Friday, 20 March 2009
Thursday 19th March
Another sunny start - 12x Chiffchaffs calling along the eastern and northern perimeter of Oaken Wood, Barming. Also a new tick for the year, Marsh Tit which really brightened up my day! 2x Goldcrest, numerous Great Tit & Blue Tit, 3x GS Woodpecker and 4x Green Woodpecker all calling and then on the pasture just north of Gallaghers Quarry 5x Common Gull with 17x BH Gull, the Common Gull's being another new year patch tick - I was doing well! A couple of Jays but in an appearance just as I left the wooded area by Gallagher's Gallop, and then another year tick, Little Owl in the barn opposite Kiln Barn Farm. What a day! Pied Wagtail added to the tally, flitting on the roof of the house on the corner of Kiln Barn Road.
By lunchtime it had clouded over and gone cold - reminding me we were still in March. I took a trip back to where I'd seen the Marsh Tits, no sign, but yet another year patch tick - Coal Tit! All common birds I know, but that's the beauty of patch watching. Feeling lucky I moved onto scan across the various paddocks between Oaken Wood and East Malling hoping a Wheatear or Swallow might be picked out, but I was really pushing my luck and neither were seen. However I did hear what I though was a Barn Owl shriek from a small copse - this was at 13:00 afternoon, surely not?!
Back at the research station, East Malling I managed 12x Yellowhammers sitting in one of the alder windbreaks by the Conference Centre, they're feeding in the fallow field just south of the footpath.