Friday, 7 November 2008

Friday 7th.November 2008

This morning , we had breakfast in the dining room , whilst the female Brambling , had hers , albeit very quickly eaten on the feeders . If I had gone for the camera , she would have been well gone before I got back . So , after breakfast , I was upstairs , and looked out the back bedroom window to see if she had returned . She hadn't , but on top of the conifer in my neighbour's garden , was this Grey Heron . We always see more around the gardens at this time of year , an un-netted fish pond is like a supermarket with the doors wide open .
As I was getting ready to go out , I had another look at the feeders , and the Brambling had just landed . I had the camera this time and started shooting , knowing she wouldn't be around for long . At least the light wasn't as gloomy as the previous shot , but the sun had not yet got round to the feeders .Looking up the garden records , we had a female last year on the 16th.Nov. , but other years , they haven't shown up until mid to late December , and usually in much colder conditions than at present .
Once again , she didn't stay long , so I set off for a look around Keston Ponds . The water fowl numbers seemed pretty much as before , except not a single sighting of the Mandarins . Even when a lady with bread appeared , and everythings noisily congregated around her , still no sign .The full inventory read , Coot (8) , Moorhen (6) , Mallard (27) , Muscovy type (2) , Aylesbury type (1) , Canada Goose (6) and Black Headed Gull (8) . Strangely , one of the drake Mallard is much bigger than the other males . The other males arethe size of the one in front . I had a look for fungi above the ponds , but there was very little about . I decided to have a look along the footpath up towards the Wilberforce Oak . This Oak , was where William Wilberforce and the then Prime Minister Pitt spoke , paving the way to the abolition of the slave trade . The original tree died , and a replacement was planted . What is left of the original tree can be seen around the replacement , and behind , the Vale of Keston mentioned in the inscription on the stone bench , and repeated on the modern day notice .

The stone seat to commemorate the occassion was erected in 1863 by Earl Stanhope , by permission of Lord Cranworth . I hadn't intended heading this way today , but , whilst there , I thought it was an apt time to be there , with the election of the first black President of the United States of America . The only bird I saw along the footpath , was a Green Woodpecker that I spooked out of another dead Oak nearby . Two specimens of jungi caught my eye on the way , the first Clitocybe geotropa ,

and the second Mycena pura .
As I was returning to the car parked at the ponds , I thought I saw a dragonfly , and then a second one . With the leaves on the ground and the wind blowing them about , it was difficult to locate where they had settled . Eventually , one of them took off again and settled on a leaf . Sure enough , it was a male Common Darter , and I can only assume that the other one was too . Not bad for almost the middle of November , and amazing to have survived those frosty nights and mornings . The wings have taken on a golden hue with age , who knows , he could still be around for Christmas .
Last night's birds :-
Bird 5 . Black Oxeye or Coalhead ------Coal Tit
Bird 6 . Whistling Dick or Mavis ------- Song Thrush
I know Warren got both of them .
Tonight's birds :-
Bird 7 . French Pie or Woodnacker
Bird 8 . Bee Biter or Saw Sharpener


Warren Baker said...

No Hawfinch's over there then greenie? If your lucky that Brambling might attract a few more down.
As for your bird names, well lets give someone else a stab. Ive heard of a 'Billy biter' (blue tit)

John Young said...

Hi Greenie, I also had a dragonfly today near Elmley and reckoned that it was a common darter. I don't think i've ever seen one in November before. A treat to have a brambling visitng the feeder.