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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Catching up

Most of the week has been tied up with London’s Peregrines, in particular one event and making sure all went along smoothly for the birds, this story will shortly be related on my Parliament Peregrine Blog. It is a good news story and testament to the Company concerned. In this day and age with the pressures on Urban Wildlife, it shows how Nature and Construction can co exist with enough planning.

Hoo Peninsula

Of course I still had to do my surveys at Hoo on Monday and Wednesday and as usual the land always delivers good birds, I will start with Monday, a rather gloomy morning unfortunately.

A very good start to the survey as I arrived at dawn, heading along the lane towards Cooling Towers I had a Nightingale singing in a Woodland Copse, first one of the year for me.
As I headed out on the entrance track, a Cuckoo was heard and 2 Corn Buntings on territory were seen, the one I was looking for was Hobby.

A distant silhouette on a gate post turned into a Common Buzzard but alas no Hobbies.

The survey was undertaken, good numbers of Lapwing and Redshank were seen, all territorial with eggs or young, it makes you realise how important this land is to them, the flooded areas provide nest site opportunities and a food source. If it or land like it was to go because some Twat so far removed from reality wants to build an Airport on it, it would be a national tragedy if allowed to happen. How could you even contemplate building it with 300,000 birds wintering in the Thames?

Sentinel of the Marshes

My usual check of Egypt Bay produced no less than 24 Avocets, 2 Whimbrel and 3 Curlew, also good numbers of Swallows moving west.

Wednesday was far better weather and a Greenshank was seen feeding on one of the floods on arrival, prior to this though the entrance track gave up a Hobby at last, initially on a post and then got some reasonable views as it flew off.
The now complimentary Wheatears numbered 6 birds out on site and good to see that a male Swallow has already claimed the Barn for himself, likely the same male as last year.

Mediterranean Gulls have really thinned out now and only 2 were seen during the morning and these were not stopping and carried on west.
A quick check of Egypt Bay produced 178 Black Tailed Godwits feeding up and many squabbling as usual, I expect these are on the move already or will be heading to their breeding grounds very shortly. A single Whimbrel, 2 Oystercatchers and 4 Avocets were the only other waders present.

A good visit finished off with a stunning male Marsh Harrier crossing the track as I left.

Seen recently in my garden, becoming a regular

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