Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Wednesday 13th July

I managing to get ahead of the blustery showers this morning as I cycled alongside Oaken Wood, Barming on my way to work. Birds have rather taken a back seat over the last few weeks so it was nice to see a couple of calling Chiffchaffs mixed in a flock of Long-tailed Tits and Blue Tits. A lone Willow Warbler (aren't they yellow!) flicked around the low coppice and a small flock of Goldfinches 'tinkled' overhead. I then heard a loud bisyllabic 'jip-jip' call from the top of one of the Oaks opposite the water tower, a bit reminiscent of Chaffinch but louder and slightly harsher and not dissimilar to the calls I'd heard in Hemsted Forest at the weekend. A second bird called the same call from a neighbouring Oak a few seconds later.......Crossbills??!! I strained to see where the call was coming from and scanned the tree tops but to no avail. The call was heard again about a minute later from deeper in the wood, but then nothing. Maybe with all this news of Crossbills in Kent and my recent sightings of them in Hemsted and reports from New Hythe my mind was racing ahead...I'll have to put this down to one (or two) that got away....but I'll be checking!

A couple of fresh Red Admirals added interest to the rest of the journey, and the number of Speckled Woods seem to have increased since last week, but with Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers down to singles. A Migrant Hawker and Common Darter basked on the coppice - can't believe I'd use the term bask looking out the window now at the heavy rain!


Steve said...

Fantstic to hear about the Crossbills Adam.....gutted i missed the New Hythe ones as you can imagine...

Adam said...

Not sure if I did have any - haven't got enough experience of them to be 100% sure, I'll be checking all week though not that Oaken Wood offers an ideal habitat. Oh well here's to a few hours of hours of listening to the Bird song CDs!


Simon said...

Great to hear about the possible Crossbills.

I was doing conservation work all day today between Teston Bridge and Barming Bridge. Thought you would be interested to know what wildlife I came across. Birds worth noting were 1 each of Yellowhammer, Willow Warbler and Garden Warbler, and 2 Spotted Flycatcher. Brown Hawker, and Southern Hawker were seen, along with Banded Demoiselles, Blue-tailed Damselflies, and an Emerald Damselfly. Best sighting of the day though was a Purple Hairstreak, which fluttered around an Ash in the middle of the Teston Bridge Country Park car park. thought you would be interested to hear about that

Adam said...

Hi Simon

Thanks for the update. I've rather neglected the river this year...I'm not sure why. Great to hear about the Hairstreak and Emerald, both of which would be new species for me on this patch. I wondered if you could email me back ( with details of where you saw the Emerald (on the pools at Teston? I know they like still, brackish water) and the Spotted Flys.