Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Tuesday 16th. December 2008

A day off from volunteering today , as my Warden was having his PDR , annual performance review .
Once the mist/fog started to lift , I set off for a walk locally , and basically saw nothing except for a noisy flyover of 17 Magpies and the odd Corvid , Finch and Tit . I arrived back home chilled to the bone wondering was it worth it .
When I went upstairs and looked out the back bedroom window , I knew the answer was no . The back garden and adjacent gardens were alive with birds , and even the sky above held many more birds than I had seen on my walk .
The Cotoneaser bush is noticably denuded of berries now , with about two thirds down , one third to go . It was noticable also that more Redwings have found the 'supermarket' , hence the speed up of the berries' disappearance . The good thing for watching now is that the back , furthest from the house side of the shrub is empty , so they show better feeding on the remaining berries , mostly on the front . Just like the other Winter visitors , they do not hang around the food supply , feeding quickly , then flying off to adjacent high cover to digest the meal , to repeat the whole thing again some time later .
A few 'foriegn' Blackbirds are feeding on the berries , but one of 'our' Blackbirds , recognised by the white pigment on the ends of a couple of feathers , doesn't seem that interested and spends a lot of time turning over fallen leaves looking for food , or just tucking in to the free handout . The Redwings did occassionally come down on the lawn , but well out of camera range today .
At one point , about half a dozen Fieldfares flew over 'chac-chacing' , but they overflew and appeared to come down in gardens in the next street .
Four times in total , we have put feed down on the path , and within half an hour , it is all gone . Admittedly , they main culprits are the 'hoovers' , Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves . At times there were half a dozen of each 'hoovering up' . Also around in numbers were Starlings , but they were feeding on the lawn , but no more than a dozen seen at any one time . Every now and again , the local Jackdaws put in an appearance , but they soon got fed up with picking up small bits of food .
At one point , four Rose Ringed Parakeets flew into our neighbour's Laburnum tree , and proceeded to feed on the ripened seeds still hanging in pods , which incidentally are poisionous to children . It was interesting to see at close quarters just how dextrous they can be , ripping off a bunch of pods , then carefully teasing out the seeds .
Later on , one landed behind the garage , and proceeded to feed on the seed heads of Buddleia . Earlier in the day , they were feeding on the Cotoneaster berries , seen in the background , then the Laburnum seeds and then the Buddleia seeds , and this is why I think they have been so successful in the wild , because they will eat anything and everything , and I still predict that when they get into the commercial orchards , they will get the same as the Bullfinch got , because of the damage that they will do . To finish , a couple of shots taken yesterday and Sunday .
This Green Woodpecker was on the back lawn on Sunday ,
and yesterday , whilst hedgelaying with volunteers from LB Bromley , this juvenile Common Toad was found amongst the leaf litter .


Warren Baker said...

That RNP looks like it's well at home in that palm!
PS I took your advice and stayed in to watch the garden today.

Steve said...

It's quite often the case that you see more in the garden than when you're out looking. Happens to me all the time. Some nice shots of the Parakeets and the Jackdaw.

Ken said...

Hi Greenie
As you have your own recognisable Blackbird, so do I. Mine has got no tail. Any chance of you sending some of your Parakeets over here. Nice photo's.

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Look out for Waxwings on your cottoneaster tree Greenie, they are starting to turn up in Kent and surrounding counties, though only in 1's and 2's and very mobile.
Great stuff