Thursday, 26 March 2009

Thursday 26th.March 2009

The final work day of the season up on the Common , was called off this morning because of weather conditions then and those forecasted for the remainder of the day . I earned some brownie points taking Carol shopping this morning and after lunch headed off for a walk around Hayes Farm .
The site is totally different to my last visit , with no sign of the large flocks of Gulls , just a few of the large number of Carrion Crows and Jackdaws showing . The most surprising thing was the number of Mistle Thrushes seen , somewhere around 10/12 , with one male in full song on the large Oak at the stile at the entrance . Six seemed to be playing tag around another Oak , all calling with the 'wood on comb' call and hardly taking any notice of me . I did manage one shot of one of them . As you can see , it was in fine voice , even if it's feathers were being ruffled by the strong wind . At least another four were seen in two different horse paddocks .
I didn't see the female Kestrel today , but did see a male for the first time on the site . He came over a hedgerow and flattened out low to the ground like a Sparrowhawk . He landed on an old water bowser , but was gone again before I got the camera out . Heard or seen were Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker , Blue and Great Tit , Greenfinch , Goldfinch and Bullfinch , Woodpigeon , Stock and Collared Dove .
At the Trout Fishery , not much had changed . Two of the white farmyard geese were on nests on an island in the middle , and the Egyptian goose was still with the 'Bitsers' . Coot and Moorhen numbers were down and Tufted Duck up to 8 with 3 males and 5 females . As well as the Greylag crosses , there were two real Greylags in the adjoining field with two Canada geese .
A pair of Mallard were tucked in out of the wind , the male catching fourty winks , whilst the female preened . I left the Fishery and headed to see if there was any sign of the Little Owl , which there wasn't , but on the way had at least two calling Chiffchaffs , one of which I disturbed have it's ablutions in the River Ravensbourne . Along the way , I first found what could be Spring Quill-Scilla verna , a member of the Lily family . Not the best of shots with the sun bleaching the colour . Always difficult to be sure that it is a true wild flower , or a cultivated version , especially close to a built up area . Not far away , I found the first Honesty in flower this year . On my return journey , my attention was drawn to a tree on the edge of the wood with bright green , what I first thought was foliage , but on getting closer , realised it was flowers . It was the Norway Maple , a cousin of the Sycamore , the difference being that this flowers before leafing and the Sycamore flowers after leafing . On the way back to the car , Wren , Blackbird , Pied Wagtail , Magpie , Jay and of course Rose Ringed Parakeet were found .
I called in on Keston Ponds on the way home , and basically the status quo stands , with the exception of just the male Mandarin , no sign of the female , nesting ? The Coots nest that I posted a while back has been destroyed , by whom or what I don't know , but they have already rebuilt further down the pond , and the female is sitting again .
No sign of the Redpolls since , but in case you were wondering , this was one of the male Bramblings late this afternoon , now they come for tea as well .


Warren Baker said...

Hi Greenie,
Another interesting walk. Those Brambling are at the feeders all day in my garden. Fattening up for the journey northwards no doubt.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie. Not a bad day by the sounds of it Not content with Brambling for breakfast, now you have them for tea! Nice pictures.