Friday, 1 January 2010
Thursday 31st December
A cat had cornered something behind my shed this morning, and going out to investigate I was suprised to see a Jay cowing behind some pots and trays. I shooed the cat off, but the Jay seemed reluctant to fly. I wondered if it was injured, so picked the bird up, it seemed to be in shock more than anything. I showed my two lads, they were fascinated by it's electric blue coverts and dusky-pink colour, James took a photo (above) before I let it go. It hopped around the lawn and then flew up to one of the Field Maples before flying off south, apparently none the worse for it's feline encounter.
The morning remained overcast, with occasional drizzle, as I set of to do an Atlas TTV in nearby Pizien Well/Mereworth. Despite the weather it was a lovely walk, without another soul in sight, taking in the hamlet of Pizien Well, some of the surronding orchards and wooded areas on the perimeter of Mereworth Castle.
Halfway along the walk I happened upon the overgrown Triumphal Arch for Mereworth Castle and then the equally isolated St Michaels Church, East Peckham (www.stmichaelseastpeckham.co.uk/index.html), high on the hill overlooking Hadlow and Warren's patch at Pittswood (http://pittswoodpatch.blogspot.com/), but I couldn't see his Goosander, forgot the scope ;-). Pheasants were numerous as might be expected as a regular shoot takes place at the Castle, but the number of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes was a real suprise; I logged 51 and 16 respectively, with 9 of the latter species seen in a single flock. Common Buzzard, Meadow Pipit and Marsh Tit were all unexpected finds, giving a total of 34 species in total.
As I drove back down South Street, Barming I noted a few Redpolls still feeding in the Silver Birch.