Tuesday, 5 October 2010

New Hythe Gold 5th October

After a long weekend without being able to get out I was going stir crazy this morning. So despite the dull, grey, miserably damp conditions I set out for New Hythe, safe in the knowledge that according to the forecast just the odd spot of light rain would fall in the morning...................
.............surprise, surprise, it rained all the time I was there virtually! Unsurprisingly the birds, like me, were trying to keep out of the rain so it was hard going, especially as my binoculars kept misting over in the warm wet conditions. The picture below shows the creek with the small wood on the left. Obviously the tide was right in otherwise this would be just a small stream with muddy banks flowing into the river Medway. It was here that I picked up a small flock of Teal, a Common Gull and a Kingfisher which flew in low as I was taking the picture , it saw me just as it was about to land on a small branch and departed before I could get a shot. All three of these are new for the month and bought my total to 42 species.
I was really surprised at the number of Chiffchaffs still around at NH. I must have seen eight or nine at least during my walk, it has been a warm October so far, maybe this is encouraging some to stay. There are usually a few over wintering birds here, perhaps there'll be a few more this year. In and around the sunken marsh I found all the usual species including Grey Wagtail, Jays, Cormorants, Gt Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Wren, Blackcap and a single Dunnock, which together with a steady trickle of Swallows following the river south bought my total to 44 so far for the month.

Still no sign of Pochard, Gadwall or Shoveler on Brooklands or Abbey Mead lakes where the Coots, Tufties and Gt Crested Grebes still have the place almost to their self.
I made my way to the railway crossing picking up a few more bits on the way including Song Thrush, Blackbird and Goldfinch. It was raining quite hard now so I decided to turn back at the crossing. But before I did I noticed a lot of small birds flying across from one side to the other into thick bushes so I stopped for a while and watched Long Tailed, Blue and Great Tits, together with two or three Chiffchaffs move across. Then I heard a small high pitched song coming from the bushes which I thought I recognised. I stood for a full fifteen minutes at least trying to get a glimpse of the singer and then there it was, flitting restlessly through the rain soaked branches. A Goldcrest!!!!!!! At last. This is the first one i've seen at New Hythe since 16th September 2009. Unfortunately the only quick picture I could get was as it flew off, but never mind it's something at least. One Swallow doesn't make a Summer they say, and no doubt one Goldcrest doesn't make a Winter.......but it's a start.
At the end of the morning I had seen a hard earned 34 species. My New Hythe year list hit 96 species. And my October New Hythe total reached a dizzy 45.

The only other wildlife today was surprisingly a Red Admiral struggling past. And a nose to knee encounter with a fox along the river path on the way back. I don't know who was most surprised but he turned tail and trotted off so I guess it was him. If you believe the popular press you'll be surprised that I wasn't set upon by this ferocious beast. Percy Cuted was his name..........


Warren Baker said...

Got a Goldcrest at last Phil! Just 4 more species for the 100 now :-)

Have you always kept a months list, or is it a new thing ? If it's new be careful or you'll end up like me, always trying to better the previous record score - it gets addictive :-)

Phil said...

Hi Warren.
All my sightings are entered into Birdtrack so I can extract monthly totals by site or individual species info. I might keep up the monthly sightings on the blog now though, just to keep you on your toes:-)

Warren Baker said...

Phil you might like to visit Deans site at http://deansdailydiary.blogspot.com/ we have a bit of friedly rivalry with lists :-)

ShySongbird said...

Well done for getting out despite the weather, I'm sure you don't want to know it was quite a decent day here :)

I'm glad you were rewarded with a Goldcrest.

Percy Cuted is a very apt name, I'm amazed you survived the encounter...:)

Anonymous said...

That`s 3 of us now doing a monthly list. Good luck with it Phil.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Always enjoy your walks around NH as I can follow every step .
Well done on the Goldcrest , like hen's teeth this year . Also on reaching 96 at NH , I'm stuck on 49 at Down House , but there is no open water there .
Tight lines for the weekend .

Phil said...

Already a regular visitor to Dean's blog.

Thanks as ever for your continued interest and I survived another encounter with Percy today!

Thanks, could always use some good luck.

Thanks a lot, not confident of hitting 100 at NH this year but.........you never know.