Firstly , news , or lack of it , of the Racing Pigeon . Having found it close to death , a night in a new loft , the cat's basket out in the garage , it looked in much better health in the morning . It should have looked better , given the amount of food it had eaten , and the amount of droppings it had passed . On reporting it to the Racing Pigeon Club , I recieved back a computer generated message to the effect that they would contact the owner , and I would be contacted by email or phone regarding collection . I hadn't had a phone call , so checked the emails , of which there were none . Having cleaned out the 'loft' and replenished food and water , I thought I must hear something yesterday . Nothing transpired , so the Pigeon spent another night in the garage . By this morning it looked as fit as a fiddle and cooing happily . I waited till mid morning and not recieving any message , decided the best thing to do would be to release the bird . I did not want to release it in the garden , as it would probably just stay and feed on the path , as it had obviously now got a taste for the birdfood put down . So I took it back close to where I found it , opened the front of the basket , and nothing happened , it was quite happy sitting at the back of the basket . A bit of encouragement , tipping the basket above an adjacent fence post got the bird out , but it just sat on the post preening itself . Eventually , I clapped my hands and it flew into the adjacent hedgerow . With warmer conditions and a full stomach , I left it to reorientate itself , and hopefully get back to it's own loft and food .
Bit worrying that people involved apparently couldn't give a monkey's about the bird .
On the way back , I stopped at a very frozen Keston Ponds . All three are almost totally frozen over , but because they are spring fed , flowing from one to the next , small areas of open water exist on all three ponds . There was no sign of the Canada Geese , Mandarins , Ringed Teal or the dark duck with white breast . Mallard , Coot , Moorhen , Aylesbury type and Muscovy type remain .
Amazingly , with warning notices all around the ponds , the snow lying on top of the ice shows that some people have foolishly ventured into the middle of the middle pond , some 15/20mtrs. from the bank . 'Haven't got the brains they were born with' comes to mind .
I also stopped at the Common to check the fire we left yesterday after our workday . Even after nearly 24 hours , just removing the ash from the top produced a temperature which made you take a step back . Having a walk around the area I could hear Bullfinch , and after a while searching , found two females feeding together on Silver Birch seeds . As I was watching them , a movement on my right caught my attention and it turned out to be a Goldcrest . I have spent ages recently attempting to get some decent shots , today , because the camera is in for repair , the Goldcrest was the most confiding I have ever seen , and came within a few feet of me and occassionally posed motionless . I believe it's called 'Sod's Law' .
On the way back to the car , I stopped at a Glade that we worked on before Christmas . I had seen Deer prints in the snow in several parts of the Common , but here there were so many prints . As I walked towards a line of lanky Gorse , a Roe buck exploded out of cover and headed off to cover in another bunch of Gorse . Looking back at the prints in the snow , there were also Fox and Badger prints as well .
If that wasn't bad enough , when I got home , Carol informed me that shortly after I left , she had a male Brambling in the garden , and watched it through binoculars for 2/3 minutes . I put some fresh food down and sat at the back bedroom window for just over an hour .
During that time I had ; Gt.Spotted Woodpecker ,Redwing (2) , Chaffinch (20+) , Goldfinch (7) , Greenfinch (10+) , Rose Ringed Parakeet (3) , Dunnock (2) , Starling (4) , Blackbird (2) , Song Thrush , Collared Dove (3 incl. male displaying ) , Jackdaw (2) , Woodpigeon (3) , Robin , Magpie (2) , Blue Tit , Coal Tit and a fly over Common Gull , but no sign of the Brambling .
6 hours ago