Saturday, 7 December 2019

Walking the Dog

Yesterday, when the weather was decent, we, that;s me and the dog (Betty), took a slow stroll along Kingsdown Road towards Kingsdown. Not a long walk, just 2.5 km each way, but Betty has only got very short legs. At this time of year there is always the hope that we'd come across some winter visitors,such as Fieldfares or Redwings. Although both were in evidence on Worth Marshes a couple of days ago we only found a few Song Thrushes and lots Blackbirds in the horse paddocks.

Song Thrush


Wood Pigeons
The birds at the back of the fields, eating berries were the common Wood Pigeon, not the hoped for winter thrushes.

The fields are often full of gulls, in the summer and when the ploughing is going on they are mainly Herring Gulls, with some Black-headed Gulls. Now that all is quiet and the tractors have finished their work, there were just a few gulls quartering up and down the fields looking for food. The Common Gulls are mainly visitors from breeding further north arriving in the autumn and departing in spring, although jsta few do breed in Kent.

In many ways they are patterned like small Herring Gulls, but with a slightly darker mantle and a much gentler looking face.

Getting towards Kingsdown there were one or two group of mostly Black-headed Gulls roosting, and the Common Gulls occasionally dropped in to join them.

Here two Common Gulls, at the back, have joined the black-heads, their darker grey mantles and slightly large size are apparent. 

Oneof the Black-headed Gulls on patrol

As we walked back a Kestrel hovered over the rough ground by the Golf Course.

Although still one of our commonest birds of prey I get the feeling numbers have dropped a little over the last few years.

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