Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Wednesday 21st April

Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were heard on my ride into work this morning - a scan of the Paris Farm Paddocks failed to turn up any migrants though. 

At lunchtime I decided to explore some of the coppiced Chesnuts in Oaken Wood, Barming hoping to see or hear a Tree Pipit.  As I cycled the path an Orange Tip butterfly fluttered ahead of me, landing briefly to allow me to get some photos.  Peacocks were also on the wing.  A Crow calling above me alerted me to a Common Buzzard that was soaring overhead, I've not seen one in this part of the woods before.  I continued up to the dusty track that leads to Seven Wents.  There's been some fresh coppicing along this ride and as I neared Seven Wents the wood opened up into a large clearing, more like heathland than woodland.  A bird took to the air as I neared a stump overhanging the path and to my utter suprise I watched what I quickly recognised as a female RING OUZEL flying low across the coppiced stumps and in to a thicket of chesnut branches.  Its half-moon gorget and silvery-pale wings were very apparent as it flew at 90 degrees to me.  I scanned the area and saw it's head poking up, but as soon as I moved closer to get a pic it flew again but deeper into the coppice and I couldn't relocate it.  How strange that I'd been watching this species only last Friday down in Cornwall, never dreaming I get one on my own patch the following week, and in such and unusual location for this species - the last place I would have looked for one.  I recall reports of one in a garden in nearby Wateringbury and Don Taylor has one in his rarity hedge a couple of years ago at Wierton Hill, so they do turn up in the most unexpected of places!  With reports of a Hoopoe at Kemsing, a Black Redstart in West Malling, Wood Warbler in Mote Park and Redstart in Chatham I guess I had to get something!

The area of coppice where the Ring Ouzel was seen (unfortunately it had flown by the time I took this pic!)

On the cycle home I picked up 2 Swallows feeding low across the pasture opposite Kiln Barn Farm.  A quick visit to Mote Park for the Wood Warbler turned up a blank, but I guess you can't have too many goodies in one day!

LATE NEWS: Talking to JC about the Ouzel, he informed me a Hobby had flown over Kiln Barn Farm when he went to see the Little Owl this week.


Phil said...

Congratulations on the Ring Ouzel Adam, that's a great find. Just missed one myself at Dungeness today.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Adam.
Well done on finding the Ring Ouzel. They seem to be turning up in lots of places at the moment.
Shame you dipped out on the Wood Warbler, still who knows what tomorrow will bring.
Nice Orange Tip photo.

Greenie said...

Adam ,
I agree with Ken , great \orange Tip shots .
Congrats on the Ring Ouzel too .

Warren Baker said...

I'm so envious Adam, I scan the fields and paddocks in vain every year, all I get are wheatears!