Sunday, 25 January 2009

Sunday 25th January

With my wife working a 12-hour shift today, looking after the kids and heavy rain and windy conditions I was resigned to staying at home and limiting my birding to glances out the window. At 11:00 with kids playing I thought I'd try and do an hour for the RSPB garden watch. Forty minutes in and I'd was starting to wish I'd done it yesterday when the weather was finer. To say I was struggling was an understatement - 1x Collared Dove, 2x Blackbird, 2x Dunnock, 25x Starling (only after I'd thrown toast ends out attract them!) and a Blue Tit. My garden is never this barren, how unrepresentative this was going to be! However I think it was Rob Hume who said the best birds have a habit of turning up at last, usually as you walk back to the car after a full day's birding. Well today I'd have to agree - at 11:55, and just about to call it a day, a single Hawfinch bounded into view. It fed on the seed keys on the Field Maple at the back of my garden (backing onto Barming Parish Playing Fields) - a few Chaffinches and Greenfinches were around but this bird was doing it's own thing. It was quite restless and dropped from branch to branch around the tree for 10 minutes or so. I managed another terrible record shot of this elusive bird before it was lost in flight amongst a huge flock of Starlings and winter thrushes that were flushed from the parish field. Talk about elusive - it's been over 3 weeks since I saw it last! Anyway I'm thinking of the residents of 60/61 Garner Drive, East Malling who will no doubt have Waxwing on their list by now!

The rain seemed to ease slightly this afternoon, so I checked out the river at the bottom of the road again - the flood had suprisingly subsided, probably due to yesterday's dry weather, but I'm sure it'll be in flood again tomorrow. Check the pic above against yesterday's! Still too muddy to walk along so took the kids with me an did a drive-by of the East Malling orchard to see if I couldn't see nay Waxwings - no luck but 21x Brambling including some fantastic males. Checking Garner Drive after I managed a flock of Starlings and Barry Wright going semi-rural (eclipsing the Hawfinch for best sighting of the day?!), but no Waxwings - wonder where they've gone?

LATE NEWS: Just seen that 13x Waxwings reported early afternoon in orchard beyond East Malling church before flying east - no doubt to another orchard on the Research site.


Warren Baker said...

Nice one Adam,
Waxwing or Hawfinch....mmmmm....can't decide what i'd rather have on my patch. Not that i'm likely to see either!!

Adam said...

Thanks Warren - never expected either on my patch so it just shows. Still looking for Firecrest!


Steve said...

Looks like your garden was as bare as mine! At least you got a Hawfinch. My best were 2 Goldfinches.