Thursday 11 May 2023

Turtle Doves and Nightingales

 Warm, dry and sunny, W2 - Day two guiding for Mark and Maria commenced on the Marsh searching for farmland birds with a singing Corn Bunting along Caldecote Lane, Lydd a good start. The Dowels near Kenardington duly delivered the surprise of the morning in the form of a Red Kite being mobbed by corvids near the railway crossing. The target bird here was Turtle Dove with plenty of `purring` and good views of up to five birds perched and in flight along the lane, alongside several other local birders who also had the same idea (Dave, Colin and Linda). A singing Nightingale went unseen in thick scrub in contrast to some showy Yellowhammers, while Cuckoo, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzards, Bullfinch, Blackcap, Common and Lesser Whitethroats and Cetti`s Warbler were all noted. Moving onto Orlestone Forest where the highlights were five more Nightingales, two Garden and Willow Warblers and another Turtle Dove. On the way back to the coast we checked out several former sites for Tree Sparrows without any luck.

                                  Yellowhammer and Turtle Dove, The Dowels

                                 Yellow Wagtail, Swallows and Corn Bunting, Scotney

The afternoon was spent at Scotney where we walked out to the ruined cottage searching for Tree Sparrows but without success; having checked a number of their former haunts across the Marsh this spring, and drawn a blank at every one, they seem to have fallen off a cliff edge. However, we did see up to 20 Yellow Wagtails, including a Channel type male, two Corn Buntings, 10 Skylarks, two Ravens and a Peregrine. The front fields and lakes were very quiet. We finished the two day bird tour on 94 species. 

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