Saturday, 23 September 2017

23rd September 2017

A very light SW, five of us out across the area and a couple of birds of interest. The first was a Kingfisher Nigel had along Kingsdown Leas, but that is only half the story. The unfortunate individual was taken by a Sparrowhawk, but obviously used its assets to fight back and was eventually dumped in the sea. Fortunately it appeared to survive the ordeal. It then transpired that presumably the same bird (we have seen more Radde's Warblers than Kingfishers here) was seen in the week flying into the window of a house along The Leas. A fairly traumatic time for this bird!

The other highlight of the day was a Lapland Bunting which was flying into the wind over The Monument and although appeared to drop in, could not be relocated. Elsewhere around the area we had a Stonechat, 440 Meadow Pipits, a Yellow Wagtail, 70 Skylarks, five House Sparrow, 17 Blackcaps, 18 'alba' Wagtails, six Grey Wagtails, 91 Chiffchaffs, 11 Goldcrests, three Reed Buntings, a Whitethroat, two Common Sandpipers, a Tree Pipit, a Whinchat, a Bullfinch, 30 Yellowhammers, four Grey Partridges and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

A couple of us had a look at the sea late morning but the light was terrible and most of the birds were on the horizon. We managed a Great Skua, five Eider, nine Brent Geese and seven Cormorants all going down channel.

The game of  'estimate the hirundines' was being played again tonight in Kingsdown. Initially the amounts were small at 16.30, but by 18.00 they had built up massively and stretched from the coast all the way up to the Deal-Dover road. Nearly all were Swallows and today the number was 25 000.

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