Monday, 4 April 2011

Mothers Day miss!!

Yesterday morning, I headed out and got to the castle around 7 ish, I had missed the checking of the first moth trap but we looked through the second one and found 4 year ticks Lesser Swallow Prominent (my first Swallow of the year!), Red Green Carpet, Powdered Quaker and Lunar Marbled Brown, I missed Pale Pinion and Dark Chestnut on Saturday, so the list now stands at 35 for the year.

While recording the moths a LITTLE OWL called and 2 Canada Geese flew over. I was trying out my new (second hand) camera for the first time today, obviously not having read any instructions! the results were mixed so the photos on this post were taken with it, I don't think you'll tell the difference they're still a bit iffy! Although it does seems to be attracted to Blue Tits!
On the lakes there were the 3 Greylags looking more and more at home as time goes on, the male REED BUNTING was again singing on the top island and BLACKCAPS were everywhere, Stephen had 7 on Saturday plus a Swallow and there were still at least 6 around yesterday. In the woods I watched a COAL TIT collecting nesting material and found 3 TREECREEPERS, 5 MARSH TITS and NUTHATCHES were calling non-stop, I reached a recently cleared area just as a SPARROWHAWK drifted over, it started calling and landed in a tree just out of sight. Reaching a more established glade in the wood, Blue Tits were busy, as were a pair of Chaffinches and there was lots of noise, among the noise was a WILLOW WARBLER  (80) singing, fingers crossed that it stays and attracts a mate.

Blue Tit
 Out in the fields, I found another REED BUNTING singing well with a nearby YELLOWHAMMER sharing the hedge, 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS flew north and several GREY HERONS were commuting to and fro', I didn't see many BULLFINCHES but heard them fairly regularly throughout the walk. I left for home happy with my morning.

Pied Wagtail

A little later, as I drove for lunch with my Mother-in-Law, I got a phone call from Stephen around 12 o'clock, it transpired that he was looking for raptors coming in from the south and caught a movement in the corner of his eye as he turned a HOOPOE was flying about 15 ft above the ground passed him towards the newly planted orchard, he managed to catch up with the bird as it perched in an Oak tree for a few seconds before it disappeared towards Frittenden, so far, never to be seen again!! A fantastic bird and new for the site taking the total to 141, even if I wasn't having lunch (and it was a nice lunch), there wasn't much chance of me catching up with it but I love the fact you just never know!!

Another Blue Tit


Surprisingly I gave the moths a miss this morning! and checked out the places the Hoopoe had been and where it might be, but to no avail. There were a few things around though, a couple several BLACKCAPS still sung by the lake, with a female following the singing male around. 2 YELLOWHAMMERS flew over Park Field as did 2 REDPOLL and another year tick 3 CROSSBILLS (81), I think I've only had Crossbills landed at the Castle twice but it's nice to hear them call and they weren't very high as they flew over.
In the freshly turned fields there were 9 STOCK DOVES and many Corvids, I also took some time watching Blue Tits displaying, doing their parachute type flights between the branches.
Blue Tit!!


Rachel J said...

Keep us posted on the Hoopoe!

Greenie said...

Alan ,
A couple of good species there , apart from the moths of course .
There was a Hoopoe reported on the 2nd. in the Brighton area . Great site tick, bet you choked on your lunch .

Warren Baker said...

Just catching my breath after that little lot Alan! I ve not had a Crossbill here yet, as for Hoopoe, well I probably never will :-)

Phil said...

Great post Alan. I would be sick as a parrot if I missed a Hoopoe, or a parrot!
Good to get Willow Warbler, their's is one of the most evocative of summer songs I think.

Anonymous said...

Some good stuff there, Alan and that male Pied Wag looks stunning in his summer finery.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely results from the new camera Alan, great stuff! I have never seen a Crossbill and as for a Hoopoe (shame you missed it)!!! I doubt I will ever see one. I remember seeing one on a number of Kent blogs last year. You do get some great birds down there, maybe I should move ;)

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Rach, will do but don't hold your breath!!

Hi Greenie, Luckily the lunch was good but I did have a pint of Bitter!! :-)

Hi Warren, it was a nice couple of walks for me and the Crossbills nest only a couple of miles away, so I pick up a few flyovers from time to time.

Hi Phil, I like hearing the Willow Warbler to, hopefully there will be some more surprises during the spring but doubtful if they'll be quite as stunning as a Hoopoe though!!

Hi Dean, Thanks, luckily they like to pose a bit to :-)

Hi ShySongbird, Thanks, I've got a lot to learn about what it can do but I'll take my time. Strangely on Mothers Day 2 years ago Stephen phoned as I drove to my Mums and he had found a Great Grey Shrike!! Luckily I saw that later :-)

Kent is a really good county for birds along with lots of others of course but I certainly enjoy it.

You never know what might turn up you may yet bump into a Hoopoe or a Crossbill :-)

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant Pied Wagtail.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Bob, Thanks, they are particularly striking birds :-)