Tuesday 1st January 2008
New Years Day and the opportunity to stay out all day and see how many species I could see on the patch. I arrived at Lunsford Lane at 7.20 whilst it was still dark and listened for the first birds of the day on Alders Lake. Just as it got light Terry Laws arrived and we decided to walk around the together and see if we could better Terry's last New Years Day total of 52 birds.
We quickly added all the common birds including a Mistle Thrush that gave a brief burst of song. Mist was still heavy so visibility on Alders was poor however a few twanging calls alerted us to a group of 20+ Siskin feeding high in an Alder. Within an hour we were up to 30 species and added a Water Vole along the Lunsford Lane stretch of the Millstream.
Over towards the round pond a flock of c8 Meadow Pipits were very active, calling and being flushed continually by dog walkers from the scrub. Next was one of the best birds of the day, a Treecreeper alerted me by it's call and quickly showed well at the end of the Millstream Lake, here we also added several Shoveler. We added several Little Grebe and another group of c6 Siskin in the east scrub before crossing the river towards Abbey Mead. A Shelduck, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk and Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker as well as the first of our 3 Chiffchaff for the day were seen here. We also added a Goldcrest (first of 2) and several Bullfinch. 2 Pike showed well in the shallows on the edge of Abbey Mead.
Down to the river we added 20+ Lapwing, 2 Teal, 2 Redshank and a Green Sandpiper, also 2+ Stock Dove the other side of the river. Grey Wagtail and Cettis Warbler called but remained unseen. A Vixen looked longingly from the bank at the Gulls and Lapwings on the Island in the Medway.
Back around Abbey Mead and over to the East scrub again we added our only Redwing of the day and then I saw 2 Water Rail chasing each other near the Millstream. Amazingly we waited until 2.45 to see our first Wren of the day and added a Stonechat shortly after near the round pond. Back to Alders we found House Sparrow but the Goldeneye seen by Terry yesterday remained elusive.
We returned to the end of the Millstream for dusk, 26 Fieldfare flew over calling and very late on the Bittern showed only very briefly at around 4.45. Over 9 hours and we saw 60 species and heard an additional 2. Very pleased with that.
Total list for the day (in the order seen):
1. Canada Goose 2. Coot 3. Mallard 4. Robin 5. Song Thrush 6. Dunnock 7. Magpie 8. Starling 9. Collared 10. BH Gull 11. Tufted Duck 12. Woodpigeon 13. Greylag 14. Pochard 15. GC Grebe 16. Common Gull 17. Grey Heron 18. Herring Gull 19. Chaffinch 20. Long Tailed Tit 21. Great Tit 22. Mistle Thrush 23. Pied Wagtail 24. Lesser BB Gull 25. Mute Swan 26. Blue Tit 27. Siskin 28. Goldfinch 29. Cormorant 30. Moorhen 31. Gadwall 32. Blackbird 33. Crow 34. Jay 35. Meadow Pipit 36. Treecreeper 37. Shoveler 38. Little Grebe 39. Shelduck 40. Kingfisher 41. Sparrowhawk 42. Chiffchaff 43. Great Spotted Woodpecker 44. Goldcrest 45. Green Woodpecker 46. Greenfinch 47. Bullfinch 48. Kestrel 49. Lapwing 50. Teal 51. Grey Wagtail (heard only) 52. Cettis Warbler (heard only) 53. Redshank 54. Green Sandpiper 55. Stock Dove 56. Redwing 57. Water Rail 58. Stonechat 59. Wren 60. House Sparrow 61. Fieldfare 62. Bittern