Monday, 29 August 2011

Kingsdown to Hope Point

It was pretty chilly when I started this morning but at least the sun was shining and the wind was gentle (to start with). Since there was nothing moving on the sea I immediately went up onto Kingsdown Leas.
Over the golf course car park there was a sizable flock of hirundines – swallows, house and sand martins and a few swifts and in the first set of bushes a dunnock was dozing.
Dozing Dunnock
Whilst I was looking at the hirundines a sparrow hawk flew down the road but it was too quick to get a picture.
However from there to Hope Bay Cottage it was very quiet with just a few whitethroats, chiffs and willow warblers though I did see a red legged partridge. A pair of these have been around this area for about 2 years but I thought they had gone as I haven’t seen them since early spring.
Red-legged Partridge
In the gardens around Hope bay cottage things were decidedly livelier – mainly common whitethroats plus more chiffs, willow warblers, blackcaps, a few robins and 2 bullfinch.
Common Whitethroat

I was watching/listening to a pair of chiffs when this came into view:
Willow Warbler

However I think this is a willow warbler but it’s very worn if it is – or perhaps I’ve just got too used to looking at juveniles.
Along to Hope Bay itself and more of the above plus 3 sedge warblers, a reed warbler (perhaps 2) and a few lesser whitethroats. Again I failed to get a shot of the lesser.
Whilst sitting there the Bock Hill mob turned up (Jack, Phil, Brendan and Malcolm and Brendan found a gropper (I never saw it) though I did grab a picture of a passing kestrel.

Steve Coates (“Kingsdowner”) also turned up and all of us made our way back towards Kingsdown re-checking the scrub. Nothing new was found though I did spot Steve and Jack behaving strangely – perhaps it’s some sort of initiation for entry into the Bockhill Birding fraternity.
Steve and Jack - looks a bit dubious to me.

Over the last few days blackcaps numbers have increased as have chiffs but willow warblers and lesser whitethroats have decreased. Common whitethroats are holding steady. Winter draws near!


  1. Yeah I'm a bit worried about Steve too as ever since he last visited Pegwell he's started to think he's a Cocker Spaniel. Your wonderfully clear photo (I've had a change of heart on the blurry front) goes some way to proving this fact. Just as well there wasn't a lamp post about I say. Jack's probably juts taking him our for 'walkies' ...

  2. Oh yeah ... I am so happy you 'finally' got the Curley Sand photos ... not for you ... oh no ... for me as no doubt now my ears won't get such a bashing every time I report any Curlies on our classier side of the river Stour.