Monday, 23 February 2009

Monday 23rd. February 2009

A week has passed since I visited Hayes Farm , and as the saying goes , ' what a difference a week makes ' .
On crossing the stile , it was obvious that the mixed Black Headed / Common Gull flock was only a fraction of what it was , and the Corvids , though still around , were few and far between . I made my way to 'Stonechat Corner ' , but there was no sign of her . Greenfinches and Goldfinches were gathered in the scrub behind the log piles , all jabbering away . On the next corner I came across the female Kestrel , the first time I have seen her in about four visits and I was to see her again just before I left . More Green/Goldfinches were in the hedgerow , but no sign of the Pied Wagtails around a still flooded area in the middle of the field . I put up several Blackbirds and three Redwings , which flew off calling . These were to be the only Foreign Thrushes to be found today .
All was quiet at the Trout fishery , but no sign of the pair of Mute Swan , nor the pair of Little Grebe , all the other usual residents were around , but the Tufted Ducks are back down to 2 males and just 1 female , all three were taking a nap . I walked on to the Little Owl site , and again did not see it . Coming back , I followed the River Ravensbourne , more of a stream here , and along it's banks found two flocks of Tits , one mainly Long Tails and the other mixed Long Tailed/Blue/Great Tits and with them a single Goldcrest . Standing quietly watching them , the quiet was broken with the arrival of a Great Spotted Woodpecker , who obviously wanted to let everyone know that he was there . Leaving the woods , I put up his cousin , a Green Woodpecker from the edge of a horse paddock , which flew off ' yaffling ' as it went .
As I passed the Fishery again , a fly fisherman had arrived and was casting from the bank by the gate . On his second cast , he caught a Rainbow Trout of about 0.75/1 kilo , the first time I have ever seen anyone catch anything there .
Very quiet on my way back until I got almost to the farmyard . In amongst the remains of what looked like last year's Raspberry canes , WW3 was taking place between any two of four cockerells , and sometimes involving three or all four . It had obviously been going on for some time , as all four white cockerells were showing red , and it wasn't just their combs . Several times I tried to break them up , but they took no notice of me , and even later on when the farmer's wife tried , they just ran off and started again , in the end , she left them to it . It was certainly a ' no holds barred ' contest , and the white birds were turning red at an alarming rate . At one stage , the pair fighting both collapsed to the ground and lay motionless for a few minutes . I thought they were both dead , four legs pointing skywards . After what seemed like an age , one lifted it;s head , slowly got up , to be followed by the other , and a few seconds later , the battle continued . Mind you , some cockerells wern't interested in the contest , and just got on with production of eggs . They'll probably be all up the pub tonight , buying each other pints .
I did find a few Pied Wagtails around the horses on my way out , but did not find the Linnet flock . I thought the Skylarks had gone too , but had three flying over as I crossed the stile , but , they were flying off the farm .


Warren Baker said...

''Stonchat Corner'' Is this the greenie version of Migrant Alley? We shall see! Liked the Cockerell story, but I really could do with one of them Tufties on my patch!

Ken said...

Hi Greenie.
Like the Cockerell picures.
Stonechat Corner, Migrant Alley, who will be next,I wonder? HaHa.