Posts Tagged ‘RSPB Northwood Hill’

Sue and I trip down to see Keith on his home patch for a few hours birdwatching. Our first stop was the RSPB reserve at Northwood Hill in search of Nightingales and Cuckoos.

Both species are vocal when they first arrive in this country but soon fall silent, in the case of Nightingales, or depart after laying there eggs. so its important if you are going to locate them to do so early on. Both birds were in fine voice with at least 5 different Nightingales, and 2 cuckoos on the path down to the viewpoint. There were also a number of Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff.

Nightingale singing at Northwood Hill

Arriving at the viewpoint we had lunch looking over the marshes. Whilst having lunch we had a variety of birds singing from the surrounding vegetation including Nightingale, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap

After lunch we traced our way back to the car, serenaded again by Nightingales. The sun had come out and so had some early butterflies including Red Admiral, Peacock, Orange Tip and most surprisingly, a Painted Lady.

Blackcap (m). Photo by Keith

Our second stop was Keith’s local patch at Abbotts Court. A party of Swallows with one House Martin were over the lakes together with Blackcaps and another Cuckoo, which flew over our heads. A Reed Warbler was also heard.

In all we saw 40 species in a few hours and caught up with some of the recently arrived summer visitors.

Went down into Kent today to spend a day nature-watching with Keith and Brian. My first stop on the way to our meeting place was the Mill Pond at Dartford which can be observed from Platform 4 at Dartford Station whilst I changed trains. I was pleased to see a Little Grebe on the pond along with the Mallard. Our destination once we had met up was the Isle of Grain on Kent’s north coast and which forms the southern shore of the Thames estuary. Our first stop was the RSPB reserve at Cliffe.

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At our first stop we saw two Black-winged Stilts, a bird usually associated with Southern Europe rather than North kent.

Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt
Photo by Leo (https://www.flickr.com/photos/0ystercatcher/)

We were also fortunate to see the local Eurasian Spoonbill, a young bird, which has been present for a couple of months. Further on we located a juvenile Little Gull on a shingle bank. Apart from these rarities there were over 100 Avocets plus chicks present and over 200 Shelduck

Avocet

Avocet

One of the highlights was a Nightingale which gave us great views (for a bird that is most often heard but not seen) as it appeared to be sunning itself on a tree trunk.

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We also recorded 7 species of Butterfly and 3 of Dragonfly, although 2 Aeshna dragonflies were seen but could not be identified to species.

Peacock which refused to open its wings

Peacock which refused to open its wings

Blue Tailed Damselfly

Blue Tailed Damselfly

Common Blue damselfly

Common Blue damselfly

Later we moved onto another RSPB reserve at Northwood Hill, where the highlight was a sighting of the now increasingly rare Eurasian turtle Dove. It sat in a tree as it called and we were able to watch it for a good period of time.

072053-IMG_2908 Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Eurasian Turtle Dove
Photo by Tony Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonymorris/)

A great days birdwatching with great views of good birds. Thanks to Keith and Brian for their company.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
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)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Nightingale [sp] (Luscinia megarhynchos)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)