Sunday, 26 October 2008
On arrival there wasn't much point in trying to get into the overflowing car park so we eventually managed to find a spot along the road running through the village although I think tempers of other motorists appeared to be strained as you had to weave in and out of the parked cars to make your way through. We then made our way back to the car park and along the track to the dam where in the heavy rain there were around 40 people admiring a very confiding bird that was oblivious to the small throng and concentrating on catching a morsal or two. Photography was a challenge in the driving rain but it had to be attempted and i'm pleased with these two snatched shots. Let's hope it stays around for a while and can be enjoyed in better weather.
Saturday, 25 October 2008
The totals for my hour watch between 12:48 and 13:38 were chaffinch 191w, brambling 1w, skylark 21w and 31 in the fields, starling 155w and around 250 to the west of Longfield, 1 large female sparrowhawk, 1 reed bunting and 9 corn buntings. I know that migration can start at any time during the day but I did wonder what my totals might have been had I been able to get out earlier. Still it is great to know that a few steps from my door I can see migration in action. It was a shame I couldn't get there during the recent thrush movement last weekend as I did see 70 fieldfares and 20 redwings go over my garden early in the morning.
Friday, 17 October 2008
A nice cheeky herd of Exmoor ponies, have been at Queendown for a while now and it will be interesting to see the difference the grazing will make to the reserve as there is now also a small herd of cattle grazing on the main orchid bank. A few birds around, siskin flying over, bullfinch and a few goldcrests, 6 or so. Still the odd meadow brown on the wing along with singles of red admiral and small copper.
Saturday, 11 October 2008
I've been out of the country for a while enjoying a holiday in Madagascar of which i'll be posting a 'knol' soon with a link to it from this blog. Whilst this weather may not be good for finding birds in north Kent it certainly is very pleasant to wander about in and I found myself at Grain this morning. There were unexpectededly good numbers of butterflies still on the wing. At one time I had 5 red admirals enjoying the nectar of a mature ivy along with several small whites and small coppers. My list for 3 hours of slow wandering was:
Red admiral 6, wall 1, small copper 3, small white 6, large white 1, migrant hawker 5, common darter 20, brent goose 24 flying into the swale, goldcrest 6, chiffchaff 4, med gull 1 ad wint, swallow 22s, house martin 2 s, siskin 3, blackcap 2, redpoll 2, little egret 4, stonechat 2 and whinchat 1.
It was also good to see that the outflow from Grain power station was in operation. In the past at the right time of year this has attracted feeding terns and associated skuas, i'm hoping that it isn't just a one off.