Thursday, 30 December 2010

December 30th (Brookland and Holborough marsh)

Dull,calm and misty,very much like yesterday.
This morning I just had a short walk around Brookland lake,the lake remains mainly frozen over. Birds that I noted were - (1) Bittern which flew out of the car park marsh,(2) Water Rails and (4) Shoveler on the lake and good numbers of both Long- tailed Tit (15) and Redwing (30).
After I left Brookland I had a quick look at Holborough marsh.Birds of note that I saw were - (6) Gadwall in the southern marsh,with (11) more on the river and a flyover Curlew which headed SW.
I had an unexpected garden tick this afternoon in the form of a Meadow Pipit that was seen bathing in our pond.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

December 29th (Halling Common and Cuxton,river and pools)

Dull,misty and still,quite mild.
Birds that I noted at Halling this morning were - Wigeon (67) Teal (4) Gadwall (14) Tufted Duck (1) Redshank (10) Lapwing (8) and Cormorant (6) along the river,Snipe (2) Meadow Pipit (4) Redwing (40) Fieldfare (20) and Siskin (4) on the Common.
The Siskin were seen in trees along the southern border of the Common.

Birds that I noted at Cuxton this morning were - Redshank (2) Greenshank (2) Kingfisher (1) Little Grebe (3) Reed Bunting (6) Teal (2) Heron (1) and Lapwing (30) on the pools and Redshank (30) and Dunlin (41) along the river.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

December 28th.

A number of good birds have been seen at New Hythe over the Christmas period -Rough-legged Buzzard,Marsh Harrier (2) Hen Harrier,Waxwings,Smew (1) and Firecrest.

I had 20 Waxwings at Snodland on Christmas day,but none since.

December 24th (Snodland)

Friday, 24 December 2010

The Waxwings are still there (35) birds at least (70)


Many thanks to Seb and his wife for letting myself and Paul into their garden.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

December 23rd (Snodland)

Waxwings at long last,in a garden at the junction of St Katherine`s road and Birling road,Snodland,still present at birds).
Its a shame its such poor light for photography, I hope they stay around for a while.

The birds gather in the tree in the photo,then fly down to a much smaller tree/shrub which looks like it has pink berries,I don`t like to use my bins.How they find such a bush makes the mind boggle its not as if it has bright red berries.

Two Redwing were seen in the garden today and so far we have had up to (20) Reed Buntings.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

December 22nd (New Hythe)

Remaining dull and still,slight thaw 8.30am-10.30am.
Birds I noted this morning amongst others were - Gadwall (40) Teal (60) Tufted Duck (4) Mallard (6) Little Grebe (2) Heron (2) Lapwing (3) Shoveler (6) Great Crested Grebe (2) and G B b Gull (2) along the river,Kingfisher (1) Green Woodpecker (1) and Goldcrest (1) at Brookland,Greenfinch (4) and Reed Bunting (2) in the Sunken marsh,Pochard (19) on Tesco lake,nice to see them back and Shoveler (4) on the Millstream.Hundreds of Redwing remain in the area,the Sunken marsh especially so,feasting on the Hawthorn and sloe crop.The Whooper Swan was seen on Tesco lake.
A total of (54) species over the past few Days.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

December 21st (New Hythe)

More snow fell during the night,but by the early morning a thaw had set in,overcast and still
A much better morning,with much of the activity being centred on and around the Medway.Unlike yesterday more wildfowl were seen in the area.However it just goes to show how quickly things can change because when I walked back out to the river a little later with Terry Laws we only saw one redhead Goldeneye and a handful of Gadwall and Mallard.The other birds had either drifted further up the river on the rising tide or flown off.

This morning I walked out to the river passing Brookland lake on the way.Then I went round the Sunken marsh,passed Abbey Mead,over the railway,through the scrub areas and then back to the car park along the Millstream path.

Birds that I saw looking across the river from the small wood were - Great Crested Grebe (1) Little Grebe (8) Cormorant (2) Greylag (8) Gadwall (32) Wigeon (3) Goldeneye (1 drake 2 redheads) Teal (60) Mallard (20) Goosander (1) Tufted Duck (35) Heron (3) Lapwing (4) and Redshank (1).
It was while I was standing there that a flock of Grey Geese suddenly appeared from over Burham marsh,they were flying at no great height.At first I thought they were just Greylags,but then one or two called,I then suspected that they might be white fronted.My hearing is not as good now as it was in the past.Luckily I had my camera at hand at managed to fire off several shots.It wasn`t until I got back home that I realised they were indeed White fronts.It will be interesting to see later if any other birders picked them up as they crossed Kent.They headed off east in the direction of Maidstone,at least (60 birds).In past years when I have seen them passing over New Hythe they have either gone south or southwest.

Other birds I noted this morning were - Fieldfare (10) Redwing (100) Great Tit,Blue Tit,Long tailed Tit,Chaffinch,Goldfinch,Siskin (4) Blackbird,Song Thrush,Dunnock,Wren (6) Carrion Crow,Wood Pigeon (150) Magpie,Jay (3) Shoveler (6) Moorhen,Mute Swan,Canada Goose (19) Common Gull,Herring Gull,Black headed,Bullfinch (8) Chiffchaff (1) Starling10) Water Rail (3) Snipe (3) Great Spot (1) Sparrowhawk (1) Coot,Collared Dove,Mistle Thrush (1) and Reed Bunting (2).

I`ve just heard that on his walk around Terry saw the redhead Smew on a small patch of open water on Abbey Mead,he saw it fly in.

My passed records of White-fronts in the New Hythe area are as follows.Most of the records either refer to birds passing over south or southwest.Eighty on January 15th 1967,five on January 22nd 1970,a small flock at the beginning of 1976,one hundred on December 31st 1978,thirty on January 20th 1979,with eleven on January 8th and fourteen on February 17th 1985.One was present in the New Hythe/Burham area from April 14th-16th 1988 (probably a feral bird) and in mid December 1993,seven were seen in the Wouldham/Burham area.

Later during the morning I had (11) Reed Buntings in the garden.

Monday, 20 December 2010

December 20th (New Hythe)

The lakes remain frozen,apart from a few small open areas on some of the larger lakes which are crammed full with mainly Coots and a handful of Mallard,Shoveler,Tufted Duck,Gadwall,Great Crested Grebes and Little Grebes.Many of the wildfowl appear to have moved out (I only saw two Pochard) it would be interesting to know where they have gone.In past years when the lakes became frozen over hundreds moved onto the nearby Medway.However I looked at the river this morning and only the usual duck were present apart from (6) Gadwall and (1) redhead Goldeneye.
Other birds that I noted were - Redwings (100+) Fieldfare (20) Mistle Thrush (1) Song Thrush (3) Cetti`s (1) Bullfinch (2) Sparrowhawk (2) Bittern (1) a flyover bird,Snipe (2) Kingfisher (1) Goldfinch (30) and Several small parties of Tits,Great,Blue and Long-tailed.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

December 18th (New Hythe)

It was -7 at Snodland first thing,later heavy snow fell.
I heard that Gerry Warne had a good day on Friday.He saw a redhead Smew on Brookland,a Firecrest in the Oaks along the southern end of Abbey Mead and a flock of Waxwings which I believe he saw as flyovers.
I had a short visit to the area this morning,but the only bird of note I saw was a Bittern that flew up from Brookland lake.
All the lakes are now frozen over apart from a few small open areas on some of the larger lakes.

Friday, 17 December 2010

December 17th (Garden)

Bitterly cold,a light covering of snow fell during the morning.
More birds have been coming into the garden over the past few days.Those seen today were - House Sparrow (10) Starling (15) Blackbird (3) Collared Dove (8) Wood Pigeon (1) Greenfinch (1) Reed Bunting (8) Goldfinch (11) Chaffinch (6) Blue Tit (4) Long-tailed Tit (2) Robin (1) and Pied Wagtail (1).

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

December 14th (New Hythe)

Dull at first,brighter later -
Birds I noted this morning were - Goldeneye (1) on Brookland, Goosander (1) on Abbey Mead,Kingfisher (1) Abbey Mead,Bullfinch (4) Abbey Mead,Green Sandpiper (1) Railway lake and Water Rail (2) Abbey Mead.Redwings are still present in the area but in smaller numbers.

Monday, 13 December 2010


While I was showing Phil Sharp a Bittern I had just found in the NE corner of Abbey Mead,Phil noticed what he thought was a second bird fly into a patch of reeds further along the lake.Excited about the possibility of there being two Bitterns,to gain a better view we moved round the lake a little until we were opposite to where the bird had flown in.After a little searching there it was our second Bittern.After we took a few record shots of the bird we both went our separate ways.Phil walked back along the edge of the lake while I took a shorter route back across a small stream.We then both met up again in the Brookland car park.It was there that Phil told me he had seen and photographed a third Bittern only shortly after we had parted company.It was in a patch of reed just below him and only a few feet away.He managed to take a few photographs before it flew off.I look forward to seeing these when his Blog is published a little later on.

Other birds of note that I saw were (1) Sparrowhawk (2) Water Rail (2) Bullfinch (1) Chiffchaff and (1) Cetti`s Warbler.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

December 11th

This morning I put up a small brown crake which had white in its primaries.I was walking out to the small wood to look at the river when I flushed it from almost under my feet.It rose up a few feet and then dropped down out of view into the creek (outflow).I could not get any more detail on the bird as it all happened so fast.I would just say if anyone walks that way be aware as it quite possibly might have been a Spotted crake.I`m almost certain that Water Rails it flight do not show white in the wings,I maybe wrong.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

December 9th (Halling Common and Streamside lake)

Brighter today but remaining cold
Birds noted at Halling this morning amongst others were (9) Gadwall (41) Cormorants (8) Redshank (4) Curlew (1) Common Sandpiper (8) Snipe (8) Meadow Pipits (50) Redwing and (2) Fieldfare.
After I had left Halling I called in on the Streamside lake to see if the Goosander that Phil had seen on there yesterday was still around.As luck would have it just after I arrived it came flying past and went down on the lake.
Three Snipe,two Teal and a Grey Wagtail were seen in the small marsh by the Brookland car park.

For the past few days a Bittern has been seen on Abbey Mead lake.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

December 8th (Brookland lake)

Remaining cold,northerly,a thaw had set in by the early afternoon 1pm-2pm.
On the lake I saw (54) Pochard (6) Shoveler (8) Gadwall (32) Tufted Duck (2) Great Crested Grebes and (3) GOLDENEYE,the Slavonian Grebe was not seen.
One of the Goldeneye looked like the imm male that was on the Trout lake before it had frozen over and the other two were (redheads).
Other birds that I noted were (50) Redwing (1) Fieldfare (1) Lapwing (1) female Sparrowhawk and (1) Snipe).

In the garden a female Reed Bunting was seen with a ring,it is probably a returning bird I caught in the garden last winter.

Monday, 6 December 2010


WILDFOWL Gadwall (4) New Hythe during the month.Pochard (150) Brookalnd lake and (100) Alders lake during the month.Goosander (1) New Hythe 28th.Smew (1) New Hythe 28th.Common Scoter (1) Abbey Mead 1st.WADERS Redshank (8) Burham 6th.Common Sandpiper (1) New Hythe 1st.COAL TIT (1) in my garden 9th.

December 6th (New Hythe)

Grey,foggy and cold.
Birds noted this morning amongst others were (2) Grey Wagtail,(6) Snipe (100s) Redwing (2) Redshank(4) Lapwing (50) Goldfinch and (1) Cetti`s Warbler.Two Teal were noted away from the river,one was in the small marshy area by the car park and the other was on the millstream.

One Reed Bunting (male) was seen in the garden this afternoon.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

December 4th (Tesco lake)

I went to look for the Grebe during the afternoon but couldn`t find it.I`ve got a feeling though its still there as yesterday I lost it for quite a while.

Friday, 3 December 2010

December 3rd (New Hythe)

No snow fell today but it remained cold
The Slavonian Grebe remains on Brookland lake and a Goldeneye that was also seen there is probably the same bird that was on the Trout lake,as that lake along with Alders are now both frozen over.Along the river (60) Teal (2) Redshank (1) Heron (6) Lapwing and a Kingfisher were seen.At least (8) Snipe were flushed from around the lakes and Redwings along with smaller numbers of Fieldfare were flying about everywhere.Wildfowl numbers are on the increase,I estimate there now to be at least (70) Pochard (45) Shoveler and (50) Gadwall in the area.
On Tesco lake I found (4) Wigeon and what is probably a second SLAVONIAN GREBE.I will go back tomorrow for a better look,as at the moment in my book its a Slav/Black-necked.
Our dog Scrappy waiting for his master to thaw out.