Saturday, 21 April 2012

Where have all the Nightingales gone

First day of the Nightingale survey and up at the crack of dawn stumbling around my first Tetrad in Hamstreet Woods. The dawn chorus was in full swing with many birds singing.... but no Nightingales. My first area in which I have had Nightingales for the past 5 years was silent, even the one I had last weekend was not singing. I moved out of my first Tetrad into the second and in the distance I heard a Nightingale which was in the direction I had my second one last weekend. Then I had a slight distraction with a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker calling, it was in the tree right over my head but I could not find it so I moved on. This was the first one of the year in these woods. Down through the woods and to the Nightingale I heard singing in the distance and it was in the same area, I thought I heard two but could not locate the second at first but as I went around the track it popped up in front of me singing away. As I moved further around another Lesser Spot and this time I located it, but as for Nightingales that was it, only the 2 and so far this is the lowest count I have had for the past 5 years, hopefully another visit and covering the rest of my tetrad's will uncover some more.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Nightingales and Bluebells

Early start this morning with a 6am walk around Bourne Woods, it was a lovely clear morning with the sun coming up, no one else around but me and carpets of Wood Anemone and the first of the Bluebells coming through.

Wren,Jay, Green Woodpecker, Blue and Great Tits on entering the woods and the first of many Greater Spotted Wood soon after. Within 5 minutes in one of the normal spots I had my first singing Nightingale and I spent 5 minutes just listening to the song before it decided to go quiet.

I spent the next two hours walking around and had many Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Bullfinch and another Nightingale, along with all the other normal woodland species. A nice start to the day

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Ring-necked Duck

Finally managed to get down to Dunge today after work to look for the Ring-necked Duck, it was reported in the morning from Springfield bridge so I started there and met Dave from the Obs, and found the bird within a few minutes in a gully behind some reeds. Within 5 minutes it came out in the open and had some great views, this was a lifer for me so happy to see it. Also saw from the bridge and Avocet fly over and the Raven.

Quick stop off at the end of the ARC and quite a selection of waders among the Teal and Pochard. Two Little Ringed Plover and a Ringed Plover.Oystercatcher, an Avocet, 4 Dunlin and a Redshank. Also a lone Linnet, 4 Pied Wagtail and 2 Yellow Wagtail. Not bad for a flying visit

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Catching up

After a busy weekend getting the decorating out of the way before the majority of the migrants start coming in and the Nightingale survey is due a catch up of a couple of birds over the weekend.

First Chiffchaff of the year in the garden on Saturday which has been there since, nice to wake up and hear it singing in the mornings. Lots of nesting activity with a pair of Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrush and Dunnocks frantically making nests.

On Sunday morning I woke to the sound of the first Cuckoo of the year down by the canal somewhere, I only heard it for about 10 minutes and then not heard it since.

Didn't get down to see the Ring Neck Duck yesterday due to work, I am hoping it stays around today so I can shoot down tonight.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Summer migrants on the way

It's been a busy week and not much time to update the blog, however in the past few days more migrants are appearing.

On Sunday morning in Ashford I heard my first 3 Chiff Chaffs of the year. In the afternoon whilst in Bernard's garden discussing the Nightingale survey the first Swallow of the year flew through. Also some distant views of Buzzard over Bourne Wood along with Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.

On Monday evening, I was thinking about Bernard's comments that he had seen a number of Blackcap's in his garden which had then all moved on, when movement at the top of my garden caught my eye, and on grabbing my bins saw my first Blackcap of the year, I wonder if it was one that had come down from Bernard's.

Driving around the M25 today I saw at least 5 Buzzard's during the trip, they are becoming more common now and a lovely sight to see.