Friday, 22 August 2014

Passerine flock

Lade - 1030hrs - cool, cloudy, w 3 - A late start due to a change over of guests. However, once out and about the local patch was heaving with birds, best of which was a large passerine flock working the willow scrub by the ponds. This part of the site is completely sheltered from the wind and as a result is often swarming with small flying insects, dragon and damselflies and common butterflies. I counted the flock as they `jumped` a gap: at least 150 birds of which 50 were probably Willow Warblers, 30 Long-tailed Tits, 10 Whitethroats, two Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat with the remainder a motley collection of Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches and Greenfinches. With more Willow Warblers elsewhere there could easily have been up to 100 on site. The reed beds and low cover around the willow swamp also held plenty of Sedge and Reed Warblers, plus two Cetti`s.
South lake was yet again smothered in feral geese and swans, common ducks, Coots and grebes with Tufted Duck and Dabchick showing recently hatched young. Five each of Little Egrets and Grey Herons stalked the margins along with four Common Sandpipers and two Redshanks. Overhead all three species of hirundines were present, mainly Sand Martins, and five Swifts moved straight through, as did a couple of Yellow Wagtails. Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Green Woodpecker also noted.
Scotney - Parked up at the entrance to the farm and walk along the cycle path checking the margins for waders of which there were only four Common Sandpipers, three Redshanks and two Curlews, plus at least 50 Yellow Wagtails on the fields and a 1,000 Grey Lags and Canada Geese, and a family party of seven Egyptians (geese, that is), probably the ones that bred at Brett`s. Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Little Egret also noted. 

                                Egyptian Geese, Scotney

Littlestone - 1600hrs - A low tide visit to the beach revealed all the expected gulls, plus 100 Oystercatchers, 50 Curlews, 10 Turnstones, four Sandwich Terns and two Shelducks. The House Martin colony in the old red-brick house on the front appeared to be faring well with chicks still being fed in the nest.

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