Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Tuesday 21st September 2010

Bust again at home and work last week, hence lack of blogs. Not masses to report since last week apart from a steady passage of House Martins over the Research Station in East Malling. Jackdaws and Rooks, scarcities on patch normally, have become daily sightings - mostly heading over to the fields north of Easterfields.

Today, with brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures, I spent most of the day out in the field. Unfortunately very little was seen until I headed back home around 18:00. 15+ House Martins were working the sky and drifting south , followed by the sleeker profiles of 2x Swallows, my first in over a week. A mixed tit flock leapfrogged ahead of me as I cycled along the track south of Kiln Barn Farm, and I was pleased to see 4x Chiffchaffs amongst them. Raising my bins to get a better view I was surprised to see more Chiffchaffs flycatching out of the hedgerow further on. The evening sun had hit the hedgerow and I could see flies dancing along it's length, an excellent feeding ground for these hungry little birds. My total Chiffchaff count was an amazing (for my patch) 12 individuals, all feeding along a 50m length of hedgerow, constantly flitting in and out - I'd be lucky to see 2 on patch at this time of the year normally! No camera though unfortunately, but check out Phil Sharp's excellent images of Chiffchaffs on his nearby patch, a local fall of Chiffchaff today it seems.

Greenie - sorry not have responded to your comment re: Eyebright. To be honest I'm not sure which species it is, a terrible admission from a plant biologist (not I'm not a botanist!). I scanned the field guide and that was the nearest match, not very systematic I know! Also thanks for naming the fungi - a trip to Mereworth Woods on Sunday was a real eye opener, troops of Fly Agarics everywhere, certainly a good fungi autumn.


Phil said...

Certainly does seem to be a local fall of Chiffys Adam. No sign of any in the garden today (wed) but i've seen a few down NH this morning. Thanks for the mention in your post by the way, much appreciated!

Warren Baker said...

My patch reflectd yours in the number of chiffies about.