Saturday, 8 November 2008

Bockhill Blues and West Hythe Greens

Sunday 2nd Nov dawned bright and dry...ish! John and myself set off once again towards Bockhill to try our luck at the Sibe Stonechat once again. Shortly after arriving at 0830 the bird was seen in it's favoured area just adjacent to Bockhill farm and despite giving us the run around the day before performed brilliantly to to the small crowd of Sibe Chat watchers. A tricky bird to catch up with in Kent with several previous records but virtually all short stayers. No photos of any use were obtained though the views were cracking and afterwards a short walk to Freedown turned up a excellent little Black Redstart and a very tame and approachable Mealy Redpoll that fed on the footpath or on the track. There was still evidence of migration going on with Redpolls, Siskins, Brambling and winter Thrushes overhead.

As the weather appeared to be improving and there was a rare sighting of the sun we headed off south towards West Hythe for seconds helpings of the Green Heron that remained faithful to the Royal Military Canal at West Hythe. We decided to take the scenic route along Reach Road out of St Margaret's and as we passed the memorial on the West side of the road I noticed a huge corvid standing in the field next to a Carrion Crow. RAVEN ......... I quickly stopped the car and we managed to watch this hulking breat brute for a few minutes before it flew off down to the sheep fields. Only my second ever sighting in Kent and a bird that is more or less resident in Kent now though difficult to catch up with.

Back to West Hythe, the bird performed well. Once again the views were simply stunning and the bird even flew towards us at one time where 40 or so birders and photographers soaked up this real mega of a bird.

With a bit of time left over we checked Capel le ferne briefly but apart from a Tree Sparrow and some Med Gulls near Lympne no other birds of note. Another mega day, somewhat drier and a good chance to meet up with old friends
A rare sighting and a Millennium tick for me, Chris Ball an ex twitcher and keen Sussex birder.

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