An early morning visit down to the River Medway in Barming turned up 10x Snipe, a Lapwing and Grey Wagtail crouched down in one the streams that ran down to the river just west of Barming Bridge. A Cormorant fished on the river and a male Sparrowhawk sitting in a tree next to the railway bridge at the bottom of South Street eyed up the Blackbirds and Song Thrushes (x3) that were flitting back and forth on the road.
Back to work today after spending an enforced day sledging with the kids! The snow had really collected in Oaken Wood, 16" or so, which made it hard work to walk in but had left lots of tell tale signs of what had been around. It was absolutely silent - not a bird to be seen, no Redpolls, no Bullfinches, nothing. By Kiln Barn Farm Barn a couple of Pied Wagtails and Chaffinches fed around the hay that had been left out for the cattle, and with 2x tolerant Robins....a tolerant, non-territorial Robin - things must be getting desperate!
At lunchtime I checked out the orchards on the East Malling Research site. Plenty of Woodpigeons, Chaffinches, Starlings, Blackbirds and Fieldfares but not in numbers I'd expect in such harsh conditions. The churchyard held high numbers of Redwings feeding in the Yews and Goldcrests were heard calling.
I then met a couple scanning the genebank at the church and asked if they'd seen anything of interest. They told me that there was a big flock of what they thought were Chaffinches feeding to the west of the road to Park Farm. Hoping for a Brambling amongst the flock I set off and quickly located the birds they had told me about feeding in a weedy plot to the west of the road.
The day was just getting better, but was topped off by a Lapwing drinking from a puddle in the Bradbourne House car park, an occasional flyover species but quite rare on the deck. What a day!