Thursday, 8 April 2021

Summer arrived this morning

 0615 - 0825 some cloud to start, clouding over, cool but warming slightly

Early Bluebells over in the eastern woodlands...

My first two Swallows of the year was a cheery sight.....all that way south and all the way back north....what an amazing journey they must have had....

At least 25 Chiffchaffs on site.....15++ Blackcaps singing.....a Whitethroat was at warbler corner and a Willow Warbler on the western side of West Pit.....

Whitethroat

A Willow Warbler has moved in on the western side of West Pit, one of their usual locations....

2 Mandarin Duck flew over as did 2 Med Gulls......16 Shoveller were on Middle Pit, one of the highest counts over the past few months....

A Cettis Warbler was singing at East Pit....then at Middle Pit....on my return it was at East Pit.....or is it two?....is one passing by on the way somewhere else.....Cettis seems a species difficult to keep up to speed with here as im sure there have been up to 3 on site in past springtimes only to reduce to one....

A Barn Owl was hunting on North Field.....

Coltsfoot already going to seed....

All the usual others were there in support....Blackbird, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Song Thrush, Magpie, Jay, Crow, Buzzard, Jackdaw, Robin, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Goldcrest, Song Thrush, Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Little Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker and more....

Monday, 29 March 2021

Windy

 28 March....wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiindy visit to site.....0645 - 0845 cold and bloomin' breezy as breezy can be....


So....not a huge amount to report really.....at leat 12 Chiffchaffs settling on site....found a pair of Yellowhammers, very nice......Reed Buntings singing....Skylark and a solitary Meadow Pipit on north field.....

Greyalgs and Canadas out on the fields south of the pits....a Little Egret hunched out of the wind....

Not many ducks around....a few Tufted.....Mallards.....a Mandarin went by....the usual 12 Shovellers.....a single female Goldeneye on Middle Pit....

Other than that a few Great Spots knocking away....a Nuthatch near the main gate.....the paddocks heald their usual array of Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Starlings and a Greenfinch was there too....

Near the car a pair of Mistle Thrush was great to see and its been a good area for them over the years....

White Dead-nettle

Here are a couple from my misty visit the other day.....

Great-crested Grebe

...and here is what they have been doing, clearing the bridges and painting the barriers bright yellow....times are changing.....



Wednesday, 24 March 2021

The famous final scene

 0745 - 0930 misty becmoing sunny, cool but warming....

Well...maybe not the final scene....but today there was a digger on site clearing the bridge and gate areas, painting the metal bright yellow so the dumper drivers would be able to see the barriers better.....I spoke to the driver and he reckoned that within a few weeks, a month, there would be a lot more vehicular activity and they would be looking to commence taking away aggregate etc....

Im guessing there will have to be some infrastructure put in place...weigh bridge etc....to allow things to happen....but it looks like they are finally getting it together....so it could be an interesting few years to come....access will be limited the more they use the site....the origianl plan was to be working 6 days a week....so visits may have to be worked around early mornings and sundays.....

Perhaps it could finally be the time to find a differnt local place for birding then....

Today was very misty....couldnt see much on the pits....

12+ Chiffchaff singing....4 Little Egrets.....2 Mandarin Ducks.....

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

To the other side

 1030 - 1130 cold, cloudy occasional sun SSW f1-3

The other side of....Tunbridge Wells....Broadwater Warren...


A tip off from DH that he had seen a Dartford Warbler....so I headed down for a look.....sadly no Warbler for me...not helped by a work party being present exactly in the place where the bird had been seen.....ah welll....

.however...a couple of Raven went over....2 Stonechats showed well....and at least three Woodlark were signing from songposts....good views....2 Snipe flew out....

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Cold

 0745 - 1030 bright, becoming overcast, grey.....cold northerly....F1-3

Brrrrrrrrrrr......standing in that northerly going straight up yer trouser leg.....cor....glad im not on the coast is all I can say today....

Pretty much the same as yesterday.....couldnt find the male Goldeneye but 4 females there....lots of Tufted...11 Shoveler....I could hear a Mandarin calling but didnt find it....the number of Grey Heron is increasing in the local area as we head toward breeding time....

I counted 10 singing Chiffchaffs on my walk, bit longer than yesterday.....a few Reed Buntings around....on the south side of West Pit they have inadvertantly created a sort of scrape....they opened up the pit to allow water to flow in and out over a larger area that they cleared....it certainly wasnt with the intention of pleasing the wildlife but that is what it has done.....hopefully over the coming weeks it will remain wet there.....today it held half a dozen Pied Wagtails and about the same number of Meadow Pipits....Linnets were flitting around.

The Water Rail made itself known again....

Addendum....forgot to give the 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls a mention, these arrive and seem to spend some time at the pits....not sure where they breed, if its local or not, but i expect to see them over the coming weeks......and the single Common Gull amongst the large number of Black-headed.....

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Into Spring

 1100 - 1230 grey/dull, partly clearing to sun, then rain.  cool NE f1-3


Short visit today.....all last minute....had to get out for some fresh air.....and very nice it was too....even the rain wasnt that bad at the end...

4f/1m Goldeneye still present.....Kingfisher, Little Egret, 1m Pochard, 10 Shoveller, 4 Common Gull, Water Rail....

Meanwhile several Chiffchaff are now seemingly 'in place' for the the season ahead.....several singing....at least 7 found today but probably a few more....the Cettis Warbler has turned up again...or started singing again...in its usual place....I wonder if its a migrant, even if its a few miles....

A nice male Mandarin was found on the way back....these hang out in particular in a couple of places so always worth a check....

4 Buzzards were calling and flying....

Sunday, 7 March 2021

It begins.....

 7 March 2021


Havent posted for some time....hmmmm....but then I havent been for a while....but now migration has commenced....I must go more regularly...

Went in the hope of finding a Chiffchaff....amazingly I found 8....first one that was singing occasionally, then a group of four feeding together....then another two feeding....and another songster.....

Bonuses were certainly available today as well......7 Mandarin, 7 Goldeneye and a Great White Egret was joined by a Little Egret feeding in the fields south of the pits.....

Fieldfares and Redwings were still viewable, mostly  near the entrance to the pits and feeding in one of the paddocks....

Heres a pretty rubbish picture of the Egret thru my binoculars.....