Monday, 6 May 2013

Dungeness, Faggs Wood and Hothfield Common

Common Terns in the fog and close in-shore at Dungeness this morning..
..and Dungeness Old light House nice and sunny this evening
Day started with a 6.00 am visit to Dungeness where thick fog parted just for a few minutes, so then back nearer home in Fags Wood for the first local calling Cuckoo at last. In Faggs wood its good news and bad news for migrant birds so far. There are plenty of Nightingales and Blackcaps in song, but just a thin number of Willow warblers spread over plenty of good habitat. In terms of scarcer migrants such as Redstart, Tree pipit, Wood warbler there's nothing that I can find at the moment.

Back in Shadoxhurst and playing football in the field with son Lewis, we were treated to several aerial displays of Buzzards and Hobbies against a fine blue sky.

After lunch, the Green family, visited Hothfield Common where we all heard and saw a dapper male Lesser Spotted woodpecker. The bird could be heard calling and drumming in the woodland at the west of the common, a reliable place to see this scarce bird this spring.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - white barring on back plus small size, is this the bird my neighbours are seeing and hearing  in Shadoxhurst?
My eldest son George, aged 16 can just about remember when we used to visit Hothfield Common to see Tree Pipits put on their fine spring 'parachute' display. Sadly, they have since disappeared from this site for a number of years. There used to be many Tree Pipits here, and puzzlingly the habitat is better than ever, so its hard to see a reason for the decline in there UK summer haunts. It would never have occurred to me a decade ago that these birds would be in danger and disappear at all.

The Day ended with Fish and Chips at Dungeness watching, Gannets, Terns and Porpoises lit by an amber sunset - a great May day.

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