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.
Saturday, 1 May 2010
Saturday 1st May
Yesterday's Hoopoe was still around at Lenham Heath and with it being so close to a railway line and my litttle lad being a train buff I thought it would hurt to go and have another look. We arrived in time to see a Javelin train go through - James was happy - and a Hoopoe preening on a fence post next to the line - me happy. It took flight and landed in the sheep field it's been frequenting of late, where it crept through the long grass giving brief but decent views. Another train passing spooked it and it took flight over the adjacent cereal field and briefly landed in a dead tree, again giving good scope views, before flying back into the trees by Bowley Lane. My lad, James, had by this point clocked up four Javelins and two Eurostars and I was pleased with the views I had (better than last night's 15 seconds!) so we moved on. Good to see fellow local blogger Simon Ginnaw (http://www.motepark.blogspot.com/) there and glad I wasn't the only one straying off patch today!
Driving back along the M20 I noticed what I though was a huge rain cloud. Sweeping around it was a single Swift, but I soon released it was smoke and as I exited on Jcn 5 I could see it was eminating from the Quarrywood Industrial Estate - Homebase in flames!
It being the first of May I finished the day watching the Kettle Bridge Clogs (http://www.kettlebridgeclogs.org/) dance across Barming Bridge, a tradition that's gone on for at least the last 25 years.