Wednesday, 10 February 2016

After a dry start early on, rain fell intermittently for the rest of the morning, brightening up by late afternoon.

I headed for the lakes first this morning, checking out the Ashes Lane Fields en route, where there was a mixed flock of 30-40 FIELDFARE / REDWING, mostly Fieldfare, there were also around 50 STARLINGS feeding with them, plus, as usual, the MEADOW PIPITS were also to be found there.

Approaching the lakes, I could here MISTLETHRUSH, SONGTHRUSH, COAL TIT, CHAFFINCH, TREECREEPER, WREN, DUNNOCK and ROBIN all singing from the nearby large gardens and Wet Woods despite the rainy conditions.

I had a nice surprise when I eventually arrived at the lakes, as there were 4 MUTE SWANS (67,60) on the main lake, I am used to getting the odd single bird here, maybe two on occasion, but four is unprecedented! A good bonus bird for the months list anyway, taking it to the 60 mark, plus it moves the year list on to 67. Nothing else was seen of interest on the other two smaller lakes, just a couple of MALLARDS and a few MOORHENS as usual. The adjacent Scrubby Woods didn't provide me with a Woodcock for the year list, but a watching a mixed feeding flock was of some consolation, containing BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, LONG TAILED TIT Coal Tit, NUTHATCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and Chaffinch.

A look around the Greenhouse Grounds later in the walk found little of note, just a few SISKINS were in the Alder trees there, plus the KESTREL pair were seen up hunting.

A scan through the Gull flock at Migrant Alley was interrupted when a BUZZARD flew low over, but I had enough time to find COMMON GULL, HERRING GULL, LESSER BLACKED BACKED GULL and BLACK HEADED GULLS before they all swirled up and moved to a further field.

No pics from todays outing in the rainy conditions, but I have a few more of those LESSER REDPOLL images I took yesterday at my garden feeders. I also have a few images to use as ''blog brighteners'' from a trip I had to Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve this afternoon, I 'll post them tomorrow  :-)

Lesser Redpoll

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Steady rain this morning slowly fizzled out by 10:00hrs, leaving a dull and cloudy morning, it did however brighten up around 13:00hrs.

Just a two hour patch visit in the rainy, but at least not windy conditions, didn't throw up any surprises, my visit to the lakes only producing a CORMORANT, a few MALLARDS and 10 Geese, of those, six were paired up CANADA GEESE, two were a paired up GREYLAG and Canada, the other two were the hybrid offspring of the latter, probably the ones that were bred here last year, I remember seeing the Greylag with the Canada Geese as they 'creched' all the goslings.

A SPARROWHAWK flew low over the Scrubby Woods, upsetting all the BLUE and GREAT TITS, who showed there displeasure by alarming angrily, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, LONG TAILED TIT, and GOLDCREST were also seen there.

Only two FIELDFARES were on the Ashes Lane Fields, along with the overwintering dozen or so MEADOW PIPITS, I also saw a BUZZARD fly low across, eventually alighting in the Wet Woods.

Migrant Alley was again hosting the 4 Gull species, those being HERRING GULL, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, COMMON GULL and BLACK HEADED GULL. There was also a mixed flock of WOODPIGEON, STARLING, ROOK, JACKDAW and CARRION CROWS, some 300 birds I estimated, all sharing the sheep pasture with the Gulls.

Not much was around the Greenhouse Grounds today, just a few SISKINS and a GREY WAGTAIL that dropped in as I was leaving.

At least today I have a few 'blog brighteners'. I took these from my garden in the sunshine this afternoon.

Coal Tit

Blue Tit


I also took some more LESSER REDPOLL images, but i'll save them for another post!