OK, not a strictly bird based account this, 'but' I still managed to be birding whilst doing the touristy bit today. Following reports of a 'Stint' at Cliffe RSPB on Friday 25th I decided to visit the site early am on the Saturday. I met the guy that saw the 'Stint' and shortly after saw a 'presumed Little Stint' on the Black Barn pool briefly before it flew off calling 'alike a Little Stint' with a Dunlin. Other waders seen were 4 LRP, Green and Common Sands and a small group of Grey Plover and Whimbrel. Later on that morning with the late shift of birders the bird was confirmed as a Little Stint. The next venue was a bit different and so I found myself heading towards Hever Castle, a superb place I've never visited to look at the gardens, castle and enjoy a bit of Jousting made ever more popular recently by the film 'A Knight's Tale starring the late Heath Ledger, see http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eyvb7SqpVgs&feature=related
Anyway back to the birds, Hever has some great grounds and I'm sure that over the years a few rarities have found there way there and not been detected, ie. Egrets, Herons, marsh Terns and possibly even a rare duck or two? I managed to see a few Mallard, heard a Great Spot and several broods of Moorhen. To visit Hever Castle see http://www.hevercastle.co.uk/ a great day out and a good place to relax and enjoy the grounds Hever Castle, a great place to enjoy as we walked, 'ambling' Ann Boleyn around the grounds. Surely this lake has had something rare in the past, I wonder if King Henry was a birder?
Mallard, but could a rare duck go undetected here, eg Black Duck ?
Small Red Eyed Damselfly (SMED) on the water near the castle, also Red eyed Damselfly. It's incredible to think that until recently SMED was a rarity in the UK and a recent colonist, though following my discovery of this species at Bluewater shopping centre lakes a few years ago they are widespread across much of the UK and Kent nowadays.
The stuff of days gone by, but great to see and a change to birding, though it won't become a habit, this blog will NOT be renamed Birding and days out in Kent!