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

No comments: