Friday, 31 January 2014

Clockwork Little Egrets

Little Egret feeding on a large Earthworm

Preening and getting ready for breeding - but where?

As winter continues into its second half, two Little Egrets have become daily residents of the mud quagmire, the once green pasture, that sits behind our garden. From dawn to dusk, unperturbed by the ceaseless rain they follow each other closely, eating, sleeping and preening.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Garden views of Ravens and Little Egret

Between the long days of rain, when the sun shines, a quick  look outdoors shows our wildlife is there to see - with some of the best so close to home. The rain-sodden field behind the garden is over-run with too many horses and is now mostly a shallow muddy lake. It seems so unpleasant for the horses, but like previous winters the field is attracting plenty of birds. One little Egret has made infrequent visits this winter and is happy to scavenge the horse dung for flies. For the first time we have noticed an occasional Buzzard down on the mud too, this time eating earthworms and then once, when a visiting Buzzard was chased away by the local crows, a surprise, not one but possibly 3 Ravens joined the charge. A glance at the Crows disappearing off after the Buzzard, suggested to me that there may have been a total of 3 Ravens mixed in with the Corvid flock, a record number together for Shadoxhurst.

Just out of Shadoxhurst small flocks of Crossbills and Redpolls are still present in Orlestone forest often they're very difficult to see just their calls give away there presence.Apart from that there's very little else so for now it's best at home.

Raven No1. flies across the sun in pursuit of the Buzzard. It's straight over the garden

As Raven No1. headed into the distance, its's joined by at least 2 other birds (one is a Carrion Crow).

The culprit of the Ravens anger! Buzzards are prospecting their territories, and are easy to see in Shadoxhurst

A large flock of feral Doves feed daily on stray seed from the horse feed, very rarely do they come into the garden despite abundant seed being devoured daily by Wood pigeons.

Its often hard to imagine how such a large bird manages to survive on spilled seed yet the Feral Dove flock appears to get bigger every year.

Farmyard Horses huddle together in what must be very poor conditions.
As the sun sets, Mallards arrive and feed in the deeper water areas, whilst the horses stay close to their Hay bales

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Ship on the Romney Marsh horizon

Walking through Soapers Wood, Orlestone forest and into open farmland, a clear view of the coast towards Dymchurch is possible. Today this super container ship made a very good impression of  a drifting island as it cut through the channel.

Back in the wood itself, there were plenty of common woodland birds including one Crossbill, 2 male Bullfinch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch. In the Garden the Great Spotted woodpeckers can now be heard drumming.