Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wednesday 25th February

I've rather neglected the blog the last few weeks - a combination of not getting the chance to get out very often (apart from a Dungeness dash to see the splendid King Eider - record shot at the end of this post) and there being little about-Fieldfare numbers have dropped dramatically in the last week.

This morning started with a Song Thrush and Skylark singing. I was keen to walk over to the newly-ploughed field at the back of mine; the field sandwiched between the A26 and St Margaret's Church, East Barming. Yesterday I'd seen a flock of 30+ gulls following the plough and was sure that a Med Gull might be in there, especially with recent reports from Mote Park and Halling. Unfortunately I was taking my eldest lad to a swimming lesson and by the time I got back it was dark. This morning was my chance. What did I turn up - a single Black-headed Gull...that was it! With a bit of time to kill I explored the trees in the churchyard in the hope I couldn't turn up a Firecrest.....they seem to be on everyone else's patches at the moment, but not mine it transpired.

At lunchtime I hunted out a Woodcock, another species missing off my patch list, despite being seen in East Malling in the last 2 months and about everwhere else according to the current thread on KOSnet. I trampled through the only bit of suitable woodland on the East Malling Research site with no avail. Resigned to the fact that it was just going to be one of those days I headed back to the office. Ross called before I got back - he'd found a Mediterranean Gull with a flock of Black-headed Gulls on the playing fields opposite Bradbourne House. Strange that I'd gone out looking specifically for one this morning! What a fantastic bird, summer-plummaged (the photo doesn't do it justice as ever) - they always remind me of a 'Disney' gull, very cartoon-like, but maybe that's just me?! Eventually it took flight west, probably towards Blacklands Pool on the edge of East Malling village. Ross confirmed this was the first grounded sighting of this species on the Research Station site (although John Clements had had a flighover a few years ago).
I wonder if it was the same bird Ken ( had seen on the Medway in Halling yesterday?
For the record:

Just about recognisable as a King Eider I think - shame it did eyes left as I pressed down the shutter release. All the other photos were of waves. To have one of these lovelies turn up on Bradbourne Lake!


Warren Baker said...

Just be contented with Med Gull Adam! I wonder if I'll get one on my patch this year ?

Ken said...

Hi Adam
Nice you managed to get a picture of the Med Gull, and well done to Ross for finding it.
Also, at least you got a record shot of the K/Eider .