Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Tuesday 21st December 2010

Not much to report from my walk in to work - all very quiet.  However at work the winter thrushes were in full voice, I could hear continuous 'chak-chaking' even from the office.  Occasionally the flocks would land in the tress opposite my window - Chaffinches, Fieldfares and Redwings...no Waxwing yet though.

At lunch I checked out the orchard nearest the lab buildings - it was absolutely loaded with birds; predominantly Redwings, Fieldfares, Starlings and Wood Pigeons, but a sizeable flock of Greylag Geese (90+) were also feeding around the base of the apple trees.  A lone Stock Dove sat on the wires, but was soon joined by the rest of the orchard when a female Sparrowhawk drifted low, quickly followed by a male Kestrel.

On the way to Bradbourne I encountered a/the Sparrowhawk (probably same bird) on another two occasions and flushed a Snipe as crossed the stream by Park Farm (right by JC's garden....has he got it on the garden list?!).  Bradbourne Lake once again turned up the goods - I half expected some extra ducks as nearby New Hythe is all but iced over and the wildfowl had to go somewhere.  A Rush of Pochard, 18 in total - by far the most I've ever seen on site - took flight as I approached.  On the water were 17x Tufted Duck and 9x Shoveler (another high count for me).  At the south end of the lake I picked out a patch of yellow which turned out to be 2x Teal, a new site tick for me!  They remained elusive, knowing I wanted to photograph them, so you'll have to do with arrows again!  Four Little Grebe, three Gadwall and a mixed flock of Common and Black-headed Gulls bobbed about on other parts of the lake.  Seven Lapwing sat out on the lawn.

I decided to check out the only other bit of water I knew locally to see what else was about.  This was the small lake at Clare Park just on the western edge of East Malling and part of the West Malling & Mill Street BTO Atlas tetrad which only had Mallard ticked off to represent wildfowl!  Bingo - I added Gadwall (x4), Shoveler (x2) and a couple of Common Gull to boot for the winter tetrad.  I just need one of those ice-bound Bitterns from New Hythe or even a few adventurous White-fronted Geese from Sheppey to make my day!


Paul said...

Hi Adam, I was at Clare Park lake last week, and there were 3 Little Grebe, 2 Shovelers(possible young males?)and 1 Pochard, as well as the other regulars too. I am happy to say that after 6 months of regular visits to the lake, I finally sighted Kingfisher there.

Adam said...

Brilliant Paul - could you let me know the date and time and I can get them added to the BTO Atlas - Kingfisher and Pochard both gaps at the moment!


Ken. said...

Hi Adam.
You did well finding the 2 Teal. It's about time those pesky Waxwings arrived at you patch, all that fruit around.

Warren Baker said...

Bloody hell, all those ducks about and my pond is frozen solid still :-(

Well done with the patch tick Teal Adam, once again a classic ''Adam'' photo :-) :-) I love 'em

Greenie said...

Adam ,
Can't believe that the Waxwings haven't arrived yet . I'm under starters orders .
Do all the water courses around you have the alphabet foating in them ?

Adam said...

Glad your enjoying the photos Warren - about time you fellow bloggers took pity on me, clubbed together and got me some decent equipment, Christmas is at the end of the week ;-)


Paul said...

Hi Adam, I also have 4 more birds for that area, these are- Sparrowhawk, Little Owl, Chiffchaff, and Nuthatch. I dont have a photo of the Sparrowhawk, but I do have poor quality photos of the other 3, which will help me remember with the dates and times, because as I have said, Ive never written down dates/times/numbers etc. Once I gather all the info. on those 6 birds, then i will email you the details.