Thursday, 25 December 2008

Thursday 25th. December 2008

SEASONS GREETINGS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL .

This morning broke gloomy and dank , but we decided on a pre Christmas lunch walk , and set off to Kelsey Park , almost in the middle of Beckenham . We haven't been there for some time , mainly because it is always busy , but this morning's weather seemed to have kept many away .
The park is long and thin with a lake dividing the two thin park areas , surrounded by houses . Through the lake runs The Beck , after which Beckenham is named , and just as it leaves the park , The Beck enters a culvert , passes under the town , and is hardly seen until it reappears out of a culvert in Cator Park .
The most noticable thing on the lake was the raft of Black Headed Gulls ( est. 120/140 ) noisily anticipating each walker as a prospective feeder with a surge towards them , only to resume their raft formation when dissappointed , hoping the next one would provide food .
Because the birds rely on visitors bringing food , they are much more willing to approach the banks , making photography much easier . This was the case with a pair of Tufted Ducks .
As we walked around the bank , we came across a really heady perfume , and tracked it down to a shrub in flower . I don't know what it is , but to be in full flower in these conditions was unusual .
A bit further on was a very smart looking male Pochard .
Almost in the centre of the lake is a small island , which the Herons have turned into their home . I am not certain , but I think this is the second largest Heronry in Kent after Northward Hill , with some 15/20 nesting pairs in most years . Some of the nests can be seen in this shot , and already , some of the residents are claiming squatter's rights .
All around the lake are notices not to feed the Canada Geese , and their mess covers the walkways . I believe the Council are attempting to control their numbers by pricking some of their eggs . One thing they do save is lawnmowing , as a flock of 50/75 were seen this morning , nibbling away at the manicured lawns .
Two Cormorants were seen , one fishing at the far end of the lake , and one 'drying off' after no doubt having caught his breakfast . Mind you , drying would take a considerable time in this morning's conditions .
Other species seen included Mallard , Coot , Moorhen , Greylag Goose and Kingfisher ,

and he had also caught his breakfast .

4 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Seasons greetings greenie. I would love to have a tufty on my lake! Some nice photo's today.

Adam said...

Happy Christmas Greenie! Well done on getting out this morning.

Adam

Steve said...

Happy Christmas Fred! Some very nice pictures today

Ken said...

Hi Fred
Like the reflective picture of the male Tufty. happy new year