Monday, 31 October 2011


Walked the seawall at Maydays farm on Sunday 30th following a call from Martin Cock who had just seen the glossy ibis flying over the fields and landing at the back of Maydays. I managed to see the bird for myself which is the first time I've been able to catch up with one of these ibises on the Island. Although two birds were seen a few times about 3 weeks ago, there's only a single glossy ibis still being seen infrequently on the north side of the Island. The bird was last seen four days ago when it flew onto Reeveshall.

A ringtail hen harrier was seen quartering this corner of game cover crop at Maydays. Martin had seen the bird a couple of hours earlier - the first hen harrier sighting of this winter period on the Island. There was also a flypast of a female merlin as it headed west over the Maydays saltings. Only one marsh harrier was seen over Reeveshall with a further three birds over Langenhoe marsh to the north.

The tide was low along the Pyefleet with the usual variety of waders scattered along the mud. Three green sandpipers were seen at the back of Maydays, while other birds noted included 25 linnets, 3 yellowhammers and a flock of 20 collared doves. A common seal swam up the Pyefleet as the tide came in.

Andy Field and Richard Hull during their visit to the Langenhoe ranges on Sunday noted 3 stonechats, 3 Cetti's warblers and a peregrine.

A walk along the Strood seawall on Saturday 29th proved more productive than expected. At least three lapland buntings were seen flying around the fields calling as they flew from one field to another. Along with up to 20 skylarks and one or two meadow pipits, the laplands circled in the air before landing back down and disappearing either in the winter wheat crop or in the rape crop. There's no weedy field for them to enjoy this year so it will be interesting to see how long they stay around this winter.

Other small birds noted on the walk were corn bunting, 3 reed bunting with a yellowhammer flying over as were 6 siskin and lesser redpoll. A marsh harrier quartered the fields for prey before crossing the channel to Ray Island. A sparrowhawk was seen near the Strood Hill, while 2 kestrels were also noted.

The main birds in the Strood Channel were 400 brent geese waiting for the right moment to return to grazing the winter wheat crop nearby. Thirty knot, 100 grey plover, 100 dunlin, 200 golden plover as well as 2 greenshank were some of the waders noted. Ten little grebes were amongst the boat moorings.

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