Sunday, 16 November 2014

A site tick -Yellowhammer

Lade -0800hrs - mild, overcast, s 2 - With hardly any wind, and no rain, (yet) we struck out across the shingle to walk Mockmill Sewer. The large willow clump at the southern end held a couple of Goldcrests, an encouraging start, and several Blackbirds. Further along more Blackbirds and Song Thrushes followed, plus two Ring Ouzels, (which have probably been around for about a month now), three Stonechats and a few Robins, Wrens, Dunnocks and Reed Buntings. So, not a bad return for a slog over the stones, which got even better when the first Woodcock of the autumn hurtled out of a gorse patch!
The great thing about working a local patch regularly is that so called `common` birds that have not been recorded on `your patch` can be elevated to near rarity status. A case in point arose this morning, whilst idly scanning south lake, when a Yellowhammer flew over. I was so surprised that at first the flight call didn`t compute and fortunately I managed to get some detail on the bird to clinch the identity. If I`d been out on the Marsh I wouldn`t have given it a second thought (not that they`re abundant anywhere these days), but quite why Yellowhammers are virtually unknown down here on the shingle is something of a mystery.
Lydd - After pulling leaks and parsnips at the allotment this afternoon I checked the small wood over the road where untold rarities awaited; ok, so I made do with a Jay and a few Long-tailed Tits.
ARC - All the usual stuff here including two Slavonian Grebes and a redhead Smew, Great White Egret and several Marsh Harriers. We wandered down to the pines where a couple of Chiffchaffs called and a flock of five Goldeneyes on the lake included a cracking drake.


  1. Back in 1979 I did a breeding bird survey of the DBO recording area and if memory serves me right there were double digit numbers of breeding Yellowhammers! Times change Paul...

  2. It`s the pace of change that is so frightening, Steve. I`m afraid Yammers are on that downward spiral along with Tree Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Grey Partridge and the likes. Trouble is, I can`t see much of a future for many of our farmland birds, certainly not down here anyway.