Friday, 21 December 2007

Friday 21st December

A foggy morning in the Barming, so dense that even the church wasn't viewable from the main Tonbridge Road. However, it lifted quickly after arriving in East Malling, revealing a fantastic winter wonderland-real Christmas Card weather. The rows of windfall apples were smothered with winter thrushes as I arrived, unfortunately most took flight as I approached to take a photo, although a few brave Blackbirds and Redwings cautiously pecked on.

I finished early and walked back home along the footpath from Kiln Barn Lane, Ditton to North Street, Barming. A Little Owl sat plumped up on a fence post by Kiln Barn Farm,
frowning on a small Exultation of Skylarks (8 in total) that fidgeted back and forth. I caught a glimpse of a Lapwing flying NE, quite high, and then heard one call from the ground just to the south of the farm. Sure enough a Deceit of Lapwings, for they were suprisingly inconspicous, was located, dotted across the cattle field directly north of Gallagher's Quarry. Forty-five in total, but conscious of Warren's success in locating a Golden Plover on his Hadlow patch I carefully scanned the field. No, just Lapwings there, not that I'm not happy with that on my patch! A couple of Stock Dove flew up as the bullocks lolled to their feet. I continued up Gallagher's Gallop and was soon greeted by the soft call of a Bullfinch, a female at first then a smart male, glowing in all it's colourful glory against the hoar-frosted chesnut coppice. Another pair were located further along the path towards the water tower. A quick scan of the alders lining the pea field for Siskin or Redpoll was unsuccessful so I continued on home, a good 30 minutes late!
Now I'm off work for the Christmas period I've stocked up on bird seed and topped up all my feeders - my glances into the back garden over the last few days have revealed a lot of bird activity - Redwings, Fieldfares, Great, Blue & Long-tailed Tits, Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow-all gregariously seeking out food. Despite this I often find my gaze drifting away from the feeders to the Field Maple at the back of next-door-but-one's house-the favoured tree of the Hawfinches of 2 years ago! With more time on my hands to gaze out the kitchen window over the next week or so I'm keeping my finger's crossed!

5 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Adam,
Any chance of bringing over some of those winfall apples !! (for the birds of course)

Adam said...

If I can fight off the winter thrushes first!

Steve of Kingsdown said...

Lovely photo with coloured stripes across the frosty land. The windfalls are a great food source at this time of the year.

Looks like you'll get a good selection of species in the garden over Christmas, but isn't it frustrating to have a place where a bird 'ought to be' - good luck on that Hawfinch!

Simon said...

Nice photo of the windfall apples, and a good selection of birds in your garden too. The local blackbirds have almost gobbled up all the berries in my garden.

Steve said...

Nice photos and a nice post Adam