Saturday, 2 March 2013

In to the Valley (and out)


Another cold day, football cancelled, so we ventured to Stodmarsh to tidy up the gaps on our annual Kent list.

The drive down the village produced the usual species with the addition of a small group of Pheasants. The car park produced two common birds that are no longer as common as they once were; Greenfinch and Song Thrush. Lovely to see and easy to damage your 'Street Cred' if you're caught enjoying them when everybody else is rushing to see the Penduline Tit.

Preferring a bit of peace we opted to visit Marsh Hide first in search of Water Pipits. En route, there was a nice fly by Jay (25th of the day) and on arrival we had to clamber into the Hide due to the volume of mud we were carrying and the quagmire at the door.

Bernard was already scanning the area and we settled down and enjoyed some birder banter. There was a single Snipe, pleasant views of a Bittern walking along a ditch and around twenty Water Pipits. The weather turned, with fog rolling down from Upstreet into the river valley and in no time at all visibility was reduced to a matter of feet.

The masses were hanging on for a glimpse of the Penduline, but we chose to head to Bossenden in search of some woodland fayre. Turned out to be a brilliant decision. The sun broke through on the higher ground and the light was ideal for a few photographs. Four species of Tit including Marsh with Chaffinch and Nuthatch.

On the journey home we popped into Long Rock and despite the weekend dog walkers, we did find the party of eight Lesser Redpolls still working the scrub in the marsh.

Another good day in the field.

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