Sunday, 29 April 2012


I laid in bed this morning trying to decide if it was worth getting out of bed to walk the patch. I eventually steeled  myself into action and was glad that I had as five minutes from home I came across a fantastic male Pied Flycatcher(95) on the edge of Horsmonden Sports Field ( this is the first spring record). After watching it for about 15 minutes I carried on in the pouring rain, eventually arriving at Furnace Pond. Here there were 30 Swallows & 2 House Martins and the first Garden Warbler(96) of the year.
So drenched but very happy I made my way home.
In the afternoon I popped down to the lake and on the way back found another Wheatear in the field behind the cottages in Furnace Lane and had 2 Swifts over the village(97).

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Got up in darkness to get out early to do some more Nightingale survey work. As expected I didn't find any in my TQ74 squares. Eventually got to the patch in heavy rain but did add Reed Warbler(94) to the year list.Hope to get out again this evening, weather permitting.
Yellowhammer from yesterday

Friday 27/04/2012

It was a nice change to be able to walk the patch in the sunshine.Not much difference in the number of summer migrants though the Cuckoo was calling well and I did find another Whitethroat on a territory. Still no Turtle Dove or Garden Warbler in any of the areas that I would have expected to find them by now.
Down at the lake there were 3 Mandarin Drakes and a second Mallard with 2 ducklings.
Sadly it looks as though a Mandarin's nest in one of the boxes may have been robbed as there was eggshells and down below it.A female Reed Bunting was in the reedbed in the S/E corner as was a Robin busy feeding it's young somewhere in the cover.

On the way home I decided to check the field at the rear of the cottages in Furnace Lane(formerly Kirkins Orchard) and was delighted to find 2 male Wheatears (92) feeding on the turned over turf, unfortunately they remained distant but I did get a shot of one of them.

In the evening I went out to survey for Nightingales but was unsuccessful but did add a Tawny Owl (93) to the year total.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Saturday 21/04/12

A decent walk around my new patch route this morning produced 4 Willow Warblers singing on territories, so was very pleased. On my way passed the children's play park I found a Robin feeding 2 fledglings.
The lake held 8 Great Crested Grebes ( the highest total ever) and a rather smart summer plumaged Little Grebe. There were also 3 Mandarin drakes and 2 pairs of coots ( one pair busy nest building).
  One of the local Chiffchaffs

4 Sparrowhawks displayed over the lake and a Cuckoo called from Swigs Hole.
In the afternoon I had a stroll with my brother Mick and found a Robin sitting tight on a nest in TQ74A and on the way home a pair of Canada Geese with 6 goslings.
So nothing new for the the Year List but a very enjoyable day nonetheless.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Saturday 14/04/12

Spent a couple of hours walking the Patch. I've had to alter my route somewhat since the old orchard in Kirkins was grubbed out in the winter. This is a devastating loss to my patch as it held good numbers of breeding warblers and was the only part of my patch that regularly had breeding Willow Warblers.
However I did find two singing Willow Warblers in suitable habitat so I'm hopeful.
The Cuckoo was calling well today, the first time I've heard one since the 7th April.There was little change at the lake but 5 Swallows and 2 Sand martins were zipping around and a Cormorant flew over( the first this month).
A Whitethroat (91) was singing from a territory near the pumping station in Furnace Lane. On Shirrenden side of the lake a Little Owl was sitting in one of the mature oak trees.

Little Owl on guard!
On the way back up Gibbet Lane a Willow warbler was singing from a corner of what is left of Kirkins Orchard.
In the afternoon I popped down to the lake and treated to 4 Buzzards displaying over the orchards.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Stopped off at Furnace on the way home from work to see if anything had dropped in and was greeted by the sight of a couple of Swallows over the lake. A pair of Mandarins flew in just as a Sparrowhawk shot across, low to the water.I spoke to an angler( Andy) who said that earlier he had seen about 25 Swallows flying around in the middle of a downpour and that he'd also seen 70-80 Fieldfares.Other than that it was just the usual suspects.The first Mallard ducklings appeared with 15 trailing behind their mother.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


A quick look at the lake on my way to work this morning at 06.15 revealed a pair of Greylags and a pair of Canada Geese. A Blackcap sang as did a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest. The three pairs of Great Crested Grebes were still present and at least one pair of Coots.
I received a text from Glyn to say that he was fishing and had some photos of last weeks Osprey with him and to tell me had seen a couple of House Martins this afternoon, so I popped in on my way home. I picked up the memory stick from him and was pleased to see one of the House Martins (90). A Mandarin Drake flew in just as I was leaving.

                                              Distant shot of last weeks Osprey.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


A productive two hours at Furnace Pond today!
Damp weather this morning but still managed three new bird species for the year list. The highlights being the following:

Shoveler - 2 (pair) (87)
Egyptian Goose - 2 (pair) (88)
Sandmartin (89)
Mandarin - 5 (3 drakes, 2 ducks)
Willow warbler - male singing behind boat house
Blackcap - 5 (4 male, 1 female)
Lesser spotted woodpecker
Fieldfare - 90