Sunday, 15 January 2017

After the snow on Thursday night little was seen when I filled the feeders on the way home on Friday.
Saturday at least turned up 2 Common Gulls(60) and a Lesser Black-back Gull(61).
Today was a better day with Marsh Tit, Coal Tit and Water Rail of note down at the feeders.
The lakeside alders held a flock of Goldfinch and Siskin and a Buzzard was being chased by a pair of local Carrion Crows.
On the water seven Mandarins were present but the Great crested grebe had disappeared again.
Despite the rain continuing I decided to have yet another look in the orchard at Haymans Hill and my persistence in visiting it paid off, at last, when a Waxwing(62) was found amongst the many winter thrushes.Brilliant!!!
It got even better when a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker(63) called from the derelict orchard adjacent to Maidstone Road as I left for home.
It has also been great to find that a few Redwings are visiting the garden.
Redwings in the garden

Monday, 9 January 2017

It was a rather dull weekend weather wise but it did supply some new additions to the year list.
A quick visit on the way home on friday 6th produced a skein of geese which held 56 Canada and two Greylags(56). Not a species that is very plentiful on the patch.
Saturdays morning walk didn't provide much except for the usual species but a walk up to Haymans Hill in the afternoon provided a Yellowhammer(57). The orchards were full of Redwings and Fieldfares and there are still lots of apples on the trees so they are likely to hang about,
Sunday down at the lake saw good numbers of finches which included a couple of Lesser Redpolls(58) and cracking male Brambling(59).I was really pleased to find both these species as there haven't been many about this winter.
The feeders produced 2-3 Marsh Tits plus Blue and Great and a couple of Coal tits which included a 'Continental' type which I am hoping to get a picture of if it continues to visit.
The only thing on the lake was two pairs of Mandarins and a pair of Mallard.  

Thursday, 5 January 2017

I dropped into the lake to fill up the feeders and was pleased to find three drake Teal(54) on the ice and a Mandarin(55) drake in a tree at the southern end.
As I topped up the sunflower hearts I was joined by a Marsh tit.
Walking back to the car and a Kingfisher flew from the willows.
Starling in the sunshine

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Monday 2nd was dry and sunny,a lot more pleasant.
As I walked from the house a Pied Wagtail(44) landed in the play park.
I carried on down through Kirkins adding a Meadow Pipit(45) and on through Swigs were a Buzzard(46) was catching earthworms before flying away when a second bird chased it off. Crossing the road into Hononton Farm a Grey Heron(47) flew over me and along the stream.
Along the farm track towards the feeders a Reed Bunting(48) flitted into the willow herb in the ditch.
Reed Bunting in the ditch.
I checked the feeders and made my way round the lake as a Cormorant(49) landed on the water.
Round on the Shirrenden side and both Kestrel(50) and Sparrowhawk(51) were seen.
As I got home 2 Greenfinches(52) were on the garden feeders.
In the afternoon I went back to the lake via the orchard in Haymans Hill where there were hundreds of winter thrushes.
I refilled the feeders and added another and stood and watched for a while and was rewarded with a Water Rail(53) that came out to peck about under them.
                                 Interesting Blackbird I photographed at Bewl Water.

Sunday, 1 January 2017


December passed with a Chiffchaff on the 11th, on the track up to Haymans Hill where there are great numbers of Redwings with at least 1200 on 23rd and 2000 on 31st plus 700 Fieldfares.
The other highlights were a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the hedge at paddock in Furnace Lane surpassed by a Marsh Harrier(107) that flew south over the house at 08:00 on 25th.The perfect christmas gift and a welcome addition to the garden and year lists.
This bought the year tally to 107.
The feeders down at the lake have made it easy to see Marsh Tits as they are regular visitors, as is a Water Rail which has been eating the stuff that is dropped from above.
One of the 2-3 Marsh Tits
Water Rail (thanks to Wez for the image)
2017 started on a damp note with  a few of the commoner species not seen, however Marsh Tit, Woodcock and Great Black-backed Gull were the undoubted highlight.
No raptors were seen, which was not a surprise given the weather, so I've attached a shot of a Sparrowhawk I took on a sunnier day.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

November has passed and two more species were added to the year total with a Woodcock(105) flushed from the alder wood on the 12th.
On the 19th of the month a Little Egret(106) flew SW over Kirkins.
Prior to this another high-lite was a pair of Ravens that flew over north on the 6th of the month,remarkably this is the third record this year,probably a sign of this species increase in the county!
Most early walks at the weekends have seen good numbers of Black-headed Gulls with a few Common Gulls on Swigs Hole side.
A Marsh Tit has been seen regularly around the lake and of some significance was a Chiffchaff in the ditch at the southern end.
During this week the lake has been mostly frozen over this had pushed out the Water Rails with two seen in the only bit of open water on the afternoon of the third.It was great to see them as I normally only hear them.
Today a skein of geese went over which was mostly Canadas but there was also a Greylag and a Canada/Greylag hybrid amongst them.
The morning got even better when I found a Chiffchaff behind the pumping station and better still when three more CHIFFCHAFFS were flitting around the reeds and trees at the southern end of the lake.Fantastic!!Only the second ever December record.
This afternoon, on a walk with my wife I was delighted to find 35 Lapwings in with the Black-headeds on Swigs side.
Lapwings on Swigs

I found some images on my coolpix camera which I had digiscoped on a holiday in Kefalonia so i've 
a few.


Thursday, 3 November 2016

Last weekend started well with the first Greylag since March flying noisily over the lake.
Redwings and Fieldfare have become daily sightings but still not in any great numbers and the same goes for Siskin and Lesser Redpoll.

Maybe the last Chiffchaff of the year was seen on saturday 29th and there appears to be 2 Water Rail at the southern end of the lake.
Sunday was very foggy during my walk with the result that I gave up on seeing much and went home.
However later on I went out again as the sun had come out and was chuffed to find a Black Redstart(103) on the roof of the farmhouse.Brilliant!!

The good fortune continued on 2nd November when 2 Lapwings(104) went over( amazingly the first sighting of this species this year).
I managed a quick walk after work this evening and found four Teal on the lake plus fourteen Mandarin and a Water Rail.
As I watched a Snipe went over and as I left a Tawny Owl called.