Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Friday, 15 January 2021

** HOME BIRD LIST WEEK 2**

 Week two didn't get off to a good start, I did add a few more species to the year list, but seeing one of the 1st species like this was not how I wanted to see it.On the smallish cherry tree in the middle of the garden I have got one of the those square fat cake holders, I have three of them and this one had no top, anyway a  LONG TAILED TIT had gone in through the top to feed and it went further in, and it was so far in it couldn't get back out, so it had to stay in there because it had got itself jammed.I looked from the kitchen window and thought "Great another one for list" But after watching it for a while I realised something was wrong, that's when I had to go out and  force it out, I hate doing things like that.Thank god there was more of them flittering around, I can only assume it happened late afternoon or early morning. I have since devised a top for it so it will not happen again.

The 2nd species I have added to the list is 4 REDWING. I got a small tree at the bottom of the garden, well compared to some tree's it's small. anyway it has got some berries on it and I have been hoping that a member of the thrush family might visit, especially the Redwing, I have had a visitor most winters, but the weather has been worse than this. While looking out the  window late afternoon 4 birds flew in, bigger than the others, and there they was 4 of them feeding on the berries on the tree.

And then we come to the species number 3 and her name is *JET**, and she is a SPARROWHAWK. She is not a one off she is a regular visitor. I named her that because next door has a 6 foot fence, and she comes in low, fast, and she twists and turns. Her favourite spot it sitting on a 5ft flat bush right in front of the feeders where she can see all the other feeders, sometimes she will go and sit on the feeder pole., the last time she came 2 days ago she caught a Sparrow.

My list has now gone up to 22 so I can't see it increasing much, perhaps the odd one here and there.


Saturday, 9 January 2021

** 2021 HOME BIRD LIST. WEEK 1**

I am hoping to do a bit more blogging than I have for a long time, I have certainly got plenty of time on my hands at home seeing as I won't be going anywhere like many others. Week one is from 1st to 7th January. I started by getting up at about 8am on New Years Day to start my list. Most years I would spend about a hour and a half doing it and then head off to Dungeness or somewhere to add some more to it, but this year I spent a lot more time looking out of the window on and off. By the end of the day I had a good start to my Home List which is also my Halling List and Year List. This is my list as it stand at the moment:   BLACKBIRD. B/H/GULL. BLACKCAP. BLUE TIT. C/CROW. CHAFFINCH. C/DOVE. DUNNOCK. GOLDFINCH. G/S/WOODPECKER. GREAT TIT. GREENFINCH. H/SPARROW. JAY. PIED WAGTAIL. ROBIN. STARLING. W/PIGEON. WREN.
The male Pied Wagtail had been turning up occasionally after Christmas, but having the female turn up  to join it made the day. ** Total so far = 19 **

Monday, 20 January 2020

** First Post Of The Year...Why? **

It seems like blogging has died a death, and I must admit I am not posting as much as I use to, but Pam said I should do it again because I seemed to enjoy it, so maybe I should listen to her and take her advice, although I don't go out as much as I use to. Along with many other birders every year I like to try and go out and start a year list on new years day if possible, or close as, this year was no different. I went to Dungeness RSPB reserve for a short while, I never stay long as anyone know it is always heaving on that day. I started the year list off not too bad, including a male Goldeneye, but the best birds of the day was the 32 Bewick Swan on Walland Marsh. This was followed with good views of a Shag standing on a buoy in Chatham Dockyard basin. My next assignment was to visit Elmley in the hope of seeing the Short Eared owls, two trips and on both occasions I dipped out, but at least on my first visit I did get good views of the Long Eared Owl, that is still there now. My second trip I was nothing special, the weather turned very windy but it did give me the chance to add a variety wading birds and Brent Geese on the list. Today is my latest day out, and that was in the hope to see three species, two of those at Scotney Pits, and One at Dungeness RSPB reserve. I was not the only one at Scotney, we was all looking for the 5 Long Tailed Ducks that have been there for quite a few days, but as it happens today was a no no for all of us, but I did get to see the large flock of Barnacle Geese. Onward to Dungeness reserve, and after seeking advice on Facebook Kent Birding as to where to look, I had some idea as to where this bird might be, but as it happens a couple of birders was already looking at it, and if you are wondering what this bird is, it is one of my all time top 5 birds, it is the male SMEW! What a handsome guy he is, being able to stand and admire such a beautiful bird makes it all worthwhile in the end. My year list is not off to a flyer, at the moment stands at 62.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

** Garden Birding, Nice Surprise plus Knowle Park 31st OCT 2019**

It was a grotty day, really dull, and as usual I fed and watered the birds in the morning, then later in the afternoon decided to sit and do a bit of kitchen window birding. Nothing exceptional turned up to feed for a long time, then I noticed a bird on hanging feeder that was different. I had to look carefully to make sure I was seeing what I was, it turned out to be a female BRAMBLING. I have never had one in my garden this early before, it has always been at least at the end of December. I then wanted to try and get a picture of it but my now it had started raining. but I still took one just as a record, I did report my sighting on Facebook Kent Birding with the crap picture just for confirmation, although I shouldn't doubt myself. I am hoping it is one of the first around as I haven't heard of any others being seen, although there must be some. There was one other nice bird that visited which is scarce, and that is a COAL TIT. Today's list was: C/Crow. W/Pigeon. C/Dove. Starling. Blackbird. Chaffinch. Brambling. Goldfinch. Greenfinch. H/Sparrow. Blue Tit. Great Tit. Coal Tit. Robin. Dunnock.
My "Bird of the Day" is the **BRAMBLING**
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On 31st October 2019 I took a trip to Knowle Park to see if there was many Fallow Deer stags around, but there wasn't many about. I think I saw 4, but I only saw 1 close up and that was when it came out of some dead bracken. It was still busy with visitors so I will be going back in a week or 2  when it should be less busy, like it has been is previous year's. I did post a short video of the stag but it wouldn't play so I removed it.


Thursday, 3 October 2019

** Halling Grazing Marsh and Meadow, or Lakes? **

For anyone who knows Halling, if they was to look at these pictures, they might say to themselves "How long have they had lakes there"? For others who don't know Halling and they come across any pictures like these, they might say to themselves "They have some nice lakes in Halling".
The reason I decided to post this particular one is because of the extremely high tide warnings you hear of, like the one that was given on 29th September on Sunday evening which included the River Medway. The high tide was between 1 and 3 in the morning and the salt marsh and the dyke's just couldn't cope with it. I have lived here for 16 years, and I have seen this area flooded before, but to this extreme.
Fortunately there was no cattle there, but closer to the top of Marsh Road is a small paddock where a local guy lives in his big static caravan, luckily enough he wasn't there, but when he returned he wasn't prepared for what he saw. The tide was high on Monday too which didn't help. It wasn't until Wednesday lunchtime that I took these pictures of the area. I would have took some more from other angles but most of the road is flooded but receding according to a local I spoke to, but for the surrounding fields to drain will take a whole lot longer. The only thing I can hope for is that as it drains it brings in more birds. I was hoping to see a good number of birds on it , but there wasn't that many, all I saw was: 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 4 Mallard, 2 Teal, 5 Moorhen, and a large flock of B/H/Gulls and Common Gulls.



Thursday, 15 August 2019

** A Short Visit To Dungeness RSPB Reserve **

Well this is a very strange thing to be doing, blogging. because it has been so long since my last one. I had no Idea what was about, so Dungeness RSPB reserve was where I chose to go to today. when I went into the centre the notice board said that on the 10TH there was a couple of little terns there, just my luck, still that's birding. I was going to sit in the corner and have a scan about but there was people sitting there so I went to the Firth Hide, and I am glad that I did, Once I got settled the last thing I was expecting to see was one of one my top 3 favourite birds, a LITTLE TERN, well four of them in fact, one of them was virtually still in it's breeding plumage. The reason why I was surprised is because it wasn't on the days sightings board in the centre. The other 2 good birds was BLACK TERNS, which spent nearly all there time feeding, and after a while one landed on the sandy beach area where the Little and Common Terns were for a wash and brush up. There wasn't many wading birds around, there was a KNOT out in front of the hide with a hint of summer plumage along with 3 Dunlin. The only other couple other waders that I saw was a few lapwing and a Oystercatcher.


  ~~~ I was going to go to the Hanson Hide, ARC pit, but when I got to the gate there is a sign on it, it is tied up to stop people getting by, the notice says that the hide is out of use because it is being repaired and will be opened as soon as possible. ~~~


I wasn't going to bother with a "Bird of the Day", but seeing as the bird I saw today is one of my top 3 species I cannot not do it, so it has to be the one and only ** LITTLE TERN **

Thursday, 28 March 2019

** Elmley NNR and Hedgehog Rescue.**

This afternoon Pam took me down to Elmley to see if I could catch up with a couple of species that I have been trying to see. I did visit last week but didn't stop because the wind was so strong I struggled to open the car door. I spent time in the Wellmarsh Hide. On my way to the hide I was greeted by the noisy squawking of the B/H/Gulls fighting over nesting sites. It was overcast for  a while then the sun came out and the birds came into their own. One of the species I wanted to see took me a while but when I did  see it, it was worth it. What I was looking for was a MEDITERRANEAN GULL , and at first I found 5 but by the time I left I had counted circa 25, that is the most I have ever seen. The other bird I was looking for was a Dabchick, I couldn't believe it has taken me this long to see one. There was a good number of Marsh Harriers on the wing, I saw more males than females. When Pam and I was leaving about half way down the track she stopped and said that there is a small hedgehog on the tarmac track. Not knowing if it was ok or not we took it to a rescue centre. My total species list is: Grey Heron. Little Egret. B/H/Gull. G/B/B/Gull. Mediterranean Gull. Marsh Harrier. Coot. Moorhen. Teal. Mallard. Gadwall. Tufted Duck. Pochard. Wigeon. Shelduck. Shoveller. Greylag Geese. Brent Geese. Canada Geese. Mute Swan. Cormorant. Dabchick. Pheasant. Redshank. Avocet. Oystercatcher. Lapwing. C/Crow. My "Bird of the Day" is the ** MEDITERRANEAN GULL **