Tuesday, 20 June 2017

20th June 2017

Just a post to prove we are still here really. Jack and I were out in the brisk NNE wind which kept the temperature a little more palatable but we didn't see much between 10.30 and 13.00. 50 Swifts were moving into the wind and a couple of Gannet offshore.

At the weekend Phil had a Reed Warbler singing at Bockhill and there have been a few Hummingbird Hawk-moths across the area. Tawny Owls are vocal at night in Kingsdown and the Pyramidal Orchids have been out for a while. Roll on August!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

8th June 2017

Following a phone call from Brendan it was off to Deal Pier today to look at more European Storm Petrels. Brendan had already had 12 sightings including four together before Jack and I turned up at 10.00. Between then and 12.00 we managed to see four more, two Little Terns and seven Manx Shearwaters.

European Storm Petrels - Gerald Segelbacher 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

7th June 2017

Following the strong WSW winds and rain of yesterday, the wind was still strong, the waves were quite high and it was no surprise that in a quick visit to St. Margaret's Bay 10.30 - 11.00 there were 2 European Storm Petrels, including one lingering quite close and seven Manx Shearwaters down channel. A Common Scoter was in The Bay also. These were our first 'stormies' since similar conditions in 2006.

Brendan and Julian continued to watch in The Bay until 13.30 and added two more European Storm Petrels, 24 Manx Shearwaters and a Black Tern.

Nigel looked from the beach in Kingsdown in the afternoon and had another European Storm Petrel.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

6th June 2017

Very strong WSW winds with heavy rain and showers made it an unpleasant morning. Between 06.00 and 10.00 Nigel in Kingsdown, Jack and I in The Bay estimated 700 Swifts moving into the wind. Offshore there were 30 Gannets but visibility was very poor.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

4 June 2017

A walk in the sunshine from Kingsdown to Hope Point for Jack, Phil, Richard and Nigel. We didn't get close to matching yesterday. In a strengthening westerly there were three Red Kites early on over the golf course, four Ravens and 30 Swifts. It was the insects that provided the highlights with Small Blues, Adonis Blues and a Red-veined Darter of most interest.

Small Blue - Nigel Jarman

Adonis Blue - Nigel Jarman

Red-veined Darter (female) - Nigel Jarman

Saturday, 3 June 2017

3rd June 2017

Phil and I took a walk along the cliff top to Kingsdown Leas early this morning in a light W to WNW wind. We started with a Hobby over The Paddock, two Mediterranean Gulls out to sea and four Ravens on the fence along the cliff top field. Whilst watching a group of 10 House Martins and 20 Swifts in front of Ship House a juvenile Stonechat flew past us, alighted briefly and carried on towards Kingsdown. At 7.30 the Herring Gulls started calling, alerting us that there may be a raptor above us. 15 minutes later Phil picked up a Black Kite being mobbed by gulls over The Rough and we watched it for the next 10 minutes as it slowly gained height and drifted west. Later there were two Red Kites over the golf course and the morning finished with four Buzzards over Kingsdown and another Hobby.

Mid-afternoon between Nigel on Kingsdown Beach and Gerald in Walmer there were 15 Red Kites moving. Then at 15.58 in Kingsdown, whilst in his garden, Nigel had a Red-rumped Swallow over heading west. A pretty good start to the summer!

Red Kite - Nigel Jarman

The area around The Bluebird Tea Room was looking a little different today with a film crew in residence. They wouldn't tell us what was being filmed.

We thought we did well for Red Kites until Bob Gomes rang and told us that from 14:20 - 15:54 he had 104 W whilst sitting in his garden at Graveney.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

29th May 2017

Another very quiet day with 1 Grey Plover and 17 Swifts for our efforts.
2 Harbour Porpoises offshore.

28th May 2017

Standing at the vis-mig spot in sunny, cyclonic weather, Jack, Richard, Nigel & Phil had very little!
One Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, and 2 Buzzards were the highlight, with 7 Swifts and a Sand Martin moving down channel. 2 Harbour Porpoises entertained us and this newly-emerged Emperor dried itself in the grass.

Emperor - Nigel Jarman

Thursday, 25 May 2017

25 May 2017

Another day, another Red Kite. This one over the house at 0710, drifting South.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

24th May 2017

Looks like it could be a raptor day. 12 Red Kites came in at Kingsdown, drifted over the school and headed out towards Bockhill just after 08.00. Shortly after they joined another group and there were approximately 25 over The Monument, although distant when watching from Kingsdown, that appeared to head out towards Dover.

The photo below was taken with my iPhone and shows 11 of the initial 12.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Monday, 22 May 2017

22nd May 2017

A Hornet flew around the house in Kingsdown this afternoon. No birds, but at least it's warm.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

21st May 2017

For a couple of hours Malcolm and I stood on the cliff-top and had nothing of note apart from a female Marsh Harrier in off the sea, 2 Shelduck upchannel and a steady trickle of Swallows SW.