Friday, 9 January 2009
Friday 9th January
Bird of the day - Waxwing - and guess what, I didn't see it let alone photograph it! Ross was the lucky observer, and it wouldn't have been so gauling if I hadn't spent the half-an-hour beforehand with him discussing the possibilities of finding a Waxwing on the East Malling Research Station site! Oh well, at least he was good enough to let me know, and even pick me up to take a look, alas to no avail, but well done Ross. The bird was in a tree adjacent to the orchard directly behind East Malling Church (which is viewable from a couple of public footpaths). I'm sure more details will appear on his blog later (http://baldbirder.blogspot.com/). Instead I was content to watch Bramblings which seem to be increasing by the day on the Research Station site. Six were seen in the same location that Ross saw them yesterday (unfortunately in a private area), but another 12 were seen by me in the same location as the Waxwing. The light was quite harsh and the birds, predominantly females, were often too distant or flighty to photograph satisfactorily. When they did come close they favoured the most dense trees, causing no end of branches and twigs getting in the way (see photo above)....more excuses I know! While watching the Bramblings both Green and GS Woodpeckers put in appearance, as did a couple of Sparrowhawks (which seemed to be quite active today), Jay, Yellowhammers, Great and Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Skylark, Pied Wagtail (on the roof of the main lab building) and of course the hundreds of Fieldfares and Redwings that are enjoying the fallen fruit feast in the surronding orchards. A small desert of Lapwings was seen in one of the plots later in the afternoon. Waxwing watching hopefully next week?!