On the way home , I called in at Keston Ponds to see if the Goosander or Goldeneye had turned up yet . Answer no there , but there were three pairs of Mandarins , for once not hidden away , because a family had just been feeding them . The males colours really cheered the afternoon up and I was thinking that they do not seem to have dulled down at all in colour , still looking as vibrant as if in breeding plumage .
I spent the morning doing a few chores around the house , and after lunch , set off to find the High Elms Hawfinch and Firecrest , in my dreams .
A two hour walk proved very quiet , apart from the usual Rose Ringed Parakeets breaking the silence with their squalking . Not a single Winter Thrush was seen or heard , a few Corvids and a few Tits provided some distraction , but the majority of the time , there was just nothing about . Not surprisingly on the Conservation field , where contractors are putting up perimiter fencing , presumably with the intention of grazing in future years , which will be good for the butterflies . On the edge of the Golf Course near the Beech Walk I spotted a Thrush , but it turned out to be a Song Thrush , sitting very quietly in a Hawthorn bush . By the time I got to the golf practice area , I was really hoping to find something on the ground , but all the area could muster was a Magpie . I headed back to the car , and although it was not 3 o'clock yet , the light was fading very quickly . Passing under a large Sweet Chestnut , I found another two Thrushes , sitting quietly , within 3 metres of each other . Still not our Scandinavian visitors , just one each of their English cousins .
On the very next tree , I found two specimens of Pleurotus ostreatus=Oyster Mushroom . The first , a very fresh young specimen , and the second , at it's full grown stage .
With evening gloom fast enveloping , I made my way home .