Thursday, 21 May 2020

Day In Kent

Beautiful warm weather yesterday, with a high pressure over the continent extending over UK and a variable southeast to southwest breeze, set the scene for some late spring birding and eastern vagrant/overshoot hunting. There's been an influx of Red-footed Falcons in the country and a scattering of Black Kites and other bits like Great Reed Warbler and Bee-eaters so we focused on Sheppey- Shellness and North Swale Nature Reserve to see if we could find a Red-foot etc. 

Best Kojak and I could muster up was an adult breeding plumage Great White Egret, complete with dark bill, bluish lores, off yellow patch on tip of long scapulars and plumes on back. Other highlights included a second-calender year Eider in the Swale, Sanderlings, Barwit and Whimbrel .

In the afternoon a Red-footed Falcon was found a short distance away at Oare (a near miss for us) so we crossed the Swale to have a look by which time it had moved on. Booming Bittern and a dusk hunting Barn Owl made the trip worth it. Ebirds lists HERE and HERE

 Adult breeding Great White Egret 
 Second-calender year Eider- looks like the bird will need to moult before it can fly north 
 Summer Sanderlings 
 Oystercatcher (800 in the high tide roost), Ringed Plover and Dunlin 
Hairy Dragonfly- Spot on segment one is best identification feature 
The high pressure and easterly airflow continues today, with a mini influx of rare raptors on the near continent and a scattering of scarce migrants (Bluethroat, Collared Pratincole and rare moths too in the UK). Classic high pressure late spring/summer vagrancy weather with clear conditions and a continental airflow enabling cross-Eurasian exploration by first-summer birds and pioneering vagrants. 

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