Monday, 20 February 2017

A full patch walk this morning, in some remarkably warm weather, produced 43 species in all, but they were all the normal 'core' species, so nothing new was added to the months list, I was hoping to find  the months first Little Owl, but they seem to have gone quiet over the last few weeks.

With the warmer weather arriving, the Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods were positively ringing with birdsong, I noted GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT, COAL TIT, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLETHRUSH, GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, DUNNOCK, ROBIN and WREN all giving some song, NUTHATCH and STOCK DOVE gave their spring calls, plus the GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were drumming. I also heard JAY, GREEN WOODPECKER, GOLDFINCH and SISKIN calling, the only species missing this morning was the Bullfinch.

Nothing but a few CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS and MOORHENS were on the lake, but a GREY HERON did visit briefly.

SKYLARKS carried on the springlike theme, with at east 3 up singing over Bustard Hill, where 2 MEADOW PIPITS called as they flew up and over to the Greenhous grounds, where of course the female KESTREL was seen hunting, later in the morning as the sun made things warmer than some May days I have known, the BUZZARDS began to rise and soar on the thermals.

A pleasant morning out, but lots of bird species are still missing from the February list, which at 54 species is still 12 short of the mean tally for the previous 5 Februaries and is the second lowest February tally as things stand!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

After adding KINGFISHER (52), which was at the lakes and CORMORANT (53) which flew over, to the February list on Wednesday, I was keen to get out for a full patch walk today, as yesterday I spent the morning at Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve ( pics at end of post).

The weather was full on springlike this morning, being windless and very mild, with spells of sunshine later, making it feel warm. The four hour visit provided a good tally of 46 species, however  LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL (54) was the only addition to the months list.

Most of what else I recorded this morning concerned the core breeding species, with the exception of 3 SISKIN that were around the Scrubby Woods area, a few flyover BLACK HEADED GULLS plus the fields full of gathering REDWING and FIELDFARE, which will soon be leaving our shores.

A SPARROWHAWK whizzed through the Wet Woods. the KESTREL pair were seen mating at the Greenhouse Grounds, and a couple of BUZZARDS were up displaying over the area.


Teal (Male) - Oh for one of these on my patch, they used to be quite regular during the winter months.


Teal (Female)


Tufted Duck (Female). These are even rarer than Teal on my patch!



Tufted Duck pair