Saturday, 6 December 2008

Saturday 6th.December 2008

Montezuma allowed me out of the house just long enough to do the Down House Bird Survey . After finding 37 Fieldfare on my last visit , I was expecting a good haul of Winter Thrushes . The house and grounds are closed whilst renovation work is undertaken , so for the second time in a week , I had to trespass off the footpath to cover my survey route . The three meadows all now have sheep grazing them , with an attendant ram , who by the way has a limp , but I won't take that one any further .
The site lies on one side of a valley , in which lies West Kent Golf Course , and on the other side of the valley is Biggin Hill Airport . The wind direction was from the airport , and this morning there seemed to be more than normal activity , hence more noise than normal , and this certainly seemed to determine the number of birds around .
The first bird recorded was a Fieldfare , but I did not see another until I was leaving , and that was most probably the same bird . The aggravating thing was that all the Hawes , Holly berries and Rosehips that were weighing down the bushes last visit were missing as well , so they had obviously cleaned out practically every red berry on the site and moved on . Just amazing what a complete job they and the other Thrushes had done .
Also missing were many of the small birds , with only Blue and Great Tits found and only Goldfinch representing the Finches , and not a single Starling .
In total 20 species were recorded made up of :- Blackbird (12) , Blue Tit (1) , Carrion Crow (1) , Dunnock (2) , Fieldfare (1) , Goldfinch (2) , Great Tit (1) , Gt.Spotted Woodpecker (2) , Jackdaw (4) , Jay (6) , Kestrel (1) , Magpie (4) , Mistle Thrush (1) , Nuthatch (2) , Rose Ringed Parakeet (5) , Pheasant (1) ,Robin (1) , Song Thrush (1) , Woodpigeon (12) , Wren (3) .
Walking back to the car parked in Downe Village , I made a small diversion to check a Little Owl site , but all was very quiet , but I did pick up Long Tailed Tit , and in the village itself , picked up Pied Wagtail and Starling .
I'm glad the journey home was no longer than it was , and have stayed 'close by' since .
Whilst writing this , I have been constantly checking the feeder area , no sign of the Blackcap or the Redwings , but have had two Song Thrushes on the back lawn , and a Rose Ringed Parakeet has spent the afternoon asleep amongst the Cotoneaster berries next door .


Warren Baker said...

Those winter thrushes are very mobile greenie. maybe we'll see a few more later in the winter, when they switch to feeding on the pasture.

John Young said...

Had a load of redwings near Capel Fleet on Sunday gorging themselves on hawthorn berries. Glad you like the New Zealand stories a few more to post.