Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday 15th February

Glad to get out late afternoon today as I didn't think I would get a chance this weekend. On my way back from a trip out with the children I took a drive down Lunsford Lane and again had good views of the male Brambling.

I was out proper from 3.3o until around 5.15. The light wasn't great and there was drizzle in the air - hence no photos. I parked at the Water Works entrance just off the A228 and wandered first through the West and then East scrub I was hoping to flush a Woodcock as I seem to be the only person who watches here regularly who hasn't seen one this winter. No sign. A few Fieldfare clacked as they passed over and a small party of Siskin called as the headed towards the Alders on the East scrub.

Best sighting of the day was a Water Shrew. A mammal tick for the year for me. I was turning over bits of old wood hoping for a Toad or something and it shot out towards me and then doubled back and disappeared down a hole.

Over towards Abbey Mead there wasn't much to report, good numbers of common duck however on the pit. I then walked along the Medway path. The water here was really high. The heronery is started to build up and a Little Egret was on the bank underneath. A few Bullfinch and Redwing were also seen along this stretch.

Walking on through the sunken marsh I flushed a Pheasant (my 70th species of the year) and heard a Reed Bunting but not much else. I then did a circuit of Brooklands but didn't add much apart from the impressive roost of Goldfinch near the fisherman's building. I then headed back along the path between Abbey Mead and the railway line. I scanned back across the pit and added two Shelduck to my year list.

I waited by the Bittern spot at the end of the Millstream Pit until it was almost dark but no sign. A Sparrowhawk flapped and glided across and a few Goldcrest called close by. A Cettis called the only one I heard during my visit....I am still yet to get a view of one this year to add to my list.


At 8:23 pm, Blogger Steve said...

Well you had a better day than me. I went up Loose Valley for a couple of hours, saw next to nothing and went home.

At 11:44 pm, Blogger Ken said...

Hi Steve. Nice that you was able to get out for a while. You did well getting the Water Shrew,it's not the easiest creature to see, well done with that.I am quite looking forward to seeing the Heronry in full swing,as they are one of these birds that breeds early.
How easy is it to walk the path along by the river? Last time I was there I would never have gotten around there. Is that the path that leads from the back of the sunken marsh off to the left( The right path goes up behind Abbey Mead Lake, are you with me?)

At 6:25 am, Blogger Steve said...

Hi Ken, the path isthe one you describe. It is fairly passable at the moment but there are some narrow stretches where you need to be a bit careful. In the summer it is pretty much impassable with nettles.

At 5:37 pm, Blogger Warren Baker said...

You've got 19 on your list That I havn't Steve. (20 with the pigeon, I don't count them!).

At 9:20 pm, Blogger abbey meadows said...

Sounds like a good afternoon. I would like to see another Water shrew as it's been a number of years since I last saw one. Me and Boulmer birder were on Hauxley beach and we found a live one trapped in a clear plastic bottle! What a photo that would have made.

At 6:26 pm, Blogger John Young said...

Hi Steve, never seen a water shrew in the wild but they are cracking mammals, excellent find.

At 12:31 pm, Blogger Kate said...

Fantastic about the shrew!

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