Wednesday, 22 March 2017

March is racing by and the only summer migrants on the patch so far are Chiffchaffs. Sunday 19th produced 11 with 2 in the back garden,1 in Kirkins,2 in Swigs and 6 at the lake.
On the 12th a pair of Greylags were prospecting on the lake.
The Reed Bunting continues to sing and Mandarins are present most visits and the Great crested Grebe pair have returned.
I've been getting about a bit and was excited to find a male Hooded Merganser on Dungeness RSPB but it was short lived when it was later found to be wearing a ring.Never mind,it was still a cracking little bird.

My original idea was a trip to get e photo of the Long eared Owls but as I arrived at the reserve it clouded over. I took some shots of one which was showing really well
The best I could do!

At the entrance the Tree Sparrows were at the feeders.
One of the Tree Sparrows
Thursday 16th my wife and I went to the Ashdown Forest to my young brother who was down from Norfolk with his partner. We had a delightful work at the old airstrip finding a few Dartford Warblers before coming across a Great Grey Shrike.
Always distant
Last weekend I went to the RSPB at Broadwater Warren to look for Woodlarks and was lucky to locate a few.

Walking around the reserve I was reminded what great work they do in habitat creation to attract birds such as these turning a conifer plantation into splendid heath land.
It has been great to get about a bit more but I still relish the challenge of my own patch.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Yesterday morning I checked my phone, only to find that Wez had text me the afternoon previously with news of 10 Waxwings outside his house. I was a bit gutted but it was great for him to get this garden tick.
I took my usual walk with little of note seen except the usuals and decided to check around village but found no Waxwings and went home disappointed.
After lunch I went back out as it occurred to me that a house on Orchard Way had apples on a tree in the front garden. On arrival there was nothing to be seen but unbelievably as I walked up the road 20 Waxwings flew over me and landed in the rear garden of one of the houses. They then landed on an aerial before descending on the apple tree.Fantastic!!!
some of the Waxwings
Enjoying the apples.

They flew off as I phoned Wez but we found them near the school where Wez took this great shot:-

I had a look for them this afternoon but didn't find any although they were seen by someone in the village.
I made my way down to the lake to refill the feeders and saw two Marsh Tits and the Water Rail put in an appearance.
Water Rail enjoying the sunflower hearts.
In the garden today there were two Siskins on the feeders.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sunday 19th February was the last walk for a while due ti illness but it started well with Tawny Owl (70) calling as I lay in bed.
The morning walks highlights  included a flyover Yelowhammer, two Cormorants and a Lesser spot drumming. More surprising was a male Stonechat (71) that was on the middle hedge along Hononton farm track.
Distant shot of Stonechat

This Saturdays walk was a pleasant one that was notable by the reduction in winter thrushes.There was a nice flock of Siskins with a couple of Lesser Redpolls with them.Skylarks were singing over Kirkins and over Hononton.
The local Buzzards were vocal in their displays as was the female Kestrel. On the lake there were 12 Mandarins, the pair of Great crested Grebes and a pair of Canada Geese.Three Marsh Tits were seen with one at the feeders and two in Shirrenden wood.
A Grey Wagtail was on the stream and the first Chiffchaff heard Chiffchaffing was moving through the hedge towards the lake.
Spring is just around the corner and I for one am looking forward to the challenge of working my local patch!

Friday, 17 February 2017

Got out for an hour after work this evening which was very nice.
Down at the lake as I got to the pumping station a Grey Wagtail flew overhead. In the orchards there were plenty of Fieldfares and Redwings.
At the feeders four tit species were seen- Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh and the Water Rail was pecking around underneath.
Water Rail under the feeders

On the water the pair of Great Crested Grebes were displaying and a pair of Mandarins were under the trees at the southern end where two Reed Buntings were in the reed bed.
On the walk back up Furnace Lane a Goldcrest was in the hedge and as I got further up he hill I heard the call of a Chiffchaff(69) ,then found it flitting around in the hedge. A great end to my evening stroll.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

  1. Walks after work didn't produce anything new but it was good to see that the Waxwing was still in Gibbet Lane and was joined by a second bird on Wednesday 8th.


           Waxwing in Gibbet Lane

Saturday was a surprise with snow falling as I left the house.
Down at the lake,I found a Water Rail under the feeders, which I photographed from a distance, through the heavy snow.

The feeders were busy with plenty of tits and goldfinches attending including the usual Marsh Tit. Two Reed Buntings were in the reeds in the south west corner and a Grey Heron was on the stream.
In Kirkins there was flock of Meadow Pipits which numbered around fifty.Inevitably a Waxwing was seen in Gibbet Lane but it appeared to be a different individual.
The feeders in the garden were alive with birds with lots of Goldfinches and six Greenfinches which included five males plus Chaffinches and House Sparrows.The cold weather had also bought in a Pied Wagtail.
Today was cold with a little drizzle and the lake held a Great Crested Grebe,Mandarin,Mallard and Moorhen.A kingfisher was on the Shirrenden side and the Water Rail appeared briefly by the feeders.
A flock of Siskins flew over me on the farm track and four Bullfinches were on the Shirrenden side.
Undoubtedly the highlight was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that called and drummed before flying towards Furnace Lane.
The Waxwing was seen on the way home and a Marsh Tit was in Furnace Lane.  

Sunday, 5 February 2017

I managed a quick walk down to the lake on Friday 3rd after work before the rain came.
I checked the feeders and watched the comings and goings of the various Tits which included 2 Marsh Tits.
Unfortunately I flushed a Little Owl(68) that was roosting in a lakeside tree.As usual the lake held few birds with just Mallard, Moorhen and Mandarin.
Saturday produced a pair of Reed Buntings in the ditch at the southern end and a Brambling feeding with Chaffinches under the alders in the bottom corner,
Walking back up Gibbet Lane I was pleased to find 5 Waxwings in the rear garden of one of the houses. It was great to re-find them as I hadn't seen any since Monday afternoon.
During the day they were very mobile but I did get some shots of them in the school grounds.

Today, down at the lake a Yellow hammer was seen along with a good flock of Siskins and a flyover Lesser Redpoll and Grey Wagtail.
The Kestrel pair were very vocal on the Shirrenden side and two Skylarks were singing over the cleared orchard.
Just 4 Waxwings were seen today with three in Gibbt Lane and one in the school as I walked home.
Waxwing in Gibbet Lane

Monday, 30 January 2017

It was rather dark when I got home from work but I decided to have a look around the village to see if the Waxwings were still about.
After looking at most of the places I saw them yesterday,with no luck,I ended up at the school were I found they had increased in number to twelve. Brilliant!!
Although it was rather dull and dark I took some more photos so I've attached a few.

Here's hoping for some sunshine.