and for a size comparison ,
Really hard frost this morning , and a biting easterly wind . I had hopes of the conditions bringing something special to the gardens , but it wasn't to be . The usual appeared for the food , and we mixed in some fat , saved from the cooking over the last few days , and this was willingly taken as well . There are still some Cotoneaster berries left for the Waxwings , when they get here .
This morning , I set off for another look around High Broom Wood , near West Wickham . In previous years , it has been good for Siskins and Redpolls at this time of year , and once again I was rewarded with the Siskins , feeding on the seeds in the tops , all the way along the Alder lined Beck . I tried for some shots , but because of the height of the trees , approx. 75ft. , and the gloomy light conditions , it proved futile . I could not find any Redpolls this visit . I also tried to photograph a Goldcrest , but movement and light said no . No surprise that the most numberous bird was the Rose Ringed Parakeet , with some 15/20 charging noisily through the trees . At one point , the whole flock settled in one tree about 5mtrs. off the ground , but by the time I got to it , the majority had flown , leaving just this six posing for the photo . The gloomy conditions affected this shot too . I found one Redwing , sat high up , but no others came to join him . Long Tailed , Blue , Great and Coal Tits were all seen/heard , and Greenfinches and Chaffinches were few and far between . Crow , Magpie , Jay , Wren , Blackbird , Woodpigeon and Collared Dove made up the full list . Just as I was about to leave , from one of the adjacent gardens , came the Spring 'wee-wee-wee-wee' call of the Nuthatch , and when I got him in the bins , he had a Gt.Spotted Woodpecker sat right next to him . The Nuthatch was well out with his seasons , as I was perished when I got back to the car .
Before heading home , I called in at Keston Ponds , for ever the optomist , to see if there were any new arrivals . A quick look around the edges returned answer no , then I noticed a small duck heading for the bank . I'm certain it is an escapee , but seeing as it will probably be the only stranger I find there , I'm posting it anyway .
I have looked through Google images , and although I found two images of the same duck , neither named the species . Anyone got any ideas ?
Many thanks to Ken ***Disabled Birder Of Halling*** , who has identified the duck as a drake Ringed Teal , a native of South America , so a positive escapee . Apparantly , one of the most popular small ducks in collections . Thanks too for the reference info . Greenie .