Sunday, 28 February 2010

Friday 26th February

A windy but sunny day - a couple of good sightings (for me) on the way into work - five Lesser Black-backed Gull on the field in the field at the back of Kiln Barn Farm, Ditton, an uncommon visitor on the deck on my patch.  Better still - 43 (forty-three) Stock Doves, I've struggled to get double figures so this was species, so this was a real result.  Viewing them en masse I was struck by how glaucous they're plummage looked.
 Down to Bradbourne, East Malling (private site) at lunchtime.  The wind was rippling the leaf-strewn surface of the lake, and I was was rewarded with yet another duck tick - a pair of Gadwall - not a new one for site but my first for this year and only my second for site.  A couple of Mute Swans which had been noticeable by their abscence had returned.  Even better was to come as I struggled against the wind at the end of my lunch break, I stopped off at one of the plots and flushed eighteen (yes, one eight - 18) Skylarks, out of a Miscanthus test plot.  They took flight in 3 groups, all flappy, nice white sides to tail feather and a few bits of subsong as they lifted, circled and then dropped down in the adjacent wheat stubble.  Five Yellowhammers, inc 2 males, were also present as well seven hen Pheasants.  I've often had a small group of five Skylarks near my strawberry plots this winter, but 18 is a new record for me.

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