Another glorious day at Samphire Hoe on Tuesday found 9 red throated divers on the sea,5 of them feeding fairly close in, one had seemingly taken a shine to a great crested grebe.There has been an increase in the population of passerines with robins,dunnocks,wrens,blackbirds,song thrushes,chaffinches,blue tits, great tits,meadow and rock pipits and stonechats on site.A late chiff chaff was seen in the afternoon and a couple of green woodpeckers were also found.A single black redstart has taken up residence at the west end of the Hoe.
ONE RED THROATED DIVER
TWO RED THROATS-The slim upward pointing bill is a sure diagnostic feature.
THREE RED THROATS
FOUR RED THROATS,they would have been closer but a gull dived towards them causing them to dive and they came up further out.
This juvenile male has been around for a few days now.
FALLSTREAK HOLES ,appeared late afternoon causing much interest and clicking of cameras,a sun dog can also be seen under the hole.
Got to the Hoe at first light with the moon still shining and the sun stirring in the east.
Began my walk around checking the sheep and cattle as I went, as the first rays of the sun broke over the channel a stonechat took up a prominent perch and posed relishing the relative warmth.
The next thing to catch my eye was this very large,very ugly COSCO container ship moving down channel
As one of my duties is to check the life belts I walk close to the top of the sea wall and a late moth was found also enjoying the suns warmth .
ANGLE SHADES MOTH
At the Dover end there was no sign of the black redstarts today but a kestrel was resting on the rocks there.
The highlight of the day undoubtedly though was when a Great northern Diver appeared off the wall,the tide was running strongly and took the bird rapidly towards Dover ,it eventually took off and flew east and was lost to my view,hopefully it may hang around the harbour for a while?
GREAT NORTHERN DIVER
Finally another container ship with France showing clearly behind-no its not the Isle of Wight.
A three day trip to France to watch the spectacle of 30000 common cranes coming in to roost at Lac Du Der de Chantercoq near St Dizier was not quite as successful as the last time, however we saw plenty of cranes and lots of great white egrets.The weather was fine the first day and some of the cranes apparently took advantage of the sunshine to move further south,leaving in large noisy flocks.
A great white egret kept us entertained while waiting for the roost flight,at least 8 egrets were on the lake and one kept returning to the viewing area working its way along the shore until it got too close for comfort then would fly back to the starting point once more.Sods law kicked in and very few cranes arrived from the west where the assembled crowd were waiting patiently,most seemed to arrive from the north and east so we gave up and found the hotel in St Dizier.
65 COMMON CRANES WHEELING ON A THERMAL
COMMON CRANE FLY PAST ,The call of the crane is incessant and unforgettable
and one on the ground
THE AUTUMN LEAVES
GREAT WHITE EGRET
DOWN IN ONE
THATS CLOSE ENOUGH
BACK TO THE BEGINNING
FEMALE RED BREASTED MERGANSER??
THE EGRETS BACK
A FLIGHT OF GOOSANDER
It rained thursday and it hardly stopped all day so most of our birding was done from the car
This was seen in a chemists window.
Avery late white stork still at the nest, and a very grey day, not made for photography.
As we passed over a bridge we could see large numbers of egrets and cormorants feeding below so we parked and walked back there were 44 great egrets 100s of cormorants a few grey herons and a single little egret,the only one of the trip!
11 GREAT EGRETS
COMMON CRANES FEED ON THE OLD MAIZE FIELDS,they are very flighty and nervous if the car stops.
MARTIN PECHEUR A FRENCH KINGFISHER.
There are buzzards everywhere in the region and this one raised our hopes but it is a very pale COMMON BUZZARD,possibly a juvenile bird from northern Germany or southern Sweden(see Collins)
On Friday we went for a tramp in the local woods and found great,lesser and middle spotted woodpecker,hawfinch, brambling, marsh tit, treecreeper,nuthatch several buzzards and a fly over male hen harrier.I think we ended up with only 64 species but the weather did not help on the last two days.All in all a good little trip thankyou Steve for driving and Pete for navigating.