Friday, 10 April 2009

Friday 10th.April 2009

A typical Bank Holiday morning , dull with the threat of rain in the wind , and just the very odd glimpse of brightness . But , it was forecast as the better part of the day , so we headed down to Beckenham cemetery , to visit my parent's grave , it being my Father's birthday .
Always a good place for birds , a walk around the cemetery produced a good list . Carrion Crow , Magpie , Jay x5 , at least three singing Blackcaps , Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker , Woodpigeon , Stock and Collared Dove , Starling , Wren , Song and Mistle Thrush , Chaffinch , Greenfinch and Goldfinch , Blackbird , Dunnock and of course Rose Ringed Parakeets , all put in an appearance .
Whilst there , we managed to locate the other two famous burials that we could not find last time , when I posted that of Thomas Crapper and the diver who saved Winchester Cathedral . Firstly we found the grave of the man who some would say was England's greatest cricketer , that of W.G.Grace . Around the corner from the cemetery is a pub named after him . The other grave found today was that of Frederick Wolseley , and those of a certain age will remember the cars produced by his Company , and the Police who drove them . I learnt something today , in that he also invented the sheep shearing machine used by Bruce in all those Australian films .
Backing onto the cemetery is South Norwood Country Park , formerly Elmers End Sewage Works . As a kid , I remember this place filled with Lapwings and Tomato plants , the latter as the seeds of the plants , cannot be broken down by the human gut , thus germinated on the settlement beds , and everywhere else - too much information ? These days , like most places surrounded by houses , has become a dog's toilet . Stepping carefully , we made a circuit of the Park , and added another three singing Blackcaps , several singing Chiffchaffs , most definitely one , if not two singing Willow Warblers , a poor shot of one of them , a single Swallow , Reed Bunting and Jackdaw . On the way round , we found Blackthorn coming into leaf now that the flowers are nearly finishing . Tucked way amongst the long grass along one of the drainage ditches , Lesser Periwinkle-Vinca minor , is already in flower .
The Oak has burst bud and it's young succulent leaves are emerging , to provide food for a whole host of insects , which will then be predated upon by birds and others , to feed their new families when then come along . Will the old saying come true , 'Oak before Ash , in for a splash' ?Following the small stream , the Chaffinch Brook , back towards the lake , we added Blue , Great and Long Tailed Tits , along with several more singing Wrens , they seemed to be everywhere . The hoped for Kingfisher and an early Whitethroat at it's favoured scrub area did not materialise . Flowering along the track was Jack by the Hedge or Garlic Mustard-Alliaria petiolata , a member of the Cabbage family , and used along with Ladies Smock as a food plant by the Orange Tip butterfly . At the lake , we added Canada Geese , Tufted Duck , Mallard , Coot and Moorhen , and just before leaving Sparrowhawk circling above in a threatening sky . Just inside the gate , on our way out was Summer Snowflake-Leucojum aestivum , a member of the Daffodil family . Once again , as the park is surrounded by houses , it is difficult to know if this is a true wild plant , or a cultivated specimen that has been dumped there .
I made the bird species count 33 , not up to the dizzy heights of Pittswood , but an enjoyable walk with plenty of birdsong .
And finally , after Ken's witty comment last night about the lower squirrel being stoned , I think he should be on the stage , and not necessarily sweeping it .
By the way , the forecast was right for this afternoon . Whilst writing this , there has been constant drizzle .


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Thanks for the mention in your blog. What a nice selection of photo's you have taken today.
You are right about cemetery's being good for birds.As for the Worseley car's, well I don't know if I should admit to it, but I do remember them.......Just, and I bet every time he tried to sell his sheep sheering machine he kept getting fleeced. Boom Boom.

Greenie said...

Ken ,
If I am to continue being your straight man , some silver is going to have to pass hands .
Boom boom !

Warren Baker said...

Well, Greenie,
That was a SHEAR joy to read. Though I think ken should be LAMBasted for his puns! A great species total for the day!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Don't you start , I've got enough on my hands dealing with Ken .

Ken Browne. said...

Ok, you two win, I am prepared to accept the RAMifications.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Greenie, Just picked myself up off the floor after all those puns!
Our local cemetery was the first place I ever saw LTTs. You certainly saw plenty there including the interesting graves. I asked husband who was was England's greatest cricketer and he said probably W.G. Grace although for him it's Botham.
I have posted a similar photo to yours of a Willow Warbler/Chiffchaff and have come to the conclusion mine is probably a Willow Warbler. Loved all your photos as usual.

Greenie said...

ShySongbird ,
Thank you for the comments .
I must admit that the puns were down to Ken and Warren , I just had to put up with them .
Please tell your husband that I agree with him entirely re.Beefy .