Light Southerly winds, a bank of Sea fog over the channel and an early start deliverd for Rich B and I.
As we walked over Light house down at 5.40am we both simultaneously came across parties of Serin with Rich seeing 3 together and I picked up 2. Brief flight views of vocal birds with the 3 birds flying off NW and the 2 seen again shortly just after and then again at 7.40 By Rob R and Ian S. Shortly after the Serin excitement we picked up a Harrier out over the channel which was coming our way which turned out to be a female Hen Harrier.
Bee Eaters were being seen close by and despite efforts to see birds we thought would come our way, we didnt manaage to connect.
Just before 10 am and right on cue I had a female HoneyBuzzard come in off the sea at st Margarets Bay which gathered height over the valley despite the attention of the local crows & gulls. Look away now if you’re not into a few too many HB pics, I cant get enough of the species and have been obsessing over them recently, perfect to see one like this today.
After we left at 11ish news from the area involved a flock of 8 BeeEaters, mostly flying around the monument at Bockhill. Mark and Lucy L also saw presumably the same flock aswell over their garden on light house down and a party of 3 over too but despite my attempts to see them from near my House I failed. A fantastic day on the headland still and thanks to all involved.
After a week of nothing too much to write about news of a RedRumpedSwallow found at Bockhill by Richard H was gladly received. Rich B and myself were out on Lighthouse down and eagerly awaited it flying into the westerly wind and thus towards us. Over an hour later we picked it up moving West with a small mixed flock of Hirundines. Views were alright but photos alot worse, It was exciting all the same and seemed to be part of a wider movement of the species in Kent today with birds seen along the north coast of the county aswell.
Slightly better Pics from Rich B below.
Earlier in the Week Chris C had a Beeeater over the valley, also heard by Lucy L. I had a wing tagged Marshharrier (details soon)hunting near the light house, 2 Hobbies, a few YellowWagtails and a Treepipit, Fairly slim pickings from my part!
Back from what seemed like an age away and a decent morning on the headland, despite the average looking forecast (moderate to strong WSW winds). Good dates though and they delivered: 2 smart Dotterel in off the sea calling and heading North over Langdon Hole just after 8am.
Langdon Hole itself held a male Whinchat, a BlackRedstart and two SpottedFlycatchers. Small parties of Swifts, Swallows and HouseMartins were also arriving and a YellowWagtail flew west.
More Hirundines ‘in off as I walked Eastwards and added WillowWarbler to the day’s birds with one in an isolated hawthorn along the cliff top and another singing in Top wood. 2 Wheatears and a 2 WhiteWagtails were between the fields and Lighthouse down where a Turtledove flew at point blank range from the cliff top towards Mark and Lucy’s garden.
3 RedKites (including wing tagged individual 6J, details below) and c75 Swallows, c30 Swifts and c20 HouseMartin flew West up the Valley whilst I skywatched.
After a few Days away on a Survey in the South of France at the end of April Ive returned home and gone away again! More Survey work, this time in Scotland but I’ll be back mid may for a decent bit of time on the patch. Meanwhile enjoy the below WesternSubalpineWarblers from the hills above Marseille, Hopefully some of the birds of this region will follow me back up to Kent this spring/summer.