Thursday, 18 February 2010

Thursday 18th February

'Snipe marsh' by the River Medway, but only 1 bird today.

Another frosty trip down to the River Medway first thing. I was hoping to get a pic of one of the Snipe that have been frequenting the small marshy area just west of Barming Bridge. I took my time scanning the relatively the stream and vegetation, no sign of any Snipe, well until I walked off to go and predictably, 'SQUELCH', up flew a Snipe! So bloody well-camouflaged! Nearby a couple of Cormorants dived in and out of the misty river.
No sign of any Harris Hawks this morning as I cycled to work, but lots of Crows round by Kiln Barn including 2 in the cattle shed (the usual haunt of the Little Owl).

Just for Greenie - a scramble of Coots - notice the bird centre left - he tripped up, like only a silly Coot could!

The weather deteriorated during the morning, and by lunchtime it had become a steady downpour - things might be more lively down the lake at Bradbourne in this weather I thought. Armed with the camera (for return of the Shoveler) I made my way down to Bradbourne, picking out 4x Green Woodpeckers feeding on the grassed area just east the Hatton Garden. A Jay flew across my path a little further down the track. The lake was disappointing, the usual Moorhens, no Little Grebes, 12 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Herring Gulls. 32 Coots scrambled towards the lake and 112 Canada Geese kept 6 Greylags company on the west lawn. A flight of 6 Pied Wagtails busied themselves around the feet of the geese.

Keeping a low profile, tucked in tight to the left bank.

Surprise of the day was yet to come - a GREEN SANDPIPER - another site tick for me. I caught I glimpse of a white rump fly up a ditch in front of the house - and then as I walked on an elegant wader suddenly towered up, nice white belly, no upper wing markings and prominent white block on the rump (like the Bullfinches and Jays I'm seeing everyday). It flew high, zig-zagging and dropped down into the stream. Creeping towards it I managed a few crappy record shots of it's head (always the most diagnostic of features!!!) before it took flight again - high again and then lost to view, for all I know probably further down the stream, through the grille in the wall and into that garden on St Peters Road (please respect residents' privacy) ! It did throw me slightly as its upper parts were so light - more Common Sandpiper in colour, and not really dark at all. There wasn't any obvious mottling and I couldn't discern the bars on the tip of the tail - in flight it looked like a single block of brown. It certainly wasn't Common, there's nothing else it could have been but Green.

Not as dark as Greens I've seen before and no sign of mottling but Common it ain't!

Please note that unfortunately Bradbourne House and estate is a PRIVATE site with NO PUBLIC ACCESS.
There will be a public Open Day in April - details to follow.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Nice site tick Adam. I'm just as envious about all those coots! That does look bloody comical :-)