I decided to do some local birding today , i headed off to Fowlmead country park near Deal on the hope of seeing some Waxwings , however i was unlucky with these despite being there at 10.15 am and the pager alerting me that there were still 8 birds present and yet i was the only birder there ????? its a mystery !
Still i did add Green Woodpecker and Wren to my year list , i also had good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing , i spent about an hour here then headed of to the Alder wood part of Stodmarsh and heard then saw a Siskin fly overhead in the car park there , i then encounted a further 50 birds in the woods mixed in with my first Goldfinches of the year , oddly there was not a Lesser Redpoll to be seen or heard here , i saw a distant female Marsh Harrier and good numbers of Teal , Mallard and Gadwall out on the lake , and then i had a brief view of a Bittern fly along the reed bed ,on my way back towards the car i saw 3 delightful Long-Tailed Tits .
Mixed wildfowl, how many can you id ??
From Stodmarsh i headed of to Denge wood where i had been told of a fairly reliable site for Hawfinch , its been a number of years since i have seen them locally as the site i used to see them is now devoid of most birds let alone Hawfinch , so with the directions written down i followed my map and duly arrived on site at 1.30 pm , abit early for the roost which is roughly 2.30 - 3 pm , but as it was an overcast day i thought i would just wait and see what happens and despite several more vocal Siskins there was no sign of any Hawfinch by 2pm .
I had bumped into 2 other birders but they had not seen any either by this time , we spread out a little bit but keeping in earshot just in case, then i noticed 3 birds flying overhead quite short tailed and fairly large, as luck would have it they landed in the tops of some nearby trees and with in an instant i set my scope up and gave the shout " 3 Hawfinches in the top of left hand tree " very well marked birds and fantastic to see , really big billed and headed , they eventually flew off after about 2 to 3 minutes but sadly they were just abit to far to get any pictures.
With this i headed off home happy having reached over 100 for 2011 already with some top quality birds .