Thursday, 29 August 2013
Monday 26th August 2013 Warm, dry and sunny. Loss of the computer for a week co-incided with a week off work, during which time I spent every morning birding come rain or shine. Now I have the computer again I will write about the last day of my late summer break, which was bank holiday Monday. The day started quite early with a walk from Shuart to plumpudding stables, and a wander along the railway embankment, hoping for a few arrivals. As it turned out, there had been a bit of a clear out of birds, there really wasn't much around. I did have the excitement of 2 Tree Pipits calling and flying west, and there were a couple of Wheatears on the coast, plus a sprinkling of the usual warblers. All very nice, but not quite what I was hoping for. Mid morning as i was walking back to the car an alert from Birdguides told me the Bockhill birders had found a Western Bonnelli's Warbler, which would be new for Kent, so I set off in the direction of St Margarets Bay, with Matt Hindle close behind. Unfortunately when we arrived at the site we joined a small group of birders forlorngly looking at a group of trees where the warbler had been seen over an hour previously, but not since. Matt and I didn't stay long, but we did enjoy the many butterflies in the area, especially the Small Coppers. On the drive home I decided to take a detour to the KWT reserve at Temple-Ewell to look for butterflies, my first visit this year. Walking up the hill through the chalky meadows i could see many Chalkhill Blues, some very tatty but others looking pristine.
Sunday, 11 August 2013
Sunday 11th August 2013. Warm, dry with a westerly breeze. I had planned to meet Tim Hodge this morning for a walk around Reculver to look for waders, especially having heard of a Wood Sandpiper being seen yesterday at Reculver. Just before leaving the house Chris Hindle kindly text me to say there were 2 Wood Sandpipers in Coldharbour lagoon. I've only ever had fly-over Wood Sands at Reculver, there isn't really a great deal of suitable habitat to attract them to land, and even Tim said he's never seen one actually in the saline lagoon at Coldharbour. Waders don't normally stay long in the lagoon as the public path runs alongside, and the cyclists in brightly coloured attire, and the joggers and dog-walkers usually flush everything away by mid morning, but not today. When we arrived about 9 o'clock there were 2 rather splendid Wood Sandpipers at the eastern end of the lagoon, along with 2 Common Sandpipers and 6 Dunlin, all giving good views.
Monday, 22 July 2013
Saturday 20th July 2013. Warm, dry and some sunshine. I set off to Thursley with Patrick Giles and Marc Heath for company, all three of us hoping for a hot sunny day and plenty of dragonflies to enjoy on our day trip away from Kent. The weather all week had been perfect, but our visit co-incided with an increase in wind and cloud. At least on arrival we had some sun to get us started, and pretty soon at the Moat lake we were all enjoying a variety of dragonflies not seen, or uncommon in Kent, although the most common dragonfly was Four-spotted Chaser, they were everywhere. We each had a target we wanted to see, and mine was Black Darter, the male in particular looking really smart, so I was quite excited when Marc called me over to see a lovely female:
Sunday, 14 July 2013
Sunday 14th July 2013. Another hot day and with the wife at work I decided to have a stroll down to Westbere to have a look for Scarce Chasers. I didn't see them at the start of summer in their splendid firey-orange/brown immature colours, but the adult males are still quite smart. The first dragonfly I saw as I strolled along the path beside the lake, heading south to the river, was a rather nice Brown Hawker, twisting and looping after insects. A little further on I saw a medium-sized hawker briefly out the corner of my eye, and it appeared light brown with pale green eyes. It was gone in a flash along a dyke behind some tall reeds, and despite hanging around a while I couldn't relocate it. With such a brief view I was reluctant to put any news out, but I needn't have worried because a bit further on patrolling the dyke on the other side of the path was an adult Norfolk Hawker, giving excellent views.
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Wednesday 10th July. What started out a nice sunny morning soon turned grey and chilly when the n/e wind brought cloud in off the coast. In the afternoon I took a drive over to Wye, where the sun was just about breaking through the low cloud, and a sheltered spot along the walk had good numbers and variety of butterflies, including Large Skipper and Small Heath.
Monday 8th July. Warm, sunny and the continuing n/e breeze. Despite having the day off work, home life restriced my opporunities to get out in the sun. Eventually I managed a walk in Church Woods behind the house, and although I only had a couple of hours it was lovely to be outdoors. The butterflies were restricted in variety, but plentiful in numbers, with many Ringlets and Meadow Browns in the verge grasses and ferns. I was hoping to see some Heath Fritillaries again this year, and in the same spot as the last couple of years there were a few easily seen, but not the large numbers seen in other local woods. However, what was rather pleasing on the wander round the woods was coming across more Heath Fritillaries in 3 more areas of the woods I've not seen them I before. The habitat now looks prefect and it's obvious the woods are being managed to encourage them to colonise. I also saw a few Speckled Woods, Common Blues and a single Common Darter.
Sunday, 7 July 2013
Sunday 7th July 2013. Very warm, sunny and a stiff n/e breeze. A quick look at the new garden pond this morning on the way out to meet Tim at Thornden Woods and a female Broad-bodied Chaser flew round without stopping long. We had a short stroll to watch the Heath Fritillaries enjoying the hot sun. We saw our first Ringlets of the year, plus there were a few Large Skippers and Meadow Browns.