Saturday, 17 November 2018

November ring - ing

Well...here we are mid November and theres not that many thrushes around....the weather is reported as warmer than usual for the time of year and its looking likely a 'warm' November will be recorded this year....all well and good....but frosts and low temperatures are whats needed to round up a few birds in to the orchards to find the apples and micro climate under the trees where food will be available....

A few Redwings ringed today along with a couple of Goldcrests....

...female....just the yellow crown...

Prized bird of the day though was this rather splendid female Sparrowhawk….


The last thing some birds see as its standing over them.....


A couple of retained secondaries and some chestnut fringing on the lesser coverts gave away that this bird has yet to attain adult status despite the bright yellow eye....



Saturday, 3 November 2018

Red ringing

First ringing session for the winter, though the site isn't fully set up yet....

Red was th colour of the sky as the sun rose this morning....very nice....followed by my nose and fingers as it was so cold with a frost.....

Then the red birds turned up....

Redwings....



….and this rather splendid Redpoll....



Thursday, 1 November 2018

Athens

A few....family....days in Athens a week or so ago....nice weather.....nice food.....nice ice cream....all the 'good' birds have already made off south, so its just the usual birds for now....not that I got to see many as very little time to get out other than visiting places....

At the ice cream shop....these House Sparrows were making the most of some free food outside....


...as you would expect....Feral Pigeons in numbers....heres one for example...other numbers included 100...


At the Acropolis....this Magpie wasn't impressed...


...still at the Acropolis....Painted Lady....


….other birds included Collared Dove and the seemingly ever present....Sardinian Warbler...

Sunday, 16 September 2018

More Moths

Set the trap Saturday night and today there were....31 in it...a bit disappointing really....but heres the highlights.....the sun was getting up when I walked out the door....and very nice it all was too....

...sun does rise....early in the morning....

Autumn moths continue....

Sallow

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Frosted Orange

Lunar Underwing

Trickle

Saturday 15 September

0900 - 1130 cool but warming, some sun SW f1-3

A meander round to see whats coming and going....lots of Chiffchaffs 'h-wheeting' around the site alongside their ever accompaniment...Blackcaps 'tak-takking'.....several of the Chiffs were inclined to song....the last hurrah before the off as they soon will be.....indeed im sure most of the ones present today were simply passing by in the pursuit of southness….

Apart from that a few ducks have arrived...the trickle of wildfowl begins....8 Tufted Ducks now and 5 Gadwall....

The Mute Swan family is still together and remains at 5 cygnets....that's a pretty good result for them...

So...whats happening with Whetsted….an update...

It seems that the pits will not be drained....mostly due to the poor quality aggregate present....the plan seems to be from October-ish to make camp and start the long....years!!...process of getting aggregate from the pits at Postern and Hartlake and drag it back to be 'processed' at the Whetsted/Stone Castle end...

It also appears the concrete plant will not be happening though other plant probably will...

Whatever happens its likely the pits will be out of action from a birding perspective for a good number of years as they will probably be working 6 days per week with heavy machinery.....there are, however, a couple of decent warbler areas that should not be affected.

Also, with the pits not being drained many ducks should be happy to return and over winter....however....Shovelers tend to be quite flighty so may not settle with the continual  disturbance....

There are other possibilities on the table and there are meetings with the Borough councils  still to take place....(both Tonbidge and Tunbridge Wells Councils are involved as the border between the two crosses the site.....)….

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Buzzards

A few Buzzards around the house here in Pembury at the moment....6 so far today....4 very high up and heading slowly west....and 2 quite low over the house....low enough for me to get, for me, a reasonable picture....




Some birds are more equal than others

…and some...moths....

Busy few days out n about early.....off ringing last Friday....and a nice over 90 ringed for the morning.....lots of migration obviously....however....the site I went to which is organised by a friend of mine, has had low numbers of Willow Warblers this year....well down on previous years totals...have they gone straight out?  Are they to come?  Is migration running a bit late.....

Sylvia warblers are trickling through with the big numbers yet to come along with Chiffchaffs.....

I ringed this bird....a real treat....



Nightingale

I haven't ringed one of these for a few years now so this one turning up was a grand affair....sure...its a 'brown' bird...but the first time I saw one in the hand and saw that tail colour....it wowed me then and wows me now....this bird is much more equal than others....!

A couple of nights with the moth trap on produced good numbers there too....around 90 each night...

The first one is interesting as here in the south we see it as more of an autumnal moth, appearing from August onward.....however....ooop north its a summer moth appearing a couple of months previous...

Centre-barred Sallow, Atethmia centrago

Oak-hook Tip, Watsonalla binaria

….and from last night some micros rather than macros....

Light-brown Apple Moth, Epiphyas postvittana

Evergestis limbata

...and...er….heres one of those bird-poo moths.....

Garden Rose Tortrix, Acleris variegana

Moving from the night time fliers to the daytime fliers...butterflies....well...one butterfly....this was in the garden yesterday, cant recall seeing one before unless ive missed it....

Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas

Now....heres a treat....if you've got this far in the post....going back to ringing....and back to my friend Graemes ringing site not too far from here....this turned up....and this really is more equal than other birds....especially in ringing terms....

Ortolon Bunting