Sunday, 26 March 2017

March 26th
It was another sunny but chilly morning as we did our regular walk from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour. It was still relatively quiet but we did mange to see or hear 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Mute Swans, 5 Corn Buntings, 28 Mallard, 2 Linnets, 2 Red-legged Partridges, 8 Redshank, 4 Pied Wagtails, 2 Ringed Plovers, 1 Grey Plover, 12 Oystercatchers, 2 Turnstone and 42 Carrion Crows.

Carrion Crow

Saturday, 25 March 2017

March 25th
On a sunny but breezy morning we covered the eastern section of the Marsh walking from Brooksend and Shuart out to the sea. We counted 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Jays, 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Sparrowhawks, 14 Lapwings comprising 7 displaying pairs, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 12 Chaffinches, 22 Mute Swans, 1 Barnacle Goose, 25 House Sparrows, 1 Pied Wagtail, 6 Linnets, 25 Sanderling, 3 Ringed Plovers, 95 Oystercatchers, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Curlew, 4 Long-tailed Tits and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Friday, 24 March 2017

March 24th
The fresh ENE wind was still blowing this morning as we walked from Chamber's Wall and round Coldharbour. We saw 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Yellowhammer, 6 Corn Buntings, 2 Marsh Harriers, 4 Oystercatchers, 4 Shelduck, 4 Redshank, 24 Mallard, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler, 1 Little Egret, 3 Curlew, 4 Gannets E, 27 Great Black-backed Gulls E, 1 first winter Mediterranean Gull W and 1 Red-throated Diver E.

Redshank

Thursday, 23 March 2017

March 23rd
I began the morning by spending an hour at the Towers to see if anything was moving in the fresh ENE wind. Ornithologically it was extremely quiet with only 8 Gannets flying E, but the highlight was 2 Harbour Porpoises swimming E out of the Swale. The Black Redstart was also on the concrete below the Towers.
After this we drove out to Chambers' Wall and walked along the railway embankment and recorded 15 Yellowhammers, 14 Chaffinches, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 31 Corn Buntings, 2 Lapwings, 2 Mallard, 2 Mute Swans, 1 Goldfinch, 2 Shelduck and 2 Kestrels.

Corn Buntings

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

March 22nd
The wind had shifted round to a very chilly SE this morning as we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and then walked at Reculver. We saw 16 Chaffinches, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 17 Yellowhammers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 24 Carrion Crows, 1 Marsh Harrier, 21 Mallard, 1 Little Egret, 1 Shelduck, 3 Redshank, 6 Dunlin, 5 Linnets, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Coot, 1 Kestrel, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail and 2 Goldfinches.

Male Mallard

At about midday Matt had a Little Ringed Plover (128th) flying W past Reculver.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

March 21st
On a sunny morning with an eye watering SW wind blowing we walked from Chamber's Wall to Shuart and counted 4 Goldfinches, 15 Yellowhammers, 10 Chaffinches, 5 Chiffchaffs, 6 Pied Wagtails, 1 Kingfisher, 21 Mallard, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 6 Shelduck, 2 Lapwings, 3 Little Egrets, 3 Dunlin, 7 Redshank, 2 Shoveler, 24 Meadow Pipits W, 4 Ringed Plovers, 3 Grey Plovers, 2 Marsh Harriers, 3 Oystercatchers, 1 Gannet, 1 Grey Wagtail, 9 Mute Swans, 1 Kestrel, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Jays, 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Green Woodpeckers.

Male Shelduck

Monday, 20 March 2017

March 20th
It wasn't a very exciting morning with a strong SW wind still blowing. A 45 minute seawatch from the Towers produced 28 Gannets, 1 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers and 1 Great Skua.
Later we walked round Shuart and saw 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Redwings, 2 Ring-necked Parakeets, 2 Jays,1 Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard and 1 Chiffchaff.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

March 19th
With a very blustery SW wind still blowing we walked from Reculver to Chamber's Wall. Birds we saw included 11 Chiffchaffs, 1 Eider, 5 Fieldfares, 22 Mallard, 4 Tufted Duck, 1 Coot, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Black Redstart at Reculver car park, 3 Gannets E, 5 Redshank, 1 Little Grebe, 1 male Stonechat, 37 Oystercatchers, 5 Mute Swans, 4 Shelduck, 1 male Northern Wheatear, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Curlew, 2 Turnstone, 7 Corn Buntings and 15 Yellowhammers.

Male Northern Wheatear

Saturday, 18 March 2017

March 18th
Although there was a strong SW wind blowing this morning it was still surprisingly mild as we walked round Shuart, Chamber's Wall and Reculver. We saw 1 Redwing, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 14 Yellowhammers, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 20 Chaffinches, 6 Mallard, 10 Mute Swans, 4 Tufted Duck, 1 Coot, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Shelduck.
Marc Heath found our first Northern Wheatear (127th) of the year on the seawall near Reculver.

Friday, 17 March 2017

March 17th
It was significantly cooler today with a chilly SW breeze blowing as we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and then had a couple of walks at Reculver. We saw 2 Grey Partridges, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 11 Yellowhammers, 7 Goldfinches, 2 Chiffchaffs, 26 Chaffinches, 1 Marsh Harrier, 4 Lapwings, 4 Fieldfares, 23 Mallard, 1 Shelduck, 3 Redshank, 34 Oystercatchers, 2 Curlew, 29 Corn Buntings, 1 Peregrine and 1 ring-tail Hen Harrier.
At Reculver we saw 4 Chiffchaffs, 7 Mallard, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Mute Swans and 1 White Wagtail.
This afternoon Marc Heath saw another Red Kite this time flying along West Brook Valley.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

March 16th
On yet another mild and sunny morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and then visited Reculver on the way home. We counted 16 Yellowhammers, 1 Tree Sparrow, 7 Chiffchaffs moving inland from the coast, 26 Corn Buntings, 14 Chaffinches, 3 Red-legged Partridges, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 4 Lapwings, 13 Linnets, 21 Fieldfares, 1 Golden Plover, 17 Mallard, 3 Shelduck, 42 Sanderling, 1 Redshank, 38 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Turnstone and 1 Rock Pipit.
At Reculver we found 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 2 Pied Wagtails having a confrontation with a passing male White Wagtail. As we were leaving the local Herring Gulls alerted us to a Red Kite flying W towards Bishopstone and soon after we got home it flew high over our house. Later a Common Buzzard also flew over.

Migrant Chiffchaff

Red Kite

Derek Smith was also out this morning and between 0630 and 0930 he walked from Shuart to Plumpudding and along the railway embankment. He saw 2 Marsh Harriers, 19 Fieldfares N, 12 Redwings N. 1 Grey Wagtail W, 6 Rock Pipits, 5 Cetti's Warblers, 18 Chiffchaffs and 15 Corn Buntings.

Grey Wagtail - Derek Smith

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

March 15th
On a surprisingly warm, sunny day we visited Reculver, Chamber's Wall and Shuart in the hope of finding some newly arrived summer migrants, however it was extremely quiet. We saw 17 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 10 Goldfinches, 8 Mute Swans, 2 alba Wagtails W, 2 Sparrowhawks, 24 Chaffinches, 6 Yellowhammers, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Lapwings, 8 Corn Buntings, 2 Linnets, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 1 Chiffchaff, 5 Tufted Duck, 1 Coot, 4 Mallard and 2 Long-tailed Tits.
Also this morning Marc Heath had a Red Kite fly W at Hillborough and Terry Wilson saw a Purple Sandpiper at Grenham Bay.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

March 14th
It was sunny when we woke up this morning but cloud and mist soon began to drift in off the sea and by the time we arrived at Chamber's Wall it was quite dull. On our walk to Coldharbour, Plumpudding and Shuart and then at Reculver we recorded 8 Goldfinches, 20 Chaffinches. 3 Tree Sparrows, 4 Yellowhammers, 19 Mallard, 5 Cetti's Warblers, 8 Chiffchaffs, 25 Mute Swans, 30 House Sparrows, 2 Redwings, 1 Lapwing, 29 Fieldfares, 3 Corn Buntings, 3 Shelduck, 2 Redshank, 8 Rock Pipits, 1 Stonechat, 4 Marsh Harriers, 51 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 40 Oystercatchers, 1 Merlin, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Curlew, 7 Pied Wagtails, 3 Grey Herons, 1 Barnacle Goose, 3 Green Woodpecker, 1 Coot, 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Grey Partridges, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Jays, 1 Gadwall, 1 Water Rail and 3 Tufted Ducks.

Male House Sparrow

Monday, 13 March 2017

March 13th
This morning was sunny with a cool NW breeze blowing as we walked from Reculver to Coldharbour and then inland. We recorded 80 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 3 Chiffchaffs, 9 Redshank, 1 Red-throated Diver, 16 Corn Buntings, 2 Curlews, 42 Oystercatchers, 19 Mallard, 7 Rock Pipits, 4 Shelduck, 8 Grey Plovers, 9 Turnstone, 1 Little Egret, 21 Sanderling, 4 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 4 Ringed Plovers, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Dunlin, 2 Stonechats, including a singing male, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon E, 5 Mute Swans, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Green Woodpeckers and 96 Redwing and 16 Fieldfare flying W.
This afternoon we completed the circuit around the Shuart area and counted 55 Redwings in the paddock, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 9 Common Buzzards, 3 Marsh Harriers, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Kestrels, 11 Mute Swans, 250 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Snipe, 16 Lapwings, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs. We also saw 8 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Peacock butterflies making the most of the warm sunshine.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

March 12th
It was another lovely, early spring morning as Matt arrived in the Reculver area and counted 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Snipe, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Water Rail, 1 Common Buzzard, 10 Tufted Ducks, 6 Mallard, 1 Jay, 1 Sparrowhawk, 100 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Eider, 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 1 Black Redstart.
We then met him at Chamber's Wall and walked to Coldharbour returning along the Green Wall and railway embankment. We saw 10 Golden Plover, 24 Chaffinches, 18 Mallard, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Goldcrest, 80 Corn Buntings, 1 Yellowhammer, 3 Tree Sparrows, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 1 male Garganey still in Coldharbour, 8 Redshank, 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Marsh Harriers, 1 Little Egret, 1 Green Woodpecker, 128 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 44 Oystercatchers, 1 Grey Plover, 2 Curlews, 12 Rock Pipits, 5 Shelduck, 34 Fieldfares, 5 Lapwings, 9 Mute Swans, 3 alba Wagtails W, 3 Turnstone, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Shoveler, 1 Stonechat, 1 Common Buzzard and 12 Song Thrushes.

Male Garganey

Saturday, 11 March 2017

March 11th
A beautiful spring morning "came up trumps" when we found a smart male Garganey (126th) in Coldharbour with other ducks. This is the first record of this species on the Marsh since 2012 and our earliest ever beating the previous record of a male and female I saw in Coldharbour on 12th March 1972.


Male Garganey

We also had a record number of 58 Pintail flying E in two groups of 41 and 17.

Pintail

Other birds we saw were 1 Sparrowhawk, 155 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 5 Chiffchaffs singing at various sites on the Marsh, 2 Stonechats, 14 Turnstone, 5 Shelduck, 11 Ringed Plovers, 19 Mallard, 2 Gadwall, 4 Oystercatchers, 4 Shoveler, 27 Corn Buntings, 5 Teal, 7 Golden Plovers, 4 Lapwings, 45 Grey Plovers, 8 alba Wagtails, 1 Little Egret, 9 Redshank, 18 Carrion Crows, 2 Curlew, 11 Linnets, 1 Rock Pipit, 10 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin and 1 Black Redstart at the car park.

Friday, 10 March 2017

March 10th
On another sunny morning I walked from Reculver to Coldharbour and back finding my first summer migrant in the shape of a Black Redstart moving between the Towers and Oyster Farm buildings. Other birds seen included 184 Cormorants flying inland in small groups, 1 Little Owl, 8 Turnstone, 6 Mute Swans, 10 Ringed Plovers, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Redshank, 11 Mallard, 5 Shelduck, 1 Little Egret, 8 Meadow Pipits, 10 Teal, 8 Oystercatchers, 18 Great Black-backed Gulls, 269 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 16 Carrion Crows and an adult male Peregrine.

Black Redstart

Thursday, 9 March 2017

March 9th
It was mild and sunny this morning but with a blustery SW wind blowing as I walked from Chamber's Wall and around Coldharbour. I counted 35 Cormorants, 20 Chaffinches, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 12 Corn Buntings, 54 Fieldfares, 9 Lapwings, 9 Linnets, 27 Mallard, 3 Shelduck, 1 Little Egret, 8 Redshank, 16 Great Black-backed Gulls, 60 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 180 Oystercatchers and 2 Ringed Plovers.

Fieldfares

We were sitting in our garden at Bishopstone this morning at about 1100 when a Raven (125th) flew over NW calling loudly. We also saw our first butterfly of the year, a Comma.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

March 8th
We got soaked this morning as we walked around the Oyster Farm lagoons with the fresh SW wind bringing in frequent showers. We managed to see 1 Green Woodpecker, 10 Mute Swans, 16 Ringed Plovers, 8 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 5 Turnstone, 3 Redshank, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Shelduck, 5 Mallard, 1 second winter Mediterranean Gull, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Fulmar W, 1 Chiffchaff and 6 Meadow Pipits.

Second winter Mediterranean Gull

At home the wintering male Blackcap was on our bird feeders again.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

March 7th
On another beautiful sunny, morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and then visited Reculver and saw a good range of species. We recorded 65 Cormorants, 10 Mute Swans, 25 Chaffinches, 14 Yellowhammers, 28 Corn Buntings, 44 Fieldfares feeding in maize stubble fields, 6 Lapwings, 16 Linnets, 14 Reed Buntings, 2 Shelduck, 25 Mallard, 5 Redshank, 1 Little Egret, 21 Oystercatchers, 1 adult Mediterranean Gull E at Coldharbour, 12 Curlew, 4 Grey Partridges, 1 ring-tailed Hen Harrier hunting over the fields at Chamber's Wall, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 5 Tufted Ducks.

Male Reed Bunting

Derek Smith was also out this morning and spent two hours at Shuart where he saw 7 Common Buzzards, including a flock of 5 birds, 2 pairs of displaying Lapwings, 1 singing Chiffchaff and 2 singing Cetti's Warblers.

This evening I received information concerning a male Lesser Redpoll we ringed at Shuart on 9th October 2015. It was controlled at Brandon, Norfolk, 341 km NNW, on 4th March 2017.

Monday, 6 March 2017

March 6th
On a sunny but chilly morning we began at the Towers where we saw 27 Cormorants, 1 Shelduck W and 1 Eider.
We then drove to Chamber's Wall and walked out to Coldharbour before returning via the Green Wall and saw 52 Redwings, 29 Cormorants, 18 Yellowhammers, 3 Grey Partridges, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 22 Chaffinches, 13 Linnets, 8 Corn Buntings, 14 Mallard, 4 Shelduck, 8 Redshank, 8 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 20 Golden Plovers, 4 Mute Swans, 69 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 14 Reed Buntings.
Later at Shuart we counted 24 Redwings, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 1 Common Buzzard and 1 Siskin W.
We also had the first frog spawn of the year in our garden pond.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

March 5th
We only managed half an hour birding at Shuart and Reculver before the heavy rain and wind arrived. All we saw were 7 Mallard, 1 Mute Swan, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Goldcrests, 1 Kestrel and 2 Goldfinches.
The over wintering male Blackcap was on our bird feeders in the pouring rain this morning.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

March 4th
This morning we walked from Reculver to Coldharbour and back along the seawall. We counted 218 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Green Woodpecker, 15 Cormorants, 4 Pied Wagtails, 37 Oystercatchers, 20 Redshank, 1 Merlin, 2 Sanderling, 7 Shelduck, 10 Mute Swans, 11 Mallard, 2 Gadwall, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Grey Plovers, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 17 Meadow Pipits and 2 Stonechats.

Redshank

While we were doing that Matt walked from Shuart to Plumpudding and returned via Brooksend and Netherhale. He recorded 4 Goldcrests, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Grey Partridges, 1 Chiffchaff singing on the railway embankment, 1 Marsh Harrier, 5 Grey Herons, 120 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 371 Starlings, 6 Tufted Ducks, 2 Wigeon, 4 Little Grebes, 25 Mute Swans, 1 Barnacle Goose, 6 Teal, 7 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Fieldfare, 4 Redwings, 1 Jay, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Common Buzzards, 4 Siskins and 7 Goldfinches.

Friday, 3 March 2017

March 3rd
On a rainy, cool morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and dropped in at Reculver on the way home. We recorded 2 Goldcrests, 1 Common Buzzard, 9 Yellowhammers, 1 Redwing, 1 Marsh Harrier, 36 Chaffinches, 15 Cormorants, 25 Mallard, 270 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 45 Oystercatchers, 9 Redshank, 6 Shelduck, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 5 Mute Swans, 2 Stonechats, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 5 Corn Buntings, 4 Tufted Ducks, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Teal.

Male and female Mallard

Thursday, 2 March 2017

March 2nd
On a very windy morning we decided to walk around the Shuart area as it afforded us some shelter from the chilly wind. It was very quiet as we saw 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 400 Woodpigeons, 10 Lapwings, 2 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Mallard and an adult male Peregrine.
On our way home we dropped in at Reculver and found 1 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Tufted Ducks, 3 Mallard, 2 Teal, 1 Little Grebe and 4 Mute Swans.
This evening Derek Smith birded in the Shuart area in the hope of seeing an owl. In the event he saw a Barn Owl nearby but his highlight was a Bittern (124th) that flew over Shuart and kept going until lost to view over Brooksend. Other birds he saw included 2 Water Rails and 1 Woodcock.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

March 1st
The month began with a text from Julian Perry who lives just down the road from me in Bishopstone to say that he had 3 Siskins (123rd) on the feeders in his garden. The male Blackcap he first saw on January 10th is still putting in daily appearances.


Siskins

After the early morning showers we walked fro Chamber's Wall to the Wantsum outflow and around Coldharbour. We recorded 12 Corn Buntings, 39 Fieldfares, 18 Mallards, 22 Chaffinches, 8 Mute Swans, 11 Yellowhammers, 20 Reed Buntings, 394 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 12 Shelduck, 36 Oystercatchers, 2 Sanderlings, 12 Great Black-backed Gulls, 1 Curlew and 3 Redshank.