Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Lesser Spotted woodpecker - catch them if you can.

At lunch time today, high in our neighbour's Poplar tree, a juvenile Lesser spotted Woodpecker called briefly and gave away the shortest of views as it dropped into the next garden along. Hearing and seeing Lesser spotted Woodpeckers in June is a regular  event around Shadoxhurst proving the birds are continuing to breed successfully.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Mediterranean Gulls disperse to the countryside

The first adult Mediterranean Gulls are wandering away from breeding duties at the Rye Harbour Reserve and thanks to Sian, who heard and spotted six birds leisurely soaring over the garden today. This dispersal is something we are beginning to notice annually here in Shadoxhurst some 12 miles inland from Rye.

I took a quick snap as they move away across the sun, but far better are these pics taken at Rye Harbour 2 weeks ago.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Red Kite - second day

Seen yesterday afternoon from the 295 bus, a Red Kite being mobbed by crows on the edge of the village crossing Woodchurch road. Well done George!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Red Kite / late spring round-up

At last something of a rarity to shout about. Driving into Shadoxhurst mid-afternoon, we had a brief and splendid view of a  Red Kite as it flew across Hornash Lane at tree-top height. Our first Red Kite since the seven of last May, a bird that is still a Kent rarity.

Spotted flycatcher June 1st 2013. 1 of 3 pairs, Church lane to Stone Wood
 With dreadful weather continuing into May and poor number of migrants reported passing through our coasts, it's quite a feat that in just a small area of mixed farm and woodland, Shadoxhurst has 3 (yes 3) pairs of Spotted flycatchers and 3 displaying Turtle Doves in an area covering no more than a square mile. Also present is one solitary male Cuckoo that seems to cover a territory from Orlestone forest to Woodchurch and Shadoxhurst. I haven't heard a female Cuckoo for at least 4 years, and this is the worst year I can remember for hearing nevermind seeing Cuckoo locally.

 From Church Lane, through to Stone Wood and crossing over to hedgerows adjacent to Woodchurch road, Nightingales are present more or less in the same territories as last year. I'd estimate 10 pairs at least, our Nightingales seem to be more than holding their own.

 Back down in Orlestone forest, Long Tailed Tits seem to have had a bumper year with many family parties criss-crossing the trails. On Sunday, morning they may well have been the commonest bird to view, with Blue Tits and Great Tits yet to fledge and disperse through the forest.

Turtle Doves ( displaying above and calling below)  Duck Lane, Shadoxhurst June 1st

Raptors; there is at least one pair of Kestrel present in the village with a male bird frequently hunting fields across the village. Sparrowhawks are frequently seen along with Hobby (at least when the North Easterly wind drops). The commonest bird of prey has to be Common Buzzard, breeding close-by to the village, you'd be unlucky not to spot one on any walk from the village.

Common Buzzard, nicely camoulflaged, Soapers wood