Thursday, 29 January 2009

Thursday 29th.January 2009

Well , I've finally got it back , and nakedness , hopefully , will be a thing of the past . My camera arrived back today , and as we had finished our work earlier than anticipated , I got the opportunity to get out and abouit this afternoon to make sure things were working properly .
My first stop was Keston Ponds , where the 'Friends of Keston' had just finished clearing up all the rubbish deposited in and around the ponds by anglers and other visitors . The Mallard type numbers have gone up to over 30 and an additional Canada Goose brings them up to 4 . I could only find 5 Mandarins , 1 female short from last visit . Three of them , 2 males and a single female ,were asleep on a branch , just above the water line .
Also still around is the male Ringed Teal . He is never still , paddling from one end of the pond to the other , with those stumpy short legs .
The other usual suspects were around in their usual numbers .

Near where I parked the car , I noticed that the catkins on the Hazel bush were well open , so I stopped to see if any of the female flowers were out yet . It took some searching , but eventually

I found the odd one or two flowers just bursting bud , and you can see the pollen released from the male catkins on the female flower and bark , blown by the wind . These pollinated female flowers , if allowed , will go on to produce the Hazel/Cob nuts .
The camera was working fine , so I decided on another try for the Stonechats on the Bridleway at Rouse Farm . In the field below what was the milking parlour , the 2 Mistle Thrushes were fossicking on the ground , in almost the same spot as last time . At the other end of the field , 3 Redwing were feeding on the ground , the first I have seen for a little while now . The noisy pair of Rose Ringed Parakeets were in their Oak at the dog-leg in the Bridleway . As I approached the old fence line where I first saw the Stonechats , I saw a movement in the hedge , but it turned out to be a pair of Wrens , who noisily scolded me for interupting them . I scanned the fence line and the hedges both sides , but no sign of the Stonechats , but I did get distant views of a Sparrowhawk being seen off firstly by a Magpie , then a pair of Carrion Crows , until it was off their patch .
In the field beyond the hedge , the 6 ewes now have 6 lambs , but are still segregated , for some reason from the rest of the flock .It isn't because they are the only ones with offspring , as in other fields , I estimated 12/15 lambs that I could see , and probably more that I couldn't . I noticed quite a few Carrion Crows in attendance in those fields , no doubt waiting to do the cleaning up . Most young were singletons , but I did see two sets of twins .

On the way home , I stopped off at the Common , but things were very quiet , but I'll be up there working tomorrow , so might find something then . By now the sun was dropping and so was the temperature , so I made my way home .


Warren Baker said...

A happy man, with his camera in hand!
Only 5 Mandarin! I want one! There is a large flock just to the north of my patch, and occasionally they come to visit - just not yet!

Phil Green said...

I know what its like not having a camera, I tend to take one most places even if its just the pocket size digital. Phil

Ken said...

Hi Greenie.
Nice to see pics on your blog again. I like the photo of the Ringed Teal, nice reflection in the water, also nice shots of the lambs.I hope they survive the cold snap thats coming.

John Young said...

Aaawww, lambs, just so cute. Difficult to find a better subject for a photo.