Saturday, 12 February 2011



The picture above is of three fishermen, taken at New Hythe on 7th January 2009. I've posted it because I didn't get any pictures today, except a very long distance Buzzard. I did see all of the above three species this morning so it kind of makes sense.

I was joined at the small wood by Martin Coath & Flossie the golden retriever who also bought Martin Warburton with her. We spotted the usual bits and pieces including Teal, Lapwing, Redshank, Gadwall and Cormorant and then the two Martins left to continue their monthly census on the site. Within five minutes they were replaced by Eddie Denson, who crept through the wood without a sound and nearly gave me a heart attack. While we chatted we were lucky to see a Little Egret flying in the distance, one of two I saw today and also a Grey Wagtail, New Hythe year tick number 74. I don't think i'll get much more now until the summer migrants arrive, although Water Rail would be a welcome 75. Other notables from the wood and sunken marsh area included a Sparrowhawk, a flock of c. 46 Lapwings among which were at least two more Redshanks, a largish flock of Fieldfares across the river and a couple of Shelduck.

After a bit of a chat with fellow birder John Davies, who had just seen a Goldeneye on Abbey Mead, we too added it to our list when we finally located it on the far side of the lake. On then to Streamside lake adding the traditional sighting of a couple of Bullfinches backsides en route. Sometimes I think Bumfinch would be a better name for this very shy species. No Bitterns to be found in the usual reedbed but we did manage to locate Goosander and Red-head Smew. It's been great having these long stayers this winter, but I expect they'll be off before too much longer. I parted company with Eddie and started making my way back to the river, pausing to try and get a shot of a pair of Goldcrests near the railway line but to no avail, it was still very overcast at the time so it was never going to be a good result. Back at the sunken marsh I disturbed a Sparrowhawk which must have been on the ground I think, then I turned the corner and bumped into Ken Browne of Focusing on Wildlife fame. Together we revisited the river via the small wood for a last look and i'm glad we did because we found, Green Sandpiper, four distant Buzzards spotted by Ken, two Gt Black-backed Gulls, a Kestrel, a Kingfisher, another Little Egret this one feeding on the river bank and four Shelducks.

As Ken and I parted company I glanced up and there was another Buzzard, closely followed by a second one circling over the river, pictured and heavily cropped below, making six in total and a day count of 52 species. The february NH list now stands at 66.


ShySongbird said...

What nice fishermen they are Phil! I couldn't find one of them at first :) It's a wonder I recognised it, it has been so long since I saw one :(

Another enjoyable walk with you :)

Simon said...

Like the pic of the Heron, Egret and Kingfisher - the fish don't stand a chance!!! A brilliant bird total for the day!

Warren Baker said...

Some decent birds on that list today Phil, i'd be happy with just a glimpse of any of those water species on my patch during this year!

good luck :-)

Chris said...

Wow the first shot in incredible. Three for one picture! Well done on the bird list which is quite impressive!

Ken. said...

Hi Phil.
It was great seeing you again, and thanks for showing me where the small wood is. That is some photo,the first one. Talk about being in the right place at the right time, but then that's what it is all about isn't it.What I want to know is, how are you going to top that Phil?
Nice to see you got a record shot of the Common Buzzard.

Marc Heath said...

I would not want to be a fish in that area, like having the SAS ready outside your house. The Buzzard looked interesting, first thought i was looking at a Rough leg from the thumb nail, Didn't have a white rump did it?

Phil said...

Hi Marc
No I don't think so, but when I downloaded the pic, the first thing I did was check the ref books. I still came back to common though.I'm still grizzling about missing the last RLB at New Hythe by minutes!

Mike Attwood said...

Three fishers in one shot. If you had been using film I would have said it was a brilliant economy move. Digital you have no excuse.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Like others , relly like that first shot .
I would have thought that your list would have been bigger , having spotted a couple of Martins early on .

Adam said...

All good stuff Phil. I had report of 20+ Waxwings on Oxley Shaw Estate (in an Oak on the green opposite Woodlea Rd?) on Sunday. Must be the same birds.