Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday 12th May

If I had to choose a favourite smell, then the smell of the outdoors after it has rained has got to be up there with the best. This morning, the air was filled with this fantastic fragrance after Maidstone was drenched with heavy showers during the night. Several showers were released from the dark overcast sky throughout my visit between 5.45am and 7.45am. The sun did peep out every now and then, but it wasn’t enough to entice the local butterflies out.

The Nightingale sang along Laurel Walk in the same spot that it has done for the past 2 weeks, and a total of 7 Blackcaps, 10 Chiff Chaffs, 8 Reed Warblers, 1 Willow Warbler and 20 Whitethroats were singing throughout my visit.

A scan of the Lake produced 1 Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swans, and a Great Crested Grebe with a pair of fluffy babies on its back, together with the usual Canada Geese, Mallard, Coots and Moorhens. There were several Black Headed Gulls and 2 Common Gulls flying above the water, and there was a pair Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the Lake. 3 Cormorants sat on the island by the Weir.

A pair of Cuckoo chased each other around the Lake and Marsh, calling, a Pheasant called from the Meadow, 2 Grey herons flew over heading south, 2 Green Woodpeckers were seen, a male Reed Bunting sang from the top of a hawthorn next to the Weir, a male Bullfinch was perched in a hawthorn next to the old Coach House, 2 Goldcrest sang from the Yews along Laurel Walk, a adult Great Tit was seen feeding a youngster, a flock of around 36 Herring Gulls and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull took off from the playing fields and flew south, and the star bird of the visit was a Turtle Dove, who was perched, calling from the hedge running along the northern edge of the meadow next to the Old Bothy – brilliant.

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