Sunday, 11 January 2015
A Woodcock flew out of woodland east of Teston Bridge this afternoon (16:30) as I walked the dog along the banks of the Medway between Barming & Teston Bridges. It was followed by a calling Kingfisher that dashed along the river and a Tawny Owl calling near Tutsham Hall, West Farleigh.
Saturday, 20 December 2014
One of those mornings you dream of, no expectations of anything out of the ordinary and BANG a cracking bird, Great Grey Shrike turns up on patch! I was walking the dog on part of the patch that I've kinda neglected for a the past couple of months, and to be honest only ventured there on the hope of a Yellowhammer. However I noticed in the corner of my eye fly into a hawthorn/wild rose bush and knew straight away what it was. The grey but bright plumage stuck out like a sore thumb and lifting up my bins I could see the bird had it's back to me, but it glanced side ways and I had a clear view of it's lovely black mask. It lingered for probably a minute or so but looping low off to the west and behind a line of trees and out view, reminiscent in flight to a small grey magpie - longish tailed! To cut a long story short I spent another 40 minutes fruitlessly trying to relocate it. Hopefully it'll stick around, habitat looks good for it. I managed to tot up 23 species including Buzzard and a good-sized flock of Medaow Pipits. No Hawfinches yet, but a nice flock of Greenfinches are now regularly visiting the South Street playing fields so hopefully with a bit of patience......
Friday, 3 October 2014
A lovely last day of sunshine and warmth, as the summer slipped into autumn. A good run of records on patch, included another Stonechat, my 4th this autumn, 12x Mistle Thrush, singing Chiffchaffs, a couple of Buzzards all on a walk along Church Lane, Barming to just west of Hall Place Farm. A bonus was my first Clouded Yellow butterfly, along with a trickle of Red Admiral all heading W-SW with purpose.
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Sunday, 28 September 2014
A bright start and another migrant in, this time a Wheatear on the newly rolled/tilled field N of Church Lane, Barming. It had 56+ Meadow Pipit, Pied Wags and a small flock of Linnets for company. A Yellow Wagtail called overhead, and a Blackcap (male) and 3 Chiffchaffs flitted around in the elderberries along Church Lane. Later, with the temperature soaring, up to 5 Buzzards were catching the thermals, distant dots but given away by their mewing. Later afternoon, while checking to see if the Wheatear was present (it wasn't!), a Hobby dashed through SW and down into the river valley.
My run of migrants continued this morning with another Stonechat in the 'pylon' hedgerow just W of Hall Place Farm, Barming (and probably viewable from the burger van layby on the A26 between Barming & Teston). Later a juv/female Blackcap in one of the farm hedgerows.
Friday, 26 September 2014
Both the Wheatear and Stonechat were still present on East Malling Research Station land this morning, but unexpectedly a Kingfisher dashed across the stubble field behind, calling, as it flew east! A small group of House Martins (26) and Swallows (2) flew west.
Later, back in Barming I was pleased to find another Wheatear feeding on the newly tilled field between St Margaret's Church and the A26. Four Yellowhammers were in the hedgerow near Hall Place Farm.
New theme, birds with church in background:
Wheatear, St James' East Malling
Yellowhammer, All SaintsWest Farleigh