Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

** Halling Bird Sightings Today, Including 1 Patch Tick.**

Today has been a Lovely day, not that cold, so late morning I decided to take a stroll down to the river to see what was about, so once I had the correct gear on, including my yaktracks off I went, it was actually nice to see the snow thawing out. I was just about to shut the door when I remembered that I had forgotten something, and that something was my old friend Glenmorangie. I do like a little sip from my flask now, and again( it is purely for medicinal purposes, you understand) well that's my story and i'm sticking to it.
I made my way down the Cam Footpath to the cemetery and rail bridge to see what was about, but I did pause for a few minutes on the bridge over the A228 to check the berry bushes, but there is nothing to report. Once at the cemetery I saw a Grey Heron fly over, 1 Mistle Thrush, Blue Tits, and Great Tits flittering about together, nothing else showed itself so I went and stood on the  rail bridge next to the cemetery because I thought I could hear some Redwings. There was about 9 feeding with a Song Thrush, and a pair of Blackbirds. The other species seen from here was C/Dove, W/Pigeon,Greenfinch, C/Crow, Magpie, and as I was about to leave 3 Long Tailed Tits made a appearance.
My next port of call was the River Medway from the bottom of Ferry Rd, The tide was on the turn, it looked as if it had been a exceptionaly high tide this morning.
The first species seen was the regular pair of Mute Swans, followed by 4 Teal,  then I noticed a Coot resting up on some washed up straw, and what looked like reeds. I wondered why it wasn't moving as people walked past, so I thought I would go and find out, I wish I hadn't, I took a few photo's of the bird, see below.
Pic 1:  Is the Coot lying down, but the injury to it's right leg is visible. If you don't want to see the injury then skip past the photo's.
Pic 2:The bird then stood up and it really showed off how bad it is.
Pic 3: Is a close up of the bad leg.
Pic 4: Looking into the Coot's eye I was wondering, what severity of pain is it in, can it feed etc.
After watching it for a few minutes the Coot did finally enter the water and have a swim around, what happened next I don't know because I wanted move on.

I then started scanning the River Medway to see if anything different was around, I made a note of what  I saw, which was: Moorhen, Herring Gull, B/H/Gull, Common Gull, Dabchick, Grey Heron, and Cormorant. I then I decided to have a look on the Halling Common. Straight away I found myself watching Redwings, they seemed to be on all the berry bushes, then as I looked closer I started to pick out some Fieldfares. Then a Sparrowhawk flew over, putting up all the birds, and it wasn't until then I realised just how many wintering thrushes was on the common, there was a lot more Fieldfares there than I first thought.
By now there was some mud flats starting to show, so I thought I would leave checking the waters edge until my return trip. I continued watching the common for now.I was hoping for something special maybe, but not today. A full list of species seen today can be found below.
On my return trip  from the Marsh Rd  stile back to where I started I concetrated on watching the river, and river banks.My first sighting of a wader was at the water edge near the stile, and it was a Curlew,a good start. Stopping every so often and scanning paid off for me, for about a third of the way back a small flock of waders wheeled around, then dropped down, I then found myself looking at 7 Ringed Plover, and a patch tick of  14 Dunlin, that has brought my patch total to 92.
Continuing my walk back I added a Common Sandpiper, Redshanks, and Lapwings to my list.
My complete species list for today is as follows: Totals are as accurate as possible in places.
Coot 3
Moorhen 12
Mute Swan 2
Mallard 8
Teal 4
Cormorant 6
Herring Gull 5
B/H/Gull 11
Common Gull 3
Kestrel (m)
Dabchick 8
Grey Heron 3
Redshank 11
Lapwing 16
Common Sandpiper 1
Curlew 1
Dunlin 14
Ringed Plover 7
Redwing   (many)
Fieldfare   (  "    )
Song Thrush 2
Mistle Thrush 1
Blackbird 9
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Long Tailed Tit 3
Dunnock 2
Robin 3
Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove

I wanted to get out today to add as many species to my December total, and by doing so I have now increased it to exactly 40.


  1. The Dunlin were a nice find Ken,poor old Coot though.

  2. Well done on those Dulin Ken, a bird I have not much hope of finding here.

    Such a shame about that Coot though :-(

  3. Hi Ken,
    I lost you for a couple of months and I have just found you hiding under another name. Was it something I said?

  4. Hi Mike.
    No nothing personal. I had to start up another blog for certain reasons.