28/05/23 Bee-eaters and Hawfinches

Yet another day of moderate North Easterlies to add to all the others this month but an unexpectedly good one! Joined By Rich B, our walk to South Foreland was only interrupted to look at a Hobby over the vinyard but 2 Hawfinches over lighthouse down were certainly a nice surprise. Both birds were adults, they appeared to fly in over the cliff and continued to the North East calling. An unfortunately blurred photo of the male below. This comes on the same date that 4 Hawfinches (2 ads 2 juvs) arrived on last year and also marks the anniversary of last year’s Sardinian Warbler.

an Hour later as we walked along the western edge of Top wood 2 Beeeaters appeared above us, coming in fairly low. A brief ‘loop-the-loop’ and then over the wood and out of sight. 20 seconds of multicoloured mayhem and very satisfying it was.

Similar numbers of Swift, House martin and swallow to previous days this past week and the odd Siskin too. John N had an Osprey come in off the sea at st Margarets around midday which typically headed inland.

24/05/22 2 Honey Buzzards

Light NW winds were forecast for today which had to be better than the strong NE we’ve had for so long, in real life the wind switched round to a light SSW and produced the first Honey Buzzards for me this year. I was joined by Ian S, Russ B and Colin J for when the first bird appeared at 11.40, flying parallel to the cliff and away from us, picked up (as always) thanks to the gulls, the bird gained a little height and came over the valley, mobbed by Jackdaws.

A nice dark female which managed to loose the unwanted attention and circle off to the North.

The second bird appeared over the upper valley/Top wood area and moved Eastwards at 12.50 though too distant for the camera.

A Tree pipit over Fox hill down first thing, a few Swallows, 2 Swift and a Hobby over the farm as I walked home were the only other notable birds.

22/05/23 Bee-eaters

A little less windy than the weekend but still from a Northerly direction and an interesting morning on the headland highlighted by 4 Bee eaters that flew low over Langdon Hole and continued North East just after 11 o’clock.

Hearing the calls first I immediately started looking straight up in the sky but the birds were coming through just over head height, I managed to photograph the two birds at the back of the loose flock and got brilliant views of them all as they circled around and carried on towards Wanstone Farm.

I did what i always do when something good flies over and ran after them hoping to see them again but lost them over the horizon. Immediately after the Bee eaters numbers of Swift began arriving off the sea with 44 Counted in a party and another 10 or so just after, 35 Swallow and 4 House Martins also flew low over the fields and 3 Spotted Flycatchers suddenly appeared , picking one of them up coming across the fields among the swallows before perching up at the farm. Another Spot fly was on Fox hill down as I walked home.

3 Willow warblers were singing in Langdon Hole first thing along with 2 on the 20th these late birds are presumably headed further north than April birds.

2 Barnacle Geese, a Whimbrel and a Ringed Plover Flew upchannel viewed from Light house down.


More daily coverage, more non stop Northerly winds and still little to show for it although a moment of excitement on the 17th – an Osprey appeared over the lighthouse and flew down the valley before moving North. A surprise Temminck’s Stint was heard calling several times over the valley on the 18th, moving North unseen. A cool addition to the limited list of wading birds Ive had here.

3 Distant Red Kites y’day and one over the valley today, A dribble of swallows and house martins through each day with no more than 3 Swifts per morning. Siskin have been flying over most days in small numbers and thats basically it! Hoping for something to get through in the next week.

Black Redstarts seem to be doing well, I know of a handful of Pairs locally this year.

I bumped in to Steve Ray this morning who had the Flock of 10 Bee eaters through Langdon earlier this month, that would have been nice.

My first Dingy Skipper of the year below and the end of the Early Spider orchids.


Almost 3 weeks have past since my last post and despite daily coverage there has been little to report.

Highlights were few and far between but a Nightingale was singing in the valley on the 27th April followed by a lively morning on the 28th with a spring high count of 12 Willow Warblers in Langdon, as was a reeling Grasshopper warbler and singing Sedge plus 5 swifts. Since then theres been a trickle of hirundines and the odd swift with a yesterday being a ‘bit of a Swallow day’ 130 counted around the lighthouse around midday. Ive counted 5 Hobbies and had a Marsh Harrier come in off the sea over my garden but nothing more noteworthy. The forecast remains uninspiring for the foreseeable.

Just as I was about to give up this morning my first Spotted flycatcher of the year flew in over the cliff at light house down and perched up before continueing into the valley. 15 House martin and 22 Swallow also.