Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Ditton Quarry 9th December

I've been meaning to pay a visit to one of Adam Whitehouse's (www.dittoneastmallingbarming.blogspot.com) haunts at Ditton Quarry and today I managed an hour there between 11am and noon. I didn't cover the whole site but concentrated in the SW section which Adam advised me is the preferred location for the redpolls he's been recording there.
I was greeted by a small flock of fieldfare which flew off over the adjacent East Malling Research Station. I then spent some time scanning the alder trees on the edge of the small wood for the redpoll but to no avail so I walked a fairly small circuit picking up plenty of chaffinch, goldfinch and greenfinch, also green and great spotted woodpeckers. I repeated this process three times more or less, adding jay, sparrowhawk, redwing, wren, dunnock, calling bullfinches and lots of blackbirds, at least one of which treated me to a short song which in the positively balmy conditions, 13 degrees according to my car, made it feel like spring was in the air! I made my way back to the car with 20 species seen, not bad for a very pleasant one hour first visit although I'm sure Adam would have done better. As I was taking my boots off I noticed a small bird perched on a small tree just inside the quarry boundary so out came my bins again and a quick look confirmed a redpoll..................21!

4 comments:

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Phil.
A good ending to your visit.Pity you didn't see more Redpolls, Adam must have told them you was coming, that one obviously wasn't listening.
You picked a nice day for a walk though Phil.

alan woodcock said...

Hi Phil,in my teens I would walk to Ditton quarry from my home at East Malling,back then where the trees are on the bank by the road,Skylarks nested,how things have changed.

Phil Sharp said...

You're right Alan things have changed unfortunately. I too lived at East Malling as a lad from 1953 to 1964, we lived at Lime Crescent on Clare Park estate, where were you?

Phil

alan woodcock said...

I lived in the village at Rocks road,spent a lot on time in the woods at Barming also.