Zino's Petrel off Madeira - June 2018

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Otford, Kent & Seaford Head 1/5/16

Being a May bank holiday weekend I was regretting to see myself in NE Kent at first light in the hope of seeing the meena Oriental Turtle Dove that was finally pinned down yesterday evening after its two month presence in the small village of Otford. The drive from home only took one hour, arriving just after 05.30, and only a small wait was needed when the Dove flew in from behind us and landed in full view in its 'favoured' tree. Lovely scope views were had and after five minutes of admiring and noting the key id. features, the bird flew onto the ground and out of sight. Having seen the orientalis Oriental Turtle Dove back in 2009 in Oxford, I felt little need to hang around and an hour later I was on the patch (where I should be this time of year) just as the area had warmed up, arriving shortly after 07.00.

The Head wasn't too bad but still lacking any numbers, though a couple of singing Reed Warblers and my first Garden Warbler were very welcome. By mid morning the tap had turned on for inbound Hirundines, which was a nice change from seeing very little visible migration in previous weeks.

This evening a walk behind Peacehaven produced a female Redstart and nice variety of common summer migrants on territory. 

Totals are:
Reed Warbler - 2
Whinchat - 2
Wheatear - 1
Hobby - 1
Willow Warbler - 6
Garden Warbler - 1
Yellow Wagtail - 2N
Swift - 3N
House Martin - 36N
Swallow - 60N
Sand Martin - 3N

meena Oriental Turtle Dove in Otford - the white vent and white corners to the tail separate this from orientalis OTD.
 a smart Whinchat at the dung heap
 Linnet in Hope Gap
 Reed Warbler by Harry's Bush
 this Lesser Whitethroat was a new arrival holding territory in a new spot. There are at least six singing males holding territory on Seaford Head now.
looking down into the valley of Hope

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