Monday, 28 January 2013

Briefly back on patch

A couple of new birds for the year were added during the snowy period, a BRAMBLING (57) flew west on the 21st as did the first GREY HERON (58)of the year.There were no more visits for a while until yesterday (27th), when I managed a couple of hours out an about, almost the first bird seen was a COMMON BUZZARD as I drove up to the car park, generally it was fairly quiet around the car park as the wind blew. A KESTREL was sat on a hedge and 2 HERRING GULLS flew north. A reasonable amount of thrushes were in the field near the Moat probably 100 FIELDFARE and 20 REDWING. Due to the wind I headed into the wood, which was really pleasant. I soon came across a feeding flock of birds and stayed with them for a while, the flock contained, a single GOLDCREST, 2 MARSH TITS, 10 BLUE TITS, 3 GREAT TITS, 8-10 LONG TAILED TITS, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, TREECREEPER, CHAFFINCH, COAL TIT(59) and NUTHATCH also a JAY was mooching around in the background, I tried a few pics but struggled to get anything worthwhile. Elsewhere a MISTLE THRUSH was in Park Field where a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL (60) flew north. A SPARROWHAWK drifted over heading towards Hempsted Forest and I heard just 1 SISKIN all morning.
This morning I popped in to the patch for half an hour before work, just as it got light, 11 MEADOW PIPIT flew over the car park a PIED WAGTAIL was down in the fields as I watched across the valley. Standing for about 10 minutes a few COMMON GULLS appeared flying east, I counted 159 in the 10 minutes. Another count which was pleasing was the 6 SONG THRUSHES together feeding with a couple BLACKBIRDS and 3 REDWINGS, certainly the most Song Thrushes I've seen in one place here for a while. Other birds this morning were SPARROWHAWK, GOLDFINCH, FIELDFARE (100+), NUTHATCH and a handful of YELLOWHAMMERS.
Bec picked up the camera while I was at work and took this and the next pic of a Fieldfare

Fieldfare by Bec

House Sparrow

House Sparrow

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Jan. 20th

A walk with Bec in the steady snowfall did produce a few bits and pieces. Just before we left 65 LAPWINGS flew south. The orchards held the usual FIELDFARES and half a dozen REDPOLLS. A MARSH TIT was on the edge of Bull and Birches feeding with BLUE and GREAT TITS and a KESTREL sat on the edge of Roundshill Wood. A GREEN WOODPECKER sat motionless on a fence post close to Park Field. The lake was unsurprisingly frozen but a year tick flew up out of the reeds in the form of a LITTLE EGRET (56), the first this winter, normally they arrive around September or October. The fields were quiet, a couple of YELLOWHAMMERS called and a REED BUNTING showed briefly in a hedge as a BULLFINCH flew along it. A few COMMON GULLS drifted around the area and a couple of NUTHATCH called as we made our way passed the office buildings. Now I'm just looking forward to the next walk!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Brief Visits

The patch must feel pretty neglected at the moment, I managed a quick sleety visit Saturday lunchtime after Steve confirmed the Waxwings were still around in the morning. I was in luck after seeing a BUZZARD being mobbed by one of the local crows, I made my way towards the new hide and heard a faint jingling call.  I scanned the hedges and the sky and then saw the hunched bumps in the ash tree, 9 WAXWINGS! (55) facing into the wind. With more commitments in the afternoon I reluctantly trudged back to the car.
A busy day Sunday ended with a visit around 4.15pm in half light. I was hoping to add maybe some  Mandarin coming in to roost or a calling Tawny Owl but this time I was out of luck and saw and heard just a handful of species. A few REDWING flew in to roost and a  LITTLE OWL called from Park Field otherwise it was pretty quiet, hopefully I'll get in a longer visit this weekend but it's not certain at the moment.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

January 6th - misty!

Looking out of the window before I left the house it was touch and go whether I went out at all, as I could barely see to the bottom of the garden! However, I made my way to the castle, the car park was quiet, a few BLACKBIRDS called but the mist certainly affected what was about. Stephen has been around on the patch recently and has been checking the finch and bunting flock, so that's where I headed. On the way down an unfamiliar call turned out to be the CORN BUNTING (53) that has been wintering with the Yellowhammers.
I reached the area where the flock has been feeding, the first birds I saw were 50 SISKIN, wheeling around in the gloom, a few CHAFFINCH and YELLOWHAMMERS were dropping in and out of the stubble. When they all flew up there must have been close to 200 birds a roughly half and half split between Chaffinch and Yellowhammer, it's a shame the light wasn't a little better as Stephen had seen Brambling earlier in the week. 13 SKYLARKS flew up as I made my way towards the wood, once in the wood a MARSH TIT appeared briefly with 2 GOLDCREST and the Siskins dropped in with 6 REDPOLLS. I disturbed a BUZZARD as I walked toward the lake. The brightest part of the morning was a KINGFISHER (54) that sat for a few seconds above the Crane Brook before flying across the lake. 35 species in two and a half hours was 14 down on the New Years Day walk in the same amount time, the sun makes all the difference.
Yellowhammers and Chaffinch feeding field

Part of Sissinghurst ancient woodland

Another Wren pic from the 1st Jan


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

January 1st

What a fine start, I wasn't up particularly early but was at the castle by 8.15am, a quick stop in the first lay-by produced 4 COMMON SNIPE a REED BUNTING and a real surprise in the form of a PEREGRINE flying south-west. The car park was quiet, a couple of things flew over there, SISKIN, REDPOLL and PIED WAGTAIL. A BULLFINCH called as did a NUTHATCH, I saw both well later. FIELDFARES and REDWINGS were again around in good numbers which is to be expected here. I headed for the lake and was lucky to see the WATER RAIL in the same place as on the 30th. In the wood MARSH TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, TREECREEPER and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were added.

Walking around and taking in the view also produced quite a few bits and pieces, 20 SKYLARKS were over the fields and YELLOWHAMMERS were all around, 7 GREYLAG GEESE flew over high, 3 types of gull were seen BLACK HEADED, COMMON and HERRING. I also added 3 BUZZARD, 1 SPARROWHAWK and a KESTREL. Overall 49 species were noted today, a nice start on a beautiful day.