Monday, 16 November 2009

Watching Autumn

Watching Autumn, originally uploaded by WildPhotoMonkey.

A walk around Penshurst with Helen in fine, mild weather gave some autumnal views.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Monster Rock

IMG_2345, originally uploaded by WildPhotoMonkey.

This is a monster shaped rock seen at High Rocks


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Monday, 11 May 2009

First Damselfly

The first damselfly species for the pond was seen yesterday in the form af a male Large Red Damselfly. Also noted were a number of small Newtpoles and 2 Froglets. Speckled Wood and Small White butterflies were also evident.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Birds & Bees

Bee species

Orange Ladybird

The sunny weekend brought out the insects with a smart Cream-spot Ladybird and a Bee with a long tongue. Butterflies were scare still and no dragonflies as yet.

Thursday, 9 April 2009




Our newts are great at the moment, providing lots of interest as they court each other and fight. We've also seen them laying their eggs. Tawny Owl was heard again last night.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Nesting Magpies

A pair of Magpies have built a nest in the ivy overlooking the patio and are very agressively seeing off other birds and squirrels. It was fun to see their antics in breaking off twigs and collecting moss from the lawn.

Magpie's nesting

Friday, 6 March 2009

Hoots Mon

At 2230hrs last night Josh alerted me to a Tawny Owl hooting loudly from the wood in the back garden. Only the 2nd record for the garden, the last being in November 2008.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Great Northern Diver and Newts in the Pond

On Sunday stopped off at Bough Beech Reservoir and finally managed to see the juvenile Great Northern Diver that has been present since November last year. This was a new bird for me at BB and my first for 2 years.

In the garden pond, 2 newts were seen and the introduced frog-spawn is started to hatch. Whilst in the garden the first Harlequin Ladybird for the year was found.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Parakeets at Knole

Weekend family stroll at Knole Park to see the deer found 6 Ring-necked Parakeets around their normal nesting area, otherwise it was fairly devoid of birds. Plenty of deer though.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Winter Wonderland

An early morning drive down to Dungeness saw -10C registering on the car thermometer.
First stop was Northpoint GPs where the small patch of unfrozen water was largely occupied by Mute Swans and a few wildfowl but a lone Barnacle Goose was also picked out.

At the Dungeness RSPB Reserve, Burrow's Pit had huge numbers of wildfowl in unfrozen patches with 30+ Pintail and a Goldeneye.

The New Excavations sported a showy Slavonian Grebe which caught a frog and swallowed it whole, 2 female Red-crested Pochards and 4 Little Grebes.

The Christmas Dell Hide turned up Black-necked Grebe and a redhead Smew and the nature trail around to Hooker's Pit yielded a Water Rail swimming in an unfrozen ditch and a superb Woodcock flushed up and did 3 circuits around our heads as the sunshine came out.

New Diggings had 2 areas of unfrozen and amongst the wildfowl were 4 Goosanders, several Smew (incl a drake), several Goldeneye and a lone Ruddy Duck.Other highlights were 3 Stonechats, 3 Marsh Harriers, 2 Foxes (one walking around on the ice) and 20+ Little Grebe from Dengemarsh Hide.

The Swan herd at Lydd revealed one Whooper Swan amongst 40+ Bewick's whilst at Scotney GPs a drake Red-crested Pochard and 6 Scaup were found on the Kent side.

On the way home at Jurys Gap the tide was in, sea was calm and we picked out at least one distant Red-throated Diver.

Leaving the area at 1pm the temperature had crept up to -0.5C which felt positively balmy.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Wierton Waxwings

The six Waxwings were soon located in the small orchard at Wierton Hill feeding on apples amongst the large numbers of Fieldfares, Blackbirds and a couple of Redwings. These Scandanavian winter visitors were my first for 4 years and with patience I got some satisfying pictures in the afternoon sunshine as they fed in the orchard and sat in the trees. When disturbed they would raise their crests before flying with a pleasant trilling call.


Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year's Day at Bough Beech

Got the year off to a start with a trip to Bough Beech Reservoir and was pleased to connect with the female Bearded Tit which had been present from 5th Nov last year. I managed to get some pictures of this smart individual which represented my 128th species for the reservoir.

Bearded Tit (female)

On the feeders I saw one each of Brambling, Marsh Tit and Coal Tit and on the reservoir itself 6 Goosanders, a Ruddy Duck (only my 2nd ever at this site) and a pair of Mandarins checked in but the reported Great Northern Diver failed to show.


Mallard on Ice