Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bewicks off to roost

I made a quick call to Romney Marsh this evening, to to do nothing more than watch the Bewick Swans depart to Dungeness to roost. The birds gave little warning before take-off, some had a wing flap, a neck stretch, and there was a little more honking. But look away to admire a Marsh harrier hunting as I did, and they're already up and away. I counted 50 birds tonight. Also of note a Kingfisher in the dyke adjacent to the field and plenty of Little Owl activity across the Marsh (even more back here in Shadoxhurst tonight).

Getting ready to fly, seconds before flight

Sunday, 26 February 2012

'Peckers and 'bills at Fags wood

An early morning walk from trails along Birchett Lane and Faggs Wood car park, seemed initially very quiet with just a few parties of Siskins and Redpolls to report. But then a male Lesser Spotted woodpecker dropped-in from some height with its familiar PEE -PEE–PEE call. Shortly after a single Crossbill flew over too.

In dense woodland backing on to Birchett Lane a flock of 200 + Redwings was feeding noisily on the Woodland floor. The noise the Redwings made reminded me of the cacophony of a large Starling roost. The Redwings were flushed once, only to return in minutes. It was difficult to see what the food attraction was.

Future Nightjar environment - or Meteor landing site?

Recently, around Orlestone Forest, there has been large scale, heavy-duty woodland clearing, undertaken by the Forestry Commission. This follows on from equally heavy-duty woodland clearing in 2010 leaving a significant part of the forest 'open'. In my ignorance, I'd like to hope that this work has been carried out-in-part to create habitat for Nightjars and Woodcock. I haven't recorded Nightjars for two years running in Orlestone forest so some management work was very much needed. My only concern is the state of the woodland floor once the felling has been done. Cleared areas I visited last summer had a floor of hard-baked mud, mixed in with wood cuttings - leaving a barren wildlife-free environment (in my eyes).