07/02/22 Lapland Buntings

With little to post about beyond a few Caspian Gulls and the long staying Great Northern Diver here in Dover this blog has been quiet for the past month. However todays still and bright start with a light NW breeze gave me the motivation to get up the cliff and walk the entire length of the patch and back. The highlight was 2 Lapland Buntings that flew over calling from the lighthouse towards ‘the field with 2 thickets’ late morning.

The birds were not approachable and landed only briefly in stubble fields a couple of times. I lost them towards fan ban only to hear them coming back overhead 25 mins later. Something gave me the impression there may be more than 2 but perhaps that will all become clear if they stick around.

Other things of note were the first singing Corn Buntings I’ve heard this year. Skylarks were also performing and other singers included a Eurasian Treecreeper (a bird ive seen and heard on recent visits to the valley) Firecrest Stock dove and Chaffinch all in the valley.

Ravens appeared frisky and vocal along the cliff tops and a local Peregrine was having none of it as usual, After mobbing a ‘fastbacking’ Raven it went on to dive bomb a displaying Common Buzzard near the Castle all in one movement.

A notable drought of interesting gulls recently has resulted in only 4 Caspian Gulls since my last post in early Jan. 2x 1st winters at Shakey beach, and 2 2nd winters just off the patch at st Margarets, here they are:

Above bird was present on 30th Jan, Bird below Jan 16th.

One of the 2 second winters from st Margarets, this one 17th Jan, the other on the 13th.

Author: Jamie Partridge

Birding South East Kent: Langdon Hole to South Foreland

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