Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Birding has taken a back seat of late and my time o(n the patch has been limited.
Despite that the list has ticked along and the overwintering Chiffchaff(52) was seen on 08/01/19.
The following day a Kingfisher(53) was on the lake.
The 11/01/19 saw a single Meadow Pipit(54) over the orchard.Later that day I ventured out to see if the local Barn Owls(55) were still around and one bird duly obliged.I also added Yellowhammer(56) and a pair of Mandarin(57).
The first Sparrowhawk(58) was over the lake on 17/01/19 and the following day 4 Teal(59) were on Furnace.
A Peregrine(60) was hunting over the orchards on the 31/01/19 and on the 01/02/19 three Gadwall(61) flew from the lake,
It was great to see the Snowdrops coming in to flower near Lake Cottage.

Not much chance for photos but I did get a couple of nice shots of a Grey Partridge in Norfolk.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

A belated HAPPY NEW YEAR to all reading this.

2018 ended with the patch total on 107. A pretty average year but that's the challenge of patch watching.
Back to this year and my walk out on the first began with a Blue Tit (1) as I walked out of the house and proceeded as follows:-
Robin,Collared Dove,House Sparrow,Dunnock,Blackbird,Starling,Fieldfare,Song Thrush,Carrion Crow,Redwing,Stock Dove,Buzzard,Goldfinch,Wood Pidgeon,Magpie,Great Tit,Great Spotted Woodpecker,Wren,Woodcock,Cormorant,Grey Heron,Coal Tit,Nuthatch,Jay,Pied Wagtail,Mistle Thrush,Chaffinch,Black Headed Gull,Jackdaw,Coot,Moorhen,Siskin,Canada Goose,Bullfinch,Herring Gull,Treecreeeper,Marsh Tit,Goldcrest and Rook(41).
The following day Great crested Grebe(42),Mallard(43),Long-tailed Tit(44) and Water Rail(45).
As I left for work on 02/01/19 a Tawny Owl(46) called from trees in the school.
After work the following day Pheasant(47) and Grey Wagtail(48) were added.
Today a Kestrel(49),Greylag Goose(50) and Linnet(51) made it onto the year list. It seems a bit of a struggle at the moment but checking my log books the list was only two ahead last year.
Marsh Tits on the feeders.

News of a SNOW BUNTING on private land near Horsmonden Church reached me on 31/12/18 but sadly I was in Wales attending a funeral and unfortunately it had disappeared on 01/01/19 after being there for three days.
Snow Bunting on private land
Thanks to Robert for the call and the lovely photos of a cracking bird.(Shame I missed it)!

It never ceases to amaze me where good birds can turn up and is probably what keeps me patch watching.

Monday, 17 December 2018

After finding the Chiffchaff at he end of November it is great to find it was still around on Sunday the 16th  December.
Redpoll numbers remain low but there was a flock of 10 on the 8th of the month.
one of the Lesser Redpolls
Mandarins have been scarce but there was a high of fourteen on the 7th. Water Rails have been regular around the feeders but the lake hasn't held much but this evening three Gadwall(107) were present,a welcome addition to the year list.
On Saturday 15th a Woodcock landed twenty yards in front of me before heading off into the woods.
The local Buzzards have taken to sitting on the fence in Furnace Lane and dropping onto the ground to feed on earthworms.
Buzzard in Furnace Lane
Heron in the field oppositethe pumping station

Sunday, 25 November 2018

With the nights drawing in there is just about enough time after work to drive down to the lake and fill the feeders.
This has yielded some good views of Water Rails and on 22nd a Coot had arrived and was still on the lake this morning.
Friday 23rd a Chiffchaff was found in the ditch at the southern end of the lake and was still around on saturday 24th but not seen today.The ditch also produced three Reed Buntings on saturday.
Today there was a definate increase in bird numbers with lots of Fieldfares(200) and Chaffinches(35+) plus Siskin(40) and 2 Lesser Redpolls in with a flock of 25 Goldfinches.
The real highlites were a LITTLE EGRET,the second this year and a bird not recorded every year and four GREENFINCHES up at the farn house.
Late this afternoon I went to look for local Barn Owls and saw one as it left the box to go hunting.It's great to have them breeding locally again after a few years abscence.Sixteen Yellowhammers were also seen.
With constant grey skies and rain I haven't managed any photos but have added a few from a walk at Shellness a little while ago.
Sanderling(first winter)



Monday, 19 November 2018

My patch walk on Saturday 17th produced 48 species with he highlite being a skein of Dark bellied Brent Geese(106).
Winter thrush numbers remain low but a flyover Yellowhammer was a bonus as very few are recorded over the orchards.A few birds were going over including Skylark, Meadow Pipit and a single Bullfinch.

Mistle Thrush

Down at the lake the Water Rail was near the feeders and a Marsh Tit was behind Lake Cottage.
In the afternoon I took a look around the farm buildings and found a couple of Pied and a Grey Wagtail feeding in the sheltered sunny side.
Grey Wagtail
We recently went to Norfolk for the weekend and were lucky to find the 14 Shorelarks at Holkham.
Some of the Shorlarks in Norfolk

Monday, 5 November 2018

The first Fieldfares of the autumn appeared on 6th October followed by the Redwings on the 11th.
The sunny days in early October produced my first Clouded Yellows of the year plus afew Small Coppers and Small and Common Blues plus Peacocks.
 Clouded Yellows 

As the month ticked by thrush numbers increased as did Siskin and Lesser Redpolls with good numbers appearing on the 20th.
Probably the last Chiffchaff of the autumn was seen on 25th.
A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker flew over me on the 27th and one was seen on 4th Nov.
Distant Lesser Spot

Early on 4th a nice surprise was a Black Redstart(105) around the buildings in Kirkins.
Black Redstart in Kirkins

Friday, 5 October 2018

The last decent flock of House Martins, comprised of 100+ was feeding over the orchards on 25th September with 30 Swallows. A few Chiffchaffs continued into this month and two more Stonechats were seen,with one in the ditch by the lake on 26th and one in Kirkins the following day.All this autumns birds have been males.
Stonechat in Kirkins
The first Skylark for some time went over on 29th and the same day two Siskins were seen.
Good numbers of Mandarins are around the lake daily with the drakes back into their fine plumage.
Mandarins on the lake
And in the air
The feeders are attracting plenty of tits with a Marsh Tit the best.
A Sedge Warbler was a nice surprise on the 3rd Oct and this evening 16 Skylarks were seen .

Always a few Buzzards around.