Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

** Halling Walk and Garden Watch.**

It was definately a day for being out and about. As usual  feeding the horses comes first, how could I not feed them, they are so use to me going that way they always come over to the fence for their carrots and apples.
From there I made my way to the river, via the cemetery. I was hoping that there would be more activity in the cemetery area, by now, but apart from the common species nothing different showed.
As soon as I arrived at the river I knew that I wasn't going to see a that many birds because it was high tide, this was at about 11am. No sooner had I arrived when I found myself taking my sweater off, It was plenty warm enough in just a gillet.
As I looked on the river the first thing I saw was a sculler, shortly followed by a small motor cruiser.

The best species on the river was 4 Shelducks, along with 11 Mallards, 3 Cormorants, 2 Moorhens, and Herring, Common, and B/H/Gulls.
From here I strolled onto the Common hoping to maybe see my 1st butterfly of the year. I also  thought by now there should be a few more birds about, but there was nothing different, the ones I did see was Great Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Robin, Starling, Wood Pigeon, C/Crow, Greenfinch, House Sparrow.
Further along the footpath I had another scan of the river, where I saw 2 Mute Swans up ending, a Little Grebe, and 3 more Moorhens.
I also picked up  a few more species on the Common,  Blackbird, Magpie, Wren, Pheasant, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker, and a male Blackcap.
When I arrived at the stile at the bottom of Marsh Rd, I sat on the stile, as I normally do. I sit here to scan the sky for birds of prey.
There was a couple of other birds on Halling salt marsh, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Canada Geese, and 7 Greylag Geese.
As I sat there scanning the sky I heard a bird that I haven't heard in Halling for just under 2 years, and that is a Cetti's Warbler. It sounded as if it was real close, but that is not always the way.
My final sighting was seen while scanning the sky in the old disused quarry area near, which was what started off as 2 Common Buzzards. After watching them soaring, riding the thermals,  for about 5 minutes, another one came up from behind the tree line, and started soaring around with them, so now I was watching 3 Common Buzzards.
It was very peaceful watching them glide with ease in the blue sky, their tail spread, broad wings pulled forwards in a slight "V" , and just as I thought that was the highlight of my walk, it wasn't, their was a 4th one, way up high, directly above them. I am normally happy to see one which is quiet regular.
I called it a day and started up Marsh Rd. I made one final stop at the cattle feeder to have one last look at the Buzzards, I am glad I did, as 2 of them started displaying.
My final sighting of the day was in the scrub about 100yards passed the treatment works down Marsh Rd, I heard it first before seeing it, the bird I am talking about is a Chiffchaff. My first of the year. Welcome back.
I didn't see any butterflies on my walk, until I was nearly home. As I walked across the lower playing field, a Brimstone flew straight past me into someone's back garden, so that's one for the year list.

The view across the River Medway from Halling Common.
Wouldham Church as seen from the stile.

re: the Common Buzzards. They have been breeding in the woodland in the old disused quarry area for a few years now, but when ever that are out and about, on the wing they seldom stray far from this area. I live quite close but I don't see them from my garden very often.

I had a short garden watch today, which produced the usual species of bird which includes a couple of good species; Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Robin, H/Sparrow, Reed Bunting(5), Blackcap(m), C/Dove, W/Pigeon, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Magpie, Starling,
I have noticed that for the last 4 days a Blue Tit has been taking moss into a nest box that has been on our wall for about 2 years now, it is the first time any bird has shown an  interest in it, fingers crossed something becomes of this.


  1. Ken ,
    I've found butterflies in short supply in recent days too , so well done on your Brimstone .
    Certainly was a day for soaring Buzzards , and more to come by the forecast .
    As for ticking 'sculler' and 'small motor cruiser' , enough said ?

  2. Things arriving all the time now Ken, its a great time to be out!

  3. Greenie.
    I thought about ticking them but I had a feeling I would get a few bad comments.
    Looking forward to seeing more butterflies soon as you are, although I have a feeling you will see a lot more than I will.

    If anyone knows about this being the time to be out and about it is you.