Sunday, 31 January 2010
Friday 29th January
Another training run at lunchtime, 4.6 miles from the research, out past Kiln Barn Farm, past the water tower in Barming and then through Oaken Woods, down Rocks Farm and back into East Malling and the research. Almost immediately after starting out I noticed a flock of c250 Fieldfares go up, and then I noticed a bird continually flying into the wire fencing alongside the main entrance track ahead of me. A couple of Crows were harassing it and initially I thought it was a Wood Pigeon with a broken wing. Eventually I caught up with it, a male Sparrowhawk with a Fieldfare in it's talons. It was trying to fly over the fence but the weight of the bird must have kept pulling it down. Eventually it lifted over the fence and landed on the steps of Ditton Lab to pluck and consume the unfortunate migrant. I continued on my run but cursed the bird for posing so well on the day I didn't have the camera with me! Past Kiln Barn Farm I was pleased to see the Little Owl sitting out by the cattle barn. 300+ Fieldfares covered one of the meadows. Through Oaken Woods I noticed a new area of coppice that will be worth checking out for Nightjar and Tree Pipit in the summer. A pair of Bullfinches briefly flew ahead of me. When I eventually got back to the research I grabbed the camera and went to see if the Sparrowhawk was still about. Unfortunately not, but the remains of his prey were evident, gruesome I know but feathers, beak and innards, that was all that was left!.