Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Tuesday 9th February

A session in The Bull, Barming with the newly returned Bald Birder (http://baldbirder.blogspot.com/) and JC (not Jesus Christ as has been suggested!) left me with a sore head - it was their reminiscences of twitching past and antipodean adventures, not the beer that left my head spinning! So I set out into the crisp air and biting winds at lunchtime to try and clear my head of Fairy Prions, Pied Shags, the '66 Brown Thrasher and the revelation that one of the pair suffers from the same medical condition that afflicted Hitler (or did I dream that?).

View from the back gate (note winter thrushes on the football pitch and feral pigeons over oast cowels in the distance)

There were 50+ Fieldfare hopping around the orchard alongside the Kiln Barn Road entrance to the research station. A male Green Woodpecker poked at the ground, occasionally casting a steely stare at me with it's light blue eyes (never noticed they were that colour before, or is it just a trick of the light?).

I had intended to visit Ditton Quarry, confident the Redpolls would be on show in this cold weather, but I got a phone call from my wife asking to be picked up from work. Dropping her back home to Barming I noticed a large flock of winter thrushes drop down onto the playing fields at the back of my house. Peering over the gate I saw a carpet of birds covering the length and breadth of the football pitch. My estimate was 150+ Fieldfare, 60+ Redwing, but always difficult to count as they leapfrog each other (as Warren of Pittswood has commented before).

I've added some more posts today from last week - see below.


Warren Baker said...

Have you noticed how the Redwing have become a lot easier to approach ?

Adam said...

Yep Warren - they are always very coy as new arrivals but more confiding in the New Year, especially if there's been harsh weather, presumably as food becomes scarcer they become braver?


Greenie said...

Adam ,
Great GW and Winter Thrush shots .
Had a few Blacbirds like your earlier post myself this Winter . They certainly make you stop and look .
Hope the head got better !

Simon said...

Great Green Woody photo!

RebeccaG said...

Hi there,
I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your blog. I grew up in Barming and I have many wonderful memories of Barming Woods, and the fields along the Medway. I am thrilled to find a blog about the area and it's wildlife.
I live in Canada now, near Ottawa, where today it is a chilly -20C with the wind chill. How lovely to see Spring happening somewhere!

Adam said...

Hi Rebecca

Thanks for your comments - I didn't realise I had an international following! Some parts of Barming don't change so I guess you'll recognise some of you own haunts!

I wouldn't say it's Spring-like here yet, but compared to those temperatures in Vancouver I doesn't sound much like we're having a winter either!


Anonymous said...

Hi dave

I just received your comments - could you email me privately at adam.whitehouse@emr.ac.uk. I've got an inclining you may be right and would like to discuss if possible.


janmccormack said...

Adam I enjoy your blog although I'm not a 'real' birdwatcher! I'm in Ditton so know where you look.On Sunday I'm pretty sure I saw a Little Egret on the lake at Manor Park West Malling (looked it up in a book when I got home).Is this likely or am I confusing it with something else?

Adam said...

Hi Jan, thanks for your comments. You could well have seen a Little Egret in Manor Park, they've become a lot more common, especially in the SE/SW in the last decade - previously they were a rare vistor, now they breed! There have been a couple of Little Egrets around the area for 5 years or so, often to be seen along the streams that run through Ditton/East Malling. I did hear that one had been seen flying down into Leybourne Woods a couple of weeks ago, so that could well be the same bird you saw in West Malling bird. I've also had one fly over Ditton Quarry on a couple of occasions. Lovely things, like small white herons, even better in flight with their big yellow feet trailing behind them! You're not related to Richard by any chance?