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

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Phyllosc day

0800 - 1030 overcast, brightening, calm, warm

I thought I would call in a bit later than the other day as it was so quiet last time out.  Arrived a bit later than I would have liked but....

...it seemed to prove the right thing to have accidentally done.....Phyllosc warblers everywhere....h-weating continually....most of them Chiffchaffs but Willow Warblers amongst them...

Their travel buddies...Blackcaps....were also around but nowhere near the same numbers.....a good number of Whitethroat were present as well...

3 Buzzards were at the quarry area....juvenile and 2 adults....the other raptor today was unexpected....Sparrowhawk…..they are only occasional visitors to the site so always nice to see....well...unless youre a small bird I suppose...

Talking of the quarry area.....the other day I mentioned a large flock of Goldfinches....today I found them in the same Oak tree which is on the edge of the field just south of the quarry area....this field has been left alone this year....perhaps something to do with the ongoing goings on at the gravel pit....or maybe some kind of set aside project by the farmer....either way its a good move for the birds and the finches are clearly making the most of the weeds that are now seeding....if left alone it could be a valuable resource over the coming winter...today about 50 Goldfinches....

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Early Autumn

0600 - 0730 cool....WSW f1-3 bright but clouding....

Sun was about to pop over the hedgerow when I got to site....and very nice it looked too...


It was very cool....perhaps surprisingly so....I had to put my hat on....and a light coat....or am I just getting to old for this...

Anyway....some berries and fruits seemed to have liked the hot couple of weeks and popped along earlier than usual in the ripe department....sloe-ly for others...but not this beauty just about ready for the gin....


The early morning rays gave me amazing powers to appear twenty feet tall with long legs....


All this is leading to....you got it....not much happening on site....it took a while for the birds to liven up a bit...a number of Chiffchaffs 'h-wheating' around the site, accompanied by their travel buddies.....Blackcaps tak-tak….

A few Tufted Ducks have appeared, joining the usual Coots and Moorhens….a juvenile Great Crested Grebe was still worrying one of its parents for food....it must be a long hard job being mum or dad to one of them....

Grey Heron was located in the ditch that was cleared a few weeks ago....

Best bird on site was Green Sandpiper which was heading to the West Pit as I was heading back east....

Todays raptors were the standard Kestrel and Buzzard....

At the quarry area what initially appeared as a few Goldfinch juveniles flew to a tree...


….though it turned out to be a count of 61....im sure I missed a few as well in the tree....probably the best number ive ever found on site...


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

In Oare...or not...though eventually

Well I went to Oare...or tried to go to Oare…..yes I got there....finally....but what a journey...

Coming off the M2 I found the Faversham road I needed was closed and a diversion in place which headed....South!??....for miles.....so I dumped it after a while and went West to link up with the Doddington road heading back North to the reserve.....so that added half an hour to my journey....quite why they couldn't get people off the M2 earlier to use the A2.....

A frustrating start.....which ruined the whole thing really.....stressed at wasted time and knowing that there wouldn't really be that much at the reserve and knowing this was one of the few opportunities I would get to make it out for some birding.....thanks for the diversion and wasted time....

So only spent a couple of hours at Oare...and instead of arriving when it got light it was well past that and very light by the time I arrived....

A few birds were around....

Ruff, Whimbrel, Curlew, Godwits, Snipe, Golden Plover, Reed Warbler, Meadow Pipit, Little Egret, Dunlin, Redshank, Bearded Tit,, Peregrine Falcon, Buzzard, Wagtails and a few other bits.....

Heres a few pics....even writing this post is annoying after the diversion experience...so....time to move on...