Friday, 16 April 2010

New Hythe 16th April


Signs of Spring were still few and far between today at New Hythe. It was quite bright, but again windy and cold when I arrived , it wasn't long before the clouds exerted their influence though and once again the skies turned grey.

From the car park, alongside Brooklands lake and along the river past the Sunken Marsh the usual species were seen. These included the Mute Swan which was on her nest but I don't know if she has eggs yet. Also a single Common Gull, Song Thrush, Shelduck, a couple of Teal, two or three Jays (noticeable by their absence of late), a Greenfinch, a Chiffchaff and surprisingly two Rooks. The only Hirundine was a single Sand Martin over Abbey Mead lake.

In the Country Park I saw Martin Warburton and together we saw a Common Whitethroat in the West Scrub, my first at NH this year at last! Martin had also heard a short burst of Nightingale song in the East Scrub but we were unable to hear it later. I happened to mention to Martin that I had done my Habitat Survey yesterday for my BTO Breeding Bird Survey at Hodsoll Street Meopham and coincidentally it turns out that he used to do the same square in the past. It's a small world.

I parted company with Martin at the Brook House entrance where he had parked and continued on with Dennis and Doreen back across the East Scrub where a Willow Warbler was singing and Green Woodpecker, Great Black Backed Gull, Kestrel and the first of three Sparrowhawks were all seen. I spotted two more Sparrowhawks circling quite high over Abbey Mead, one of which broke off to mob a Common Buzzard which was drifting to the South East, the Buzzard flipped over a couple of times, presumably to show the upstart Hawk his talons, very good to watch.

The return walk along the river turned up some nice birds in the shape of two Oystercatchers, one pictured below, also two Green Sandpipers which flew across the river and then turned up again further downstream. But best of all was the very welcome sound of a Cuckoo calling from the Sunken Marsh. It flew out of the Marsh just before we got there and landed in trees on the other side of the river, but we had reasonably good viewsfor a while before it flew towards Burham calling frequently.


The final section back to the car park revealed a couple of Swallows hawking low over Brooklands lake, another Kestrel, a Pied and a Grey Wagtail on the building to the side of the paper mill, a Cetti's Warbler that performed a full frontal for a couple of seconds by the lake path and finally a Mistle Thrush in it's usual patch adjacent to the old Cafe in the car park. I listed 48 species in all today including two New Hythe year ticks which I think is a good total given the somewhat trying conditions. I understand that this weekend may see the back of this wretched wind, in which case things, as they say, can only get better.


Warren Baker said...

I still await the Whitethroat and Cuckoo Phil.

I had the same experience as you with the Buzzard - only mine was being mobbed by a Pergrine.

I really do hope this wind buggers off at the weekend :-(

Steve said...

Sounds a good visit Phil. I was there for a bit this PM. Added Buzzard and Small Tortoiseshell