Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Tuesday 30th. December 2008

As we unloaded the car after the monthly shop , I could hear Fieldfares , somewhere in the back gardens . The frost had not melted at all , so after putting out some fresh water for the birds , I tried to blend in to the shrubs down by next door's Cotoneaster bush and waited . Several times I heard them calling in the gardens 4/5 houses further up the road , but must have had a food supply up there , because they never came to the berries . A small flock of Redwings did nervously come to feed , but it was a bolted meal and run . I did manage one quick shot before they left .
By now , I was cold through , so I decided that before warming up , I would go back to Hayes Farm and see if I could get a shot of the white/black ducks . Walking through , I soon found the mixed Finch flock , which seemed to be larger today . Still just as difficult to get close to , as they would let you get so close , then fly off en mass to where you had just come from . I did get a shot of a female Linnet on the ground , but the rest were rubbish . Two male Pheasant were feeding on the remains of the maize crop , and in and around one of the horse paddocks , a flock of about 20/25 Redwings were nervously feeding , and amongst them 3 Song Thrush and several 'foreign' Blackbirds . Another mixed Thrush flock was feeding further along with the free range chickens around a manure heap . I caught one of the Redwings here on a break between sortis to the manure pile . On the path to the Trout Fishery , I was overflown by 8 noisy Rose Ringed Parakeets , and on the ground were large numbers of Woodpigeon and the odd Collared Dove . When I arrived at the Fishery , it was 90% frozen over , with just a small area of open water near a clump of Willows , and not a sign of the ducks I was looking for . But a 'whistle' alerted me to 3 Wigeon , two drakes and one duck , that were not there last time . The two Little Grebe were still present and were happily dive feeding in the open water . Eventually two of the Wigeon came a bit closer , but they were very wary of any movement .
I thought at one stage that I saw white plumage , well back in the Willow , and after a while , the three ducks appeared in open water . Once I saw them closer than before , I get the impression that they could well be 'bitsers' , as in bits of this and bits of that . When I saw them at distance the other day on the water , they looked more streaked black on white ground with yellow bills . For a small area of water so close to Bromley , it held these three , 3 Wigeon , 7 Mallard , 20+ Coot , 3 Moorhen , 2 Little Grebe , 2 Greylag Geese , 2 Canada Geese and about 10/15 White farmyard type geese , one pictured here with the Grelags .
Whilst looking for the three 'bitsers' , a Grey Heron flew in , but after thinking about landing , thought better of it and flew off again , only to be followed out of the woods by a Sparrowhawk . On my way back to the car I passed a mixed Tit flock moving through the trees on the edge of the wood , and amongst the Blue , Great and Long Tailed was a single Marsh Tit . By the time I got back to the car , the temperature was tumbling again , but it had been an enjoyable walk , and even though the ducks were not something special , I must remember to visit again on a clear Winter's day .


Warren Baker said...

I've never recorded Widgeon on my patch greenie - nice one. You did well with the linnet too.

Steve said...

Another good day! HAPPY NEW YEAR as I wont get chance to post tomorrow...

Ken said...

Hi Greenie.
I think your right about those ducks being bitsa's.I also think those geese are farmyard type Greylag,going by the shape, also 1shows a very slight bit of white above the base of the bill.
I do like the photo of the 3 ducks with the shimmering reflection in the water.
Happy New Year to you Fred.

Kingsdowner said...

I like the Lesser Spotted Ducks - quire rare in the UK ;-}
Hope you have a good 2009 Fred!