Sunday, 6 January 2008

Sunday 6th December

A morning in Mote Park found me frustratingly scanning the lake for the Med Gull, but with babe in arms I had to concede that a day out in the park with the kids should be just we retreated to the playground (where a Pied Wagtail desperately pecked at bits of discarded rusk and crisps while trying to avoid being trodden on, very reminiscent of a corvid trying to feed roadkills on the motoway!).

Trying to maximise on the fine weather I did a short walk along the River Medway from Barming Bridge to Teston Bridge and up to West Farleigh church and back. A Kingfisher showed very well as would be expected along this stretch before taking flight across the railway towards Barnjet Priory where no doubt there is a well-stocked fish pond! A Grey Wagtail busied itself on one of the shallow streams that feeds the river, my first along this stretch for almost 2 years. I scanned across to the owl boxes on the West Farleigh side of the river but there was no sight or sound of any owls. I was suprised to see 2 flocks of Yellowhammer (8 and 5) darting through the riverside hawthorn, again a species I've not sen for a little while. A grand total of 10 Moorhens were seen feeding on windfall apples alongside Fieldfares and Redwings in the 'deserted' orchard. There are good numbers of Moorhen along the river but no Coots...why? Presently a female Sparrowhawk sped across the orchard, hugging the contour of each tree and shrub panicing the thrushes into the air anf the Moorhen's comically running for cover. I had hoped to see some Siskin today, and reckon I must have walked alongside at least 0.5 miles of mature Alder trees today but not seen any. Yet a small, isolated stand in West Farleigh was seen to hold 15 on Christmas Eve-also very noticeable by their abscence have been the Redpolls. Returning home I heard the yaffle of a Green Woodpecker coming from the roof of my house - thinking this strange I looked up to see a Starling performing a perfect rendition of the yaffle! Have all thsoe Green Woodpeckers I've reported based on their call actually been a canny Starling?!


Warren Baker said...

Sounds like a good walk along the river Adam. You should get some good species there come the spring. Your queery on the coots not being seen is probably the lack of aquatic vegetation. They feed on this quite commonly. I have the same problem on the lake at my patch, its full of large carp that eat or grub out anything growing on the bottom.

Adam said...

Yep I think you're right Warren - I did abit of reading around and it seems Coot also prefer an area of standing water.


Simon said...

Bad luck on not seeing the Med Gull. If you fancy trying again, the Med Gulls tend to prefer hanging around with the BHGulls on the playing fields.