Friday, 19 November 2010

Friday 19th.November 2010

After two days up on the Greensand Ridge , and yesterday working up on the Common , I couldn't wait to get out this morning , especially as we were fog free and the sun was shining . I set off , as often not sure where to , but soon ran into fog on the M20 . From high ground , the fog could be seen lying the lower areas , and unsure of the weather further on , turned off at New Hythe for a look around Phil's lakes , and who knows , run into the man himself .
I was parked at the sewage works entrance just after nine , and headed straight to the Bittern viewpoint , thinking that it might be around still due to the conditions . A good hour , produced a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers , almost directly overhead , several Great Crested Grebes and Cormorants , and lots of Coots . The reedbed remained motionless during the hour , but I did have a Kingfisher sighting . Getting chilly , I set off to see what else was about , and getting closer to the railway and river , the fog got thicker . Crossing the West scrub , the amount of berries for the Thrushes was incredible , at that went for the rest of the site as well . In the East scrub , I checked out the area where I have found Wax Caps in the past , but like other sites this year , they are few and far between . I did find a few Parrot Wax Caps-Hygrocybe psittacina ,
and the odd specimen of Snowy Wax Cap-Hygrocybe nivea . Also found were a few specimens of Field Blewit-Lepista saeva and over the railway line , on the path to the river , lots of Clitocybe gotropa and Clitocybe nebularis-Clouded Agaric , pictured .
Lots of Bullfinches calling , and the odd one seen along the river , which was just about coming up to high tide , seen through a thick fog . Fieldfares , Redwings and Blackbirds were feeding along the length of the path , and a splash of white caught my eye amongst the green and brown vegetation , which I think is Marsh Stitchwort-Stellaria palustris , which should have finish flowering back in July according to the books .
I didn't go around the Sunken Marsh , but headed back along the railway , not seeing / being able to see much on the way . By the time I crossed the railway and was approaching the Bittern reedbed , as if by magic the sun appeared and the fog started to quickly lift . I'm not sure , but it seemed to be going back up the river , perhaps with the tide turning . Just before the reedbed , a flock of Finches few into one of the Alders and started feeding . Hoping for Siskins , I scanned them with difficulty as all the leaves are still on these trees . I found Greenfinches , Goldfinches ,
Blue and Great Tits and then finally , a couple of Siskins , which didn't stay around for long .
Although I was heading back to the car to get my lunch , I decided to give the Bittern another shot . All was much the same , but for three Cormorants , hauled out on the small island . Another 45 minute vigil had the same result as before , but I was treated to a mixed flock , mostly Long Tailed Tits , with the odd Blue and Great Tit and a single Goldcrest . They flew in and noisily got on with their lunch . Try as I may , I just couldn't get a shot of the Goldcrest , but the Long Tailed Tits gave good views .
As I passed the diver's car park , I noticed a Swan swimming towards me from the far bank . As it got closer , I could see it was the Whooper Swan that Ken posted the other day . As it got closer , two diver's were half in , half out of the water , and the Swan came to within 10 metres of the pair . I don't think that there is any doubt that it is semi tame .
I finally made it back to the car for lunch , and whilst eating it , decided to have a look at the footpath alongside the Research Station at East Malling , where Adam works . I'll write that up tomorrow .


Adam said...

Hi Greenie,

Looking forward to the write up tomorrow -nothing to exciting if it can wait a day! I was out in East Malling churchyard/village at lunchtime, shame we didn't bump into each other!


Phil said...

So close yet so far!
I was in b****y Bluewater this morning on domestic duties.
Sorry you didn't connect with the Bittern. Let me know next time you're in the area and i'll join you. Well done getting the Siskins they're not easy at New Hythe.