Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Monday, 9 January 2012

My Red Kite Heaven

Evening all,or morning/afternoon,depending on where you live or when you read this,how are you,i am fine thanks.Started the day with an earlyish start,a quick job to Brentwood,which left me close to South Weald CP,so i popped over for a little stroll to see Goosanders,a winter resident on the lakes,i wasn't dissapointed as there were 6 there,4 males and 2 females,lovely looking birds as well.While there (and time was very limited) my next target bird was Nuthatch,which after a few minutes of searching,i managed to locate,then the usual happens and 3 turn up all at once,goldcrest numbers were good as were tit flocks and corvids,a single treecreeper and a Jay rounded the visit off nicely.
My next job was a drop off at Heathrow,the pick up was conveniently about 1/2 a mile from South weald and within an hour i was empty and leaving Heathrow for the Chilterns where my target bird was Red kite,its not the hardest bird to target,you just head up the M40 from the M25 and you see hundreds of them,in fact,the first one i saw was around Watford on the M25 at the Eastern edge of their range,but nethertheless i decided to head for stokenchurch and Ibstone in particular as this was the first place i had ever seen them in England,about 15 years ago while delivering a fridge freezer to one of the houses there.From Ibstone,you can see a valley with Kites everywhere,its a fantastic view stretching miles and only 15 miles from the M25,a fantastic place is the chilterns and as i had a couple of hours to kill before my next Heathrow pick up i decided to go for a drive around,i heade down the road from Ibstone,a steep descent,just before the descent i stopped to take this photo

 and at the bottom came to a junction,by now lost but decided to head west,cant remember the name of the town but it had a pub called brakespear,a lovely quaint little village in the middle of nowhere,not somewhere you would associate with being 25 miles from the centre of London and 10 miles from the centre of bloody Slough.I parked up by some woodland and the birds were in full voice,i had all your usual finches,tits,corvids all using the woods for their pleasure,the smaller birds using the woodland pools to bath in which was nice to watch,overhead on a ridge were 15-20 kites,i took some photos with my phone,they are crap but just about recognisable as Kites!!!

After a while,was talking to one of the Local Landowners who was out walking his dog,he told me to go up the hill,on a steep,narrow track back to ibstone but the views were fantastic and he said in the woods up the top i may hear Bullfinch,so i went up.As time was closing in on me,i got out the car for about 15 minutes but nothing was really happening,certainly no Bullfinch but as i was about to get back into the car,i noticed a Buzzard,just sitting on the fence about 12 foot away from me,the best view i have ever had of this bird,a truly magnificent sight and one to end a cracking days birding or so i thought.
After picking up from Heathrow,i arrived back at Orsett around 4pm with still around 30 minutes decent light,straight out of Orsett i encountered Little Owl and then 24 Red Legged Partridges in a different field,i also noticed a small Corvid roost i had not previously encountered in some woodland near Parker farm Road,totalling around 5-600 birds,certainly no Buckenham but nice anyway.On the drive home i then had a close Buzzard where i had seen the same bird about a week or so ago and finally another Little Owl to end the day.

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