Friday, 11 November 2016

Whooper Swan

Lade - sunny, mild, nw 2 - With bright sunshine from the off it was the perfect weather for a good old rummage around the local patch. Firstly, Mockmill where a few Reed Buntings and Blackbirds were flushed from cover along with only our third Woodcock of the autumn. Three Stonechats perched atop dead thistles until a Sparrowhawk nipped through, while distant Marsh Harriers and Kestrels hunted the fields by the airport. Small flocks of Starlings continued to come in off the sea, along with a heightened sense of expectation in what appears to be a `Waxwing winter`. Overhead one or two Skylarks, Mipits, Goldfinches, a Redpoll and two Redwings. A late Common Hawker was still active in a sun trap by the ponds which also attracted Cetti`s Warbler and Chiffchaff to a flush of flying insects. On an ebb tide the bay provided nine out of the usual ten species of waders with only Redshank absent, plus huge quantities of beached cockles and razor shells along the tideline.

                                One tired mutt

Botolphs Bridge - En-route to Folkestone this lunchtime we made a pit stop to see a Whooper Swan within a flock of Mutes feeding in a rape-seed field just north of the railway line. This was our first of the year bringing the Marsh list up to 213 species; the month of November just keeps on delivering quality birds.

                                 Mediterranean Gulls, Copt Point

                                The Warren

The Warren -  Before grand parent duties this weekend we had a wander along the Warren where at least 250 Med Gulls were assembled on the rocks at Copt Point. Further along a pair of Ravens flew over hassling a Peregrine, while on the beach Turnstones, Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers and two Rock Pipits were noted. A tit flock in the bushes contained several Goldcrests and a Great Spotted Woodpecker and Jay broke cover. It always looks good for a rarity along here, one day perhaps...

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