Saturday, 25 April 2015

Saturday 25th April 2015

At last a few summer migrants have started to arrive on the patch.
Saturday 18th saw me starting my walk in the derelict orchard behind Tucks Cottages in the hope of finding a Willow Warbler in the place that they have nested in the last few years.Unfortunately none were found but a Cuckoo was calling as I entered and was answered by another towards the lake.
As I walked around the edge of the trees a bird flitted across and into the hedgerow. I soon caught up with it and was delighted to see it was a Redstart(77) , a brilliant start.
Walking down through Kirkins and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker flew over me and into the wood at the end of the paddock.
I counted 5 Blackcaps and 8 Chiffchaffs on the walk around and finally found a Willow Warbler down at the southern end of the lake.
The lake held two Mandarin Drakes and a Coot and the Great Crested grebe was still sitting.
On the 20th I had a walk just before dark to try to find a Nightingale in the area that I found two last year but was unsuccessful. However I did find a Whitethroat (78) and even better,a Lesser Whitethroat (79) . This is a very early date for me as most have occurred in the first week of May.
21St April produced my first House Martin of the year (80) .
On my way to work on Friday 24th I popped into a very foggy lake and heard a Garden Warbler singing(81).
Today started in drizzle and although no new species were seen there was a great variety. Tucks held two Cuckoos both male and female and I could also hear two other birds calling form opposite directions.Amazing!! A willow Warbler was also there and I found another Lesser Whitethroat at the top of Kirkins. Which is grate news if it hangs around. Another Whitethroat was located by the Pumping station.
At the lake I managed to get some good views of the Garden Warbler where there were also 4 House Martins and a few Swallows.
In total 51 species were seen. A fantastic total in two and a half hours.
Grey Wagtail

Swallow from in the week
When I popped down to the lake this afternoon I found this Mallard with 12 ducklings.

Friday, 17 April 2015


After the first Swallow on the 3rd nothing happened in the way of summer migrants as the cold weather persisted.
Interestingly though,on the 5th of the month a pair of Lesser Redpolls were present with the male singing in its courtship flight.
On the morning of the 10th seven Redwings and thirty four fieldfares arrived in the orchard next to the lake.
In the evening of the same day a Wheatear(73) was in Kirkins field .
Cropped image of Wheatear.
The Wheatear was still present on Saturday 11th and as I walked down thrugh the field a pair of Egyptian Geese flew passed me and over the village.Blackcaps had increased to three and i also had a single Meadow Pipit.
The next day(12th) the first Willow Warbler(74) was in the paddock behind the pumping station and the first Cuckoo(75) was heard on the 13th.
Finally on the 14th I had my first Red Kite(76) of the year at 16.45pm,down at the lake and had the good fortune to see another at 17.45pm as I walked up Gibbet lane.Both birds heading WNW.
Red Kite over WNW.
On the butterfly front I had six species-Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Orange Tip, Brimstone and Speckled Wood.
Small Tortoiseshell.

Friday, 3 April 2015

3rd April 2015

It was a horrible damp start to the day which persisted for most of the rest of it.At least the wind had died a bit but wasn't the light N/Westerly I was expecting.
The walk around kirkins didn't turn up anything new but it was good to find the male Linnet still singing at the top of the field.
The walk around produced 7 Chiffchaffs and a fly over Meadow Pipit which will probably be the last until autumn.A Skylark was singing over the large field at Swigs Hole and as I approached Furnace I was pleasantly surprised by bird song all around. Spring seems to have arrived even if the weather hasn't improved much.
The Yellowhammer was singing from the hedge near the pumping station but there didn't seem to have been any new arrivals.
I continued my walk around the orchard and down to the lake with a Grey heron flying over towards the stock pond. With not a lot to see I chatted to the lone angler at the lake and was delighted to see the first Swallow(72) of the spring fly up it.
A pair of Goldcrests busied themselves building a nest in some lakeside ivy and as I walked towards the Great Crested Grebes nest I was pleased to see 2 eggs.
Grebes nest
It's amazing how strong the urge to nest must be for them to start again within a week of loosing the last clutch.
Just before dark the weather seemed to have changed to what the weather man had predicted so hopefully something might turn up tomorrow.
Footnote:- Whilst driving in to Tonbridge this afternoon no less than 8 Buzzards were circling over the village of Five Oak Green.