Sunday, 15 June 2008

The Purple patch finally ends!

The past week has still seen a few good birds turning up in the SE though as is usual in previous years the Northern Isles often turn up the Big One! This year Fair Isle stole the show with a a very lost Citril Finch that allowed many crews the opportunity to see 'another' 1st for Britain on this amazing rarity magnet island of the far North. For me though it was business as usual in the Home Counties with a quick dash over to Rainham RSPB in Essex last Saturday for a Great White Egret that showed well through the scope and represented 252 for my LNHS list, ie 20 miles from St Paul's. I've now seen Great White, Little and Cattle Egret, plus Squacco, Purple, Grey Heron, Little Bittern and Bittern in the LNHS area but Night heron will have to wait another day as I've missed previous birds. One day when I get a chance I'll tot up my 'local' area list as James has done on his website. With 200+ at Dartford together with Rainham it should be an impressive list and testament to the possibilities that can be seen so close to London.
My visit to Rainham was short though I did manage to also see 2 drake Garganey and a few Little Egret.
Sunday was a trip to the coast and the only birds of note recorded during the day were the first summer male Red-footed Falcon at Collard's plus a Buzzard thrown in for good measure. It's incredible to think how the status of Buzzard has changed illustrated by the fact that I saw one in the Darent valley yesterday, a bird that 10+ years ago I would have struggled at times to find in Kent.
Last Tuesday evening a last minute decision to head into West Kent in the evening paid dividends with a few hours spent with Andrew (Gull Boy) Lawson and James(mobile off) Hunter. Luck was on our side as Tree Pipit, a family party of Redstart and then good views of Nightjar were had both in flight and perched. I haven't Nightjarred for many years though I know it's a regular pursuit in the Summer both at Pubs and heathland type habitat. A good evening out with some old friends and more fun than staying at home watching TV.

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