Friday, 28 October 2011

Newcomers to the garden

During my week off I turned my shed at the top of the garden into a make shift hide so I could take some better photographs and moved some bird feeders to the plum tree.  Yesterday I caught a glimpse of what looked like a Coal Tit.  So today I sat in the shed for 2 hours, camera in hand and waited to see what turned up.  Within 5 minutes the birds started to come to the feeders, and yes! a Coal Tit, this was really exciting as I had not had one in the garden before.  It was coming to the feeders really fast and I started to think that there was more then one, and then I had one on the bird table and one on the feeder at the same time, so I now  definitly had 2.  I spent the next hour or so trying to get some decent photo's, which was a struggle in the poor light conditions.  I then noticed a bird appear at the back of the plum tree which at first I thought was a House Sparrow, but quickly discarded this as a saw a flash of red and then thought it was a Goldfinch, but I could not get a good view.  Suddenly the bird flew down to the bird bath to drink and I nearly fell out the shed trying to get my camera up, it was a Redpoll, another first for my garden.  Within 5 minutes I had 3 in the surrounding trees and bushes.  So 2 new comers in one day to the garden, which brightened up a miserable overcast day.  Roll on tommorow.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

In search of the Hawfinch

I visited a part of Orlestone Forest this afternoon that I had not been to before, to find a Hawfinch that a friend of mine told me had been seen in this area.  I spent around 2 hours walking around, waiting for dusk to fall and see if I could hear or see the Hawfinch come to roost.  However it was quite windy and overcast at times, threatening to rain and there was no sign of the elusive bird.  I did however see 2 parties of Long Tailed Tit's, intermingled with Blue Tits.  Just as I was about to give up for the day and leave a party of  15 Siskin's flew over and landed in a tree, which was a bonus as these are the first ones I have seen this Autumn.  So no Hawfinch, but that hopefully is for another day.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


At last some time off and I don't have to get up early in the morning to go to work, so what do I do, get up and early and go bird watching.  Went up at 07:00 to Hamstreet Woods for a few hours, a lovely crisp morning and plenty of birds singing in the early morning sunshine.  I saw many of the normal birds including Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Goldcrest.  I also saw Nuthatch, which is not unusual but there were so many around, I saw in 2/1/2 hours 3 pairs and 4 singles.  Whilst some of these birds may have been the same I walked around the edge of the whole wood and it is unusual to have some many views in a short space of time.  This is great and hopefully they will be around to stay and survive whatever winter may throw at us this year.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Good start to the day

I left my house to go to work this morning and it was murky, dark and raining.  As I drove out of Hamstreet towards Ruckinge I saw a Little Owl sitting in the road in the headlights.  As it did not fly off my first concerns were it was injured but just as I pulled up alongside the car, it looked at me as if to say "fooled you" and flew away. It was so nice to see such a lovely bird so close up and not at the end of my binoculars or telescope. A good start to a miserable day.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

New bird list

I have lived in the Hamstreet area for nearly 7 years and to date have seen 73 birds, with 58 of these from my garden.  I have created the list shown of these birds that I have seen.  Most of these have been seen in my garden, around the village, Hamstreet Woods or along the Royal Military Canal between Hamstreet and Ruckinge

First Post - view from the garden

A lovely Autumn day and having work to do at home no chance to go out birding.  Spent some time in the garden with good views of the normal birds that I get.  2 Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, House Sparrows, Wood Pigeons in abundance and the usual flock of noisy Jackdaws. The Autumn Starling flock is increasing with 30-40 birds at times.  It was nice to see 3 Goldfinches,which are becoming increasingly more scarce only showing up occasionally.

The highlight of the day was an unusual gathering of circling Herring Gulls high above the village, it made for  spectacular site.  This afternoon the 2 Kestrels that  have been around the fields at the back of my house returned and were constantly mobbed by the Jackdaws and Crows, eventually vanishing having had enough.

Not an exciting day bird wise but a pleasant days weather.  With some holiday due from the middle of next week I hope to have more posts of plenty more birding around the area.