Thursday, 1 December 2016

December Diary 2016 !

31st Dec -  Last day of the year and a female Reed Bunting appeared but to far for a photograph, other birds seen included a Buzzard perched in a tree in the grounds of Cobham Hall opposite the wood, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon, Song Thrush, Redwing, Robin Blackbird.

29th Dec -  As the year nears it's close I thought I would review some of the wildlife seen this year  in the compact little woodland and surrounding meadows. My observations are made during a relatively short walk each morning with my dog, a time span of between one and two hours usually early morning.
Bird species seen this year have crept up to sixty one not far of the total seventy one species seen at this site, the Marsh Tit remains very elusive having only been seen once this year and not recorded on camera as yet and remains my number one on my wanted list. Bullfinch's have been seen a couple of times, always very brief sighting, the Little Owls have not been seen since early summer, hope they return to their nesting tree soon , returned about the end of January this year. No Siskin or Redpoll have been seen as yet this winter. A Stonechat pair have been seen this last few weeks occasionally.

Butterfly sightings reached nineteen species this year, although no sign of any White Admirals or Brown Argus this year, and strangely Common Blue, and Large Skippers were quite sparse, a few sightings of Painted Lady were nice.

 Only four species of Dragonflies were seen Hairy Dragonfly, Broad bodied Chaser, Migrant Hawker and Common Darters.

Bee species reached nine with, Buff Tailed, White Tailed, Red Tailed, Carder, Early and Garden and Tree Bumblebees all being seen regularly,  a single sighting of the Tawny Mining Bee was the most memorable, and a nest of Honey Bees watched in the woodland.

Five species of Spider seen this year, Labyrinth, White Cross, Spotted Wolf, Nursery Web and a single sighting of a Crab Spider.

Mammals consisted of Rabbit, Fox and Grey Squirrel , not very exciting.

As for today a later than usual walk produced, Robin, Redwing, Song Thrush, Fieldfare, Great Tit, a melanistic Blue Tit at the back of Two Ponds, Two Bullfinch at the top of a Silver Birch, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Jay Magpie, Wood Pigeon. a single Stonechat female at the top of the glades.

This blog will continue until the Marsh Tit is eventually photographed.

27th Dec- Hard frost this morning after a bitterly cold night, but the sun was shining again this morning, and I noticed a few Stock Doves taking in the warmth high up in the trees,

Stock Dove

 Lots Of Wood Pigeons around the woods. A flock of five Jays moving through the treetops and below in the woodland leaf litter, lots of Redwings, still wary and very difficult to get close to.

A few Mistle Thrushes and Song Thrushes around with Robins and Blackbirds, a single Wren, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Starling. Ring necked Parakeets could be heard calling but not seen this morning, no sign of the Stonechats, probably because I had my camera with me, but a Green Woodpecker flushed from the grass.

A trio of fungi on this stump, some candlesnuff and two unidentified fungi

In the Glades Carrion Crow and a single Rook in the cattle field with a couple of Magpies
26th Dec - A lovely Boxing day walk in some mild weather, the sun was shining, birds were singing and i'm sure I noticed some new buds on some of the trees. Song Thrushes were very vocal this morning, a Few Mistle Thrushes were seen  high in the tree, and a Nuthatch first noticed by its calls was seen high in the treetops. Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and Woodpigeon were all seen in the dead sweet chestnut tree by the car park. Blue Tit, Blackbirds and Robins were also seen around the edge of the woodland.
As I walked down towards the glades two birds flew out in front of me and posed just in front in the sunshine, the pair of Stonechats, frustratingly no camera with me today. Jay and Magpie seen and an unidentified gull species overhead, In the cattle fields more Carrion Crows with a few scattered Starlings

23rd Dec - I could feel the wind picking up this morning, bending a few of the smaller trees, Storm Barbara hitting the north of the country today, according to the weathercasters not really affecting us in the south.

Bird sightings today included, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, two Ring Necked Parakeets over the glades, plenty of Woodpigeons searching for food in the leaf litter, Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Green Woodpecker, Robin, Chaffinch disturbed from the leaf litter under an oak tree with a Nuthatch, Long Tailed Tit, Great Tit,and a single Magpie 13 species today and nothing really of note.

Song Thrush

20th Dec-  Bird sightings have picked up a lot lately with all the usual sightings Carrion Crow, Common Jackdaw, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit , 15 species in all today, Treecreepers have not been seen lately and the Marsh Tit continues to evade my camera. ( Buzzard perched high in tree on edge of Shorne woods opposite Ashenbank woods) 

13th Dec - A wet,dank, misty walk around the woodland which still provided a few bird sightings, several Wren were seen moving through the undergrowth, a single Robin today, plenty of Blackbirds, a single Song Thrush, around the glades a single Carrion Crow, Green Woodpecker, three Greenfinch a small charm of Goldfinch flying over, a single Redwing posed long enough for a quick photograph before it was off, just a single Starling today, no sign of the Stonechats and no Siskins in the alder trees yet.

Distant Redwing
Even more distant Greenfinch

12th Dec- The woodland provided a single Long Tailed Tit, 2 Great Tits and a few Blue Tits, Robin and Blackbird, Good numbers of Woodpigeons in the trees adjacent to the cattle fields of Cobham Hall and a pair of Mistle Thrushes chasing each other through the treetops
The Glades provided a surprise today with the sighting of a pair of Stonechats, two Redwing flying over, a single Fieldfare, Carrion Crow and a Ring Necked Parakeet a Green Woodpecker feeding in the vacant cattle fields, a flock of Starlings on the telegraph wires, ten Magpie in a tree, I believe this is termed a "Magpies weddings" when the birds are pairing up.


8th Dec- Three Green Woodpeckers disturbed from the fields on the edge of the woodland, Robin, Fieldfare, Redwing, Song Thrush and Blackbird seen in the woodlands, over the glades a Herring Gull, Woodpigeon Goldfinch and Starling.

Green Woodpecker

7th Dec
- Bird sightings today included a small gathering of seven Woodpigeon on one of the cattle drinking troughs near the entrance gate, a Nuthatch could be heard calling unseen in the treetops, Blackbird, Wren seen along the trails, a few Goldfinch flying over the glades, a small flock of Redwing disturbed from the woodland on the edge of the glades, a flyover Ring Necked Parakeet calling noisily, Magpie, a Carrion Crow, a few Grey Squirrels seen around the woodland.
1st December -  Another cold night with a few pockets of frost still showing in the shadows from yesterday's low temperature.

Plenty of birds seen today, Robins seem to be stationed all along the woodland trails with at least seven seen today, a pair of Jackdaws outside this years breeding site near Two Ponds, which remains frozen over. A roving Tit flock contained Long Tailed Tits, Great Tits and Blue Tits. A pair of Nuthatch seen high up in the trees. Carrion Crow, Jay, Blackbirds also seen in the woodland.
A walk around the glades revealed  two Skylark, Magpie, two Redwing, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Woodpigeon and a few Goldfinch.
 Common Gull and a single Fieldfare were fly overs. no sign of the Bullfinch or of any Siskins around the Alder trees.
Eighteen species today that's the highest number of bird species seen over the last few months. Plenty of berries around the area at the moment, hopefully a few Waxwings may move down from the North.