Last week I had occasion to visit Maidstone Cemetery and couldn’t help but notice that it might be interesting to take a walk in different circumstances. It is an old graveyard, with headstones dating back to the mid 1800s, set in around 200 acres to the south of Kent’s county town. The main entrance is from the Sutton Road at Google Earth ref; 51 15 20N 0 31 57E.
The cemetery does not actually include bird watching on its menu of services and the gate opening times reflect this, but it does provide a very quiet location to enjoy a walk among mature trees and the grass has been left long with quite a selection of wildflowers growing there. Without visiting regularly, I cannot say that the plots are allowed to grow like this throughout the season, but today there was a real meadow-like feel to it.
And there were birds. Woodpigeons and Blackbirds were very common. Some of the lawns around the entrance had been mown and proved popular with Song Thrushes.
Chaffinches and Greenfinches sang from the tops of trees, Coal Tits foraged in the manicured Yew bushes and a Green Woodpecker showed briefly on a headstone.
Birds seen;Black-headed Gull 1, Herring Gull 2, Stock Dove 5, Common Woodpigeon 40, Eurasian Collared Dove 2, Green Woodpecker 1, Eurasian Magpie 2, Carrion Crow 5, Coal Tit 3, Great Tit 1, Eurasian Blue Tit 1, Eurasian Wren 1, Eurasian Blackbird 12, Song Thrush 3, European Starling 4, Dunnock 1, Common Chaffinch 4, European Greenfinch 2.