Monday, 26 April 2010


Instead of coto donana it was stodmarsh ,and dungeness, minster and langdon cliffs last week,although very disappointed at not seeing great spotted cuckoos and imperial eagles I made do with a splendid courtship display by a pair of marsh harriers at stodmarsh, a fine flock of whimbrel at dungeness,swallows and house martins at minster and reed bunting and yellowhammer on the cliffs.The moth traps have been pretty quiet with only a nut tree tussock and a muslin moth new for the year.Checking my records for this year it is amazing I havent seen a single guillemot this winter and only one razorbill,has anyone else had similar experiences with auks?On the butterfly front have seen my first small copper and speckled wood this week.

I should have been in sunny spain last week but thanks to volcanic dust I could not go,so I went back through my archives to 2006 when Pete Wells and I last went to donana and found some pics of black winged stilt,black and white storks,spoonbill,hoopoe, and flamingo.These were taken on my first ever digi cam, a fuji5500 so they may not be as good as some you see, but they are not too bad.There are also photos of azure winged magpie and a cattle egret with an old bull.

Friday, 16 April 2010


After a long winter I finally unearthed my moth trap this week from the cupboard under the stairs with immediate effect catching swallow prominent on the first night followed by oak beauty,streamer and shoulder stripe as well as the more common species like hebrew character,early grey,and quakers.
At Samphire Hoe on tuesday a pair of shags were feeding off the sea wall in the company of two harbour porpoise,but land birds were hard to find in the stiff NEwind.On the west beach near lydden spout this splendid male cormorant was displaying his breeding plumage.

clowse encounters

Having seen Steve and Dylans crossbill pictures I had to see them for myself,so on monday Iwas lucky enough to find them within a 100 yards of the car park.Apart from the crossbills I found Clowse wood a bit depressing with lots of discarded doggie bags all over the place,why do the dog owners do this?Anyway, the crossbills were excellent,they are very early breeders so I wonder if they are already feeding young? I was also lucky to see them having a drink at a watering hole,so apart from the doggers and the joggers it was a pleasant morning.

Sunday, 11 April 2010



On thursday I went for a walk in the woods, first was park wood between Chilham and Challock, where I was lucky enough to find all three uk woodpeckers and five species of titmice.From there it was over to Orlestone forest trying to find grizzled skipper,no luck with that, but nuthatch treecreeper and my first willow warbler of the year was ample compensation.Denge wood was my third and final destination where there were plenty of butterflies on the wing namely peacock ,comma, brimstone and red admiral.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Since I last posted a week ago Ihave been out and about mainly on langdon cliffs hoping for a siting of an alpine swift there ,to no avail alas.However the ravens appear to have moved from langdon to nearer south foreland ,a much better post code I suppose,this move has allowed the kittiwakes to return to the cliffs above langdon bay though.Yesterday tuesday found me doing my lone ranger impression at Samphire Hoe,Tonto is on holiday,its still very quiet on the migrant front with just three chiffs and two wheatears found, however the resident black redstarts ,four singing male stonechats, and I assume last years breeding kestrels were about. Today it was back to the cliffs but still very quiet with just a single swallow and a few chiffs and blackcaps in song at the top of south foreland valley.five distant buzzards were spotted by Colin Johnson