Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Wednesday 24th December

I visited Ditton Quarry this morning intent on showing a friend the Lesser Redpolls that had been frequenting the alder trees. As is the way when you want go somewhere specifically to see something the birds were a no show (although there was a possible flyover with Goldfinches). Lots of Goldcrests around the site, but we couldn't manage to pull a Firecrest out of the bag. A couple of Bullfinches were seen, but everything seemed strangley subdued, it's the mild weather I'm sure.
Back at home in Barming I stared at the Field Maples while the kids had their lunch and was eventually rewarded with the male Hawfinch. He put in a brief appearance at 13:30 and fed furtively for 10 minutes before being spooked by a Fieldfare that almost landed on his head! He flew into the trees on the opposite side of the playing fields and was eventually lost to view. I managed another poor record shot - the light was terrible today. He's obviously making sorties from another location and seems to appear in the trees for 10 minutes or so before taking flight. There seems to be no specific pattern to his appearance in the Playing Fields, unfortunately it seems a matter of luck to see him. Inevitably he arrives and leaves to the west so I'm certain he's spending much of his time in the churchyard at St Margarets or possibly in the grounds of Barnjet Priory. Scanning across the trees I also picked out a Yellowhammer, GS Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker. Sorry this must all be very boring if you haven't got a Hawfinch in your back garden, but I think it's such a superb bird that I can't help getting excited about it! Besides with Christmas tomorrow and family and friends to visit I don't think I'll get a chance to check over the next few days.



Warren Baker said...

It was a strangely subdued day today - your right Adam.
I like hearing about the Hawfinch, I would be the same if i had one on my patch, or a Waxwing, or crossbill or a.....

Adam said...

Thanks Warren, what I do to have a Firecrest in the churchyard or slipping through the yews on the research station! I've often found that grey overcast days with little wind often are the worst birding days. The Redpolls 'disappeared' from Ditton Quarry when we had a prolonged spell of this type of weather a few weeks back, only to return when it went clear, but cold. I guess it's mild weather - things don't need to feed so frantically, I've noticed even the House Sparrows have got lazy about the feeders in my garden in the last few days, but sure this will change this weekend with easterly cold winds coming in this weekend!

Have a great Christmas!


Ken said...

Hi Adam. Green Sand sighting at Capel Fleet.As you go down the Harty Ferry Rd you get to the Raptor Watchpoint Just as you turn left into the car park there is a ditch on the opposite side of the road. I think it starts before you get to the car park, and goes a little way up the road.9 times out of 10 I have seen it there on the muddy edges, sometimes 2. Have a good day when you go.