Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tuesday 30th September

My run of migrants continues, another Wheatear, this time on the Sweets Lane Paddocks, East Malling at lunchtime.  Distant, not even worth posting the photo ;-)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday 29th September

A bright start and another migrant in, this time a Wheatear on the newly rolled/tilled field N of Church Lane, Barming.  It had 56+ Meadow Pipit, Pied Wags and a small flock of Linnets for company.  A Yellow Wagtail called overhead, and a Blackcap (male) and 3 Chiffchaffs flitted around in the elderberries along Church Lane.  Later, with the temperature soaring, up to 5 Buzzards were catching the thermals, distant dots but given away by their mewing.  Later afternoon, while checking to see if the Wheatear was present (it wasn't!), a Hobby dashed through SW and down into the river valley.

Saturday 27th September

My run of migrants continued this morning with another Stonechat in the 'pylon' hedgerow just W of Hall Place Farm, Barming (and probably viewable from the burger van layby on the A26 between Barming & Teston).  Later a juv/female Blackcap in one of the farm hedgerows.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday 26th September 2014

Both the Wheatear and Stonechat were still present on East Malling Research Station land this morning, but unexpectedly a Kingfisher dashed across the stubble field behind, calling, as it flew east! A small group of House Martins (26) and Swallows (2) flew west.

Later, back in Barming I was pleased to find another Wheatear feeding on the newly tilled field between St Margaret's Church and the A26.  Four Yellowhammers were in the hedgerow near Hall Place Farm.

New theme, birds with church in background:

Wheatear, St James' East Malling

Yellowhammer, All SaintsWest Farleigh

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Thursday 25th September 2014

I was lucky to be out walking some of my strawberry plots on the East Malling Research site mid-morning and quickly noticed a Wheatear feeding around the Research Station weather station.  Meadow Pipits (26) were also flitting around the stubble, with a Skylark and Yellowhammer amongst them, with a few Swallows and House Martins over on their way south.  On the adjacent blackcurrant plot a Stonechat moved from perch to perch with a few Chiffchaffs calling nearby.

I put out the news and soon there was a full on East Malling twitch in the form of the Bald Birder sauntering out of his office, squinting and blanched from the exposure to the sun....it's now rare for him to come out for anything other than flies beyond dusk.

Wednesday 24th September 2014

No grounded migrants this morning but a good passage of Swallow with 206 west in 10 minutes early morning, and a trickle of 36 through in the late evening.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Tuesday 23rd September

The first day of Autumn was greeted with a blanket of dense fog which precluded many sightings, with only the Meadow Pipit flock showing well as they foraged along the edges of Church Lane, Barming.

A dusk visit to Hall Place Farm gave brief, but good views of a juv/fem-type Redstart, my second this week.  I was lucky to get this bird, the light was fading fast and a number of distant passerines flitting around the hedgerows were frustratingly left unidentified.  However this bird, perched on top of the hedgerow, constantly flicked it's orange-red tail which caught the last rays of sun beautifully.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Monday 22nd September 2014

Revitalised by the migrant birds that have been dropping down in Barming over the last week I ventured out at sunrise to Hall Place Farm.  With the mist hanging low in the valley a distant honking announced the arrival of the first of 110 Canada Geese to the stubble fields, west of the farm, where they have been feeding for the last couple of weeks.  Meadow Pipits were still very much in evidence, a few lifting from the field, giving their soft 'seep-seep' call which acted as encouragement for their skulking companions to join them.  Soon their was a sizeable flock of 120+ in the air, but no sooner had they appeared, than they were falling back into the stubble, invisible once again.  A small dole of eleven Stock Dove fed with a large flock of Wood Pigeons, with crows and rooks scattered across the fields. 

Back out to the same patch after work, this time the sun going down.  I was pleased to see a small bird boldly perched on a hedgerow next to a couple of Yellowhammers.  Silhouetted against the dying sun I presumed it was another Whinchat, but getting closer I could see it lacked the sharp smartness of a Whinchat, but revealed by it's 'dullness' to be a Stonechat.  A cracking bird to have on patch.  I managed a record shot, but it was fidgety. 

Further along the track one of the Oaken Wood Buzzards surveyed the valley in the vestiges of the Sun.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunday 21st September

An interesting couple of days on patch:

Thursday 18th September
Redstart (briefly) working it's way south through the 'pylon' hedgerow west of Hall Place Farm, with a few chiffies around, including a small flock of three showy birds in the elms by St Margaret's churchyard

Sunday 21 September
Another Whinchat from the bridleway west of Hall Place farm this evening, with three Swallows north, a Buzzard on one of the pylons and Kestrel over by BarnJet

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sunday 14th September 2014

An interesting walk from Barming to Teston and back via Oaken Wood and the River Medway this morning.  Two Whinchat were a bonus, flitting along the hedgerow, with a couple of Yellowhammers, just west of Hall Place Farm (almost scopeable from the house!).  

Fourteen House Martins flew north, and 120+ Meadow Pipits flew up as a Kestrel flew over one of the stubble field.  Three Buzzards mewed incessantly over the southern edge of Oaken Wood.  The only other birds of note were a Sparrowhawk low over the old Hockey Ball factory in Teston and a Kingfisher between Teston & Barming Bridges.

The Whinchats were still present at dusk, and a Wheatear was flushed from the field between St Margaret's church and the A26.