Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Tuesday 1st April 2014

First Wheatear of the year (female) on Sweets Lane  paddocks, East Malling.  Little Owl and a few Mipits still around.  Cracking day for butterflies with Peacock, Small Tort and an Orange Tip all on the wing.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas 2013

It's all be fairly quiet on patch since October, but Christmas Day morning turned up a bonus in the form of a Kingfisher.  It was sitting on the washing line in my back garden, a new one for the garden list.  I knew it wouldn't linger, so instead of rushing for the camera, I simply enjoyed watching this rare visitor to my garden.  Sure enough, within seconds, it darted off, a flash of electric blue into the field maples that in previous winters have harbored Hawfinches.  Now to get a Kingfisher at the top end of South Street, Barming is a sure sign that all was not well down on the River Medway where it would normally choose to feed.  So with presents opened and a hearty breakfast consumed I strolled off towards East Farleigh.  The 'Road Closed' sign on Farleigh Lane didn't bode well, and on reaching the level crossing at East Farleigh station I realised that this was major flooding, the worst I'd seen in the 16 years I'd lived near the river.

One of the first sights that greeted me was a tumbling mass of debris, being tossed and turned in the turbulent current, and amongst it all was a life belt which had proved to be a life-saving aid to a Field Vole!  The rest of the scene was a complete mess, with cars submerged, boats cast against the medieval bridge and number of poor souls being plucked from the park homes and barges by the Fire Brigade and Coastguard.  A check on Teston and Barming Bridges later in the day presented an equally desperate scene.  I think the pictures tell the story:

 Boats and debris rammed against East Farleigh Bridge (26/12)

 South end of East Farleigh Bridge (taken from the bridge) - village cut in half

 Stranded cars (26/12), these were totally submerged on 25/12

 Boats pushed against East Farleigh Bridge (26/12)

South Street Railway Bridge, Barming Bridge submerged (26/12)

 Submerged car, Teston Bridge (25/12)

North end of East Farleigh Bridge (25/12). Lock in background totally submerged.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wednesday 16th October 2013

At least 2x Brambling in St Margaret's churchyard early morning, but difficult to pin down in the dense foliage.  Also 10+ Goldfinch, 2x Jay, 1x Mistle Thrush, 1x Song Thrush, 6x Chaffinch, 4x Blue Tit, 1x Great Tit, 5+ Redwing, 3x Blackbird.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sunday 13th October 2013

St Margaret's churchyard, Barming:  6x Brambling feeding in tree full of red berries (Prunus) to the west of the church tower.  Also 2x Redwing, 3x Blackbirds, 3x Chaffinch, Great Tit, Goldcrest and 2x Blue Tit

Church Lane, Barming:  2x Chiffchaff in field maple opposite Vicarage

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saturday 12th October 2013

Paris Farm Paddocks:  Osprey over low south (17:02).  Cracking view!  Checking for Ring Ouzels not Ospreys!
Ditton Court Quarry:  55+ Redwing over W (in small flocks, varying highs, 17:30-45)

Friday, 9 August 2013

Ruddy things

Ruddy Darter? Black-bordered, yellow pterostigma had me thinking Red-veined...but seems to be lacking 'red veins'!  Any comments?

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Saturday 16th June 2013 - Sheppey

 A rare day out, necessitated by needing to take my eldest lad to a Scouts afternoon on the Isle of Sheppey.  6+ Med Gulls loafed with 15 or so Black-headed Gulls opposite the burger van on Marine Drive between Minster and Bartons Point, Sheerness.

A drive along the entrance track turned up Lapwings and Redshanks with young, loads of Little Egret, Skylark, Swifts, House Martins and a Yellow Wagtail, the latter well camouflaged against a back drop of buttercups!