Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Somethings never change

I've not been out for a couple of days and although I've been lucky to enjoy some time in the garden with some Buzzards, Red Kite and a Sparrowhawk the highlights this morning I needed to take advantage of my exercise time so plodded off down the stream towards the motorway and back about a two mile round trip which takes me about forty minutes on a leisurely stroll and is good for mind and body. I saw two people today on the walk and  the 2m rule was well observed.

I'm still not taking any glass with me treating it as more of a walk that I may see some birds rather than a walk to look for birds if that makes sense.

Today I saw a Kingfisher sitting on a branch overhanging the small ditch come stream, a couple of Mallards resting on the shingle bank and lots of calling Chiffchaff. A few Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk again flew over with the Buzzards being quite vocal. Seven Parakeets flew over very low and again were very noisy then I had another lockdown tick when a couple of Stock Dove flew up from the brown fields as I approached.

On the short walk through the woods I was surprised to find that the locals had very kindly picked up their dogs poo and their empty Stella cans and put them in a carrier bag which they'd hung from a tree so the council could find them easily and take them away for them.....how thoughtful!
Somethings it seems never change.

Not a bad view at the end of the walk
So thoughtful
I'll never understand why anybody thinks this is the way to go.


Lock down list now 44

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Pied Wagtail on the lockdown list

No woodland walk today but a nice long day in the garden produced a fly over Pied Wagtail along with a Red Kite, a Sparrowhawk and many Buzzards enjoying the warmer weather. At one time I had a group of four Buzzard together over the garden.

Onwards and upwards.

Lockdown list now 43

No apology...just trying to add a little sparkle to the post with an old image of todays tick

Friday, 3 April 2020

Another day another Lockdown walk

My street held another Clap for the NHS last night and it benefited from a little more participation than the last with most of the street out, a few pots being banged and a few fireworks being let off in another show of our appreciation for the commitment and dedication of these fabulous people.
(I have good reason to be thank them as they've saved my life on more than one occasion and only recently got my father in law home safe after testing positive for Covid-19)

With spirits lifted from the last couple of days I set off on my exercise walk this morning and I encountered not one but two Kingfishers sitting on a branch overhanging the little ditch at the bottom of the road. The ditch runs into the Roding so I guess they're nesting up river but come to the shallow ditch for easier prey. In the woods a couple of Treecreepers together was a nice find and I got another Lockdown tick when three Canada Geese flew over.

On arriving home I sat in the garden with a coffee and watched as first a Heron dropped low to inspect my pond then a Sparrowhawk flew over putting up all the Starlings. My bonus for the half hour in the garden was another Lockdown tick when I spotted a Cormorant flying north.

Another enjoyable morning making the most of these strange dark days we're experiencing.
The lockdown list now sits at 42

Pictured bird seen earlier this year 



Thursday, 2 April 2020

Naked Birding

To be clear, when I say naked I refer to the lack of glass....no Bins, No scope and no camera!

I walked the length of the ditch again today down towards the motorway and this time ventured into the woodland at the end of the path. Taking this as my daily exercise I'm not taking any glass with me (save the iphone) and it feels good to be honest. My senses are enriched as I use my ears more than I have been recently although they remain old and I still cant pick up Goldcrest etc.

Today I spent an hour from leaving home to getting home but managed a very delightful walk full of uplifting bird life.

800 yards from the front door I had another sight of yesterdays Kingfisher followed by a Grey Wagtail feeding on the shingle of the shallow ditch, a bird I was to see again on the way home.
My next Lockdown tick was with a small flock of Long-tailed Tits. The brown fields held a mixed flock of Corvids and as I entered the small woodland I got another lockdown tick when a couple of Chaffinch flew up from the leaf litter. Next came a Mistle Thrush that flew from the floor to the top of a tall Oak then a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen while I looked for a calling Nuthatch. I managed to see the Nuthatch too and then almost as I left the woodland I heard a Treecreeper  and managed to find it and it was added to the count. A delightful hour and it just goes to show what can be seen on a local walk if you're looking to see it.

As I left the woods a Red Kite came down low across the brown field to finish a very productive stroll. Legs and lungs exercised but more importantly so is the mind!

Lock down list now 40 but still waiting to see if I can add a genuine year tick on these local walks.

The woodland path

View across to the adjacent woodland 

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Lockdown expansion

For the first time in a couple of weeks I've ventured out to take advantage of my "exercise walk".
I'm lucky to have a little stream at the end of the road that takes me to some arable land and a small woodland but in all honesty I haven't walked it since my dear old dog left this world back in February 2017.

The area is pretty isolated sandwiched between the railway and the motorway but I bumped into a lady and her child, a couple walking their dog and a guy walking with his young daughter.
They all moved out of the way as did I so really good to see this level of awareness locally. The walk took about forty minutes and really cleared the cobwebs. I have decided to add birds seen on the local walk to my lockdown list in the interest of interest at least while we're entitled to this small level of social freedom.

To this end todays walk gave me four additions with a few singing Chiffchaff in the bushes lining the stream, Pheasants on the farmers field, a Little Egret feeding in the ditch but the star bird was a Kingfisher that I accidentally disturbed from the stream. I'm sure in coming days I'll find this area a pleasing walk and it could well add a few more birds if I explore the woodland area.

Lockdown list now 33


A circular walk around the brown field site through the woodland and right on the door step

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Lockdown update

Whilst filling the feeders this morning I managed an addition to the Lockdown list when two drake Mallards flew low over the garden. Otherwise it's business as usual in the garden with lots of activity from the breeding birds such as the six pairs of House Sparrows and a pair each of Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, Collared Dove, Magpie, Carrion Crow and Wren.

I miss birding, the adult Purple Heron at Cley would under normal circumstances be something I'd most likely go to see, Sea Eagles are wondering around Kent, Bluethroats have started to turn up and that's a bird I always like to see if possible. Cuckoos have started to arrive back along with Willow Warblers and the Hirundines. I haven't yet seen a Wheatear!

This little garden challenge is giving me a little lift and I appreciate I'm lucky to have a garden so at least I can sit out and enjoy the coming and going of the local birdlife.

I look forward to that first day birding when we're free to go out again and hope that it's not too far away and we can once again appreciate more diversity.


Lockdown list now 29 


Similar view to this morning

Sunday, 29 March 2020

A quick addition to the lock down list

A Saprrowhawk circling high over the garden today with a Red Kite for company gave me another Lockdown garden tick bringing the total to 28.

And an excuse to post an old image of a Sparrowhawk in the garden.



year list now 189
Lockdown list 28