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Monday 9 November 2015

Hoo Peninsula

November 8th

The first one for the month started off very well with an unexpected very late Whinchat for me and Paul seen on the entrance track, a very good start to the morning.

Starting our respective transects, Bearded Tits half way round were obvious by their absence and this seemed to be the case for many passerines compared to last month.

However I then got very lucky whilst scoping the Golden Plover picking up a superb Water Pipit feeding in the floods.
Eventually arriving at the River produced good numbers of Wigeon for the first time this winter, the weather is incredibly mild so usual numbers are down compared to last year.

Raptors as ever were in evidence with wintering Marsh Harrier numbers probably getting up around double figures and up to 3 Common Buzzards dotted around site.

In regard to the outright speed merchants, the annual pair of wintering Peregrines was occasionally visible bunching the Wader flocks up, mostly Lapwing.
Both myself and Paul connected with Merlin and we estimated that there were possibly 3 to 4 using the site, this included 2 females sparring over the River Wall.
They are tenacious and agile hunters, more so than a Peregrine, watching one hunting along the river wall flicking over from side to side trying to flush something I suspect is regular behaviour.

Without doubt the best seen bird went to a Short Eared Owl as we walked off site; I suspect I had seen the same bird earlier crossing from Essex to Kent.

Coming over from Essex being mobbed

Excellent views of the bird were had as it flushed and sat close by on a post for us.