Saturday, 11 December 2010

Saturday 11th December 2010

With kids off to see Santa I managed an hour and half walk around part of a neighbouring tetrad (Oaken Wood, TQ75C).  Most of the tetrad consists of Sweet Chestnut coppice but the extreme SE corner consists of farmland and I knew I could find some of those 'missing' winter species there.  Passing a house on fire - yes really (the Fire Brigade were in attendance so I let them get on with their job) - I took the footpath from the A26 Tonbridge Road, Barming up to Hall Place Farm.  I immediately added Feral Pigeon to the tetrad list, no. 41. - 12x birds were sitting out around the barns.

A couple of Pied Wagtails and 8x Chaffinches were also flitting about. Walking through the yard and out into the stubble fields I picked out 23x Pheasants on the ground and disturbed 60+ Wood Pigeon and 5x Stock Dove, another tetrad tick (no. 42).  These were quickly followed by a parcel of 12x Linnets (tetrad tick no. 43).  I hoped for a Skylark or Meadow Pipit but they didn't show.  Exploring the woodland edge I picked out a couple of Bullfinches, 8x Carrion Crow and more Woodpigeons.  Then I heard a distant 'cronk' turning to the direction of the sound saw a Raven flying north over Hall Place.  It 'cronked' on and off and I attempted a photo - similar situation to the Glossy Ibis - but you can clearly see what it is ;-) You all must think I have a collection of 'black smudge' photos that I draw on when ever I feel like an extraordinary patch tick - watch out for a Black Stork in the New Year!  You know things are getting bad when I have to resort to the arrows!

Well could it get any better?  Well yes, for me anyway, as I took the path back through the wood to Hall Place Farm I picked out a Treecreeper flitting along the rotting chestnut posts and then onto a Field Maple - another extraordinary record for me as I've not had one on patch or the immediate locality for over 4 years! This was of course needed for the Atlas tetrad but I'm not sure if it's number 44 or 45 as I'm not sure the Raven flyover counts for the tetrad? A couple of Goldcrests were in some the nearby ivy.  I finally reached the Parish Playing Fields in Barming just before dusk and was met by 110+ Fieldfares, 30+ Redwings and 25+ Chaffinches.  The birds took flight as I approached and I noticed one bird flying slightly differently to the others, silhouetted as it flew away from me and I wondered if this was my first patch Waxwing of the year?!  I'll be out in those orchards tomorrow!

Looking back to St Margaret's Church Barming from Oaken Wood, the church and oasts of West Farleigh on the other side of the River Medway can just be made out in the distance.


Ken. said...

Hi Adam.
Looks like you had a good walk. The Raven was a good find. Some other good birds seen.
Have a good Sunday.

Greenie said...

Adam ,
I thought you were pushing your luck with the Glossy Ibises shot , but I think you have surpassed that one with the Raven shot !
Hope your visit at the orchards is fruitful .

Anonymous said...

Adam just to let you know Waxwings are around. I live in Barming and about 20 landed on a tree behind my house at about 11am on the 12/12/10

Warren Baker said...

Raven! Great patch tick :-) good to see the photography is as good as ever :-) :-)

Adam said...


Could you give me a ring on 07972899377 or email Waxwing are missing of the BTO Atloas Tetrad so I'd like to add them - just need details!



Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

P.S. Anonymous

Can understand if you don't want site details revealed on blog, but would be useful to have time and site detaisl for the BTO Atlas entry. They will not be entered on the blog if you prefer them not to.


Marc Heath said...

We have all taken them like this before. This one however, is a stonker. excellent find.

Adam said...

Cheers Boys - Raven is down for for December on my photo calendar for next year if any of you want one for Christmas! Oh to have Steve Ashton on patch!