Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Autumn passage

After a few months of keeping themselves busy breeding and feeding, birds are now moving past Kingsdown again. A Whinchat has been hanging around on the fences of the rifle range for the last couple of days.
And who is this fellow, hardly old enough to be out of the nest? Danger indeed!
It's a cute little Wheatear, whose confiding nature can make one understand how they were caught in large numbers by downland shepherds and sold up to the restaurants of London.
Also making use of the sea wall was a young Kittiwake.
And up on the cliffs, two Kestrels look down for their next meal.
A Rock Pipit (one of the year's breeders perhaps) and a family of Whitethroats were seen, while on the beach the flock contained 36 Mediterranean Gulls and a first-winter Common Gull, showing its white rump and dark primaries. In this picture are Meds, an Oystercatcher and a Sandwich Tern.
Nearby on the beach, the Kingsdown Oak's acorns are developing.


abbey meadows said...

Nice post; Chats have always been a favourite of mine.

Warren Baker said...

Nice pics Steve,
That wheatear and whinchat were the ones at migrant alley, last weekend' :-)

Kingsdowner said...

Warren, of course they are.

The number of Med gulls on the beach is now 57 - ridiculous!

Abbey, good to have you back online after your holiday!

Greenie said...

Are you sure you and Warren aren't swapping birds again !

NW Nature Nut said...

That Wheatear sure is a cute little thing. I always enjoy seeing the birds in your neck of the woods.

Mary said...

Wonderful photos! What cute birds and people actually eat those tiny things?? Great pics of the kestrels.

Kingsdowner said...

Wheatears were caught in large numbers at the turn of the Twentieth century, but the practice ceased long ago.
No doubt they remain a delicacy in France and other parts of Europe.