Naturelog: Friday 9th May

Posted: May 10, 2014 in Birds, Butterflies and Moths, Natural History
Tags: , , , , , ,

Went down to the Medway estuary in North Kent to spend a day bird-watching with my friend Keith. The weather forecast was not brilliant but as we started it was a bright if blowy morning. Our first stop was the Riverside Country Park in Gillingham, which is on the southside of the estuary. This walk overlooks a number of marshes and has two prominentaries (Horrid Hill and Motney Hill) which stick out into the estuary.



We were suprised at the number of Brent Geese that were still here. This winter visitor has normally flown north to its breeding grounds by now. Also present were Shelduck, Oystercatcher and a single Curlew. At Horrid Hill we flushed a Cuckoo which had been resting on the shoreline. Near Motney Hill we heard and then briefly saw a Lesser Whitethroat and I saw my first Swifts of the year.



There were a good numbers of Butterflies present including Peacock, Red Admiral, Green-viewed White, Small white and Orange Tip.

Small white

Small white

Orange Tip

Orange Tip


In the late afternoon, we moved over to the Northern side of the estuary to Abbotts Court at Hoo. The weather had improved throughout the day and now it was quite warm if you were out of the strong wind. Abbotts Court is an area of wet meadow and fields situated behind the river bank.


A number of Yellow wagtails were flying around but we didnt manage to find one on the ground. A Little egret flew from the meadow towards the river and a Meditteranian Gull flew overhead. A second Cuckoo was seen and heard and a second Lesser Whitethroat was located in the undergrowth. 2 Northern Wheatears were on the meadows and gave good if distant views. More Brent Geese were on the mudflats.

Brent Goose

Brent Goose

Thanks to Keith and Elaine, his wife, for their hospitality and company. A really enjoyable day.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Brent Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Lesser Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia curruca)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Yellow Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla flava)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

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