Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

** 2 Lifers For My Halling List, And A Lovely Final Surprise **

This is our first day back after being away for Christmas, and cold or no cold I just had to go out for a walk around. It was still bitterly cold but,so after a good late breakfast and dosing myself up with cold remedies off I went. I walked the usual route, down The Cam footpath, checking the bushes as I went, but nothing special was seen. I stopped on the A228 Bypass bridge to check out the roadside bushes just incase a Waxwing or 2 was about, but no luck. From here I made my way to the River Medway. The tide was at it's lowest, just on the turn so I hoped for maybe something different. The species seen between the bottom of Ferry Rd, and the 1st Stile was: L/B/B/Gull(1), Herring Gull(5), Common Gull(3), B/H/Gull(11), Grey Heron(2), Moorhen(5), Cormorant(6), Mute Swan(4), Mallard(7).
Once on Halling Common I found a spot out of the wind, so I took advantage of it and took a break here. After a whileI moved on towards the 2nd stile, checking all the berry bushes as I went, although it didn't help having dog walkers who let their dogs run about off the lead. I did get a short distance along the path, and as the water level was rising, on one small shingle bank I saw 2 waders fly in. The one that landed, and then flew off again down river was a Redshank of which I saw many, but the other one was a new bird for my Halling Life list. It was bigger than a Redshank, a slightly upturned bill, and very pale greenish/grey legs. I am talking about a Greenshank. It stayed for a few minutes, had a good wash, and brush up before heading back the way it came, towards Rochester. While following it in my bins I saw a flock of wildfowl on the river so keeping my eye on them I continued on my way to the 2nd stile.There is still plenty of Redwing on Halling Common, plus a few Fieldfare's here and there, apart from that I saw the usual species;Robin, L/T/Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, W/Pigeon, C/Dove, C/Crow, Magpie, Starling, Dunnock, Kestrel.
Once at the 2nd stile I turned my attentions to the birds on the river. I was now that much closer to them, and I could now make out what was out there. Straight away I could see that most of them was a bird I have never seen before in Halling, and that was a flock of 54 Wigeon. There may have been a few more only they was quite close in to Halling saltmarsh bank.There was also 14 Gadwall, 3 Teal, and about 20 Mallard. While taking a brake at number 2 stile I also saw 1 Curlew, 1 Snipe. Then 9 LBJ's (little brown jobs) flew passed me, circled around and landed in the grass by the sign near the river. I believe them to be Rock Pipit's.They was slightly olive in colour, there legs were dark, not a light colour, their chest was darkish, and pale cream tips to their tails, so I am going to rule out Water Pipit, and stick to my guns. Perhaps I will get to see them again next time. I saw Rock Pipits in this area last winter.
I saw a few more Redhanks, and Lapwings, before I left, so my final counts for them was Redshank 17, Lapwing 23.
I was now getting knackered so I made my way home. I just got through the kissing gate up Marsh Road when I saw a few birds flittering about in the bushes, I stopped and put the bins on them, and then the ol heart started to beat a bit faster, why? because I was only looking at 5 Waxwing's. I was hoping to see them somewhere else, probably on one of the many berry bushes about, but hey, I'l take them anywhere.One of them even flew down and took a drink from a puddle. But as quickly as I saw them they took off, I lost sight of them, but I am sure they will be around somewhere. .
Today's birding  brought my Halling December total to exactly 50.

PS. Today my Blackcap number has increased to 3, Two males, and one female..


  1. 50 in one outing...very nice! And congrats on the lifers. Have a Happy New Year!

  2. Sounds like all your christmas wishes came true Ken. Trips like that make all the cold weather more bearable don't they.
    Watch out for Marsh Harriers in the area, I keep hearing reports!

  3. Well done Ken, it was worth going out in the end, some of my best patch ticks have been seen whilst birding with a cold :-)

  4. Hi Ken,very nice,Waxwings as well.