Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Find an old apple Orchard, find Thrushes

Wandering through the lanes towards Ash, from Richborough Castle, there is a lot of low lying grazing land and then you come upon Apple Orchards. Before the orchards I did come across this Mistle Thrush perched on a wire. Nice bird shame about the perch!

Apple Orchards are mostly different to the ones I used to go to round Maidstone back in the 1950's. The the trees grew much older and were probably more attractive to birds. Even now some of the older ones do have fallen apples on the ground. When this happens there will be thrushes. This Blackbird is enjoying a fallen apple right beside the road.

This is one of the older orchards and it really was full of birds, but the mostly vanished at the sight of a camera, or perhaps me. I really like the look of the older trees, although I realise that the more modern growing methods are why I can get apples at the price I do in the shops.

Although the Redwings quickly vanished into the depths of the hedges quite a few of the Fieldfares sat on top of the tallest trees chuckling away.

There were birds feeding in this much younger orchard, but it didn't seem to hold as many as my first stop. I did see at least one Song Thrush, completing out four wintering "Turdus" species here.
Another pair of Mistle Thrushes came out of this area and sat on a recently lopped hedgerow.

Almost underneath the Thrush a young Lapwing was worming in the field, but disappointingly I failed to find any Golden Plovers out here, there must be some in the fields out here, but I wasn't looking in the right place.

Where there were a few buildings there seemed to be a healthy number of House Sparrows, and not a paved over garden in sight!


Birdingben said...

Hi Tony

This is my regular stomping ground as I live in Ash & frequently go through the orchards at Goldstone .
Golden Plover are seen quite rarely,& this usually just flying over, despite the presence of their Lapwing 'cousins'.

I like your description of 'chuckling' Fieldfares!

Steve Gale said...

A few years ago I was wandering around the country lanes near Headcorn, looking for a Sociable Plover, and was mesmerised by the sheer number of thrushes in the orchards. Your post brought it all back.

Dylan said...

Hi Tony,

As Ben has already stated, Golden Plover are rather scarce around the Ash Levels. I used to stumble across odd flocks, generally at high tide, when the birds were forced off of Pegwell Bay. With the ammount of disturbance at Pegwell there are no Goldies to disturb!