Sunday, 30 November 2014

A late Swallow

Lade - mild, overcast, light airs  - 1030hrs - Following the excesses of last nights fancy dress (60`s hippy) and karaoke party (yes, there is photographic evidence, and no I won`t be posting any) it felt good to be out and about on the local patch this morning. The fishermen in boats were keeping the wildfowl on the move on south lake where a Red Crested Pochard was present amongst the legions of Coots and Gadwalls. I was amazed to see a Swallow hawking insects in the lee of the willows (my latest record here), but later learnt that one was also seen at Scotney (PB) and yesterday at Greatstone (MH). North lake was stacked out with waterfowl that had been disturbed off south lake. Seen or heard around the willow swamp were single figures of Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Cetti`s Warbler, Blackbird, Reed Bunting and Water Rail, while a couple of Marsh Harriers drifted over.
During the course of breakfast one of the guests commented on `our` garden House Sparrows swarming over the bird feeders, and the fact that `his` sparrows had long since disappeared from his Luton garden. I explained how fortunate we are down here and that there remains a number of thriving colonies locally and the reasons for their success, which prompted me to spend a bit more time watching the colony that haunts the caravan park along the southern boundary, as you just never know...

                                House Sparrows, Lade

Boulderwall -    A scan of the wet meadows from the access road delivered a host of distant Lapwings, Wigeons, feral geese, Curlews, Golden Plovers, gulls, Starlings, two Buzzards, Great White Egret and Marsh Harrier. Whilst there a couple of blokes pulled up and hollered "have you seen the two Pink-feet in the goose flock?" "No", said I. "Over there", pointed the driver. "Well, I can see two Grey Lags with the Canada's", I replied, diplomatically. " I think you`ll find they`re Pink-feet", retorted know-it-all.... and before I had the right of reply he was gone in a cloud of dust down the track (memo to ones self, must brush up on my goose identification...).
We then headed down to Dengemarsh where the two Cattle Egrets put on a five star show amongst a herd of cows, close to the road opposite Wraxall`s stone yard.

                               Cattle Egrets, Dengemarsh


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