Just what I wanted from the second weekend in August: Saturday morning I drove down to Kent to bird from Langdon Cliffs to South Foreland in search of Migrants.
It wasn’t too bad for early August, with the concentration of migrant birds mostly in the Langdon hole/fox hill down area. It was about 25 degrees at 7am and birds were active even before the sun was on the bushes. Below, one of c15 Willow Warblers present early on.
Other totals were as follows: 2 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Black Redstart, 6 Yellow Wagtail over west along with c200 Swift, c100 Swallow and about 30 House Martins.
Sunday morning I went looking for waders at Oare Marshes but besides good views of the adult Bonapartes Gull i had nothing else there of interest. I swang by Erith Pier on the way home and Rich and I lobbed a dozen or so loaves at a gaggle of hot gulls at low tide (not ideal gulling conditions!). About 10 juvenile Yellow Legged gulls came in and towards the end this beautifully plumaged juv Casp also appeared out of no where infront of us.
Id imagine there will be more hunting for coastal migrants between now and september so Im glad to have got a nice Casp in before I ‘forget’ about gulls for a month or so!
In the meagre 4 years this blog has been running it has never before got to the 1st of August without several posts about juvenile yellow legs gulls, cant really explain why probably been overly busy but I can report that the new London record for earliest juv YLG was smashed by Rich , Dante and myself on the 28th June!!!! (previous record 1st of July set by RB.) After that it went very quiet but they’ve been in for a good few weeks now and I’ve seen a handful here and there but today’s 15 or so at Erith pier is more like what I’ve been looking forward to.
I aimed the camera mainly at two paler headed birds the above a large tawny probable male…
.. and below a slim, also pale headed bird. really eye catching in flight and on the water.
I thought this tail pattern was quite nice, the tail band leaking into the outer webs. note some cool scapular moult which basically all birds today showed.
In comparison, heres the first bird i photographed well this year from about the 18th July, note how the tawny tones come out more as the birds become paler .
Here’s a few more images from the sunday:
Below a ringed bird, from Switzerland. The second from this project we’ve had on the thames alongside 2 more south german individuals, gives a clue as to where some of our birds are coming from.