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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Hoo Peninsula

August 20th

A very welcome return with my last visit being around March time, I did do a survey in July further east but the western side has always been a favourite.
As always the entrance track drive never disappoints with a Hobby and 2 Common Buzzards seen working the fields, it was also quite obvious that Hirundines were present in numbers; the fields were covered with them hawking.

I was here for the Reptiles but managed about 40 minutes birding in the lunch break, of course I was trying out the new lens. I have found out that the settings I applied for the Sigma do not work with the Nikon, good shots will come but I have got to start using the old brain matter a little more. For an old so and so like me who finds all electronics challenging at the best of times, trying to remember all the settings brings me out in a sweat, sometimes I really miss automatics.

Scanning round produced a pair of distant Marsh Harriers thermaling and interacting them was an even bigger Bird of Prey, this turned out to be a Red Kite, a Hoo first for me.When you have the 2 together it make you realise how big a Red Kite is.Not knowing if it is a regular bird or a bird moving through I tried to put it out on Twitter, as in the past no signal, Vodaphone never has been good here.
I had earlier walked up 2 Whinchat out in the fields so I went looking for them, this proved negative but I did find the next best thing, 3 Wheatear. The sheep and flies had also attracted good numbers of Yellow Wagtails, many juveniles as well which was good to see, at least 14 were in one field.

Moving on produced a flushed Little Ringed Plover which was on a dirt track, no doubt a migrant on the move.

Talking of migrants there seemed to be Migrant Hawkers everywhere; the next challenge will be to photograph one on the wing as waiting for one to land in the heat was never going to happen.
A good lunch.

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