Saturday, 13 December 2008

Saturday 13th.December 2008

Unlike some of the hardy population of Pittswood , I didn't venture outside today . We should have been back at the Hogsback near Guildford , but the combination of 12 hours forecasted rain and sharp tools in wet hands is not a good one , and ruling out today seemed the best option . Shame really , as it has been the worst day of the week , and I always look forward to days out with the Surrey Hedgelaying Group .
It did give the opportunity for me to catch up on filing away images on the computer , in the hope that I will easily find them , when required , in the future . It also meant that I was working in the back bedroom , overlooking the back gardens , and in particular , the Cotoneaster bush next door . When the food was put out on the path , it only took minutes for the Finches to arrive in numbers . The Chaffinches split between the feeders and the path , whereas the Goldfinches and Greenfinches immediately started WW3 over the Sunflower Hearts .
I saw movement amongst the Cotoneaster berries , but the Thrushes are feeding on the far side of the shrub , and only occassionaly showing well . Given the wind and the rain , photography was not easy . Eventually , one of the small flock of Redwings did show more in the open and I managed a quick shot . Two seconds later , and it was gone again to the back of the shrub .
I carried on with my photographs , having the odd glance to see any shot opportunities . At one point I looked and there on the lawn were two Redwings , hopping about , but very nervous . I grabbed the camera and got a couple of shots , before , for no apparant reason , they flew off and dived for cover at the bottom of next door's garden .
I don't know how much later it was when I had another look down the gardens , but when I did so , there was nothing about . I was just about to return to the computer , when from the corner of my eye , I saw something in the top of the conifer at the end of the rockery . In driving rain I could see an unusual head and bill , and with the binoculars I could make out a Sparrowhawk , half hidden by a branch of the conifer . I didn't dare open the window , so took the two shots through double glazing and driving rain , by no means the best filter over the lens . No sooner had I taken the second , then she , I think , lifted off and headed between two houses and away . After lunch , I kept getting the Redwing sighting in amongst the berries , and at one stage saw a Fieldfare on an Ash close by , but didn't see it come down . Just after 2 o'clock , with the light already fading , I noticed a Fieldfare on the Cotoneaster , and this time was able to get a few shots before it also disappeared around the back . I was just turning away when I noticed a Redwing lower down in the shrub , and took this shot , not very good , but Fieldfare at very top and Redwing at very bottom .

I finished off my photos on the computer , and thought , thats not bad sightings for a bad weather day , AND I didn't put myself in the frame for catching 'man flu' either .


Ken said...

Hi Greenie
It's always nice to get the winter thrushes in your gaden. Your not the only one who stayed in.

Warren Baker said...

Seems your winter thrushes are a little more confiding than the pittswood variety greenie! I have only ever seen one Redwing in my garden in the 9 years i've lived here, and not one Fieldfare!
Well done for making the most of a bad day.
PS watch out for that ''Man Flu''