A report of wildlife sightings from the western edge of Maidstone, Kent. I note anything of interest in the vicinity of my home in Barming and from walks into work at the East Malling Research Station along the edge of Barming Woods and down to Ditton. Occasionally, when time allows, I get out to Ditton Quarry, a rich habitat hemmed in by residential and industrial developments on one side, but with open countryside on the other.
Monday, 22 March 2010
Monday 22nd March
Lots of skywatching today - hoping for that first hirundine to zip by.
A sunny, but brisk day, and with expectations high of a migrant. I wasn't to be disappointed, a Chiffchaff- the first of my year, on the eastern edge of Oaken Wood and trying to claim territory over every available branch. The Little Owl peered over the parapeet at Kiln Barn Farm again. I took a slight detour, taking the footpath from Kiln barn Road across to paris Farm, East Malling, scanning all the fences and posts around the extensive paddocks hoping for a Wheatear. Everything about it smacked Wheatear but I didn't have any luck - getting impatient like my friend Warren!
Chiffchaff (in the shade...or is it the middle of the night?!)
Back out at lunchtime and checking the same area as this morning in case I'd missed anything, but again no luck. However in the field to the SW of Kiln Barn Farm I was pleased to see the full collection of corvids; 100+ Crows, 5 Rooks, 8 Jackdaws, 2 Magpies and a Jay.
A couple of Rooks, such a rare sight on patch that I took the pic in soft focus, brought a tear to my eye!
Three Mistle Thrushes took flight and I managed 20+ Fieldfare and a Redwing. The Jackdaws and Rooks are real rarities at this end of my patch - almost as good as getting a Wheatear! Maybe tomorrow?! Maybe the photos will be better as well.
Woody (also staring towards the skies for hirundines) and Fieldy (should be thinking about going East rather than West)