Wednesday, 6 January 2016


 Well, it's been a while! I've had a bit of a break from blogging, nearly five months I think. Blogger's block? Lack of enthusiasm? Sheer laziness? Probably a bit of each if the truth be told. Anyway, my (only) new year's resolution is to start again, so to ease myself back, I thought I'd do a brief post of a couple of the wildlife highlights since early September. 

 It was my birthday on the 23rd and it was very nice of this little group of Common Lizards to take such an interest by posing so nicely for me.

 This Spotted Flycatcher was a late birthday present. Turning up for me at New Hythe on the 25th September. I think this is only my third Spotfly here in over ten years of watching. Worthy of minor celebration I think.

Not a rarity by any means, but i've posted this New Hythe Migrant Hawker picture for two reasons; firstly I like the notion that it and the Greenbottle fly are deep in conversation, and secondly because i'm still mourning the end of another dragonfly season. The wonderful world of wildlife seems rather incomplete without them.

On the 1st October I went down to Dungeness. It was an impulse thing. A spur of the moment decision. A good decision. The picture above leaves a lot to be desired I know. But it's my first ever Yellow-browed Warbler, which was residing in the lighthouse garden at Dunge. A few minutes later I also saw my first ever Grey Phalarope on the sea to the east of the patch. Two lifers, both in Kent.

This day was also a good day for migrant activity at Dungeness with Firecrests feeding earnestly in the gorse bushes, sometimes, brazenly, in full view.

Continental Coal Tits were everywhere too.

As were Goldcrests, who seem to be everywhere, in Kent at least, at the moment. Particularly so at New Hythe. 

Talking of New Hythe, this little beauty and his mate turned up in the sunken marsh, much to the delight of myself and Jerry. Right time, right place, as they say. This is my third ever sighting of Bearded Tits at New Hythe, always in October.

Purple Sandpipers are super birds and I don't get to see them very often. Marianne and I found them after a somewhat quiet visit to Dunge on the 4th December. They and several others were among the rocks on the shingle beach opposite the Imperial Hotel at Hythe.

Now this is a rarity. A New Hythe Firecrest. The first one for me since 2008 I think. This one was along the edge of Brooklands car park and helped me to finish my NH year list on 99 species. So near to the magical 100!
I have seen this bird again since the new year, yesterday in fact, so it's helping me with the 2016 list as well. 

Lastly, a belated Happy New Year to all who read this.


Warren Baker said...

good to see you blogging again Phil :-) I may not always comment on other local blogs, but I do enjoy visiting them and reading about other peoples experiences with the natural world.

I hope you can keep going this year mate :-)

Wilma said...

Hope you have a wonderful 2016, Phil, with lots of good things to blog about!

Mike Attwood said...

What a nice way to start the new year Phil.
Happy New Year,

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Worth the wait , just to see some sunshine .
Some nice species recorded , especially the NH Beardies and Firecrest .
Amazing that the lizards knew it was your birthday !
Best to you and Carol for the New Year .

Ken. said...

Happy and prosperous New Year to you both. Love the pics, all great bird shots, but it is always good to see a pic of a Beardie.Nice posting, look forward to reading more of them.

Marianne said...

I'm late as ever... but great to see this post, especially after hearing about your Firecrest-fest when we met last month. The Beardie pic is particularly brilliant.