Monday, 14 February 2011

Light showers fell during my afternoon patch visit, but these were few, and in between them some sunny spells were had.

Walking through the Small holding, I found a group of mixed finches on the Alpaca enclosure, mostly CHAFFINCH and GREENFINCH, with fewer GOLDFINCH, but no sign of my first Brambling of the year in with them. Also in the Small Holding were a flock of BLUE and GREAT TITS, some 20 odd strong, these are the Tits that feed at my garden feeders nearby.

A MISTLE THRUSH was heard to sing as I entered the Wet Woods, and more Great Tits were heard calling, three pairs of MALLARDS were on the newly replenished flood water on the woodland floor, as were two MOORHEN. Up in the bare trees a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER was drumming, and on a catkin laden Alder 3 SISKINS were seen.

I didn't anticipate anything being on the 3 lakes, the gas cannons are still blasting away, but there were a pair of CANADA GEESE on each of them, they were joined by 3 Mallard on the smallest lake. The adjacent scrubby woods were given a brief search, where BULLFINCH'S were heard calling, and a small flock of LONG TAILED TITS were found busily foraging through the tangled trees and brambles (below)

I also found 4 GOLDCRESTS in this ''proper'' woodland habitat, I tried to string a Firecrest out of one of them, but it wasn't possible :-) The TAWNY OWL hooted from it's roost whilst I was Firecrest hunting, also of note was a flyover CORMORANT.

Moving on to the Pub Field, ( the Tree Nursery had a work crew in it today) I saw at least 110 FIELDFARE, not one was seen whilst they were out in the stubbles, on the floor, but as I walked up the field edge, more and more took off to alight in the trees that border a large garden, I noticed only 6 REDWING with them, and in the distance a KESTREL sat on a telegraph pole watching the proceedings.

As I reached the Fieldfare laden trees to get a photo of one, the sun went in and they all took off apart from this one above, it must have felt sorry for me !

Next stop was Migrant alley, where 86 BLACK HEADED GULLS, hundreds of WOODPIGEON, 43 ROOKS and a pair of Mistle Thrush were all out on the Sheep pasture, but that was all.

Above and below Black Headed gulls

I spent just 20 minutes watching the sky, but despite the crystal clear air, and good visibility, I couldn't conjure up a Grey Heron or Buzzard for the month. I had to leave soon after as a visit to the dentist was in the offing, on the way, as we drove down Ashes lane, I looked out the window and spotted a SPARROWHAWK cruising along the side of the car at a constant 20mph, and only feet away! With the low sun shining right on it, it made an impressive sight - if only I had my camera !!

Below is a view north, across a field of Sheep pasture at Migrant Alley.


Greenie said...

Warren ,
That scrubby shot certainly looks Bullfinch territory .
Had a large flock of Fieldfare over Sevenoaks Reserve this afternoon too .

steve ashton said...

It's nice to have a change in the weather Warren.

ShySongbird said...

That's a lot of Fieldfares! What a shame about the Sparrowhawk photo, it would have been a good one. You said the hawk is always around but I didn't realise it went on car journeys with you too ;)

Marc Heath said...

At long last we had blue skies in East Kent today, no doubt we will pay for it in the next day or so.

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
Some good species seen. Always nice to hear a Tawny calling. 4 Goldcrest's is also a good count for the day.
Lets hope the weather is better tomorrow.

Kelly said...

...that will be the day, Warren--to see you flying down the road busy at the wheel with camera in hand snapping away! Glad you had some sunshine today!

Anonymous said...

The winter thrushes are a bit thin on the ground up here, Warren. They must have dispersed to pastures new.

Kingsdowner said...

Super shot of the BH Gull - looks like it's saying "The fish was this big!"