Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Great finish!

After being at work early yesterday and not getting a walk in, I was looking forward to this morning.
The moth trap was on overnight and produced 170 moths including 2 new for the year a Brindled Pug, earlier than expected and an Early Grey, making the total 22 species for the year so far. As we finished the moths we heard Starlings and saw them wheeling around in a tight group, out of the mist came 2 Sparrowhawks which headed off in different directions. A Siskin called as it flew over as did a couple of noisy Greylags. I headed as ever to the lake, I met Stephen coming up from the fields, we did a quick scan of the lake before we got close and found 6 Greylags and a pair of Mandarin, the first for me for a while, the Mandarin flew to a nearby tree then disappeared into the wood. Standing by the lake we could hear at least 2 Chiffchaff, a couple of Treecreeper and Nuthatch, a Mistle Thrush and a few other of the commoner species, there were 2 more Greylags on the bottom lake. Stephen continued through the wood and I went on towards the park field, I followed a couple of Bullfinches along the hedge, which made a total of 7 this morning in all, a Collared Dove called as I neared the car park and another single Siskin flew over.

Distant Bullfinch

View across Park Field
I put my bins and camera in the car and was just about to start up when right in front of me going passed a gap in the hedge a RED KITE (78) flew!, it stayed reasonably low, went straight over the car park and towards the village, fantastic! I did manage to grab the bins, the bird wasn't a full adult and had got, what looked like an orange tag in the wing, but I couldn't make it out very well as it went away. Stephen had at least 1 possibly 2 last year, I missed out, so hopefully this is the first of more records to come. The earliest record I've had is February 12th but we have seen birds into May, I don't remember any autumn records, I'll have to check.


ShySongbird said...

Well done with the Red Kite Alan! They are such magnificent birds. I am hoping to visit Watlington Hill again this year which is a wonderful place to see them, I had hoped to go last year but was prevented by illness. My brother has seen them soaring over a village about eight miles from me so they are getting nearer :)

I have a stack of rubbish Bullfinch photos taken at the weekend in the same (distant!) place as the Yellowhammers. Yours may be a little distant but is much brighter and less 'twiggy' than any of mine ;)

Alan Pavey said...

Hi ShySongbird, I was very happy with the Kite, it's less than annual on the patch but increasing, Watlington Hill sounds good, I hope you get there this year and it sounds like they are getting closer to you :-)

So far I've found Bullfinches quite flighty, when trying to get photos, so as you say anything without a twig in the way, seems like a major achievement!! :-)

Phil said...

I was only saying today that my mission this year is to get Red Kite locally, so I'm suitably jealous.
Well done Alan.

Warren Baker said...

Great Record Alan :-) red kites have become an annual sighting here since 2008, but only one or two records a year though.

Greenie said...

Alan ,
Very well done with the Red Kite sighting .
The decent Bullfinch shot is one that always seem to elude me , well done with yours .

Mike H said...

Alan,well done on both counts a Red Kite always a great bird to see in Kent. Also a picture of the Bullfinch mine have so far been complete rubbish.

Rachel J said...

Nice work Al.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi All, Thanks for the comments, I was pretty excited getting the Kite, especially as raptors are always high on my list. I've been trying to get a Bullfinch pic. since I started this blog, it's taken ages just get one where you can tell what it is!! :-)