A family trip to Canterbury meant my brother and I could sneak out and do a little bit of birding throughout the morning before heading down to the beach as planned in the late afternoon. In all a very nice day, not masses of birds, infact most were only heard. However, the first birds of the day were 3 NIGHTINGALE (1 pair and another singing individual) in some dense hedgerow near Sturry Road Community Park.
one of the Nightingales complete with tail
On of the pair was missing all its tail feathers and still seemed to be very showy despite its bedraggled appearance. The marshes themselves were more productive and we managed to hear no less than 5 Cetti's Warblers exploding into song almost all around the reserve (although we never saw one). Also of note was a Grey Heron nest containing 3 well developing young chicks almost ready to fledge as well as the usual array of marshland birds including Reed Buntings, 2 Kingfishers, 1 Hobby, 4 Marsh Harriers (including 2 males) and a Water Rail calling from the reedbed.
sorry no photos of the birds as most were only heard
FARMLAND AT EAST BLEAN WOODS
We had little time left to continue to Stodmarsh so instead we made a brief visit to the farmland around East Blean Woods. This was rather productive, providing the limited time we had. Another Hobby flew over, whilst at Buckwell Farm a Little Owl took off from a tree above my head, snapping the branch which promptly landed on my head! My brother also pointed out a Red Fox to me as it ran down the path away from us. Best of all, however, was the magical sight of a hunting Barn Owl which came totally unexpected from over the hedgerow before vanishing as quickly as it had come. As we were watching the Owl my brother casually pointed out a flyover Collard Dove. I double checked it, thankfully as it was infact a TURTLE DOVE. It didn't stop and kept flying on a direct route back to Tile Lodge Farm.
farmland near East Blean Wood
terrible shot of the Little Owl
Our penultimate stop for the day was at Herne Bay. Unsurprising;y not much about but I had very little time to scan the area. In summary 1 Peregrine was patrolling the isolated section of the old pier and a single Reed Warbler was singing from the cliff side (an unusual location for a common bird).
Our final stop for the day. The wide mudflats were empty all except for 2 Little Egrets feeding in the surf zone (obviously a much better spot to visit during the winter).
my dad and brother at Herne Bay
derelict pier at Herne Bay
the peregrine perched near the top of the mast on the derelict pier
my brother and sister
A beautiful sun set to end the load of landscape shots