Saturday, 23 August 2014


 My car was in dry dock on wednesday so I took the opportunity to wander along to the local Kent Wildlife Trust's Quarry Wood Reserve. There have been a few Spotted Flycatchers in residence this year and I hoped thry would still be around. 

 I located them quite quickly and spent some time just watching them catching flies and butterflies. There were at least five, probably six of them all in quite a small area and were quite tolerant of my presence so long as I didn't over step the mark.

 Unfortunately the mark was a bit outside the comfort zone of my 300ml lens but at least I got some pictures of these super little birds.

  While I watched the Spot Fly's, from my chosen spot, half hidden in the regenerated growth of a coppiced Sweet Chestnut, Nuthatches, Goldcrests, Treecreepers, Gt. Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Woodpeckers, Wrens, Chiffchaffs and a Buzzard all made an appearance along with the more common woodland species.

But perhaps best of all was this juvenile Bullfinch who, unaware of my presence (and of my cramp), fed heartily on what looked like Honeysuckle berries?

Once again the pictures are a little distant and cropped but it's so rare for me to get a shot of these so wary birds, so i'm pleased to get them.

This morning (saturday), Carol and I walked from the house along to Barming where we crossed the bridge and walked along the north bank of the River Medway.

I was surprised at the quantity of butterflies still present, including Common Blues above, some of which were quite worn now.

But in contrast, the Small Coppers like the one above were in pristine condition.

I spotted this dragonfly hanging up in low vegetation alongside a marshy area. I must say that at first I was a bit puzzled as to species but i'm pretty sure it's a male Emperor, albeit without much green showing on the thorax. please let me know if i'm wrong!

Other dragons seen included Brown Hawker and plenty of Migrant Hawkers like the one above. Very few damselflies with just one Banded Demoiselle seen by the stone bridge at Teston. Which was close to where we saw Grey Wagtail and this Wren which was hunting for spiders and insects among the Nettles.

We've had some good sightings in and over the garden during this last week too, including two more visits from the Little Owl who calls loudly and sits on a branch of a tree overhanging our garden just before it gets dark. On one occasion flying off and perching on our neighbours TV aerial. Earlier in the week we watched nine Buzzards circling together low over the house, calling loudly before drifting eastwards towards Maidstone. On tuesday a Hobby flew over the front garden and this morning we had a Grey Wagtail on the front lawn until the resident Robin chased it away. All in all a good week in West Farleigh. 


Greenie said...

Phil ,
SpFly and juv Bullfinch , yes they are Honeysuckle berries , were well worth the cramps in my book .
Would agree with the male Emperor ID , he's just old , like the rest of us !
Nice to have a local Little Owl .
As you say , a great week .

Warren Baker said...

I'd love to get that kind of a view of a Bullfinch Phil, with the camera in hand of course :-) Nice one!

Mike Attwood said...

Thats a busy blog Phil.

Ken. said...

What a enjoyable bit of birdwatching you can do while at home, great garden list.
Good local patch you have there Phil.

Marianne said...

Lovely post and photos. Your new garden is coming up trumps - Little Owl, Hobby and an army of Buzzards, sounds like BOP central :)