Sunday, 30 August 2015

Hoopoe at Sandwich Bay. (30/08/15)

After distant views of a typically shy Hoopoe out on the Royal Cinque Ports golf course at Sandwich Bay this morning, I was chatting away to Steve Reynaert along the Ancient Highway and it flew past us allowing a quick burst with the camera before returning back to the golf course and then disappearing as the early morning golfers started to reach the section of the course that the Hoopoe was favouring.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Short-Eared Owls (21/08/15)

I was lucky enough last Friday (21st) to have the company of four really showy Short-eared Owls along the Ancient Highway on the Sandwich Bay estate. Along with Steve Ray and Martyn Wilson, we were treated to a superb display with all four Owls hunting over the field we were watching. 

Click on images for full size.

The Owls were continually diving into the long grass after what I presume to be insects but in the time I was there they not once caught a rodent.

Superb creatures and birds that I can never tire of watching.

Great birds + Nice light = Happy Snappers.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Something different.(Herne Bay Airshow 2015)

I decided to try my luck at the Herne Bay air show last weekend, taking place throughout the afternoon of Saturday (15th August). My chosen vantage point was along the cliff top at Beltinge, a wooden bench just west of the Miramar which I landed on at 11.00 am and took off from just after the Typhoon Euro fighter finished displaying it's capabilities to a largely impressed watching public strung out from Reculver to the east and Hampton pier to the western end of Herne Bay. I'm not a plane buff and was only after a few subjects, firstly the Red Arrows, everybody's favourite at shows like this, who opened the proceedings at 1.00 pm, putting on quite a performance, leaving red, white and blue vapour trails across the Herne Bay skies before departing as quickly as they arrived.

 Next on the "wanted" list was the Vulcan bomber. I saw this at Manston a couple of years back and I was told that it was the last time it would be seen at air shows across the UK. I picked it up low along the coast line behind the towers at Reculver on its approach and plane buff or not, you cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer size and flight manoeuvrability of this avian monster.

Lastly was the Typhoon Euro fighter, a plane you would not want on your ass if you were drug running by air. By far the noisiest plane I have ever heard and the speed of it is amazing. Mind you, when the pilot opened up the throttle, several of the young children playing on the grass in my vicinity were not too impressed with the roar. 

I wanted to catch the Spitfire but was going out for the evening so had to leave.  As I got home I saw the Spitfire with what I think was a Hurricane, flying low over my house at Sturry on route to Herne Bay.

This last image is for A.A. I have too much time on my hands, lol.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Catching up and a bit of migration.

Last Sunday morning (2nd) a visit to Sandwich Bay enabled me to see and photograph a Whinchat, my first real evidence of  the forthcoming return migration for birds that have spent the last few months here in Britain on their breeding grounds. Unfortunately not looking as colourful as it did on arrival back in the Spring. I also saw 4 Wheatear's but they remained distant and not at all interested in being snapped.

On a few occasions during the past week I have visited the Reed bed hide on the Stodmarsh reserve where at least 3 different Kingfisher's have been seen on the posts. Apart from these nothing else has been seen.

Juvenile bird.

Poor Light ........ Wrong Post. 

Poor Light ...... Right Post

Good Light ...... Wrong Post.

Or perhaps I'm just too fussy.

A trip to Oare marshes on Thursday (6th) late afternoon and through high tide was very rewarding. Over 200 Little Terns were stretched out on one of the spits on the east flood, easily the highest number of this species I have ever seen. Scanning through with the aid of Mike Gould's scope, I could not find any juvenile birds, well not to my untrained eye, which is a little worrying for the diminishing Little Tern numbers these day's.

There were also 40 to 50 Common Terns on the flood and later as the tide started to drop, 3 Black Terns were seen flying along the Swale. There were good numbers of waders out on the flood also, the pick being 2 Wood Sandpipers, 20 + Curlew Sandpipers, 4 Little Stints, some Knot and a single Green Sandpiper. I was able to snap a few Avocet as they fed on the flood close (ish) to the road. It was nice to see the grass fringe cut alongside the water's edge of the flood, enabling viewing of the mud and anything feeding on it. All in all an excellent visit.