Sunday, 24 April 2016


At least two sedge warblers have been singing loudly alongside the Strood seawall over the weekend. This male pictured above on Friday 22nd, was singing on a bush by the reedbed at the south-west end while a second bird was singing half way along the seawall. Both singing birds were doing their display flights before dropping back down 200m apart.

The sedge warbler was still singing on the top of the bush in afternoon when Andy Field pictured it in the rain.
These two pairs appear to be back in the same places as last year's birds.

Also seen along the Strood Channel on Friday morning was this female red-breasted merganser, not a particularly common bird along here even in the winter period. A pair of Canada geese was seen flying passed the Hard.
Two common terns flew up channel in the morning and then three birds were seen by Andy in the afternoon, also a Mediterranean gull and 8 whimbrel noted during the day.

In the distance over on the mainland a small number of about 15 little egrets were seen gathered perched in Copt Hall Grove where they may be nesting, also a common buzzard seen here too.
Two little egrets were seen inside the Strood seawall as were 8 shelduck and lapwing.

Small birds of note included a singing corn bunting on wires, 4 singing reed buntings along the dyke, yellow wagtail, blackcap, common whitethroat and 5+ swallows. Four sand martins flew over Ray Island and a pair of stock doves flew off the Island to the Ray.

A walk along a footpath in the middle of the Island to the east of Meeting Lane was sunny but in a chilly easterly breeze. Five shelduck were seen through a hedge prospecting rabbit holes, before flying off.

Three common buzzards were seen, and of note a Cetti's warbler singing from the Gyants marsh - the fifth new location this spring on the Island. Also singing were 5 lesser whitethroats, 3 common whitethroats, 2 blackcaps a 2 chiffchaffs and a yellow wagtail seen over one of the fields.

Out of the wind there was a bit of warmth found by this green-veined white butterfly, the only butterfly seen on the walk.

In the Firs Chase garden this chiffchaff was singing from a small bird tree and blackcap was also singing from the garden on Sunday 24th. A goldcrest was singing from the garden cedar tree on Friday morning.

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