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Sunday, 1 May 2022

Cooling Marshes


Myself and Paul finished the Marshes surveys last winter 2020/2021, so I hadn’t been over the site for a good whiles but I got the opportunity to revisit on Saturday morning.

Usually tied up with peregrine visits early a.m at weekends, when the most activity happens, it was great to undertake some birding on the North Kent Marshes again and at a site, where I know I’m likely to see some ‘good’ birds and so it proved.

I had a great morning, caught up with some goodies and also found a Wood Sandpiper, over a 5 hour period I also recorded 75 species.

On the Wader front, other than the Wood Sandpiper, there was also a flock of 42 Bar Tailed Godwits on the shoreline, 2 Knot were in with them as well and at least 11 Whimbrel were seen over the course of the morning including a flock of 7.

A kettle of 7 Common Buzzards and a Marsh Harrier thermalling reflected the warm weather and sunshine, also good to see 50 odd Swallows going through.

4 singing Corn Buntings, 15+ Yellow Wagtails, 2 Whinchat, Stonechat and 2 Wheatear were the pick of the small stuff and good to see a summer plumed Cattle Egret going over.

The most amusing sight was seeing 2 Stoats, seemingly one chasing the other, come round the corner towards me with both stopping dead in front of me, sizing me up as a threat or not. Not sure on Stoat behaviour but would presume it was a male chasing a female.

After both looking me over and approaching quite close, they veered off into the grass and went around me, great to see these spectacular little animals, exceptionally fast I had a job getting some shots of them but luckily a few came out.

A superb morning and great to be back.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Another Barn Owl box

I recently got another opportunity to make and place another Barnie box at a different site, it’s a fantastic area of habitat with lots of natural grassland that is not cut, great to see in these days of cutting everything within an inch of its life for neatness, it already abounds with Skylark and Meadow Pipit.

Every time visited, I have had Red Kite/multiple Common Buzzards overhead along with large numbers of House Sparrows and also Yellowhammer calling.

I have set a cam up on the box, which we installed on Tuesday, I know they are in the area so will be checking on Friday to take the struts off and also see if anything is on the cams and if one has found it.

It’s a bit late going in but given how long their breeding period is and also 2nd brooding, you never know.........

As ever, a big thanks to all those involved - Doc, Owen and Rob, also Russ and his colleague for getting me the ply to recycle into a Barnie box.

                                                                     P51 Mustang

                                                             Worn adult Common Buzzard

Saturday, 9 April 2022


I last visited on March 22nd and from behaviour of both Falcon and Tiercel then, it looks like they hadn’t laid by that date, I am due to visit on Sunday so hopefully can confirm with a nest relief.

They haven’t successfully bred since 2018 so I am keeping an open mind on it, age and fertility of the Falcon may be an issue, we have new blood in the shape of a new Tiercel, so we will see what transpires.

On the 22nd we also had a female intruding immature, eventually seen off by the Tiercel.

Fingers crossed for egg laying.

                                                                   Pair on Central Spire

                                                              Intruding female immature