Monday, 16 March 2009

Monday 16th February

Another warm day, made all the better for hearing my first Chiffchaffs of the year. Two were heard as I cycled into work; one in Oaken Wood, Barming and a second at the bottom of Gallagher's Gallop near the underpass. A mixed flock of BH and Herring Gulls sloped around the pasture near Kiln Barn Farm. I scanned across the gallop and manure heap hopind to emulate Warren's Wheatear but no luck today. A couple of Yellowhammers looked resplendant, singing out their new territories.

There's a Redpoll in there! Suprisingly well-camoflauged on the ground......

Hoping for more butterflies I made an afternoon visit to the bonfire site on the East Malling Research Station site to see if I couldn't find another Small Tortoiseshell. A Kestrel hovered overhead and a couple of Skylarks exalted the fine weather. Moving onto Ditton Quarry I spotted a pair of Peacock butterflies chasing each other, and then the first of 5x Commas basking on the path near the Buddelias in the SW corner. Ahead of me a small bird dropped to the ground and fed furtively, as I approached I could see it was a Lesser Redpoll. I followed it aroun the copse, and it was joined by a second bird. I watched the pair for 10 minutes or so, hopeful a Mealy might suddenly join them, which it didn't! As I left the quarry a single Goldcrest flickered round an ash - it's moss green plummage perfectly matching the lichen on the tree it was feeding around. Back at work Ross phoned to say he'd located a Small Tortoishell on some heather opposite the Chief Executive's house. Trying to grip me off I'm sure but I was happy with the one I'd seen yesterday on part of my larger 'patch'!


.......and sometimes even more difficult to see in a tree!
On the way back home I was suprised to see my first Chiffchaff of the year in the hedgerow alongside Gallagher's Gallop, silently flitting around. It was dusk, and apart from a Green Woodpecker nothing else had shown.

3 comments:

Ken said...

Hi Adam.
You seem to be doing well with the Butterflies. I like the Small Tortoiseshell from yesterday. Glad you heard your first Chiffchaff today.

Steve said...

Just catching up on your posts for last few days. Great to hear about your butterflies - feel gripped already by the Small Tort....

Warren Baker said...

Hi Adam,
Your get a wheatear soon enough. Good news with the Chiffchaffs, they are ''well'' here now!