Saturday, 6 November 2010

New Hythe Saturday 6th November

It was a great morning to be out today and there seemed to be more birds on the wing than of late and New Hythe was buzzing.

Brookland lake remained unchanged with still no increase in ducks, just an increase in fishermen, but then it is the weekend. Having said that I did pick up two new species for the NH November list with a single Common Gull on the lake and two Grey Wagtails flying over.
The path around the Sunken Marsh is now well and truly in it's muddy phase, it'll be like that now until next Spring I expect. But there was quite a lot of activity there with calling Cetti's Warblers, two Wrens giving it full volume, a few Greenfinches and Chaffinches, unfortunately no Bramblings among them, and loads of Blue and Long tailed Tits. There were a few Redwings feeding on the plentiful supply of red berries but not allowing anything like a close approach and overhead I saw first a Sparrowhawk with attendant Crow and then a Kestrel perched on top of a telegraph pole.

The tide was two thirds up and racing in, so not much to see on it but I was lucky enough to hear and catch a glimpse of a Redshank as it flew downstream, no doubt displaced by the rising tide and a Little Egret making the most of the last piece of exposed mud.
A noisy Green Woodpecker, one of five seen in all flew out of the corner of the marsh and a hen Pheasant was also seen as I made my way along to attempt to scale the East face of the mound, a treacherous ascent even in dry conditions. Two thirds of the way up I was startled by a Great Spotted Woodpecker which flew low over my head and into a small Oak tree just in front of me. I don't think it saw me because it just carried on it's business, tap tapping the branches while I braced myself on the steep slope trying to get my camera out. It was a bit tricky and the result below reflects that I think!

A brief pause at the top of the mound resulted in a typical view of a Bullfinches bum as it disappeared down the track and fly overs of Starlings and Goldfinches.
Then a brief and welcome burst of weak November sun arrived and I started noticing a few creatures moving in the undergrowth. One of these was this Marmalade hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus pictured below.

When I said earlier that NH was buzzing I meant it. I found a few of the bumble bees pictured below, busily feeding on the remaining few flowers. I think it's a Common Carder, Bombus pascuorum, hopefully i'm right.
Below that is another hoverfly which looks like Syrphus ribesii who was also hanging on in the sunshine but disappeared as soon as the clouds came back. I'm sure there won't be many more opportunities, if any, to see these again before winter sets in.

A scan of Abbey Mead lake resulted in Little Grebe making it onto today's list and in among the Tufted Ducks and plentiful Gt Crested Grebes were five Pochard, as ever enjoying a midday kip in the middle of the lake.
The East scrub was, well, the East scrub really. Not much to see other than four more Green Woodpeckers, a Dunnock and two Fieldfares perched on top of a small tree. Like the Redwings they are very wary at the moment and although I tried to get close enough for a picture they wouldn't allow it.
I checked out Johnson's lake before I called it a day and was pleased to find five Gadwall, a couple of Shovelers, a Kingfisher and finally a Goldcrest which made a brief appearance after a long wait. I'm just glad of their constant calling otherwise i'd never see them.
So 41 species in all and 10 additions to the November NH list. A very enjoyable visit and i'll finish with a last note of Summer with the picture below of a very late Dog Rose taken today.


Adam said...

Nice rose hip pic!


Bob Bushell said...

Wow, I didn't know that Hover Fly were still around. The Rose-hip is a real exoctic picture.

Warren Baker said...

Isn't it amazing what a bit of sunlight does for the wildlife sightings Phil :-)

You've got some nice species on your November list already - 60 should be no problem :-)

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos Phil and an excellent read. So nice too to see all the reminders of Summer, the Dog Rose photo looks like a painting, really beautiful! It was very late flowering though.

You do have some great places to visit down your way and you saw plenty of interest today.

A most enjoyable post :)

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Very 'arty' start and finish to your post .
Wouldn't argue with your IDs .
As you say , there won't be many more days like that now .

Ken. said...

Hi Phil.
Nice to see you are still keping your eye in down the lakes.
Nice photo's.