Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Woodland flowers

Lade - 0800hrs - cold, foggy, light airs - The murk was slow to clear this morning from the local patch where a Sandwich Tern flying over calling was the first of the spring.
Park Wood - 1230hrs - warm, dry, sunny - Having picked up two of our regulars, Ray and Stuart, from Ashford station we headed for the woods and a spot of lunch to start a three day Birdwatching Break. Despite the time of day there was still plenty of bird song on offer and we soon rattled up Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Coal and Long-tailed Tits and Goldcrest, plus Buzzard and Sparrowhawk overhead from the car park. But it was the woodland flowers that stole the show with great swathes of Wood Anemones and clumps of Primroses carpeting the woodland floor in the bright sunshine, making for a wonderful spirit-lifting spectacle along with a number of Brimstone and Peacock butterflies.

                                Spring flowers, Park Wood

Kenardington - We then moved down to the Marsh and one of my favourite spots beside the Royal Military Canal. I say canal, but its been so dry this past winter that the water level was very low and it now resembles a muddy ditch, although that didn't seem to deter a Kingfisher that zipped to and fro.
The usual range of common wayside birds were noted here including more singing Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, Bullfinch, several Buzzards and a Kestrel. The Marsh Frogs were in good voice and several Peacock butterflies floated by.
Scotney - Down on the coast it was much cooler due to a brisk wind coming off the Channel. On the front pits Redshank, Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher were all logged, plus Green Sandpiper and Avocets out back. The Black-headed Gull colony was under starters orders along with several Med Gulls. Other birds of note included Shelducks, Dabchick, Little Egret, Skylark, Corn Bunting and  Marsh Harrier.

                                Spring calves

On the way back to Plovers we called in at the Lydd Army camp where a Little Owl showed by the watch tower. We were less successful at Boulderwall pools where neither Garganey or Ring-necked Duck could be located.


  1. Hi Paul,

    Where do you park and stand to view the little owl ? Where do you park and stand to view the Ringed plover ?



    1. Also, where do you park and stand to view the med Gulls ? Are they easy to pick out and will they be present for a long time now ?


  2. Hi James, the Little Owls are usually around the two watch towers near the Lydd end of the range road. As for the Med Gulls at Scotney, park at the farm entrance and walk through the farmyard and out back, turning left to the pits with islands. The Meds are usually in the Black-headed Gull colony, but much better to visit Rye Harbour where there are many more. Good luck.

  3. Is the farmyard pit on the left the main large pit ? Do you park just off the main road and then walk down that track leading to the farm and then turn left to view the pit? How many Ringed plover were there ?

  4. There is limited parking at the farm entrance by the cycle track, so park considerately such that farm vehicles are not restricted. The pit with breeding gulls is through the farm yard, turning left, for about half a mile. Ringed Plovers can be encountered anywhere around the lakeside margins or sheep folds.