Thursday, 13 October 2011

Have we upset the man up there?

The omens looked good – the weather had moved into the east, it was overcast, so today was the day to be in East Kent .......NOT.
Kent did enjoyed the pleasure of a couple of yellow browed warblers and a similar number of ring ouzels whereas Suffolk had great grey shrikes in every bush, a woodchat shrike, a red flanked blue tail, a host of YBWs oh yes and an Isabelline wheatear. Someone up there doesn’t like Kent.
Enough of the rant.
 I only had an hour this morning so I stayed local and did a sea watch from the rifle range at Kingsdown. From the off there was a good movement of Brents (680 all told south and 37 north).
Brent Geese
A few ducks were seen – a shelduck north, 2 teal south, 2 wigeon south and 12 scoter (6 s and 6 n). There were also a number of ducks I couldn’t id. I also had 3 little egret south first thing, 2 divers south (assumed to be red throated) and there were a few gannet way out. Bird of the day was a grebe but I’m not totally sure what it was. It was not a gt crested or a little grebe that’s for certain. It had a white on the trailing edge of the wings and this was confined to the secondaries - it did not extend into the primaries.  However I didn’t notice any white on the leading edge of the wing. Whilst there was no other birds near the grebe  it did appear quite large and was flying strongly and rapidly south. Overall I think it was a juvenile red necked but I’m not totally certain (the other possibility being a juvenile slavonian though I think it was too large for that).  For once I actually tried to look at the bird rather than take a picture but I’m now regretting that decision.
I did see about 20 passerines going south low ever the water but not sure what they were – mippits was my best guess.
Nothing was seen or heard moving on land though I was at the bottom of the cliff and any movement along the cliff top would have been invisible. A peregrine did pass by overhead and buzzed a crow a couple of times but the light was crap (or should I say the dark was incomplete?)

After lunch I ventured out again looking along Undercliff for warblers then along the cliff top to Hope Point.
Nothing much seemed to be moving on the sea by this time but there was a steady movement of goldfinches (230 counted between 1 and 3pm) – all going north in flocks of 20-30. The only other miggers were a few pied wags.
All I found in the bushes were chiffchaff (~15), a few blackcaps and 5 goldcrests and at Hope point a lone female stonechat.

As I made my way back to Kingsdown a 2 kestrels were hanging in the wind over the cliffs occasionally diving to below the cliff edge. After one such dive one of them reappeared right in front of me but I was too slow with the camera............
Rear end of a Kestrel
A peregrine also drifted slowly north over the top of the kestrels - they took no notice at all..
And that was that....there’s always tomorrow I suppose (though I'd rather have it today and take my chance with tomorrow).
I’ve just seen that a Pallas’s warbler was found at Reculver and a grey phalarope at Pegwell but it's my blog and I’m not going to retract my rant!!!


  1. I thought there was going to be a bit more around, hopefully the next couple of days will turn up a few bits and pieces?