16th May 2017
The first sighting of a painted lady butterfly feeding on the bluebells that currently carpet the Pinetum.
11th May 2017
Over 34 different species of birds were heard during yesterday's birdsong session and the dawn chorus walk today, We also had excellent sightings of a juvenile kestrel, greenfinches, red poll, a great spotted woodpecker in flight, a buzzard being mobbed by a pair of ravens along with all the usual suspects including goldcrest and firecrest. A truly lovely dawn chorus!
1st April 2017
First orange tip butterfly of 2017 spotted today in the Pinetum. This is a good find as it is the first genuine butterfly of spring (ie it doesn't hibernate over winter) and quite early - they usually emerge in April. Last year was a very bad year for this species and they did not emerge until late April/May. So to see one on 1st April is really encouraging. It was a male, (orange tipped wings) - females emerge about a week later.
13th February 2017
The hawfinches continue to be elusive but regularly spotted - one tantalising bird was spotted in the thuja collection.
5th February 2017
An enjoyable birdringing session where a treecreeper was a lovely find and coal tits were by far the commonest bird. Blue and great tits were very conspicuous by their absence. These birds seem to have had a very poor breeding season last year and very few young from last year are in evidence. No great tits were caught in this session and the only two blue tits to be caught had been born in or before 2015 .
Thanks to all those present a substantial species list was built up during the session with 26 species being seen or heard. Highlight of this was a pair of crossbill landing in a tree in the car park as the ringing session was being cleared away. Sadly they appeared a little to late for some of the visitors to the session.
2nd February 2017
The winter bird walk with resident birdringer, Chris George, yielded 25 different bird species in the space of an hour. The highlight of the walk had to be a solitary brambling among a flock of chaffinches (15+). Other noteworthy birds spotted were 3 mistle thrushes together, about 8 fieldfare and lots of redwing. A green woodpecker and a great spotted woodpecker were heard.
31 January 2017
About 2.00pm certainly seems to be the witching hour for hawfinches at the thuja collection. Two, possibly three, were spotted along with a small flock of redpolls.
23 January 2017
A couple of hawfinches spotted in the late afternoon around the area where the Old Man of Kent used to stand.
15 January 2017
Despite the rain, one regular birdwatcher spotted 2 hawfinches, 20+ redpolls, at least 7 siskin, and lots of coal tits and goldcrests in the Pinetum.
10 January 2017
A nuthatch turned up at this week's birdringing session. They are fairly common at Bedgebury. They are very resident and territorial birds with their staccato call and trilling song often being heard. It is also possible to hear them tapping on branches as they hunt for food.
With good views male and female birds can be easily told apart. The males have a lovely rich chestnut colouration on the underside of the their tails and also down the sides of their bodies (flanks). The females are a warm buff in this area. In addition there tends to be a definite demarcation between the buff and the white on the cheeks in a male. In a female the white and buff usually blend into each other.