Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Red kite over Shadoxhurst

Common Buzzard and Red Kite high over Shadoxhurst
The warmest day yet  - no wind, plus a blue misty sky. Surely there's something to see out there? So a quick walk down the garden at mid-day, looking ridiculously high to the south, left me finding these two dueling together.

The Buzzard was a local breeding bird, which soon saw the Kite move-on, before returning back to its own woodland territory.

The Kite is just my second village sighting, (having missed out on a long stayer last year) and the first bird was seen just back in 2010. It will be interesting to see if any of us see this bird sticking around over Orlestone. Looking very carefully at the images, I think we can see that this Kite has two tags, possible yellow in colour - suggesting a Southern England released bird.

Back to work now!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Chiffchaffs return to Orlestone

A very quick walk around Birchett Wood this evening, was the first time for me to catch-up with the first returning spring Chiffchaffs, and there seemed to be plenty of them calling from across the wood. Little else to report but by the footpath entrance, there were 16 Carrion crows feeding on the dumped bread by the roadside.. sigh..
The previous night I made a dusk call to Romney Marsh reserve. There, 10 Marsh Harriers made their way to roost. And in the reed bed, a small flock of Bearded tits 'pinged' away out of sight, often accompanied by Water Rails squeling away too. On the farmer's reservoir at the same site, just a solitary pair of Greylags were roosting on the island.

From the garden tonight, Tawney Owls are calling and at least 3 Little Owls are noisily present in the surrounding farmland too.

The garden pond has Smooth and Palmate newts in abundance. Sadly two frogs present last week never spawned and an even more lonely Toad is croaking away in vain.

Last but not least 3 Pipistrelles were patrolling up and down the length of the garden, making the most of the unseasonly warm weather.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

One more LS Woodpecker

Another great Sunday morning mountain biking across trails in Stone Wood, through to Faggs Wood, brought our second Lesser Spotted Woodpecker sighting of the spring so far. This time we found our bird in the Adarns wood area. Sorry, not enough time to get off the bike and fire-up the camera for a pic.

Other than that, all the commoner woodland birds are showing well, including Nuthatches, Jays, Treecreepers and  Green/ Great spotted woodpeckers. Overhead there's plenty of Buzzards to admire as they put on their spring aerial displays.

My eldest son George calculated we cycled a 10 mile route from Shadoxhurst to trails running from Faggs Wood. Taking regular stops for surveying and listening, we've found just 2 lesser spotted Woodpeckers so far this spring.  No Crossbills on this ride either.

One of many Buzzards in the the Faggs wood area

Monday, 12 March 2012

Raven at Birchett Woods

Raven calling over Birchett woods - what a sound!

Having spent a Sunday morning, visiting Blindgrooms (off Hornash Lane), Sugarloaf Plantation and Fags Wood trails (on Saturday too), I thought I 'd have nothing of note to report. But then I thought I'd just make one last call to Birchett woods, and - a what relief - a splendid Raven. As much interested in me, as me in him, the bird circled above long enough to take a few snaps.

Ravens are no doubt following their arch-enemy, the Buzzard to new lowland habitats. This bird represents my third Raven sighting in 2 years - nothing at all before that.

The target bird for my weekend had been Lesser spotted woodpecker in areas I hadn't looked before, sadly nothing new to report - yet! One visit is never enough though!

On the Buzzard front, birds are giving superb views above Orlestone forest, and also in neighbouring woods in the Shadoxhurst area too.

Note - Ravens at Beachy Head

Ravens are not known as being much of a migrant, and birds on the move are a rare sight. So an unprecedented 17 Ravens were seen passing Beachy head this same day. Could our bird have been one of those? Link to Beachy Head