Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Wednesday 21st April
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.