Thursday, 3 January 2013

Thursday 3rd. January 2013

Firstly , a WARNING to anyone going down to Barming to see the Hawfinches reported on Adam's / East Malling , Ditton and Barming blog . Make sure that you know exactly where you are going , I can confirm that there are no guiding arrows above the trees favoured  by the birds .
I found that out this morning when I arrived at Church Lane , not a single arrow in sight . In the
gloom of an overcast day , I was welcomed by a male Kestrel on top of one of the power line posts , but not a lot else . The car park at the end was empty , so I started a search for the 'unmarked' trees .
I did eventually find them , but no sign of a Hawfinch , not even one of the Greenfinches that were seen flying with them . I decided to have a look at the Field Maples further along South Street , another place where Adam had found them feeding , but nothing seen . Down by the bridge , just before the river , a feeding flock turned out to be Chaffinches , and on my return back up the hill a couple of Greenfinches were sighted , but only accompanied by Starlings . I returned to the car park , still empty and scanned the still empty 'unmarked' trees . Another birder arrived , but seemed intent on finding the birds whilst seated in his car , along with a couple of dog walkers . After a short time , I was the only one left again and sat in the car to have a cup of coffee . Whilst drinking it , the Kestrel
seen earlier made a low pass over the car park and landed not 15 mtrs. away from the car , and posed nicely for a few seconds , before disappearing from sight again . Coffee finished , I got my gear together and headed into the graveyard , to get what little light there was behind me , in anticipation of loads of Hawfinch photographs . Unfortunately it didn't work out like that , as although a few Greenfinches flew into the 'unmarked' trees , no Hawfinches arrived . I noticed another birder arrive , but he just had a look from the car park and left after a short while . Another couple of birders pulled into the car park just after midday , and shortly afterwards , a check on on another two birds that had
just flown in , got the result I wanted , as one of them was a Hawfinch , silhouetted against a grey
sky . It stayed for a couple  minutes , so I was able to fire off several shots , but what I would have given for some sunshine . The bird flew off a couple of times but returned , this time on it's own . I
got a few more shots . Just as the other birder arrived , who I could now see was Mike H , no sooner had he got the bird in his binoculars , it took flight , heading past the church spire and into the distance . We were soon joined by another birder that we both recognised from Sevenoaks Reserve and Bough Beech , so it was becoming somewhat of a 'mini twitch' . Unfortunately , the Hawfinch sightings described were the only ones up to 1500 when I left . That was even with the attendance , twice , of 'The Arrow Man' himself , Adam , and Chris , who I met at the 'tree-laying' event early last year , or it might even be longer ago than that . The shame was that between 1300-1400 , the sky
lightened considerably , but the Hawfinch did not return , but the local Dunnock was making the most of it . Other interest seen during the wait included Sparrowhawk , Goldcrest , a flock of LTTits and two Song Thrushes that were competing against each other , jumping up from the power cables to snatch the Ivy berries hanging above them .
I feel very lucky to have seen and photographed the Hawfinch , and thank Adam very much for putting out the news .


Phil said...

How very dare you Greenie! Trespassing on my new patch before I even get there!
What a great result to eventually see the Hawfinches. I do intend to get there within the next few days.........with a bit of luck.

Mike H said...

Great comments Greenie, I had to leave at 3.15pm after getting a call from the missus. There were no more sightings but the Kestrel returned but posed in one of the more distant pylons. Good to see you and chat and will no doubt bump into you again on another one of your Kentish Arrow searching trips !!

ShySongbird said...

Hi Greenie, Firstly, well done on the Smews in your previous post which I was sure I had commented on but on checking apparently not! There has been a male at Draycote for a while now but I haven't managed to get's bound to be gone when I do!

Anyway, well done too on your eventually seeing the Hawfinches, your patience was certainly rewarded, another lovely bird to see, needless to say... I never have. Lovely photos of the Kestrel too.

Warren Baker said...

Nice one greenie :-) any image of Hawfinch is an image to treasure I should say!

Adam said... I mentioned on the day, I could take the ribbing if it was from anyone other than a blogger who added Santa hats and fake snow to his Waxwing photos ;-) I'm glad you caught up with one of the birds, turned into quite a mini twitch! Light was good today but I only managed a quick 10 minute sortie and no sign of Hawfinch (but loads of Linnet in the 'arrowed ash'!).

Catch up soon, nice pics by the way.