Thursday, 28 March 2019

Bashing the Patch

Over the past fortnight I have paid a few visits to Grove Ferry, at least five, hoping to connect with the Penduline Tit that sometimes favours the reed patch directly in front of the Feast hide. I have seen it there on a couple of occasions but it's never stayed there for any amount of time whilst I have been in the hide and also I have not had it in a favourable photographic position as of yet, (obscured by reeds etc etc) so a few more visits may be in order, providing it decides to stay put on the reserve. Below is the best from a bunch of poor record shots I have managed so far but at least it does show the birds mask off fairly well.

I have also seen the bird on the reed mace heads along the Harrison's Drove path down by Savi's corner near the river but it is 60 or so metres away from your vantage point and way too far out even  for any record shots.

On the 19th I watched a Hen Harrier from the Feast hide, always a good bird to record and even better if you can get a photo. It was a fair distance away, over the reed bed to the back of the pool but a large crop allowed for a few record shots of the bird.

I have this down as a 1st or maybe a 2nd calendar year bird but if wrong, I would love to know.

The incoming migration still remains slow, singing Chiff Chaff's are becoming more numerous and I heard a Blackcap along the river but that's about it so far. The nesting Marsh Harriers at the Feast hide ensure that you do not fall asleep whilst waiting the arrival of the Penduline Tit and the pair of Bullfinch along the entrance track still remain frustratingly difficult to photograph, I have not managed a single shot yet.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

A Yellow-browed Warbler at Dover.

I went to see the Yellow-browed Warbler at Pencester park in Dover this morning. Very trying conditions with a gusty South Westerly gale making for a very difficult session with the bird. I managed several fleeting glimpses of the bird but mainly it remained hidden low down in the foliage and sheltered from the steadily increasing wind gusts . I did manage a half reasonable record shot of the bird before leaving for the sanctuary of my car, grateful to be out of the rather annoying wind. 

Whilst peering into the bushes I also saw a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff. Well worth the trip and the buffeting from the wind as I learnt from an article on the K.O.S facebook group that this only the fourth record of a Yellow-browed Warbler over- wintering in Kent.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

An hour either end

On Tuesday (5th) I was able to grab an hour in the Feast hide at Grove Ferry before I had to go to work and then after work I had another hour spare so spent the time in the Reed bed hide on the other end of the reserve at Stodmarsh. Only had the expected fare from both ends but given that I saw a Great Egret from each hide, it shows just how well they have colonised the area when they now come in the "expected" category. Photography wise, the Feast hide won by a Mink, an animal that I would of preferred not to see and hopefully the Mink problem on the reserve will soon be eradicated.

 Great Egret seen from the Feast hide.

Little Grebe seen close in by the Kingfisher perch

and a most unwelcome Mink that was escorted away from the pool by two Mute Swans.

I saw a pair of Bullfinches and a Goldcrest along the entrance track on the way in and a Common Buzzard was being harassed by Crows (who would be a Buzzard, they are always being mobbed) out over the river, seen from the hide. The other end (The Reed bed hide) was very similar, the Little Grebe being swapped for a Great Crested one

and thankfully no Mink seen. Once again a Great Egret was present, I do not know if it was the same bird that I saw from the Feast hide or whether there are two birds present. I did see two birds together a few weeks ago so more than possible that there is a pair hanging around. Hopefully they will soon be breeding on the reserve.

The, or another Great Egret seen from the Reed bed hide

Is it Great Egret or Great White Egret ??????