Tuesday 15 September 2015

A bathing Sparrowhawk

Kenardington - warm, sunny, sw 3 - Picked up Raymond and Stuart at midday from Ashford, who are down for a three day Birdwatching Break. We commenced along the Royal Military Canal searching for migrants feeding in the bushes on the more sheltered north bank where Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap were just about seen in the strong wind. Also, three species of hirundines, two woodpeckers, common tits and finches, Kestrel and a Raven being mobbed by crows. Driving across the Marsh we noted a `flock` of 3 Turtle Doves near Hamstreet, Common Buzzard, Reed Buntings, Yellow and Pied Wagtails, but best of all a Sparrowhawk bathing in a puddle that stayed put for five minutes, affording cracking views and even a few dodgy pics through the car windscreen.

                               Sparrowhawk bathing, Kenardington

ARC - Onto the bird reserve and first stop the fields at Boulderwall that yielded distant views of the Cattle Egret, 2 Marsh Harriers, 20 Yellow Wagtails and 4 Tree Sparrows. From Hanson hide 3 Black Terns and a Black-necked Grebe, plus all the usual ducks. On the cormorant island a decent flock of waders comprised 8 Dunlins, Turnstone, Knot and a Little Stint. Long-tailed Tit, Water Rail and Chiffchaffs also heard from the hide, a Sparrowhawk over and 2 Red-crested Pochards in the inlet down by the pines. On the walk down 5 Spitfires and a Hurricane flew low overhead.
Walland Marsh - A drive out on the Marsh this evening delivered more Yellow Wagtails, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher and a brief views of a distant Barn Owl.

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