Friday 9 July 1915, Kingsnorth near Ashford
This evening I motor-biked over to the farm I have taken at Bromley Green. The evening air was deliciously fragrant with the scent of flowering hay fields and newly cut grass. Nightjars were churring continuously and their flowing, gurgling notes rose and fell on the still, twilit air. One came moth hawking on silent wings close overhead and thrice uttered a cry that was quite new to me – a rather sudden but not unmelodious khoo-wick. When hunting thus the nightjar’s flight is characterised by the visible pause on the upward stroke of the wing.
Starlings flock almost as soon as they are independent of their parents and have congregated some weeks now. A very few belated pairs still had to tend young last week. Peewits also flock early and goodly numbers had already collected together by mid-June.
In a pigeon loft of one of the outhouses at Bromley Green there are three half-grown barn owls. When one visits them the birds wedge themselves in the dark corner and utter a long almost continuous hissing while gazing intently at the intruder. The floor of the loft is littered thickly with old castings (some probably years old since owls have occupied this building a long time). Three or four uneaten field mice lay near the youngsters and some fresh castings, none of which as far as I could see contained anything but the remains of small rodents.
In early July the Kent Cyclists finished their spell of training in the Romney Marsh area. For reasons not known to us, Collingwood Ingram then rented Bromley Green Farm at Kingsnorth, south of Ashford and some ten miles north of Dungeness.
For Collingwood Ingram