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).


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.