Sunday, 19 January 2014

More patch visits

I have managed a couple of patch visits since my last post and added a couple of nice birds, firstly a WOODCOCK was flushed on Friday (17th) afternoon, just before I came across a smart COMMON REDPOLL and then a male PEREGRINE flew south west as I watched over 450 COMMON GULLS going the same way as it got to dusk.
A short visit yesterday morning added 15 GREYLAG GEESE heading north and a single SISKIN plus another interesting Redpoll which I couldn't decide if it was Common or something else. A KESTREL was also new for the patch year list.
This morning started well with a BUZZARD by the car park and then great views of the FIRECREST, unfortunately not in the best light as I could only get around 1/30th of a second exposure even on ridiculously high ISO, which was shame but I certainly enjoyed watching the bird feeding out in the open for about 5 minutes or more. In the wood a nice flock included 2 MARSH TIT, 1 COAL TIT, 10+ BLUE TIT, 2 GREAT TIT, 12 LONG TAILED TIT, 3 NUTHATCH, 2 GOLDCREST, 2 G.S. WOODPECKERS and 3 TREECREEPER, which kept me entertained for quite a while, further on in the wood another smaller flock included the bird I was really looking for LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER  (57), I managed a couple of shots but despite good light the bird seemed determined to stay in the shade most of the time!

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Sunday, 12 January 2014

First real patch visit

After some busy weekends and bit of birding elsewhere I finally got to the patch this morning, what a great morning to be out too, with sun and hardly any wind. I started by checking if there were any Snipe around, I didn't find the hoped for Jack but was happy with 7 COMMON SNIPE, also here were the first of 8 BULLFINCH seen today. Moving up to the car park I managed to find a couple of GREENFINCH. FIELDFARE and REDWING were in evidence all morning, as were a handful of LESSER REDPOLL also seen flying around. Heading to the lake a NUTHATCH called and I heard a crest call, which I was sure was a FIRECREST, eventually it gave itself up, a really great start to the year on the patch, it was forever on the move but I did manage a couple of shots. In the woods I added MARSH TIT, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST and COAL TIT. In the fields there were 23 MEADOW PIPIT, 6 SKYLARK, 4 YELLOWHAMMER, a REED BUNTING and a couple of LINNET. A COMMON BUZZARD flew west and a GREAT BLACK BACKED GULL flew north, not the most common of the gulls here. Finally a LITTLE OWL called and a SPARROWHAWK shot across the lane as I headed home. I finished on 47 species which makes 49 for the year, as I popped in late on Friday to listen for TAWNY OWL, which did call, I also had the bonus of a calling WATER RAIL then as well!
Blue Tit




Friday, 10 January 2014

Interesting Redpoll - Hemsted Forest, Kent

On Thursday 9th this bird was found by Steve Broyd and subsequently Stephen Message, who got several video grabs as follow here. Any comments are welcome, I'm hoping there will be plenty of opinion.
The bird was seen close to where the Crossbills have been being viewed from, where everyone stood to look at the Oak and drinking pool just take the next left turn and head down the dip until it levels out and view the alders in that area.