Saturday, 24 September 2011

Saturday 24th. September 2011

Last night .I got a phone call from the owner of the Farm lake , to say she had seen large birds overhead , and proceeded to make a reasonable imitation of a Common Buzzard call , and had also seen a smaller , faster , hawk-like bird too .I visited this morning , to find an empty sky and empty lake , apart from 2 Coot and a single Moorhen . I stayed for about an hour , and only managed to add 3/4 Chiffchaffs in the reedbed and the occasional Corvid flying over . I did however find 2 Brown Hawkers , 3 Migrant Hawkers , and 3 Common Darters , which at least added some interest . With no sign of any birds of prey , I headed to look around a set aside field , not far away from High Elms . This too proved to be quiet , but I did
 find a few plants that were still in flower . The first is a member of the Dock family , Knotgrass / Polygonum aviculare , easily overlooked by taller vegetation . Also in flower still , Scarlet Pimpernel
/ Anagallis arvensis , a member of the Primrose family . It was whilst I was photographing the tiny
Field Pansy / Viola arvensis , a member of the Violet family , that I got a text from Carol , saying that the Farm lake owner had just rung and that the birds were back again . I made my way back to the car and back to the Farm lake , where I found things exactly as I had left them . I had a good look over the surrounding fields , but found nothing . I was about to leave , again , when a single Common
Buzzard call announced three of them , at height , being persued by some of the local Corvids .
Unfortunately , all three never made it together on a single frame , and before long , they had lifted higher and higher , until small specks in the sky . I packed up my gear , and headed back to the car , passing the lake on the way . As I did so , a flash of movement caught my eye , which turned out to be the first Hobby that I had seen there this year , better late than never . I grabbed the camera again ,
and just managed to get a bad shot of it , as it stooped down towards the lake , probably having eyed one of the dragonflies that I had seen earlier . As quickly as it appeared , it disappeared out of view .  I waited , hoping that it would return , but it didn't . But , whilst I was waiting , a third bird of prey
came into view over the woods , this time a Sparrowhawk , and once again with an attendant Corvid .
A second bird was seen seconds later , at distance over the horse paddocks . I gave it another 10 minutes , then headed home , having confirmed the Common Buzzards , albeit second time around .
This afternoon , with other members of the Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group , baited and layed small mammal traps , in an exercise to see what food is available for the Adder population in the area . I will be helping the license holder check and re-bait the traps on Monday morning , which could prove interesting . Other members are assisting in the twice daily checks between now and then . Whilst laying the traps , two male Adders were found , one made it to the lens , the other
didn't . A few butterflies were recorded during the visit , being  9 Meadow Brown , 1 Small Heath , 1 Speckled Wood , 1 Small Copper and a late female Chalkhill Blue .


Warren Baker said...

A good raptory day Greenie, I had no chance today!!

Alan Pavey said...

I always enjoy a few birds of prey Greenie, you did well, I like the stooping Hobby pic, I think I'll have to try again next year for a Hobby to make it onto the lens.