Monday, 19 April 2010

Monday 19th April

Back on patch today after a 2 week holiday - and what a difference.  Blossom everywhere, the first Bluebells emerging and some new patch/walk-in ticks...and not just for the year!  Walking from Barming to East Malling on my usual route I was suprised to hear a Nuthatch calling as I approached the allotments at the top of North Street, Barming.  What's unusual about that I hyear you say - well I've never seen a Nuthatch in Barming in the 5 years I've lived there!  There's plenty of suitable habitat, but I've just never seen or heard them.  It got better - as I approached the track I saw not one, but two birds calling loudly to each other and chasing each around an oak.  A GS Woodpecker was equally vocal and joined in the chase - fighting over a nest hole?! 

Moving on a couple of Chiffchaffs called along Gallagher's Gallop and a Song Thrush sang from alongside the quarry.  Then my second new tick for my 'walk-in' route - a lone Greylag Goose flying low west.  As I approached the underpass a couple of Blackcaps could be heard, with one bird showing briefly - a new patch tick for the year.  A male Bullfinch also called.  The Little Owl was in his usual spot at Kiln Barn Farm, and just a bit further on a couple of Swallows (another patch tick for the year!) sat on the wires near Kiln Barn Cottages.  I'd seen loads of these in Cornwall, but always reassuring to see them back on patch!  A couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls sat out on Kiln Field (just west of the East Malling Conference Centre).

At lunchtime I paid a brief visit to the Paris Farm paddocks, East Malling, hoping for a migrant.  A couple of Stock Doves sat out on land at the back of East Malling church with a crowd of Wood Pigeons.  A GS Woodpecker drummed away from within a nest hole near the railway crossing and a Coal Tit flitted around the pines at the east end of the railway station.  No migrants were seen in the paddocks, only a Mistle Thrush hoped around on the turf, and a Peacock butterfly basked in the sun.


Phil said...

Welcome back Adam.
Well done with the Nuthatch sightings, that's one I won't be getting round Larkfield.

Warren Baker said...

I wondered where you had got to Adam :-)

Some great holiday species seen, maybe some of those Migrants will turn up at Barming ?

had a couple more Wheatear today, so check your paddocks!