Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

** Halling, East Malling, And New Hythe Lakes.**

I decided to stay local today as Pam has got to drive me to Kings College Hospital tomorrow morning  for a EEG scan. I started off by checking out the river at the bottom of the Dr's surgery. The tide was coming in quite quicky so I didn't have a lot of time. The species that I did see in the short time I was there was: Grey Heron, Mallard(2m1f), Lapwing(3), Moorhen(3), Common Sandpiper(1), Redshank(4), C/Crow, W/Pigeon, C/Dove, B/H/Gull(11), Common Gull(2), Herring Gull(3).
From here we went to East Malling. I haven't been there since the Waxwings was there last time. We parked by the church, and walked along the path at the side until you get to the orchard. The grave yard was alive with bird song, Thrushes, Finches, Tits. The most numerous bird around was Mistle Thrush, I counted 34 birds at the top of 1 tree alone. Their rattling call was everywhere.
 When I got to the orchard  the first thing I  noticed was that that a lot of the fruit trees have been cut down, nearly to ground level. I didn't think I was going to see anything because the workmen was still at it, but it didn't put all of the birds off, there was 1 apple tree with 7 Fieldfare on it.

At one point a helecopter went over putting all the birds up, and that was when I saw many more Mistle Thrushes and Fieldfare, with a few Redwing thrown in for good measure, but alas no Waxwing.
The other species of bird seen was: Green Woodpecker, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Magpie, C/Crow, B/H/Gull, Starling, Robin.
Next stop was New Hythe Lakes. Pam left me here as she wanted to go and do some christmas shopping, so I said I would ring her when I was ready to be picked up.
I started off by looking for the Goldeneye on Little Lunsford Lake, but I never saw it. Most of the birds I saw on both Lunsford Lakes was mostly the same species as was on Tesco Lake. Tufted Duck,Pochard, Greylag Geese,
G/C/Grebe, Mallard, Common Gull, B/H/Gull, Herring Gull,Cormorant, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Coot.
As I made my way to the Tesco Lake I saw, and heard some of the usual birds flocks of Blue Tits, and  Long Tailed Tits,Finches, and as I neared the 2 bridges 2 Robins was having a territorial dispute.
I sat on one of the benches for a coffee, and I think the wildfowl thought I had food for them as they all came over towards me......as they do here.

The only different species here from  down the road was Shoveler, G/B/B/Gull(1) MuteSwan, and then old faithfull came gliding along out of nowhere. The last time I saw him/her was the other day at the other end of the lake, I am talking about the Whooper Swan.

The sun was still shining bright so I thought I would move on a bit further. I decided to give the Bittern watchpoint a miss so I phoned Pam who met me at the treatment works, and took me to Brooklands lake as I heard that there had been a couple redhead Goosanders there, along with a Slavonian Grebe. So with fingers crossed, off I went.
I gave the lake a good scan for the Goosanders but to no avail, so I thought Iwould try for the Slav. I looked from the one of the fishermans platforms along by the factory, scanning everywhere and there it was, the Slavonian Grebe was on the far left side up against the reeds. It seemed to be making it's way towards me. By now the sun was going down and I desparately wanted to get a record photo of it, but all I could do is wait. The Slav was getting closer, but if I wanted to get a shot of it I was going to have to do it now, so I fired off a number of shots at various settings, but with the bright light in front of me I wasn't holding my breath, anyway this is about the best I could muster.

The last shot shows a Great Crested Grebe on the left of the Slavonian Grebe. Then as I was leaving a Cormorant flew in and landed on the water. This is my attempt at capturing this distant bird from behind as it came in to land.
These last 2 photo's was taken once back home of a Great Spotted Woodpecker, and  Blackbird  that I saw feeding in the garden. I had to shoot them through the window.

My Bird of the day is the ** Slavonian Grebe.**


  1. The shots of the Slavonian Grebe are not bad all; quite good given the conditions! And very nice also to see it in the near the Great Crested Grebe for comparison. Good luck at the doctor's appt.


  2. Ken ,
    You certainly got about today , and had better luck with the Winter Thrushes than I had on my visit to East Malling .
    Nice one with the Slavonian Grebe , it might have been there on my last visit , but you couldn't see 10 mtrs. on Brooklands .
    Hope things go well at KCH .

  3. What a busy and productive day you had Ken! Very well done on the Slavonian Grebe, there was one at Draycote (which is one of the only places anywhere near me for unusual birds) a few weeks ago but I wasn't able to get there :(

    I love the head-on goose photo. The Blackbird looks lovely among the berries.

    I do hope all goes well for you with the EEG!

  4. Lots of good stuff there Ken and some nice pics too. Not easy snapping that Slav is it!
    Nice to see so many Mistle Thrushes, never seen more than a couple at a time.
    Also nice to see the Whooper is still around, part of the furniture now at New Hythe.

  5. Hi ken,nice Slav pics,I hope to try for more pics over the next few days,

  6. Well done on connecting with the Slav Ken.

    By the way, dont let that Blackbird eat all the Berries - The Waxwings will need some :-)

  7. Thanks you to you all, my hospitall appointment went well.

    It is always good to have something to compare a bird to, isn't it?

    it is a shame the weather was so bad when you visited. I hope it is better next time.

    Sorry you didn't get to see the Slav that was near you. It is always nice to get close to a bird, to photograph it.

    I wish the Slav shot had been in a better position, still we get what we are given. Your right about the Whooper, can't see us getting rid of it now.That is the 1st time I have seen so many Mistle Thrushes Phil.

    Good luck with photographing the Slav.

    Whishful thinkin Warren.I would love a waxwing to pay my garden a visit, but, who knows??