With the dragonfly season in full swing now, this has taken up much of my time at the weekends but I have made a few visits to Nethergong and have started recording again at night in the past few weeks which has produced a few decent birds. A singing Turtle Dove was heard this morning and last weekend. Night time recording in the past few weeks on suitable nights has produced 2 Whimbrel, 1 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Skylark, 1 Little Owl, 1+ Barn Owl and 1 Bittern. A Tern type call was identified by a few as a Sandwich Tern and others, a Common Tern so with a difference in opinion, I have decided to leave it off the list for now. I'm hopeful that this species will at some point be added to the Nethergong list. It was nice to record 2 Raven calling early this morning as they flew through the site. It seems the Kestrels have fledged 3 young successfully but I have not seen the Barn Owls for a while although they were quite vocal last night. I'm still ever hopeful of a good / new bird still this year on the recorder. I would be happy with a Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper and Greenshank to name a few. Let's see what happens tonight.
Saturday, 29 May 2021
With the past week off work, I have made a number of visits to Nethergong during the day to see what's about. It has been generally quiet with most birds now breeding and feeding young but there have been a few notable additions during the week including 3 Red Kite. During a visit on the 27th May I found 1 Spotted Flycatcher (112) feeding behind the cafe which showed briefly but not long enough for me to attempt any photos. These are just about annual now with the odd bird normally seen during autumn. Having listened and tried most sessions for Turtle Dove, I thought we were going to miss them this year but thankfully on the 28th May, I heard the joyful sound of 1 Turtle Dove (113) purring away in trees on the north side of the site. It was again seen and heard this morning so hopefully will hang around and attempt to breed if he can attract a mate. This morning I arrived at 04:45 where I spent about 4 hours walking around the site and adjoining fields a few times where I managed to see or 54 species. The highlight was when I walked up to the main lake and flushed a Common Sandpiper (114) from the waters edge which flew off south calling. This is only my second record of the species here in 5 years, the first being recorded during the night of the 14th August 2020 so it was pleasing to see this individual and add it to my list. Other birds seen today included 11 Whitethroat, 3 Yellowhammer, 4 Cetti's Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 2 Cuckoo, 2 Common Buzzard, 1 Chiffchaff, 6 Mistle Thrush, 17 Reed Warbler, 7 Swallow, 2 Kestrel, 1 Barn Owl, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Jay, 3 Siskin, 3 Treecreeper, 2 Yellow wagtail and 1 Skylark. The year list moves on to an excellent 114 species which I didn't think was at all possible during the year here and with a few species still on the radar which could included Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Marsh Warbler, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Whinchat, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Tufted Duck, Shoveler and others i'm sure. Is 120 species actually possible? This would be unbelievable but with luck, you never know, it might just be possible.
Sunday, 16 May 2021
Having seen a probable flock of Corn Bunting last week from the eastern gate, I was keen to see whether they were indeed out on the marsh. Whilst I count birds I see from the gate, I don't often wander that far on to the marsh. Having only seen 1 Corn Bunting in 5 years of observing here, I thought I would walk out for a while to see whether I could encounter any signs of them. It was pleasing to see a few Yellow Wagtail, Reed and Sedge Warbler and constant scanning did reveal a flock of likely birds which went down into the wheat field. I made my way through the long grass but on reaching the area, there was no sign of any birds. I needn't of worried as a few minutes later 8 Corn Bunting (109) flew over calling. I was now pretty confident that the c60 birds I saw last week were indeed Corn Buntings. As I walked back quite happy, a familiar call had me looking up as 3 Common Tern (110) flew over in the direction of Reculver. This I believe equals my best ever year total at Nethergong. Other birds noted today included 1 Bittern booming from the Stour Valley, 8 Whitethroat, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Cuckoo, 8 Reed Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 6 Swallow, 6 Stock Dove, 2 Great spotted Woodpecker, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 5 Yellowhammer, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and the 3 Common Tern flying back towards Stodmarsh with a fish each. There were 2 Long tailed Tit, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Skylark, 2 Lapwing, 4 Common Buzzard, 1 Jay, 2 Bullfinch, c30 Swift, 6 Sand Martin and 1 Marsh Harrier. A few night sessions recording during the week turned up very little but this morning at 03:32am, 1 Oystercatcher (111) flew over calling. This is a new bird for the patch and makes this year so far, the best recording total in my five years of recording here. Hopefully there will be a few more birds to be seen and heard throughout the year and maybe 115 species is a reality.