Sunday, 19 January 2014

Ramsgate Cemetry & Foreness Point

Another excellent morning with Martin, this time we headed off to Ramsgate Cemetry in search of the Humes Leaf Warbler. After a rather delicious Sausage and Egg McMuffin we arrived to find only one other birder on site.

Advising us he had seen it earlier we were confident of finding it and getting me my 3rd Lifer of 2014. A brief wander up one of the paths and we stopped to look through a Tit flock, Bang...that was easy, first bird we looked at!

Shortly followed by a Firecrest.

The Humes worked its way around the trees moving very frequently but i only heard it call twice.

Martin & Garry
After staying for probably an hour and a half we headed to Foreness Point; Fulmar, Snow Bunting, Rock Pipit, Curlew, Purple Sandpiper, Sanderling, Turnstone, Ring Plover & Oystercatcher kept us company.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Grey Phalarope, Paddling Pool, Hove, Sussex, Video

I took a trip this morning with Martin to Hove, leaving this morning we arrived at the little paddling pool by 8.20am, a post code of BN3 4LX dropped us nicely at the very spot.

This confiding little bird has been pleasing crowds, as far as i am aware, for at least 3 days or more. Individuals have be replenishing the stock of Blood Worms and Meal Worms that has helped the bird no end.

Only 2/3 others on site when we arrived, we casually took our spot and watched in disbelief as it swam about in front of us at time no more that 5 or 6 feet away.



For me i was testing out my new Canon SX50HS, still no idea what i'm doing but a mix below of AUTO and manual settings.

I also tested for the first time the video mode

Finally after heading off with a local to look for the Glaucous Gull at Shorham Fort we headed back to the Hove side and ticked off for me a long awaited Purple Sandpiper, with 4 birds on one of the jetties.

A great morning, cheers Martin

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Bowers Marsh

I visited the new Bowers Marsh reserve this afternoon; it reminded me very much of Rainham but without the facilities.

Easily found, after following the directions from the RSPB site, i was lucky enough to bump into a volunteer in the car park who let me copy his map and chatted me through what was on offer. I wandered off in the direction of what's now called the Old Saltings, a fresh water lagoon. Both Greylag & Canada Geese could be seen enroute and again i had no luck after sifting through them for anything but.

Bowers Map (still a work in progress but you get the idea)

The path here had farm land to one side and marsh to the other, i later found out that those particular fields have all been planted up this year with Turtle Dove in mind, so fingers crossed. Skylark took to the skies from the same fields in small groups of c10 whilst large numbers of Fieldfare "chacked" about over the far side and amongst them about 10-12  Redwing. 

Next up on the right was a Corn Bunting, this single bird just doubled the amount of them i had seen... ever. I really shouldn't have got that excited about it as the total number seen in one go ended up being 9, with other pairs dotted about here and there.

Although heading for the Old Saltings i was on my way to the Saline Lagoon viewing platform at East Haven. The platform is a really good vantage point, situated in the corner of the embankments bordering in the lagoon and i presume also as a defence to stop the water spilling into the fresh marsh. I took a quick scan; Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck, Redshank, Little Egret. An assortment of Gulls on the right hand side mud were made up of all the expected's plus a single Med Gull. I watched it for a while as it fed before they all went up, most circled but a few including the Med headed off back towards the main lake.

Back to the car for a warm up coffee and obligatory Snickers and i set off again, this time for the Old Saltings and the full walk around and back to the car. Much of the same all the way round until you start the home bound leg when it becomes more woodland like. with the added bonus of a swooping Peregrine.

Here's a few shots as you progress round.

where would i be lately without a shot of some Geese

Saturday, 4 January 2014


A Mute Swan on Tit Lake yesterday takes my Valley year list to 45;  it was also colour ringed.

The first of these ringed Swans that i found over the Valley was 4AMG, seen a couple of occasions down by the iron bridge then nothing more, next was 4ANA, who successfully bred with an un-ringed partner, 2 signets who fledged (not sure if that's the correct terminology for Swans) in the relative safety of Tit Lake.

In addition to this another pair, with three signets, down by the iron bridge, this time both ringed and seen only the once on 01.09.13. They were 4ANV & 4ANW. This was my only sighting of these two until yesterday when 4ANV was on Tit Lake.


Thursday, 2 January 2014


I started the patch year list off today with 44 species and as much as i tried to take some pictures nothing played ball.

Tit Lake gave me the opportunity for a bit of a practice again with this Greylag, the sun was low and behind me which gave the goose an orangey glow for most of them. They are all still on AUTO with the bird  being 20-25 foot away.