by night has resulted in the lakes and pools being frozen over. However the dabbling ducks have manged to keep an area clear on the larger pools. No real surprises this week but on Friday pm there were 2 rafts of probable Common Scoter off of Dogs Hill Road. On Pett pools apart from the ice 100 or more Wigeon were disturbed by a Marsh Harrier a couple of times, several Redshank were sheltering from the cold northerly breeze on the far banks and were joined by a snipe.


Lapwings, Curlew and Greylag Geese were feeding in the fields behind and a couple of flocks of Golden Plover put in an appearance. Next stop was a visit to the Viewpoint, the water frozen and very little going on except for a party of Gold Finches flitting around the bushes.
In the afternoon Frank's walk was a trip to pannel valley in search of the Great Grey Shrike (for the third time), Carters Flood totally frozen, along the canal there were close views of Curlew and Golden Plover, 3 Greenshank were flushed and also a couple of Snipe, Male and Female Stonechats showed well at the junction with Pannel Sewer, a Kestrel was hunting overhead and a water rail was heard. At the second hide on a patch of water a hundred plus teal were there, several shoveler, and a couple of shelduck. Despite walking to the farm and back no sign of the Shrike again. (Last seen on the 14th). A further walk up the canal and over the levels produced a grey heron and a couple of Mute Swans.

Walking back along the beach with tide receding Turnstone, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher and Dunlin were along the water's edge.

Afternoon trip to Castle Water Sunday 13th Dec.

The temperatures this week have slowly dropped and despite high pressure moving in on Sunday it was a wet morning. I decided on a trip to Castle Water in the afternoon to see what was coming in to roost.
Generally there were loads of Coote, many Shoveler, Tufted, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Several Pintail, Lapwing, Gulls, Cormorants, Mute Swans flying in to roost  and a lone Drake Smew,
 
On the way back another 30 mute swans returned from the adjoining fields and at the view point  a Little Egret appeared but no signs of a Bittern. I met with two birders who had a Little Owl in their scopes but when I looked it had flown.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Dungeness Early December

Today we met Paul for another walk around Dungeness as the original plan to Sheppey has been postponed to the new year. I gained another 5 firsts. 30 mile winds and heavy rain meant that we would spend most of the time in the hides. We started at the ARC hide at 9.30am to see the all the usuall ducks plus a couple of Pintail and a couple of Golden Eye in the distance, 10.30 the wind dropped a little and the rain stopped and immediately a Marsh Harrier was on the scene, but as this happened a disturbed Bittern sprung up from the reeds and flew north past the hide. We then left for a walk around the reserve at 11.00. At the entrance the 2 Glossy Ibis were showing really well
Despite looking from all the hides there was no sign of the Smew seen the previous day, but on Dengemarsh Pit a couple of Black Necked Grebes were infront of the hide and the Great White Egret was still there
On the way back along the trail a pair of obliging Stonechats and a Reed Bunting posed on the fence.
Next stop was for lunch on the beach at the point, seeing many gulls including Kittiwakes we headed off in search of the reported Snow Buntings, like looking for a needle in a haystack they were eventually found pecking around the first line of vegetation from the sea

Next stop was another visit to the ARC hide again hoping to see Bitterns coming into roost but no luck, the Marsh Harriers were still active setting up the Lapwings and gulls but then a male Hen Harrier appeared setting them all off again.
Just as dusk was to become darkness a pair of Bewick Swans landed on the pit right in front of the hide, a perfect ending to another perfect day birding.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A break in the weather

Monday afternoon the rain stopped and the winds turned northerly so a trip to Rye Harbour was on. On route all the rivers were almost about to burst their banks, at Brede lock the environment agency had the lock gates open coinciding with low tide. A disappointing trip as all that was seen of note was a very handsome Male Pintail on the Quarry and a flock of 50 plus Ringed Plovers on the beach

At last a clear and settled day on Tuesday, In the afternoon Frank and I set off for a round trip of Pett Level. Parking at Toot Rock we set off along the very high canal, briefly stopping at Carters Flood there were a couple of Tufted Ducks Gadwall and half a dozen Mallard, moving on the canal seemed deserted except for a pair of Stonechat and lots of Wrens. Close to Pannel Valley a large white bird flew up and perched in Oak tree hoping for a Barn Owl on closer inspection turned out to be a Little Egret. In the Pannel Valley hide at last there was water in front of it and birds well 6 Shoveler, 4 Mallard (Its a start)

Setting off again along the canal towards Winchelsea a couple of Cetti's were calling, across the levels Black Headed Gulls were around the floods, hundreds of Lapwing were feeding and a good sized flock of Starlings were displaying. 7 Grey Herons flew up out of a ditch. Onto the beach the light was fading but Curlews and Oystercatchers were calling out from the sands and then a possible Great Skua that dwarfed the Gulls out at the water's edge, but it was really an imature Great Black Backed Gull how the light plays tricks with your mind!!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

This week to 28th November

Gale force winds and heavy showers have persisted throughout the week and the temperature has slowly started to drop. With the ground now becoming waterlogged the majority of the dog walks have been towards Rye from Dogs Hill along the beach.
The usual birds have been seen in varying numbers from day to day Gulls plus Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Knot, Grey Plover, a few Dunlin, Lapwing numbers increasing on Pett Level along with a good sized flock of displaying starlings, Curlews seen as it gets dark coming into roost on the reserve.
Hastings Country Park on Saturday 28th produced good views of a Raven croaking over the headland, and plenty of other activity only I hadn't taken my bins as it looked like another heavy shower was due.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

This week and a visit to West Pagham with Paul James

This week has again be mild again with temperatures to 15 deg. wet and the winds have strengthened as the week went on. I managed an afternoon walk on the Monday to Pannel Valley, a few Shoveler on Carters Flood, a Kingfisher standing on the wall by the bridge and 2 Marsh Harriers hunting over the reed beds at Pannel. The lake now has plenty of water in but still no birds.
Wednesday pm took a walk from Dogs Hill along the beach to Harbour Farm Barns and back.

Plenty of gulls and several Turnstone, the pools near the barns were empty.
A brief lull in the winds on Saturday morning took me to Pett Pools with 8 Redshank, Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Canada and Greylag Geese, with Golden Plover, Lapwing and Curlew in the fields. On the beach Turnstone, Oystercatcher gulls and a Summer plumage Black Headed Gull


On Sunday despite a forecast of heavy showers and strong winds 6 of us met at 8.30 at the Chichester gravel pits known as Ivy lake in search of the 2 Whooper swans that had been seen several times earlier in the week. On going down the footpath we were told that they had just flown, but continued down to see Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Ducks, hundreds of Coote, and plenty of Mute Swans, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker was heard and then seen and a Chiff Chaff also heard. We then set off for the Visitors centre at Sidlesham. At Sidlesham Ferry Pool in the pouring rain of note were Shelduck we then set off for the Advocet roost on the harbour but with the strong winds they must have been sheltering behind a bank as all we could see were several Redshank and Teal on the long channel. on the way back a Cetti's was calling.
Next stop was at Church Norton with the skys darkening we to took the footpath to the hide, as we got in the heavens opened.Closely followed by another party of birders, but we had the front row seats and initially it looked as though the harbour was empty. On close inspection on the mud flats there were hundreds of waders, including Grey Plover, Dunlin, Knot, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Curlew, Bar Tailed Godwit. Turnstone, Red Shank, Little Egret, Oyster Catcher the usual Gulls and one Med. Gull. Various ducks, a Kingfisher, heard a Water Rail and, and saw my first Red Breasted Mergansers. A male Kestrel posed on a gravestone in the churchyard. After lunch and a search in the bushes we may have caught a brief sighting of a Firecrest and set for the beach which proved fruitless and with rough seas, gale force winds and once again the rain we hastily returned to the cars. 4 decided to call it a day, that left Paul and two of us to head off to the North Wall. There it was relatively quiet until a female Merlin flew over the Breech Pool sending everything up including hundreds of Black Tailed Godwit, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Wigeon, Teal, and so on, next a female Sparrow Hawk took her turn. Then a couple of hundred Brent Geese appeared in the distance and flew onto the harbour water.

Next on the scene was a Kestrel and all the birds by now were nervous, after seeing a couple of Reed Buntings and 3 Rock Pipits we now became 2 and Paul and I set off back to Ivy Lake for the Whooper Swans. On the first pit we saw hundreds more duck which included Tufted, Shoveler, Wigeon, Pochard, Mallard, Gadwall, and a single Scaup. Despite searching until darkness fell at 4.30 we had no luck with Whooper Swans.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

This week to 14th November

The weather still remains mild for the time of year, and having had a couple of days off work, on Wednesday we decided to have a day out went off to the Cuckmere Valley. Although there were threatening dark grey clouds we headed off down the footpath from the visitor centre to the beach, Little Egret, Little Grebes, and Redshank were all showing well. There was a lot work going on on the beach clearing shingle from the river mouth so turned back up along the river where Pied Wagtail and Stonechat were numerous. After lunch in the Golden Galleon we went to Friston Forest a little muddy but the autumn leaves were quite spectacular

Very little bird life except for several Chaffinches and a large brown thing was it a Kestrel or maybe a Tawny Owl - we will never know.

Saturday has brought gale force winds the strongest of the Autumn so far, and heavy showers, it doesn't look good for tomorrow either.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Rye Harbour and Castle Water

Having had a planned walk around Old Lodge on Ashdown Forest cancelled due to possible bad weather, this afternoon I took myself off with Frank, parked at Dogs Hill and headed off along the Sea path with the tide coming in a small strip of sand left held several Oystercatchers, a possible ringed plover and 2 Knot, we headed inland towards Castle Water. At the start of Long Pit there were many Pochard and a couple of Scaup, the path round to CastleWater was really muddy and we won't be doing this again this winter. In the gloom there were many little brown things flitting around the bushes, A flock of Long Tailed Tits were noted as were several Chaffinches. On arrival at the hide not a great deal to report, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Cootes, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Shoveler, Tufted, Mallard, Wigeon, Cormorants, Grey Heron but no Little Egret. The water level had certainly risen since last time I was here on the 4th .With time getting on we set off for the View Point and what a dissappointment absolutely nothing.
We fast tracked up the road to Rye Harbour turned down by the Nook Fishery and disturbed a Sparrow Hawk, on harbour farm pools there were a couple of Redshank and at the new hide there was another on the Quarry, in the distance a colony of gulls could be seen along with a few unrecognisable birds due to the bad light. With darkness creeping in we hot footed back along the sea road seeing several flocks of Lapwing heading on to the reserve to roost.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A wet and windy Sunday

After having a wet and windy night the forcast for today was to be getting brighter and the winds easing, so set off for Pett Pools, the roads to Pett Level were heavily puddled we must have had at least an inch of rain overnight. On arrival the only thing moving were a few hundred Lapwing and the reeds against a fresh south eastery. The pools were deserted save for a few Mallard and a couple of Pied Wagtail by the roadside. I decided to head for Castle Water as water levels were on rise but with threatening clouds decided the half hour walk could prove to be a soaking and headed off for Dungeness. First stop was the ARC hide (protection from the wind and drizzle)
From the hide on the distant island every inch was taken with either Great Black Backed Gulls or Cormorants with Shovelers in the margins. On the nearer islands were Teal, Wigeon and Lapwing. A few Pintail were under the water tower and a couple of Golden Eye were riding the waves in the centre of the pit. A Gooseander was seen briefly and flew south, A Marsh Harrier sitting in the reeds took off but soon perched back into a willow.
With the rain coming straight through the windows of the hide I decided to head for the Dengemarsh Hide, on passing Hookers Pits 2 Little Grebes scurried across the water and I heard a call I couldn't recognise (a musical tridley dee dee dupe) or was it someones mobile phone!
At the Dengemarsh Hide there were Shoveler, Pintail, Gadwall, and Tufted Ducks a couple of Marsh Harriers put in a good appearance as did the Great White Egret. On the way out I stopped at Burrows Pit along with several others but the Glossy Ibis weren't showing.

This afternoon with the winds dropping I took Frank to Dog's Hill


a quick walk along the beach round to Harbour Farm Barns and back produced about 30 Curlews, 1 Stonechat and a Barn Owl on the electric pylon near to the barns, but flew when a car with Terry from East Enders stopped and asked the way!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

This week to 7th November

This week the weather has still been relatively mild with the rain coming over night. Monday pm I took a walk along the canal to Carters Flood and Pannel Valley after having heard of Barn Owls in the area. First stop Carters flood and at 4.10pm 2 Barn Owls were hunting in the nearbye fields, walking on towards Pannel Valley a King Fisher flew inches off the canal for some distance, and a couple of Stonechats were in the bushes. By the bridge at Pannel Sewer a Marsh Harrier appeard from nowhere and flew up the valley while a Sparrow Hawk was causing havoc amoungst a large flock of Starlings, 3 Cettis Warblers and a Water Rail were heard.


Thursday morning at 7.30 I looked out of the lounge window to see the Wood Pigeon migration was well under way with 900 plus passing over the garden in just 20 minutes, Cliff Dean reported on Friday of 20,000 going over the country park,


Saturday a.m. I was on the country park from 7.00 - 8.30am and only saw 2 flocks around 30 surely they have not all gone or is it because of the strong winds and rain of last night that they have held back. Not much else to report other than 6 Yellowhammers were in the trees in the Quarry.

Saturday p.m. we went down to the canal again straight away saw a Barn Owl over the fields by Carter's Flood, a Marsh Harrier came accross the levels from Pett Pools and flew up Pannel Valley and a single Stonechat was in the bushes, Cettis were calling everywhere.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

This week to 1st. November

This week has been extremely mild, and very little wind until today. So I would have expected some good birding, however once again due to work I only managed a couple of trips, Wednesday afternoon was Rye Harbour and did a circuit around Turnery Pool, saw the new hide and a lone Redshank on the Quarry pool, on the beach there were hundreds of gulls, Curlews, and Oystercatchers spread along the sands from the river mouth to Dogs Hill and a group of about 30 Ringed Plover.

Saturday morning at dawn on the firehills there was very little going on except for a few flocks of small things going high overhead, a couple of flocks of Woodpigeon heading SW and a couple of Yellow Hammers near the car park. A trip in the afternoon over to Cliff End and back found a flock of Gold Finches in Lower Waites Lane

Sunday gale force winds and heavy rain!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Disappointment at Dungeness

This morning I set off later than intended despite the clocks going back. First stop was at Pett Pools,
They are now filling up after the recent rains and was expecting some good birding however all I could find were Canada Geese, Lapwings, Curlew in the fields, apart from the gulls there were Teal, Mallard and a single Red Shank on the pools. Even on the beach and nearly low tide there was very little showing, I met up with Pete Rouse and we thought it was probably due to the recent works on the beach moving the shingle back from Rye Harbour.
I therefore decided to go onto Dungeness as there were reports of the Great White Egret, Cattle Egret and a Dusky Warbler, however while driving past Scotney Gravel Pits I came accross this flock of Golden Plover and Lapwing
The visitor centre doesn't open untill 10am so I went down the trail straight to the Dengemarsh Pits but alas the Cattle Egret had flown but I did get a good view of the Great White Egret back in the same place as it was the two previous times right at the back of the pit, and got great pleasure showing a couple of others where it was.

I then went back along the trail and by Hookers Pit I was told of a Penduline Tit that had just been seen, although not knowing what I was looking for I hung around for a while and twitchers appeared from all directions, I couldn't wait any longer so moved on back to the car park. In the visitors centre the sightings board showed the Dusky Warbler had been seen earlier so I went over to the ARC pit and joined several others hunting in the bushes for it and again alas no show. On the way back to the truck I passed by a small pool and there was a pair of Ruddy Duck showing their colours well. The wind was now about force 6 so thought I would try looking around the bushes by the observatory as this will be in the lee of the power station.
Apart from the numerous flocks of Gold Finches and Pied Wagtails nothing else showed so decided it was time to head back home.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Galley Hill in the rain

A quick half an hour walk in the rain over Galley Hill and back to Glyne Gap surprisingly produced a Pied Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail, a Wheatear, a flock of a dozen or so Starlings, and 15 Turnstones on the beach.

Friday, 23 October 2009

This week to 23rd October

I have been unable due to work to get out, except when the weather has been bad. On Wednesday we had heavy rain throughout the day but at lunchtime I took Frank to the rec. and saw a couple of Jays in the oak trees and by the play area I disturbed a Sparrowhawk in the conifers preparing his lunch of Collared Dove in fact I was only 2 metres away and got fantastic views, I only wish I had my camera with me. Later in the day a walk with Frank around the Country Park I heard and saw a Raven croaking over the radar and along the western path of Warren Glen I came accross my first Firecrest at last, but still no Ring Ouzels.
Friday morning in garden there were a couple of Chiff Chaffs in next doors beech tree. A walk again on Friday late in the afternoon produced of note only Stonechats I think everyone has got their heads down as high winds and heavy rain is forcast for the evening and the following day.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Pagham Harbour with Paul James

Nine of us met up with Paul James on an absolutely perfect day, sunshine and very little wind on the eastern side of Pagham Harbour near Bognor Regis. High tide was arround mid day and a fairly big tide which meant that when we walked to the north of the harbour a part of the footpath was cut off.

We managed a total of at least 55 species and for once I have listed all those i can remember.

Gulls -Herring, Common, Lesser Black Backed, Greater Black Backed, Black headedand Mediteranean. A few Oystercatcher, Ducks - Teal, Tufted, Mallard, Wigeon, and my first Golden Eye,
Several Brent Geese, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Bar Tailed Godwit, Black Tailed Godwit, Green Shank, Red Shank, my first Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Turnstone, and Snipe.
Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel, Magpie, Carrion Crow, 2 Buzzards in the distance, A large flock of Green Finches, Gold Finches, Chaffinch, Linnets, a couple of Rock Pipits, Sky Larks, 3 late Swallows 1 late Wheatear, 1 late Reed Warbler, Chiff Chaff, Reed Buntings, Stonechat, at least 25 Little Egrets, Grey Heron and the highlight of the day my first Spoonbill, Water Rail and Cettis Warbler were heard.
A total of 6 butterflies were seen Small White, Copper, Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow.
All in all an absolutely fantastic day birding.

Friday, 16 October 2009

This week to 17th October

This week the weather has turned much cooler and the winds turning northerly, Monday morning before work I went back to Carters Flood with the camera and scope to try and catch the Glossy Ibis again, sadly it was not around. Tuesday eve. I went to Pett Pools for the last hour of light, there were 2 - 300 Lapwing, the Black Tailed Godwit, 4 Redshank, and 5 Dunlin had moved in. Wednesday pm I took a walk from Dogs Hill at Winchelsea Beach into the western half of Rye Harbour Nature reserve, very little of note other than several Stonechats, the ducks are starting to get their colours, many Tufted Ducks on Long Pit and a single male Pintail and Green Sandpiper on Harbour Farm pools. Thursday eve. went to the Firehills and back along Warren road, very quiet except for Magpies and a few Blackbirds and Robins. The majority of Chiff Chaffs and Hirundines have now departed.
Friday eve. a walk along the Military Canal found a flock of Goldfinches, a couple of Stonechats and a Kestrel. Over the levels a flock of Starlings gave a good flight display.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Hastings Country Park Walk with Paul James




Half a dozen of us met with Paul James for a walk around Hastings Country Park, at the headland we saw many birds on the move overhead- flocks of siskin, goldfinches, meadow pipits, linnetts, redpolls and pied wagtails, though some were just dots in the sky the experienced birders recognised them by sound. We walked on into the quarry down Barley Lane past Barn Pond through Fairlight Glen back up Warren Glen and then to the car park. Species of note seen were Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Chiff Chaff, Long Tailed Tits, Yellow Hammer, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk, some but not all saw Treecreeper and Ring Ouzel. A Firecrest and a Bullfinch were heard.




After lunch we then went onto Carter's Flood as a Glossy Ibis had been seen there the 2 previous days. Fortunately on arrival someone already there put us in the right direction and we all got a reasonable view. Also seen were a couple of siskin in a flock of goldfinches, several stonechats and a kingfisher. (Later in the day Paula, Frank and I returned to the hide, to see the Glossy Ibis fly to the opposite side of the lake and give really good views next to a Grey Heron and Little Egret) Further up the canal we visited Pannel Valley, but the water level was so low that there wasn't a single bird to be seen.

The party then down to just 3 went onto Pett Pools as the recent rain had put a slight covering over the recently dried mud. The 8 resident Grey Herons were hoping for a fish to swim by (they have got a long wait) but amoungst the several hundred Lapwing a Black Tailed Godwit was feeding alongside 4 Redshank.

Friday, 9 October 2009

This week in Fairlight to 10th October

Although generally a wet and windy week, while out walking the dog, avian highlights included on Wednesday 7th around midday several hundred hirundines coming in off the sea and heading north east. Were they aware of the heavy rain to come? Later in Warren Glen during a break in the rain a single Wheatear and a couple of Stonechats showed.

Thursday 8th in the morning the sun was shinning and the garden was alive again with all the regulars Robin, Wren, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Green Finches, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Thrushes, together with a Black Cap and Chiff Chaff in the willow tree















11 Pied wagtails were on the recreation ground.

Friday heavy rain again and nothing to report

Sunday, 4 October 2009

A Visit to Castle Water, Rye, East Sussex


A morning visit to the View Point and a walk along the northern banks to the hide

Weather:

Dull becoming sunny, wind light North Westerly

Sightings of Note:

Water levels are extremely low however from the view point 3 Bearded Tits crossed the water, in the bushes a Chiff Chaff and a couple of Cettis Warblers were heard calling, 2 Snipe flew over and several Curlew were in the surrounding fields, en route to the hide several Meadow Pipits flew over as well as House and Sand Martins. From the hide 1 Green Sandpiper, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, a Sparrow Hawk swooped over without success, 2 Ravens were croaking overhead, and a Marsh Harrier put in a brief appearance, a Cettis Warbler gave good views in an adjacent blackberry bush. Also seen was a grass snake slithering through the undergrowth in front of the hide, a Comma and Clouded Yellow butterfly
Thursday 1st October 2009 Bath time in the garden at Fairlight
At about 8.30 this morning the back garden became alive with an assortment of species, taking their turn in having a dip in the pond, within 15 minutes I counted Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Starling, Robin, Wren, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal tit, Wood Pigeon, Green Finch, Chaffinch, and Chiff Chaff. It then all went quiet as Wiskey the cat appeared from under the willow tree.

Sunday 27th September 2009 A Dungeness Circle

A 7 mile walk started from the beach at the end of Dengemarsh road, into the RSPB bird reserve along public footpaths and round to Lydd on Sea, returning along the coast road via the Pilot Inn to the power stations and along the beach back to the start.

Weather:

Wall to wall sunshine wind very light north westerly

Sightings of note:

At Dengemarsh road side of the reserve a flock of about 20 Tree Sparrows. 2 Marsh Harriers over Dengemarsh Pits and at least 200 Greylag Geese in the surrounding fields. Along the footpath / trail 1 Wheatear, Green Woodpecker, a female Winchat and a couple of clouded yellow butterflies. At the entrance to the reserve by Boulderwell Farm several birders were lined up to get a glimpse of the Glossy Ibis, in the distance one showed briefly next to a Grey Heron which helped show a comparison. Not stopping at the ARC pit continued around the trail to see a Reed Bunting and a couple of Chiff Chaffs in the bushes. Along the beach towards the power station flocks of Linnetts flitted around and at the Dungeness RHD railway station several Pied Wagtail help clear the crumbs from the cafe's garden. Along the beach a great dissapointment as the outfall from the power station was not running and so what is known as the patch was empty.
The beach held a mixture of Herring, Black Headed and Lesser Black Backed Gulls with 4 Turnstone running along the calm water's edge.