Monday, 2 May 2022

0500 o'clock!!

 Early morning visit to Whetsted....

0500 - 0820 cool, hazy, clouding thickening, light breeze

The last visit provided most of the warblers in small numbers as they began to trickle in from far away places...today the bigger numbers are present with probably a few more to arrive over the coming couple of weeks as we move in to May....

Nightingale                15

Willow Warbler         1

Garden Warbler          9

Lesser Whitethroat     4

Whitethroat                19+

Chiffchaff                  26+

Blackcap                    25+

Cettis Warbler            3

Reed/Sedge Warblers    many


Other species

Turtle Dove                 1

Cuckoo                        1

Mandarin Duck            1

Swallow                        5

Yellowhammer             2

Lapwing                       2

Lessr Black-backed Gulls    3.....2 adults, 1 immature


Ant the bonus.....spot the warbler....



Wednesday, 20 April 2022

April 20th

 ...and to Whetsted.....

...with the mass of Nightingales across south western Spain over the past couple of weeks and having passed the initial arrival dates at Whetsted during that time....it must be time to see whats arrived....

0800 - 1200 cool NE wind, hot in the sun out of the wind, mostly blue sky

Met DH on site and went in search of warblers....it was very quiet on the eastern side, where, to be honest, I had expected to find one or two Nightingales singing....but....nothing....

Eventually we found our first at Oak corner on the edge of North field....DH picked up our first Whitethroat as well and almost immediately I heard the familiar quavering call of a Lesser Whitethroat....the rest of the time was spent meandering to see what had turned up and thinking that perhaps April 20th is the 'to' date to find warblers newly arrived....

4 Nightingale

5 Lesser Whitethroat

10+ Whitethroat

4 Reed Warbler

1 Willow Warbler

2 Cettis Warbler

Chiffchaff...........loads....50+

Blackcap...........loads.....35+

1 Cuckoo


1 Mistle Thrush

To the Sun....Seville....Cordoba.....Ronda....Matalascanas

Trip to Spain

A very happy ten days away from the cold UK.....although the weather is not guaranteed in Spain during the spring there are a couple of things to note.....

First....spring flowers....and how green it is....as they come out of their winter.....their season is obviously ahead of ours here in the UK....so there was a fine display of flowers as well as all the birds in action...doing what birds do....we dont usually get to see such greenery an flowers as we arrive in the height of the Spanish summer when everything has been desicated by the heat....

Second....cant remember....but if I do I will come back to it...

So...the bird list....remembering it was a family holiday I did get to visit some lovely places with them and without them (theres a song in there somewhere)....

My favourite sightings are in red.....lifers in blue....Swifts....probably both Pallid and Common for sure but telling the difference....so ive gone for Swift sp.....


Feral Pigeon        Spotless Starling    House Sparrow    Greenfinch        Swift        House Martin

Collared Dove    Monk Parakeet        Mallard                Ring-neck Parakeet            Sardinian Warbler

Goldfinch            Spanish Sparrow    Jackdaw                Lesser Kestrel                    Hoopoe    

Corn Bunting        Linnet                    White Stork        Orphean Warbler                Woodchat Shrike

Thekla Lark          Zitting Cisticola    Stonechat            Cettis Warbler       Little Egret

Black-crowned Night Heron                Grey Heron        Nightingale            Chaffinch

Reed Warbler        Cattle Egret            Blackcap            Serin                        Cormorant

Grey Wagtail        Great White Egret    Squacco Heron    Glossy Ibis            Griffon Vulture

Willow Warbler    Short-toed Eagle        Egyptian Vulture           Chough        Crag Martin

Jay                        Wren                          Blue Tit            Common Sandpiper    Booted Eagle

Blue Rock Thrush        Bee-eater            Black Wheatear    Nightjar                Cuckoo

Collared Pratincole    Red-rumped Swallow    Barn Swallow   Melodious Warbler

Black-winged Stilt    Coot                    Spoonbill                Red Kite            Black Kite

Shoveller                    Black Tern            Magpie                Golden Oriole        Red-crested Pochard

Pochard                    Little Grebe            Purple Swamphen        Purple Heron        Savis Warbler

Short-toed Treecreeper    Chiffchaff      Azure-winged Magpie    Garden Warbler

Kingfisher                Turtle Dove            Moorhen                Marsh Warbler        Marsh Harrier


Several highlights.....

.......climbing to the top of a mountain to see Griffon Vultures close up, passing just a few feet away....majestic.....

....the number of Black Terns and Black Kites at El Rocio....amazing....and passing overhead without worry....

...both species of Parakeet in Seville...probably the noise of Seville really....dominated everywhere....to hear it at most turns of the street was great....

...Hoopoes, White Storks...always great to catch up with and see on such regularity....

.....the adult male Woodchat Shrike sitting in a small bush allowing spectacular views.....

...the first real 'sighting' of a Savis Warbler....took an hour of patience standing, listening to it reeling which ive heard in places before, so technically not a lifer....but it sat out in the open for a few minutes eventually.....stunning....

....Marsh Warbler...never really having identified these on my own, it was so obviously no other warbler....

....Lesser Kestrel....one of the aims of the trip to Seville....oddly once I had caught up with them there I began to see them at every tower in other towns and villages....great....

...the large flock of Azure-winged Magpies.....I only saw them in one place on one occasion....but there must have been 50-100 in one flock.....

Photos.....not all good....not all named....first, birds....

Monk Parakeet

?....Rock Dove...?

Jackdaw

Spotless Starling

Bee-eater

Woodchat Shrike

Chough


Night Heron

Spoonbill

Glossy Ibis

Stilt

Purple Heron...colour is better in the reflection....

Purple Swamphen

Savi's Warbler


...and now....plants and other animals....

...plenty of these around....big and buzzy....





Poppy....



....looks like Toadflax....



...a big beetle....lovely....





Friday, 1 April 2022

 30th March.......before the cold comes in

Wet under foot, it having been....er....wet....with potential rain forecast but DH said lets go anyway...so...we went....

....and what did we see.....

Chiffchaff 30+

Blackcap 5+

5 Goldeneye were still present....3 f 2m....

Reasonable number of Shoveller and Gadwall and Tufted Ducks....a few Canada and Greylag Geese....

Finally picked up both Pied and Grey Wagtail on site which was nice.....

Saturday, 26 March 2022

Frost

 0545 - 0800 Frosty, cold to start....E f1

Cold start with a frost....though its still only March....

Sun does rise.....early in the morning....

Plenty of Chiffchaffs around....30+.........

Spot the Chiffchaff.....

...........and nice to find a Blackcap singing at the copse along the straight...

5 Goldeneye now present....2 males and 3 females....one pair displaying nicely....shouldnt be too long before they are off north....

Great White Egret flew over heading south-east....a pair of MIstle Thrushes were at the quarry area.....


In bloom....Spring is here....

2 Cettis Warblers, one in its usual place behind Midle Pit and the other by the bridge at the eastern end of  Island Pit...


Friday, 18 March 2022

The Lacking

 Whetsted GP.....blue skies...a few clouds, cool to warm, ESE f2-3

So what is lacking.....well...to start there is a lack of platic bags in that field....there are now just a few....make no mistake the farmer, feeling guilty, didnt wake up one night thinking I had better get those plastic bags in....im pretty sure by now they are over the hedge and far away....so dont worry about all that plastic in the seas and abroad your local farmer is doing a grand job depositing it around the countryside for you....

Skylarks....there are none singing up on North Field.....thankfully I heard three out in the fields to the south of the pits....I can only assume the cutting of the field has moved them away and I hope some return....

Wagtails....before vehicles started moving around the site it was possible to find Pied Wagtails regularly around the quarry area on the concrete apron, especially after it had rained....I cant recall having seen one there for a considerable period of time.....you could also find them along the track at the various puddles....

Grey Wagtails....you could find these reasonably regularly along the track near or with the Pied Wagtails feeding around the puddles....

....so...what changed....has the machinery moving around, which has created more puddles, put them off...or are the puddle contaminated and dead.....

Grey Herons....in the past couple of visits I have only seen one each time....there was a Heronry north of the site so this time of year I could count up to 13 birds around the site....

Its all intriguing.....will have to see what happens through Spring....

Todays visit produced many of the expected birds.....Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Jay, Shoveler, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard etc...

We are now up to two warbler species.....

Chiffchaff 20+

Cettis Warbler 1

2 Egyptian Geese were present, 4 Goldeneye, 1m 3f, 1 Lapwing

Other than that a few Peacock butterflies were around and I saw one Brimstone.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

To Bedgebury

 A lovely sunny day....warm....so....better get out....


DH popped round for a trip over to Bedgebury....somewhere we dont go too often but as we hadnt been for some time it was worth a look round....

....nice bit of blue sky and herringbone cloud.....

The alder and silver birches just above the cafe produced several Siskin straight away....a Chiffchaff was chiffing the far side of the csr park but joined us soon after.

We meandered to the arboretum and beyond for two to three hours.....

I think this is the snake from the Gruffalo and not Superworm....

The highlights of the trip were 2 Firecrest showing really well and two Ravens that 'kronk-kronked' for a majority of the time we were there....

Other than that all the usual suspects were present....Coal, Blue and Great Tit, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Cormorants, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Greylag/Canada Geese, Jay, Crow, Magpie, Firecrest, Treecreeper.....and others.....

By the time we had wandered round we probably heard around 6 Chiffchaff....