Friday, 19 June 2009

Back out on my patch this afternoon, the weather was good - for once! I visited the lake and scrub area, via ashes lane, the small holding, and then wet woods, the route normally taken in winter months, I then crossed the tree nursery to have a skywatch at Migrant alley.

I saw/ heard the following before getting to the lake area.WOODPIGEON, MOORHEN, BLACKCAP, SONGTHRUSH and GREEN WOODPECKER, that was it, dire! I suppose 2 o'clock on a june afternoon isn't the most productive time to find birds! A TURTLE DOVE was heard in the scrub, and a few of the finch's and tits were seen, in family parties, the CANADA GEESE goslings were on the lake, looking much more like the adults now, but it wasn't much for my efforts.

I crossed into the Treeless part of the nursery, where the vegetation seems to have been sprayed, it's all turning yellow, and not a single butterfly or Damselfly was flushed up from it, the part of the nursery that still has trees, followed the quiet theme, just 2 STOCK DOVES and a lone WHITETHROAT were seen there.

My fortunes changed a bit at Migrant Alley, when I found a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, not very common on my patch now. The maize field was now knee high, and hid 25-30 PIED WAGTAILS and at least 2 SKYLARKS, the latter of which came out and flew up into song occassionally. I took my seat and scanned the sky seeing LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULLS, I then picked up a large Raptor to the NE. I initially thought it was a Buzzard, but as it drew nearer I could see it was a RED KITE! Blimey another sighting! I watched it for some 10 minutes as it seemed to follow the A26 Tonbridge road, from Mereworth to Tonbridge. I'll never get tired of recording these birds, fantastic to see them on my patch.

A little while later a KESTREL came over with all the Pied Wagtails giving chase to it, and just a minute later a GREY HERON also got shown the way out, as it flew low over the greenhouses. Apart from the SWIFTS, SWALLOWS and HOUSE MARTINS, which fed over the Paddocks, that was about it for this afternoon, didn't turn out too badly !

Below is the Small Tortoishell Butterfly
poor photo's of the Red Kite being mobbed by a crow. But i'm not complaining!

lastly, another Pied wagtail Juv. They are everywhere!


swatson said...

great shot of the red kite Warren. I always find it difficult to focus on them before they are away further down the valley

ShySongbird said...

Lovely juvenile Wagtail, I wish they were everywhere here!

What on earth were they shooting at? That could have been nasty!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
I wouldn't complain with those shots of the Red Kite either .
It seems the Small Tortoiseshell is slowly making a comeback , lets hope so .

Warren Baker said...

I find it helps to know at what ''range'' my camera is focused at. I focus on something at the distance I think the subject will be seen at, a bit of gueeswork and anticipation!!

I don't know what they were shooting at, but it better not have been my birds!! I will be investigating.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
I'm happy you finally managed to get a nice day. Well done on the red kite sir!!! It is nice that this guy decided to visit your patch.
here the wind calmed down and I'm ready to go out as there are no clouds and the sun is gonna follow the horizon soon for a nice orange light and some nice shots I hope....

Kingsdowner said...

I'm sure it's the same kite that's circling west Kent.
On my trip to Wales, I saw four along the Newbury-Membury stretch of the M4, so hopefully they are slowly extending their range from the M40.

Simon said...

Nice photo of the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, and well done with the Red Kite!

NW Nature Nut said...

Just got caught up on your blog. It's fun to see you posting some of the same stuff as I am and we are so far apart: butterflies, dragonflies, foxgloves, blackberry flowers. I guess our climates are in sync!

Steve said...

I love the fact that you aren't even writing Red Kite in bold or caps anymore...they have become so common!

Warren Baker said...

All my birds get Capital letters, when first mentioned. A new species for the month gets Orange Bold letters, a new species for the year gets Red Bold letters, and a patch tick gets Purple Bold Letters.

J'ellen said...

Nice butterfly shots Warren! I finally got a couple myself on my latest "field trip" as I call my outings...and today two huge moths next door...another ID book I clue what they are, yet.