Dungeness 13/01/2018

Today was our best day at Dungeness so far with a great selection of birds.

From the ARC hide a Kingfisher was sitting on a branch and we watched it fly back and forth.  A Great White Egret was hunting in the reeds at the far side and a Marsh Harrier flew over.

KingfisherKingfisher

On the walk out we had a Sparrow Hawk glide across in front of us and  at the entrance to the reserve the Tree Sparrows were feeding.

At the beach we had lots of different species which we had not seen there before including, close views of Red Throated Diver, Gannet, Razorbill, Little Auk, Guillmot and Great Crested Grebes.

On the Reserve were various ducks including, Gadwall and Shovler.  We managed to also see Smew, Goosander and Goldeneye swimming about.

GadwallGadwall

 At the Denge Hide a Black Throated Diver swam close by and I managed to a get a photo.

Black Necked DiverBlack Throated Diver

Under the metal plates we saw three Voles running about.

VoleVole

We ventured out to the Laid Pitts and found a Slavinian Grebe and had help finding a Long Tailed Duck.

At the end of the day we were back at the ARC Hide and witnessed 38 Bewick Swans swoop in for the evening.  I had an exceptional day and are now on 103 for my year list.

 

A New Year 2018

Last year I managed to see 187 birds, can 2018 be the year that I see over 200?

An early start at Rainham Marshes and heard a Kingfisher and a Ring Necked Parakeet flew over.  On the walk to Averly Bay we have Water, Rock and Meadow Pipits.

There was a good selection of gulls including, Caspien, Yellow Legged, Great Black Backed, Lesser Black Backed, Black Headed and Herring Gulls.

A flock of Canada Geese flew over with Dunlin and Lapwings flying across the over side of the Thames.  In the bay we saw Avocet and Curlew flew over.

Canada Geese FlyingCanada Geese Flying

When we was heading into Rainham a Fieldfare was eating berries in a bush.

FieldfareFieldfare

Walking round with heard Bearded Tits ping and saw them hunting for food in the reeds.  From the Butts Hide we had Ruff and Pintail with other ducks.

On the Pylon we had a good view of Peregrine Falcons and one chased another out of its territory.

PeregrineDigscope of Peregrine

From the platform we saw lots of Pintail together , which was a surprise and they appeared to be talking to each other.

PintailsPintail

We could see the Barn Owl in its box and also caught a Brent Goose fly down river and towards to the woods.  About 10 Snipe were hidden along the edge of the reeds from the Ken Barret Hide.

When we got near the cordite store we had the best view of a Firecrest jumping about in the ivy and bramble.  Managed to get a photo but was no that clear due to low light.

FirecrestFirecrest

Also jumping about was a Goldcrest .  In the cordite a Bullfinch was calling and we saw if fly between some trees and then disappear.

GoldcrestGoldcrest

On the walk back to the centre a Buzzard was being mobbed by a Crow and when in the centre the was a Short Eared Own in the distance.

Had a really good day and managed to see 81 one birds, thanks Howard.

 

Foot Prints in the Snow

Footprints in the snow at Chafford Hundred Gorge 10/12/2017.

Whilst playing in the snow it was fascinating to see all the different footprints in the snow.  I was surprised how big some of them were for example Coot and Moorhen.  I tried to identify them by watching them walking about.

dav

Looking out at the Gorge

dav

Moorhen footprints

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Moorhen footprints walking towards the water

dav

Mix of mostly smaller Magpie and some Mallard prints with webbed feet

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Coot (left) and Canada Geese (Right) Prints

A Day at Minsmere 16/12/17

We got up early to get to the reserve for opening and watched the sun rise on the drive there.  A Pheasant met us by the feeders in the car park, with Coal and Marsh Tits flying in and out of the feeders.  Whilst Dunnocks,  Robins and Chaffinch  hopped undeneath.

PheasantMale Pheasant

There were footprints of Deer though we are not sure which ones.

FootPrintsDeer Prints

A Squirrel was eating,with others jumping and running about in the woodland.

SquirrelGrey Squirrel

We had an excellent view of a pair of Bullfinches eating berries at the top of a bush.  The Konik Horses were feeding onthe scrapes.

Konik HorseKonik Horse

At the beachwe had a sea; bobbing its head above the waves.

SealCommon Seal

On the final walk round whilst the sun started to set we had the privilege to see Whopper Swans flying by the Isle of Mere Hide.

Isle of Mere Hide ViewView from Isle of Mere Hide

There was a Water Rail eating and hiding along the reeds,then sprinted off.  A Bearded Tit came fowardand we had the best view of a male that we have ever had.

Bearded TitBearded Tit

FInally before we left the hide a pair of Otters was swimming, playing and splashing around at the back.

On the walk back to the car we had four Red Deer walk in frout of us and they were watching us from trees.

Red Deer EyesRed Deer

At the car the Tawny Owls were calling out to each other and as we left a Muntjac Deer walk in front of us.  This was an extremely good end to the day.

 

 

 

Rainham Firecrest Hunt

Had a walk round Rainham Marhes this morning, which was cold in the wind.  Finally got to see a Firecrest after three weeks of trying.

Managed to see 60 differents birds today (25/11/17), also 60 at Kids Bird Walk last week (18/11/17) and 20 when we had a quick walk to try and find the firecrest on 12/11/17.

Highlights with a few pictures are below, had a good view of a Barn Owl in its box and  Stonechats bouncing round.

StonechatStonechat

Had quite few different birds of prey including, Marsh Harrier flying over cows, Kestrel hovering and a Sparrow Hawk hunting.

Marsh HarrierMarsh Harrier
Sparrow HawkSparrow Hawk
KestrelKestrel

Variuos ducks of which Pintail was my favourite.

PintailPintail

Waders including good view of Curlew and a Ruff from the Ken Barrett Hide.

Ruff LapwingRuff in front of a Lapwing

We had all three pipits, Meadow, Rock and excellent view of a Water from the Ken Barrett Hide.  For the keen eyed there was a Common Snipe hiding in the edge of the mud.

Robins were jumping around in the bushes with Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits.

RobinRobin

Little Egret was stalking and hunting for fish.

Little EgretLittle Egret

Had a couple good days out and about looking at the various wild life at Rainham.

 

 

Titchwell 25/10/2017

We got up early and arrived at 9am after couple hours in the car.  This was our first time to Titchwell and we started to explore hoping to see somehing new.

We walked towards the beach and saw some Redshank & Black Tailed Godwit up close.

Redshank 2

Redshank

There were lots of Curlew feeding in the grass with Brent and Pink Footed Geese on the mud.

Brent Geese

Brent Geese

We searchd through the Dunlin and enentullay managed see a Curlew Sandpiper.

Black Tailed Godwit

Black Tailed Godwit

When we got to the beach the tide was in so there was less about, but was happy to see a Red Breasted Merganser fly past.  We decieded to go back to get something to eat and then come back later to the beach.   Whilst walking we were surprised to find a Chinese Water Deer.

Chinese Water Deer

Chinese Water Deer

After luinch we took a dffierent route and was watching some Stonechat and Redstart bounding aroung in some dead trees.  There was a Common Darter, which did not mind having its photo taken.

Common Darter 2

Common Darter

Common Darter1

Common Darter

Back at the beach the tide was out and there were lots of Turnstone and  Sandling feeding.  We were helped out by a local and found Common Scoter and Red Throated Driver out at sea.

Redshank1

Redshank

It was a good day as I saw new a new Deer and birds that I had not seen before.

Rainham Marshes & Oare Marshes 14/10/17

Today we got up early and went down to Rainham Marshes for kid’s bird watching and afterwards we went to Oare Marshes to see the Wilsons Phalarope and Long Billed Dowitcher.

We went to Rainham earlier today to find something different, when we got there we started looking round.  A Ruff was wading feeding in Purfleet Pools and a Bullfinch flew over our heads.  We continued to walk down the river wall and found a Marsh Harrier flying above the reeds hunting.  It was windy and the tide was in therefore there was not much about in the bay, apart from a few gulls and a Curlew feeding.

Ruff

Ruff

When we went on the walk with Howard along the sea wall there was lots of Chaffinch and Goldfinch going up river.  There was also some Rock Pipits, Linnits and even two Siskins flying amongst them.

As we entered through the gate there were some Stonechat and we heard some Bearded Tits ping, but did not see them.  Near the Butts Hide there was a Buzzard circling and was being mobbed by some Crows.  It was a quiet day with not much about, most of the small birds were keeping out of the wind.

Stonechat

Stonechat

We left Rainham to go to Kent to see the Long Billed Dowitcher and Wilson’s Phalarope.  When we arrived there was lots of Golden Plover, Back Tailed Godwits and Redshank in the pools.  There were a few other people there and someone kindly pointed out the Phalarope.  It was following behind a Shovler eating all the creatures that the Shovler had disturbed.  We were watching it going backwards and forwards following the Shovler.

Wilsons Phalarope

Distance Wilson’s Phalarope following a Shovler

Then we turned to the little lagoon to the right and there were three Little Stints wondering round near the water edge on the mud.  There were also some Avocet, Greenshank and a Ruff wading looking for food.  We continued looking for the Dowitcher, but could not find it.  We got in the car and was just leaving when someone spotted it.  I jumped out of the car and was super lucky to see it.

Long Billed Dowitcher

Long Billed Dowitcher

It was a tremendous and lucky end to the day.