Thursday, 11 December 2008

Dartfords like Sewage farms!

Sunday 7th Dec was a wonderful sunny day, not a breath of wind, clear skies and a heavy frost early am. A visit to Camer Park near Meopham was very enjoyable with an orchard full of Thrushes and a few finches, the best of the bunch being 400 Fieldfare, 35 Redwing, 2 Redpoll and a Brambling. In the afternoon I stopped at various spots along the Medway hoping to find a Green winged Teal or Black Brant or even a Shrike but at the back of my mind was the possibility of a Dartford Warbler that hopefully would be lurking but show itself in the still and sunny weather.
The orchard at Sole Street, near Meopham, Thrush heaven!

One of the many abandoned shopping trolleys at Motney RSPB, neglected by the shoppers, empty and not an RSPB gift in sight!
At Lower Halstow, I failed to find the wintering Whimbrel and the Brents were too far off to be sure that there was a Brant amongst them, though a possible was seen. These bottle diggers were showing very well though and very proud of their finds, that apparently can be found on EBay under "pot lids" !! Apparently it's not allowed here as the sign above says but as soon as the tide comes in the holes are filled in and they appeared to be far way from the river wall to cause any damage to sea defences, though I expect the birds are slightly further away than they would normally be.

One of the prize pot lids found that day.

Anyway, the birds were hard to come by but all of a sudden whilst walking around Motney Hill, I heard the distinctive call of a Dartford Warbler and sure enough there it was just inside the turd farm sitting up on top of the vegetation for all to say. My hunch had paid off and it's not often I find a migrant Dartford so I was well pleased with the find. Once again another superb site for birding that just needs coverage, it's a place I've only ever seen other birders a few times and during severe winters the deep water channel can be a great site for Scoter, Divers, rarer Grebes and other sea Duck.


Anonymous said...


Rather more showy than your last encounter! Sure it's not a stuffed specimen?


Barry said...

As stuffed as a SBC awaiting it's place in Druridge Bay museum of antiquities. Now, now, it's real I have some out of focus Thanetesque photos also.