Friday, 31 July 2009

Friday 31st July

Running the East Malling Research Running Club's relay at lunchtime I was sure I heard the bisyllabic call of a Quail! It was only heard once, from a stunted cereal field next to weedy area, as I sped past. I had someone of my heels so didn't stop! I racked up a reasonable 6:37 mile and returned to spot latter in the day. Nothing heard or seen, except a hen Pheasant. Intriguing. Kent's had a good year for Quails, but late-July in the midday sun - mmmmm?!

My earlier disappointment was soon to be forgotten. I sat out in the orchards between South Street and Rectory Lane, Barming early this evening, hoping for a Spotted Flycatcher (my garden bird has been absent for 10 days now). A couple of Swallows dipped low over the burgeoning 'Discovery' trees and then a small bird took flight from a pair of old, knarled apple trees. It's deep undulating flight, black-and-white colouration with a dash of red on the head meant it could only be a Spotted Woodpecker. It's very small size, and the deep troughs it dipped into in flight, made me instantly think Lesser. Fortunately it alighed into the uppermost branches of a large willow on the bank of the River Medway not to far from where I was sitting. I had excellent views of the white-barring on its back and small red cap as it swivelled around the branches and flitted amongst the treetop. By far the best views of had of Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, and my first for this patch (although I've heard reports of them further upstream).

2 comments:

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Adam.
Well done with your run. Nice that you had cracking views of the Lesser Spot.
I suppose finding a Quail would be wishful thinking, but as you said, Kent has done quite well this year.
Have a good weekend.

Ken Browne. said...

Thanks Adam.
That is some count of Sandpipers. I don't think I know Ian, I might do if I saw him.