Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sunday 10th. February 2013

With foul weather today , the only good thing is that it gives a chance to catch up with the last few days . After seeing a drake Goldeneye reported from New Hythe , the work day up on the Common meant that I could not get down there on Thursday , but read later that evening that Phil had seen the bird in the morning , so I set off Friday morning to try and find it . It was a nice bright morning , ideal for photography , all that was missing was the Goldeneye . The best sighting on Little Alders lake was a Little Egret , but it was no compensation for the target , which must have departed sometime Thursday . The large Alders lake was busy with the usual Coots and two floats of Geese , one of Canadas the other Greylags . Both left , noisily , whilst I was there . Another sign of Spring was
found with the head plumage of the Cormorants having turned silver/grey . A check of the stream along Lunford Lane didn't turn up any surprises , but at the bend by the entrance to the lakes , a Song
Thrush was filling the surrounding area with song . I decided to have a look around the other lakes , to see if the Goldeneye had moved onto one of them . Nothing much was seen until I got to the high viewpoint above Abbeymead , when whilst scanning the surface , two small ducks flew in and landed two thirds of the way down towards the paper works , and I could just make out that they were
redhead Smew , as can be just seen on this distant record shot of the pair . Even the river was against me on the visit , with it being as high as I have ever seen it , filling the inlet by the 'Bucket Wood' . A couple of Bullfinches were heard but not seen , and at the heronry several birds were noisily
discussing squatter's rights from the sound of it , whilst doing their pterodactyl impersonation . Alongside the millstream , four Long-tailed Tits were foraging in the vegetation on the bank , and
carried on , seemingly oblivious to my presence . I was hoping to find some Siskins in the many Alder trees on site , but only had one small flock fly over near the Diver's Bridge . With no other interest found , I decided that as I was so close , I would give the churchyard at Barming another try for the Hawfinch , but it was not a good sign to find another birder packing up , having spent nearly two hours on site without a sighting . I still decided to give it a try , and having spent about the same period of time , finished up with the same result . The question ' has Adam put them back in the box for another year '? came to mind . But , not only were the Hawfinches missing , there was very little
of any species seen , but at least this Wren that I watched fossicking amongst the grave stones put on a good show . On the way home , and just as the cloud was rolling in , I stopped briefly at the horse
field , and for once found the juvenile Common Buzzard  perched on one of the closer fence posts . It wasn't long before it flew off towards the woodland , but as it did so , I managed to get a few flight
shots against the sky rather than against the ground . Yesterday's hedglaying took place in almost constant sleet and drizzle , and by the time we were leaving the site , the track was beginning to resemble the Somme . Several birders passed by whilst we were there , some hoping to find the Pallas's Warbler that had been around recently , but none had seen it by the time we left . Apparently there were good numbers of Goosander , many already paired up on the more distant pits according to the birders , and a Barn Owl was seen hunting not far away from the hedge , but nobody told me until after it moved on .
And finally , an update on the Barming Hawfinches , I see that on the KOS site , Adam had two birds mid afternoon yesterday , so they haven't been put away yet .


Warren Baker said...

looks like you got quite close to that buzzard Greenie, it must be getting bolder :-)

Ken. said...

Nice report of your recent outings.Like the L/T/Tit shot.
Your Cormorant might be a older Phalacrocorax carbo but my money is on the sub species Sinensis. Many of the latter can be seen a Dungeness.

Phil said...

Bad luck with the Goldeneye Greenie, but a pair of Smew beats that I think?
Think yourself lucky with the Hawfinches, Adam kept them in the box until my seventh visit I think!
The Pterodactyls will be nesting soon no doubt down at Jurassic Park.

ShySongbird said...

Birding can be so frustrating Greenie, well done with the two Smew though. Pterodactyl definitely came to mind with the Heron!

Lovely to see the Song Thrush doing what it does best. Very nice photos of the LTT, Wren (not easy to capture on camera in my experience) and of course the Buzzard which will start to recognise you soon I should think ;-)