Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

** HOME BIRDING. WEEK 6 **

 At the beginning of week 6, I prepared my bird feeders because they forecast snow and they was right, snow it did. I had quite a few come in, but they was mainly the common one's, I suppose the snow was about 2 inches deep. I found myself going out to the feeders  quite often to clear the snow off of  the feeder trays. The day after it started when I had to fill the feeders up I made about a 6 feet clearing around my cherry tree and cut up some apples and scattered them on  the floor hoping it might bring some birds in, I then spent a long time doing some birding that day. 

I spent a number of hours watching and my wish finally paid off, while looking around as usual I noticed some unusual birds in the tree eating the rest of the berries, and they turned out to be REDWING. After having 4 visit earlier this year I didn't expect to see anymore, but there they was, 3 more eating  .I wasn't sure how much snow we was going to get or how long it was  going to last, all I did was keep putting apples out and see what happened. The following day I was curious as to whether any Redwings might return and they had, but this time there was more.  I called to Pam, I said to her that there are 10 on the ground feeding on the apples. They was feeding with Blackbirds and 1 Song Thrush. I was absolutely over the moon, I never dreamt of having that many in my garden, and as far as I know they stayed all day. By the end of the day all the birds had virtually eaten all the apples, and flown off. It was good having them here for a while especially such close views.

I did had 3 other visitors during the snowy period and that was Carrion Crows, they spent a lot of time roaming around the garden looking for scraps of food. Another first was a G/S/Woodpecker, this time not on the nuts, but on a feeder with a cage on it with her head through it feeding from one of the ports, and to round off week 6 late afternoon while in the kitchen with Pam what flew in and landed on the bush in front of us, a female REED BUNTING, but no sooner had it arrived it very quickly left.

 **The one  thing to remember through out this weather is to empty the bird baths at night before they freeze, I forgot one night and I learnt my lesson, .** 



Depending how things go I might leave a bigger gap between some blogs,, it just depends if there is anything of interest to post, we will see.😊





Friday, 5 February 2021

**HOME BIRDING WEEK 5 **

I thought week 5 was going to start off like week 4 nothing special, but how wrong was I.  The beginning of the week had a few nice days so I had a look out the front, the view from there, looks over the old quarries, and North Downs, not directly, and on one of these days I saw something high soaring around, it was pretty obvious what it was, it was a COMMON BUZZARD, the first one of the year. It has taken a long time to see one they are normally  seen regularly. 

Next came the Big Garden Bird Watch. I was going to do it at about 9ish that's when there is normally more about, but it was raining hard so I waited a while, it did ease off about 11.30 so I did it then. It was still raining but I wasn't waiting any longer, and just as I settled down a JAY was taking some peanuts, what a great start. The other birds I saw on my hour watch was: W/PIGEON=1,  C/DOVE=1, STARLING=4,  H/SPARROW=21,  CHAFFINCH=4,  GOLDFINCH=3,  GREENFINCH=2,  DUNNOCK=2,  PIED WAGTAIL=2,  BLUE TIT=5,  GREAT TIT=1,  BLACKCAP=2=  BLACKBIRD=1.  If it hadn't been raining and I had been able to do the 9oc watch my list would have been a lot better that that.The rest of the week was quiet right up until the last day of week 5( Thursday 4th January) when  I spent a while looking out of the window and to my surprise I had 4 LONG TAILED TITS fly in. Their another bird that was regular but not this year....so far, but I did have 1 really nice bird to finish on. I put meal worms out not too far from the back bedroom window I live in a bungalow, by the way,for the wagtails and the dam starlings came down, anyway while I went from the kitchen to the bedroom to chase them away I saw a bird feeding on the ground up the garden which I would not have seen from the kitchen, and it turned out to be a SONG THRUSH my first of the year, Pam wondered what I was excited about. 

             My garden year list is now ** 24 ** and my year list is now ** 34 **






 

Saturday, 30 January 2021

** HOME BIRDING WEEK 4 +BLUE LAKE,HALLING **

 I was going to write this yesterday(Friday 29th) but I decided to put it off because I decided to clean and fill up the feeders for the 1 hour Big Garden Bird Watch which I was going to do today (Saturday 30th) but seeing as it rained all day I didn't do the watch, I will do it tomorrow.

Before I write my home post I will write a few lines about the BLUE LAKE, HALLING. Pamela had to have her 1st jab on 26th so on the way home we stopped off there, it is the one that has been converted for fishing etc, and on there I had great views of a GREAT CRESTED GREBE. 

Where in week 3 the Pied Wagtails disappeared, in week 4 they came back occasionally to feed, It would have been nice if they had visited most of the week but no such luck. Again it was the usual species of birds, including the Blackcaps. I am so glad I get the 2 male Blackcaps every day, I know I can get up tomorrow, look out of the window and see them some where. On some days of the week I was getting more Starlings than usual, it turned into a battle of me verses the Starlings It seemed as if they have spies everywhere, where ever I put food they would find it. When they were not around I hid a mixture of fat, dried meal worms, and peanut where I thought the Robin or Wren would find it, and some how when they came back they  still found it. It is so annoying, I sit by the kitchen window most days on and off watching all the other birds around, hoping the fat mixture would be found and eaten, by a Robin or Wren, and then either a few or quite a few Starling arrive and do what they do best, if there if food about, they will seek it out. Don't get me wrong they are a very attractive bird, but at times they are a dam nuisance in my garden. I found the best time to feed the Robin is late afternoon when Starlings and Sparrows have gone. The Blackbird spent a lot of it's time filling up on berries when it was around.

Last Thursday my wife made herself a bread and butter pudding, and there was a lot of stale bread and crusts left over so I soaked them and after 2 threw them on the lawn and  like Starlings, not a gull in sight and about 10-15 minutes later about 6-8 B/H/GULLS arrived, and watching them dropping in and grabbing some was good to watch. I wonder what week 5 will bring seeing as it will include the 1 hour garden bird watch.

Friday, 22 January 2021

** HOME BIRDING WEEK 3 + SHARPS GREEN **

Nothing much has happened this week, the Pied Wagtails was here for the first few days  but then they disappear, I am sure they are around somewhere. No different species was seen, but to make up for it, I did have the occasional visit of another male BLACKCAP, so some days I was able to watch 2 male Blackcaps feeding, mind you I wish it had been a female because she is far more the prettiest.

SHARPS GREEN, GILLINGHAM: I know this is going off on a tangent because I intend to stick to home posts, but my wife Pamela is classed highly vunerable, and after being in for so long we decided to go out for a short drive. Sharps Green is ideal because you can sit in the car and watch the birds and water. I saw the following birds for my year list: REDSHANK. DUNLIN. CURLEW. OYSTERCATCHER. TEAL. MALLARD. WIGEON. SHOVELLER. SHELLDUCK.

I will still be watching here every day, but I expect my blog will change as the weeks go by, because we will probably go out again at some time, but going out is irrelevant, Pam's health comes first. It all comes down to those two important words at the moment "Stay Safe".


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.