Saturday, 4 February 2012


On my way to visit Maydays farm on Saturday 4th, a woodcock flew out of the ditch in Haycocks Lane as I drove past. This is the second bird I've seen on the Island in the space of 3 days.
Really pleased to see a big finch flock feeding around this game cover crop beside Haycocks Lane. Around 200 linnets and 100 chaffinches spent most of the time perched up in trees overlooking the crop. Every so often they would fly around and then disappear into the crop. Despite lots of scanning there were no other types of finch mixed in with this lot. Also beside the field were 2 kestrels and five fieldfares.

Beside some of the other game cover crops more song thrushes were noted with about 15 birds flying out of one field. Also here were 15+ reed buntings while a marsh harrier was seen perched on a bush nearby. Two yellowhammers and 5 other fieldfares and 20 blackbirds were also seen.
At least two other marsh harriers were seen flying over the Reeveshall fields.

It was still chilly walking along the Maydays seawall and this creek still had ice alongside it. In the Pyefleet channel the tide was out with 50 avocet, a group of 100 oystercatchers and 70 black-tailed godwits being some of the waders noted. Lots of dunlin were feeding much higher up the mudflats than they normally do. Three marsh harriers were seen over on Langenhoe but little else.

Yesterday's dusting of snow has disappeared from most of the fields but some snow was still lying on the ice covering this dyke by the Strood seawall on Saturday morning. No birds noted on the fields although 6 reed buntings fed along the tideline, 2 marsh harriers flew over the Ray saltings while 16 dabchicks were amongst the moorings opposite the Dabchicks sailing club. Both black-tailed godwits and bar-tailed godwits fed along with various other waders on the mud by the Dabchicks. Five fieldfares fed nearby on a tree still laden with apples.

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