Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Little Egrets - a little closer to the garden

The rain and mud continues on and on. But one small change to witness, the two Little Egrets have now been joined by a third bird. 

As I sat in my old ramshackled shed (my hide) with seemingly nothing to see, two of the Egrets flew into their favourite field that backs on to the garden. Just for once they crossed the half-way line walking closer and closer to me. In the poor light and drizzle this is as good as its going to get trying to photograph these shy birds.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Kingfisher a rare garden visit

On Wednesday night through to this morning we received a lot of heavy rain leaving our garden and surrounding countryside covered in flashes of water - the field behind the garden with perhaps a quarter of its acreage under inches of water.

Making birdwatching even harder was the heavy and dark looking sky which hung over for most of the morning. Still, there were plenty of finches and thrushes around the dryer parts of the lawn and also a bird sitting on the garden fence with, it seemed, not a care in the world for the pouring rain. Expecting to see another Redwing through my binoculars, it was quite a surprise to find it was a Kingfisher!
I decided not to disturb the bird with any photography as it occasionally plummeted into the pond for food (newts/insects?). The bird stayed for at least half an hour and I managed just a distant image through the window. Just the second Kingfisher I've seen in the garden and perhaps with two good breeding seasons and frost free winters behind them, Kingfisher populations are expanding again.
 At the same time as the Kingfisher visit, the Little Egrets were present just behind the garden too, so quite a sight for inland Kent and some miles away from a significant water site.

From the kitchen window in the pouring rain, a record shot of our second garden Kingfisher in 20 years

Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Grey Wagtail and Little Egrets return

The end of 2014 to the present day has seen a new visitor; a very attractive Grey Wagtail, trawling through the water-sodden field at the back of the garden. I can't remember if I've seen a Grey Wagtail in our garden vicinity before, so I'll count this one as the first for the garden officially. The water-logged pasture field resided by sad looking 'farm yard' horses has become an annual event now, and whilst its not a particularly seasonal picture, it certainly is attracting plenty of birds. These include plenty of Redwings, 2 Mistle Thrushes, Pied Wagtails, Chaffinches, Yellow hammers, a handful of Common Gulls, 20 Mallards, 2 Moorhens a regular flock of 20 + Meadow pipits, as well as the two regular Little Egrets.

The Grey Wagtail has been visiting the back garden and field edge for 10 days now, so I hope for the chance of better pictures soon.

Yellowhammers have built up to a flock of 8-10 birds
In the drizzle and murk, our daily Litle Egrets search out the Earth worms.