Monday, 20 October 2008


Found this dead mute swan on the ground under some overhead power lines, at the back of the fields along the Strood, on a windy Monday 20th. The swan had been dead for some time and it is possible it could have flown into the wires and sadly died. There is a pond nearby and there were quite a few white feathers scattered about but it would seem unlikely that an adult swan would get caught and killed by a predator such as a fox.

Despite the strong wind which muffled many sounds, there were several small birds flying around and feeding in the mixture of set-aside corners, newly spouting sugar beet and newly cultivated arable fields. Fifty linnets obligingly flew around and perched up the overhead wires, 20 skylarks also called as they got up out of one of the fields. A stonechat and 3 reed buntings were noted along one of the ditches.
The path beside the Firs Chase caravan site provided a bit of shelter from the wind and amongst a foraging tit flock were a couple of goldcrests. There was a small group of blackbirds feeding in an overgrown corner too.

Despite the very low tide and plenty of mud on show along the Strood, there wasn't really anything of note. One brent goose, 7 little grebes, 4 little egrets, small group of wigeon and teal were the main highlights other than the usual spread of redshank, curlew and grey plover. The main wader flock was a roost of 400 golden plover.

A nicely patterned male marsh harrier was seen battling into the wind over the Feldy fields on the mainland.

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