Sunday, 26 March 2017


A black redstart was seen briefly by the Dabchicks sailing club on Friday 24th although sadly it was on the move and didn't hang around longer than a minute or so. It was first seen on the garden wall by the Nothe cottages behind the Dabchicks, then it dropped down to the path where a sort of picture was snapped above, before it flew round the sailing club towards the Company Shed flashing its orange tail as it flew. It paused briefly on the ground near some boats and then flew round the corner amongst more boats not to be seen again despite searching.

Whilst looking for the black redstart, the regular black brant was seen feeding on the water's edge by the Lifeboat station along with half a dozen brent geese.

Earlier on Friday morning a walk along the Strood seawall provided few birds of note during the high tide and the strong wind. This turnstone was one of a few seen feeding on the mud as the tide receded. Along the channel 100 brent geese were seen and 6 little egrets sheltered behind a hedge in the fields.
A male marsh harrier flew west over Feldy View on its way to the Hard and then later a sparrowhawk flew over the Firs Chase caravan site.

A walk along the Strood seawall on Saturday afternoon revealed 50 golden plover, single black-tailed godwit and one knot among redshank, grey plovers, curlews and oystercatchers. A great crested grebe was among the moorings while 50 linnets were feeding in one of the fields.

Another sunny but windy day on Sunday 26th during a walk along the back of the Island on the Maydays seawall. The most notable species was a summer plumaged black-necked grebe feeding in the middle of the Pyefleet Channel. The last time one was seen here was about 25 years ago while the last one seen on the Island was just last month, when two were seen off the Esplanade on the 8th February.

Also in the Pyefleet were 3 red-breasted mergansers, 3 great crested grebes and 100 shelduck. A peregrine circled over Langenhoe Point upsetting the roosting birds on both Peewit Island and also Rat Island. Three marsh harriers and three common buzzards were flying about over Langenhoe. The only marsh harrier seen on the Island was a female over the Maydays saltings.

Greylag geese were some of the few birds seen on Reeveshall, this pair flew off to join the other ten greylags, four Canada geese and 26 shelduck by Broad Fleet. In the big grass fields at least 16 lapwings were seen, presumably all expecting to breed here this spring. A pair of red-legged partridge and two yellowhammers were noted near Maydays Farm.

This peacock butterfly was fluttering in the sunshine sheltered from the wind by a thick hedge at Maydays.

A red squirrel was seen in the bushes by Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane on Saturday 25th. It paused for a moment as I walked past.
A bright brimstone butterfly was a nice spring sight as it fluttered back and forwards along Shop Lane near Fishponds Wood.

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