Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Tuesday 10th.February 2009

Today's workday up on the Greensand Ridge was cancelled because of the weather and the general ground conditions . So ,once the overnight/morning rain cleared , I set off after lunch to Hayes Farm , with the promise of some sunshine later on .
The ground was heavy following the snow , but with the added rain , it was atrocious . I felt really sorry for the horses in the paddocks , almost up to their knees in water and mud . As they moved around , there was a slurping sound as they pulled each hoof out of the quagmire . The most obvious change to the bird population was the number of Gulls . They were in good numbers last time , but this time I estimated 300/400 mixed Black Headed and Common feeding amongst the horses , then , all as one rising noisily into the air , moving to another part of the farm for a short while , then all rising and moving again . Also in lager numbers were the Corvids , with Jackdaws mixed in with the Carrion Crows and the Magpies . The Woodpigeon numbers were pretty much constant with my last visit .
As I headed down towards the manure heap and the log piles , the female Stonechat was still in the same area , as were the good number of Pied Wagtails . Each horse seemed to have a pair following it around . The scrubby trees behind the log pile held the mixed Goldfinch/Chaffinch/Greenfinch flock .
Winter Thrushes were in smaller numbers , with only 10/15 Redwings and just 6 Fieldfares , the latter resting atop a large Oak before flying off 'chak-chaking' as they went .
On arrival at the Trout Fishery , all the white geese , the 'Bitsers' and the Mallards were all in the corner by the gate . Perhaps they were waiting for the person to feed them . Then on the bank by itself I noticed the bird I thought perhaps was an Egyptian Goose . I quickly got a few shots of it before it joined the others in the water . I still think it is a bit iffy , but it is obviously mainly that breed . The iffy Grey Lag type was consorting with the white geese , which is probably how it got that white mask .
Everything else was as before , except that the 2 female and 1 male Tufted Ducks are now 2 female and 3 males . 4 are paired up and the odd male is on his own . I wonder if he was theone with a smile on his face last visit ? The field directly below the lake held 10 Moorhen and 3 Rabbits , and the field beyond that , 4 Canada Geese and a lot more Gulls .
On the return to the car , I picked up the Skylark flock numbering about 15 , and also found the Linnet flock numbering 15/20 , feeding close by .
As I approached the stile , I found this Pied Wagtail having a wash and brush up in one of the many puddles .


Warren Baker said...

yep, it sure was a wet one greenie! You still saw some good birds though.

Phil and Mandy said...

Good selection of birds greenie, am off to the Sevenoaks Nature Reserve in the morning to see whats about up there. Regards Phil

Ken said...

Hi Greenie.
Consider how wet it was underfoot today you did well.
About your poss bitsa Egyptian Goose.Have a look at this webpage I put your picture next to this one and the similarities are so close.I wouldn't like to call it.Field guides are what they say, a guide.