Archive for February, 2009

28th February 2009, Saturday

Beach Reserve

A fine morning and plenty of bird activity to see, Lapwing, Redshank, Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher were displaying on Flat Beach, the shingle ridges of the Beach Reserve and the pools on Harbour Farm.  Ternery pool attracted 17 Mediterranean Gull and at least 500 Black-headed Gull. Good numbers of Knot, Dunlin and Sanderling were again feeding along the shore.  Yesterday the ridges near Crittall Hide at Ternery Pool held 150 Golden Plover, 10 Ruff, 100 Oystercatcher and 300 Lapwing.

27th February 2009, Friday


Despite the presence of peanut feeders the greater spotted woodpecker is only an occasional visitor to our garden, with only one bird noted during the past year on my BTO garden birdwatch list.  Far more frequent is the green woodpecker, and today a bird spent an entertaining hour on our back garden lawn drumming away at a particular patch making quite a hole.

Green woodpecker

Green woodpecker

A pair bred close to our house last year and Read the rest of this entry »

27th February 2009, Friday

Hastings Country Park NR

The entire stretch of these remarkable cliffs can be seen from nowhere but the sea or the air. It is possible to walk along the beach but essential to check tides before doing so. If you walk too close to the cliffs, you risk being hit by a rock fall, but if you try to pass too far down the beach, the boulders are very, very slippery.
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27th February 2009, Friday


The area is mobbed with Black-headed and Common Gulls, moving back north to their breeding grounds in the Netherlands, Denmark, Fennoscandia and the Baltic States. The movements of gulls are quite well documented thanks to ringing studies, which in turn are well furnished with data since gulls are fairly easy to ring, nesting as so many do in colonies on the ground. In addition, their propensity to gather in dense flocks at rubbish tips and coastal roosts has made it possible to trap large numbers by using cannon-nets.
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27th February 2009, Friday

RSPB Dungeness

Highlights over the past week: Up to three Slavonian grebes and the the long-staying black-necked grebe; up to three bitterns; 14 goosanders; one jack snipe; water pipit; Dartford warbler; firecrest.

27th February 2009, Friday

Rye Harbour

From the viewpoint this morning 26 Little Egrets were counted leaving the roost, a Bittern gave good flight views as did a Barn Owl, several Bearded Tits and 2 Cetti’s Warblers were calling from the nearest reeds, a party of 8 Long-tailed Tits and a Chiffchaff were present in the willows. Yesterday on the Beach Reserve highlights included 500 Knot and 170 Curlew along the shore and a Merlin at the Wader Pool.

26th February 2009, Thursday

East of the Rother

At Northpoint Pit the Black-necked Grebe found on Sunday was still there today at the far eastern end, and a pair of Mediterranean Gulls were vigorously bathing in the middle of the lake. At Scotney GPs today there was no sign of the 6 Scaup, drake Smew and Pink-foot that were seen on Tuesday, though I met someone who had just been watching 3 female Goosander on the ARC pit at Dungeness. A Green Sandpiper was on a pool at the back of Camber today, while last Sunday another was flushed by the river at Scotts Float. Lastly, on Tuesday a flock of 200+ Wigeon were feeding on fields south of Guldeford Lane Corner and there were at least 3 Tree Sparrows at Barn Farm.

25th February 2009, Wednesday

Kent Coastal Biodiversity

The Kent Coastal Network would like to hear your views on the sustainable management of the coast and is consulting on topic papers written by a cross section of coastal practitioners. The online consultation is being hosted at  from 20th February to 3rd April 2009 and will be followed by a workshop to allow further discussion and report back on your views.

The aim of this work is to assist in the development of an Integrated Coastal Action Plan (ICAP) which will be the catalyst for a greater degree of integrated working on the Kent coast.  The biodiversity paper has been written by Natural England and provides a reflection on the coastal biodiversity resource in Kent, if you feel this paper needs adding to or is missing out important issues, please feel free to respond via the website.

Chris Drake, Kent Coastal Officer, KCC

24th February 2009, Tuesday


Cettis-warblerThe small insect eating birds are always vulnerable to freezing weather and the local resident population of Cetti’s Warbler (right) will probably be smaller than last year. I was relieved to hear 2 calling at the Castle Water viewpoint today, together with a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest.

24th February 2009, Tuesday

Sandwich Terns

The Dungeness Bird Observatory website has reported 2-3 Sandwich Terns on 18th and 20th February. Plus a regular Iceland Gull.