Friday, 31 May 2013

31st May 2013 Rodmell & Southease

Marsh Harrier 1 female
Hen Harrier 1 male ex. flew high south to Southease
Short-eared Owl 1
Little Owl 1
Ringed Plover 5
Swift c.50

Short-eared Owl at Rodmell
A true record shot but as it shows the underwing pattern and white trailing edge it just about documents what constitutes a late date for the County

Male Hen Harrier at Rodmell
More record shots being far from sharp but no surprise being of a flying bird at 1/40th second but at least they reveal its extensive black wing-tips and dark trailing edge to its underwing

Thursday, 30 May 2013

30th May 2013 Rodmell & Southease

Marsh Harrier 1 female
Little Owl 1
Ringed Plover 12

Little Owl at Rodmell
Ringed Plovers near Southease
There seems to be a widespread assumption that discrete flocks of migrant Ringed Plovers that pass through the County in late May refer to northeast bound C.h. tundrae. However, there seems no reason why more northerly breeding C.h. hiaticula bound for northeast Canada, Greenland or Iceland, simply leapfrogging local more resident hiaticula, should not also be involved? C.h. tundrae is described as smaller and darker but there seems much overlap and even intermediates. Looking at the three above, whilst the individual in the still image appears of quite petite proportions, its bill and upperpart colouration seem a good fit for hiaticula as does its flared supercilium. In the video, the two birds are clearly different sizes, but the individual with the darker upperparts is also the largest - the reverse of what you would expect if the two forms were involved. Furthermore, whilst the dark bill of the darker (although larger) individual might appear a good fit for tundrae (see ) its upperwing coverts appear(ed) worn and that then makes it most-likely a first-summer hiaticula. Hence, on a sample of just three out of a flock of twelve (and no guarantees they are northerly bound migrants anyway), they pose more questions than they resolve?

BTO mapped summary of  British & Irish ringing recoveries for Ringed Plover

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

28th May 2013 Arlington & Cuckmere

Common Sandpiper 2
Swallow c.50
House Martin c.30
Sand Martin 2

Dunlin 1
Common Sandpiper 2
Swift c.80

Monday, 27 May 2013

27th May 2013 Beachy & Arlington W2 Clear

Red-throated Diver 1E, 1W w/p
Black-throated Diver 1E
Gannet 14E
Shag 1W adult
Common Scoter 53E, 10W
Bonxie 1E
Mediterranean Gull 2E ad
Sandwich Tern 22E
Commic Tern 45E
Black Tern 2E
Auk sp. 13E
Swallow 15 (9 in off the sea)
Chiffchaff 3
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Jay 3+

Spotted Flycatcher at Beachy
a better Spring for this species

Male Stonechat at Birling
Arlington Reservoir
probable Nordic Jackdaw 1

Probable Nordic Jackdaw at Arlington

Sunday, 26 May 2013

26th May 2013 Beachy N1 Clear

Osprey 1 flew northeast at 10.25am
Buzzard 1
Swallow c.10
Chiffchaff h
Reed Warbler 3
Spotted Flycatcher 8
Jay 6W

Osprey over Chat Vale
Common Buzzard over Chat Vale
... this high-flying incredibly ragged individual sent all the Gulls skyward so clearly they were unsure what to make of it!

Green-veined White at Belle Tout
Grizzled Skipper in Chat Vale
Small Heath in the Old Trapping Area

Saturday, 25 May 2013

25th May 2013 Beachy N3 Clear

Common Buzzard 1 high over Whitbread Hollow
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 3
Swift 19
Swallow 10
Sedge Warbler 1
Reed Warbler 1h
Lesser Whitethroat 2h

Blackcap 4
Chiffchaff 2h
Willow Warbler 1
Long-tailed Tit 1
Sedge Warbler in Cow Gap

Common Buzzard over Whitbread Hollow

Friday, 24 May 2013

24th May 2013 Arlington

Dunlin 4
Swallow c.100
House Martin c.30
Swift 1

Dunlin at Arlington
One of the four present (right) was noticeably smaller, slightly paler, slightly shorter-billed and showed obvious pale braces on its scapular fringes. Based on the pale faces and grey napes this small flock was comprised of two males and two females. This is further supported by the two males being the smaller and shorter-billed of the birds involved. Whilst one male is clearly smaller and slightly than the other and sports rather striking pale braces all of which have been proposed as characters of C.a. arctica ( see ) its scapular fringes appear too orangey and its breast-sides are clearly spotted not streaked. C.a. schinzii, the form that breeds in the UK, virtually overlaps in both size and bill length with arctica and seems most-likely the form involved here.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

23rd May 2013 Rodmell

Little Owl 1
Swift c.50
House Martin c.10
Cuckoo h
Cetti's Warbler h

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

22nd May 2013 Beachy N1

Cuckoo 1 male
Swallow 2E
Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler c.3
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Raven 1

Spotted Flycatcher in the Old Trapping Area
Willow Warbler in the Old Trapping Area

Male Cuckoo near the Old Trapping Area

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

21st May 2013 Arlington Reservoir

Red-crested Pochard 1 drake
Swallow c.15
House Martin c.15
Swift c.5

Drake Red-crested Pochard at Arlington
...trying to look rare out amongst the waves!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

19th May 2013 Beachy NE3 Overcast

Kestrel 2
Peregrine 4
Collared Dove 3
Woodpigeon 27E
Swallow 10E
House Martin 1E
Swift 1 in off
Whitethroat 7
Chiffchaff h
Jay 4 in over Belle Toute Lighthouse

Early Spider Orchid at Belle Tout

Saturday, 18 May 2013

18th May 2013 Margate & Reculver

Marsh Harrier 1
Montagu's Harrier 1 ringtail
Short-eared Owl 1
Ring-necked Parakeet 2
Yellow Wagtail 1
DUSKY THRUSH 1 ex. first-summer female BOURC/IRBC 521



First-summer female Dusky Thrush in Margate Cemetery
In our initial treetop views we were surprised to see such rusty (not black) tones to the breast-side and flank markings that combined with what appeared ashy-grey tones to its crown and upperparts and apparently greyish supercilium recalled what we have considered being most likely Dusky x Naumann's Thrush hybrids on Hegura. However, when seen much lower, it morphed into an altogether more eye-catching and boldly-patterned bird with its upperparts appearing far browner, its supercilium far whiter and black scalloping across its breast. Its tail also appeared reassuringly dark brown.
Reculver Towers

Ringtail Montagu's Harrier at Reculver
Presumably a first-summer individual by virtue of its dark secondaries and pale unstreaked body.