Wednesday, 25 August 2010


BLACK REDSTARTSCORPION FLYVIOLET HELLEBORINEV H FLOWERFLOWER with POLLINIAand fruit flyUnfortunately there was no repeat of last years hoopoe but a few warblers and wheatears were about along with at least  6 black redstarts and 2 common sandpiper.The day became increasingly windy but I managed a butterfly transect before the clouds bubbled up,wall brown, common blue,small heath,wall brown and a few each of small tortoishell,peacock and painted lady made up most of the count but a single hummingbird hawkmoth was most surprising given the current weather patterns.On the way home acting on a tip off from a botany snout a visit was made to Reinden wood where some helleborines had been found,after a little searching the quarry was found and after some deliberation named, rightly or wrongly as violet helleborine,Kingsdowner please confirm or not.Also seen were the nettle flowered bellflower and the nasty looking scorpion fly.In the evening made the trip to Gravesend to see the mighty Dover Athletic beat the home side with two really good goals either side of half time.Up and out fairly early this morning and headed for Langdon cliffs to see what goodies had arrived overnight,again a few willow warblers and whitethroats,a wheatear, some passage of martins,sand and house with swallows and a single juvenile cuckoo right on the cliff edge and a few blackcaps made up the notebook.On the return from the lighthouse a fresh adonis blue was seen and a pair of ravens were giving a free air show over the cliffs between Fan Bay and Langdon Bay.ADONIS BLUEJUV CUCKOO

Monday, 23 August 2010


When the weather brightened up today (monday) I felt the need to stretch my legs and as my SBBO draw tickets were due back, Sandwich was an obvious choice.The scrape was not very well populated today just a single common sandpiper,15 greenshank, half a dozen redshank,30 greylags .8 teal one little egret one mallard and the usual coots and moorhens.It is a fair step to Backsand as many have alluded to but the photographic opportunities there make the trip more than worthwhile even when there are few birds.This time last year the Hoopoe turned up at Samphire Hoe so expect a call tomorrow morning.


Can it really be the end of another summer?lets hope September brings an indian one  or it will be a long winter indeed.Had a run up to Oare with messrs Mcvail and Woolhouse last wednesday then to Chambers wall in search of the red backed shrike and then to Sandwich where we found a whinchat on the ancient highway otherwise it was a little short of migrants but a very pleasant days birding all the same.On Friday I noticed the Cattle egret was at Dunge again so off I went determined that it would not evade me again but it did of course.However the great egret did show quite well on Dengemarsh and I had superb fish and chips from The Rod and Line chippie in New Romney on the way home.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


On a day more suited to october than august the birds decided to go back to africa and who can blame them. Swifts and house martins were in the air,wheatears whinchats and willow warblers were grounded,while gannets, terns and arctic skuas were all at sea.The sea had been quiet all morning then about lunchtime Icaught site of a gannet through the murk of the office window,venturing forth it was soon evident that 30 to 40 gannets were moving down channel in company with several terns and three arctic skuas.The skuas were giving the terns a hard time pirating their prescious catch,but not always being successful.

Sunday, 15 August 2010


WASP SPIDERWASP SPIDERrock samphire and rock sea lavenderSTARLING FLOCK
Having spotted a large wasp spider at Samphire Hoe on tuesday in monsoon conditions,I decided to pay a quick early visit there on thursday morning before heading off to Scotney Castle for the day.Twas a beautiful calm sunny morning and the large female spider was still there in her web.Wasp spiders were first found in britain in 1922 and are gradually spreading northwards now having reached Cambridgeshire and probably beyond.The starling flock at the Hoe is increasing daily now a rough estimate of 400 birds,the rock samphire,from which the place takes its name is now in full bloom as is the rock sea lavender.Having picked Cathy up it was off to Scotney for the day, it is a national trust property with the main house an old castle with moat and extensive gardens,well worth a visit.Ihad hoped that golden ringed dragonfly might be there but that was not to be,  several brown hawkers,lots of red eyed damsels and plenty of blue tailed damsels were there however.The day ended with a rainbow and sunset over Folkestone and a brief siting of the persoid meteor shower.Friday morning was still dry, have the weather forecasts ever been so out of touch?, so Itook the chance to visit Grove in the hope of seeing the spotted crake,which eventually obliged coming out of the reeds to poke around for a short time before reteating from whence he came,too distant for meaningful pics i am afraid.

Thursday, 12 August 2010



WOOD SANDPIPERGREEN SANDPIPER.            Wednesday august 11th went to the cliffs in the morning where there was a good number and variety of warblers including reed and sedge, willow chiff chaff,whitethroat and lesser whitethroat,two ravens croaked across langdon hole and a few fulmars are hanging on,At South Foreland only three juvenile kittiwakes could be seen the rest have fledged and moved away.Several migrant hawkers were buzzing about at the top of the valley and a ladybird invasion was evident on the way back.In the afternoon Itook the long walk to Backsand,its not that far really just a bit flat and boring,it can be very rewarding though if you strike lucky.The first bird seen was the spotted redshank which was a bundle of nervous energy constantly on the move then a wood sandpiper showed up right in front of me, several green and common sandpipers greenshank and redshank were present until a low flying chopper sent everything in all directions and ended the fun.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


bombing runtarget spottedbomb doors openbombs awayWALL BROWNBROWN ARGUSCHALK HILL BLUES ON CARLINE THISTLE
Last thursday I set off for the cliffs with high hopes but it soon became obvious this would be a butterfly morning rather than a feast of migrant warblers,however my attention was drawn to a gull feeding frenzy just outside the harbour,Iassume a large shoal of herring had been found and as I watched the gulls were joined by about twenty gannets diving in for their share,pity it was too distant for any meaningful photos.Twenty species of butterfly were seen including brown argus and wall brown,holly blue and green veined white.Just beyond Fan Bay I spotted a young peregrine cruising along on the wind then circling round to run in again ,thinking he had spotted something to dive bomb,I trained my  camera on him the results were quite different!