Tuesday, 19 April 2011
SUNKEN MARSH TUESDAY 19TH APRIL 2011
I'm going to cut straight to the chase today. While standing on the NE corner of the sunken marsh with Terry Laws this morning, at about 11.15 I spotted a HOOPOE flying across the marsh from west to east. It flew past past us at head height and crossed the river. Terry kept it in his sights until it cleared a row of Willows and it then disappeared from view. This is the first one of these I have ever seen and i'm absolutely delighted to have seen it at New Hythe. This super bird brings my New Hythe year species to 91, I never expected to see one of those on the list!
Coming in a good second today was a MARSH HARRIER (92), spotted by Terry at 12.45 as it too crossed the marsh, this time heading roughly south, giving good views at about 12.45 this afternoon. Two cracking birds in the same visit, how good is that!
I promised Terry that I would try not to waffle on too much today, so i'll just give a few brief highlights of some of the other birds we saw from the same spot by the marsh during the rest of the morning.
At least five Buzzards were spotted, three over the North Downs and two over the marsh, one of which seemed long winged, but we settled for Buzzard in the end. Two Cuckoos heard and one seen on the pylon in the marsh. Two or three Shelduck up and down the river. A Skylark hovering in the distance, looking just like a Kestrel in the heat haze. Hirundines were represented by a few Swallows and a few more Sand Martins, all heading southwards along the river. Three Sparrowhawks were seen, two over the Downs and one over the marsh. Two Oystercatchers (Oinks), flying low up the river, probably the same pair seen on and off for some weeks now. A single Lapwing, not seen very often at the moment. LBB Gull, Reed Bunting, Stock Dove, Pied Wagtail, Common Whitethroat and one briefly singing Lesser Whitethroat (not seen) all made the note book, along with others to make a species count of 39.
Oh, I nearly forgot, I saw a pair of Linnets along the mill path on the way back to the car park!