Saturday, 3 January 2009

Saturday 3rd. January 2009

Well , it had to happen . With very little happening around my area , I strayed once again onto Steve's patch at New Hythe . I parked in Lunsford Lane , and set off on the footpath between Alders lake and the small fishing lake . At the end of the footpath , returning into Lunsford Lane , I noticed a person , carrying a tripod and massive lens in front of me . He started back towards me , having seen a Redpoll in some Alders . As we closed , I recognised him , and he me . It was Steve the resident blogger , and I was caught , banged to rights , trespassing on his patch .
I must admit , he was very kind , and actually welcomed me , without threat of violence .
Thus started a very pleasant day , roaming all over the area . Steve had seen the female Gooseander on the Alders lake , I hadn't . We headed off to see if we could find the Red Crested Pochard on the Tesco lake , but they seem to have left in the last 24 hours . We did find a male Stonechat that showed up very well in the brilliant sunshine .
I had to mention the Bittern , and Steve kindly showed me where it has been seen recently , and although we gave it ample opportunity , it didn't put in an appearance .
Some Siskins were found on the edge of the scrub area , and Goldfinches were in good numbers , mainly feeding on Teasel . Good numbers of 'foreign' Blackbirds were seen , and also several Song Thrushes , but surprisingly , no Winter Thrushes were seen or heard , until a fly over of a few of each species just before sunset .
The river produced a Grey Heron , a single Redshank , a few Teal and a small flock of Black Headed Gulls .
The Sunken Marsh was very quiet , but a Snipe and a few more Teal were in the run-off , into the river .
My aim was for some Winter ducks , but each lake we visited failed to produce any .
Heading down the Millstream , we diverted to check for the Bittern again , and failed again , but a text from 'source unknown' , alerted Steve to a Firecrest , only a couple of minutes from where we were . We headed for the location with speed , and after a few minutes , Steve located two small birds on the other side of a ditch . One was a Goldcrest , and the other was an elusive Firecrest . It was a first for me , and I would post a picture , but I have seen what that massive lens on Steve's camera recorded , and believe me , his shots are much better than mine .
Bouyed up with the Firecrest , we headed back towards the cars , via the lay by alongside Alders lake . Sure enough , the female redhead Goosander was still there , and a quick shot was possible before she flew off towards the middle . Once again , Steve's lens did the biz .
When we got back to the cars , which incidentally were parked one behind the other , we decided on taking the cars , and having one last shot at the Bittern . It would have been incredible if it had worked out , but it didn't , but Steve did spot a Water Rail 'ice skating' in the area that we were searching for the Bittern .
A really enjoyable day , and I'll leave you to see Steve's pictures on his blog 'New Hythe Wildlife Blog'


Adam said...

Straying off patch eh! Something I've been doing of late....very satisfying!!!! Sounds like you had a cracking day and Steve is good company - did hye start pishing?!


Ken said...

Hi Greenie
Did you say Steve wasn't violent towards you??? You must have cought him on a good day. Just kidding Glad you both had a lovely day. About the other Steve saying those dusks were Lesser Spotted. I was curious as to how he came to that conclusion and he emailed me saying this;
Hi Ken,
My misidentifications are notorious in the Kentish bird world, and this is, I'm afraid. another example.
Like most of my submissions to the Records committee, this one would be quickly rejected!

Greenie said...

Adam ,
I'm afraid to say Steve did start pishing , but I just walked away a bit and made out I didn't know him when people came past .

Warren Baker said...

I've seen the pic's Greenie, the firecrest is a real cracking bird. Seems I'm not the only one with a bigger lens on his wish list!!

Kingsdowner said...

My reputation is in tatters.........

Steve (the other one)