Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tuesday 16th November 2010

Tetrad TR51I (Aylesford and British Legion Village)

A hard frost in Barming this morning, but I missed out on my usual ride into work as I had to drop my car off for repairs on the Quarrywood Estate, Aylesford.  I unloaded my bike from the car and rode the short distance along the footpaths from Aylesford to East Malling.  As soon as I left the industrial estate in Aylesford I heard, then saw, 3x Jackdaws on the newly ploughed opposite Calves Leys Cottage.  This was quickly followed by a Bullfinch that darted in front of me and ducked into the adjacent hedgerow.  This got me thinking whether either of these species had featured in the winter records form the BTO Atlas?  This is the final winter for Atlas work and Tim Hodge recently posted an excellent summary of the 'species richness' for each tetrad in Kent on the KOS website.  So when I got a break at work I quickly checked if either of these species were needed for TQ51I (Aylesford & British Legion Village)....and they were!  With this in mind I got back on my bike at lunchtime and went off patch, well 5 minutes east to see what I could find.  By the end of the hour I'd filled in six gaps; Stock Dove (x2), Grey Heron (x1 sitting in a stubble field), Pheasant, Little Grebe (2x on a small pool next to BHS!), Linnet and Skylark (37+ and 6 respectively in the same stubble field as the Heron).  Others seen but already on the list were Jay (x5), Goldcrest (x2), Woodpigeon (+160), Carrion Crow (+45), Common Gull (x3), Black-headed Gull (x23) and low numbers of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tit.  A very satisfying hour and a chance to discover some new places and habitats close-by.  I know I can probably add a few more species; LBB Gull has got to be a cert on the warehouse roofs, a small grove of Holm Oaks and Scots Pine should turn up a Coal Tit (possibly overwintering Chiffies or even a Firecrest?) and Yellowhammer or Meadow Pipit have got to be in or around the stubble field.  This nut platt was a nice find, though not sure what potential it has bird wise?

To top it all off, a work colleague told me he had a Woodcock feeding on the grassy area adjacent the research car park at 18:30 last night as he left work - he described it perfectly-and one I still need for then patch!

Finally, with the sun shining I wasn't too surprised to see a butterfly flitting around outside the office window - a Red Admiral that had tucked itself somewhere warm to avoid last night's heavy frost. 


Ken. said...

Hi Adam
That wasn't a bad lunch hour you had.
Is there a problem with your blog report at the bottom or is it my problem? Cannot read it, it's all verticle.

Warren Baker said...

There are lots of squares with missing species in Adam, makes me wonder how acurate this atlas is going to be.

That Woodcock is in your sight s now :-)

Greenie said...

Adam ,
That nut platt looks interesting .
I've never seen anything like it .
Is it Hazel/Cob Nut ?
I realise that the end of the blog might have explained it , but unfortunately I can't read hieroglyphics .

Adam said...

Cheers for the comments fellas. Sorry about the technical glitches - must be getting rusty with the lack of posts lately.

Warren - yep I've been looking for that Woodcock...and also Coal Tit which seems to have been missing off the Atlas!

Greenie - not sure what nut it is, but it's obviously being managed with that quite severe pruning - I'll be checking it out again!