Wednesday 28 March 2012

Crossbills in the Woods & Owls on the Marsh

Warm (hot!) 20C, dry and sunny, light airs - Is it really March?... Anyway, day 3 of the Birdwatching Break during which we added some real quality onto the bird list for the week. Started in the woods and came back down onto the flatlands later; Chiffchaffs seemed to be everywhere this morning.
Warehorne Bridge - 0915hrs - Always a good spot to stop and scan and it was no different today with a Green Sandpiper along the canal, a perched Buzzard, singing Chiffchaffs and plenty of common residents including Song and Mistle Thrushes, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Yammer and the like.
Faggs Wood - 1000hrs - Jackpot time here for the ladies with 2 groups of Crossbills in the car park area; a flyover flock of 9 and a cracking group of 4 feeding at close range for 15 minutes, first in a lombardy poplar, then in a spruce tucking into seed cones. Also around the car park Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Jays, Bullfinch, Chiffchaffs and Greater pecker. Insects noted around the wood included brimstone and loads of orange underwings, a common day-flying moth of birch woodland.
Park Wood - 1200hrs  - More of the same here, but a lot more Treecreepers, plus Blackcap, Sparrowhawk and an odd sounding Chiffchaff. Also a decent show of early spring woodland flowers.
Kenardington - 1330hrs - Good views of a Little Owl near the bridge and a range of wayside birds along the canal towards Warehorne including Bullfinch, Blackcap, Tree Sparrow and Chiffchaffs. The Dowels held a large flock of 500 Common Gulls that included at least 20 Med Gulls.
Walland Marsh - 1430hrs - Up to 6 Marsh Harriers, Mipits, Skylarks and 6 Med Gulls over. Another field full of Common Gulls and a few more Meds nearby.
Galloways - 1600hrs - A flock of 15 Corn Buntings feeding amongst the sheep, plus Stonechat and a hunting Short-eared Owl on the ranges. The chicken sheds on the corner of Dengemarsh Road produced a Little Owl, the first I`ve seen here for ages.
Springfield Bridge - 1700hrs - Finished off with 100 Wigeon on the fields, 60 Golden Plovers overhead, Redshank on the flood, 6 Marsh Harriers over the reedebed and a `booming`Bittern.

                                           Chiffchaff, RMCanal

                                           Corn Buning, Galloways

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