A lovely sunny day saw Keith and I take a trip out with skipper Ray Wade exploring the islands and sandbanks of the River Medway. Before we got to the dock we stopped off at Motney Hill to look for birds and butterflies. We recorded nine different species of butterfly inc Red Admiral, Brimstone and Holly Blue.

 

Motney Hill

Motney Hill

But perhaps the best sighting was one we did not see! The distinctive purring of a Turtle Dove is a rare sound these days as this summer visitor has become very scarce in the UK.

Otterham Quay

Otterham Quay

Then it is onto Otterham Quay to join the boat for an afternoon cruise into the River Medway. Before we leave the dock we have had excellent if passing views of Kingfisher and Common Sandpiper.

Most of the breeding birds have already departed from the islands and no Terns or Meditteranean Gulls were recorded. However, the waders are starting to return and large groups of Common Redshank, Oystercatcher, Black-Tailed Godwits and Ruddy Turnstone were located along with some Whimbrel, another pair of Common Sandpiper and a Greenshank.

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

 

Black-Tailed Godwit

Black-Tailed Godwit

 

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

 

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Passing one of the old jetties a female Peregrine was located on the rails at the end and stayed there for a couple of passes in the boat. Maybe she has just fed and could not be bothered to move off.

Peregrine

Peregrine

Soon it was time to head back on the turning tide to get back into Otterham dock. Not the most extensive bird list, but a lovely way to spend an afternoon and great views of a Peregrine

 

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)                                             Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

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Comments
  1. Keith Cutting says:

    Good write up as usual but can I be picky and mention good numbers of Whimbrel seen and heard.

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