Monday, 28 December 2009

Monday 28th.December 2009

Should have been out and about in the sunshine this morning , but a phone call last evening asking for help up on the Common this morning , saw me heading up there . A lot of Gorse had been cut and treated but we didn't get a chance to burn it before the snow came . In fact , the amount of Gorse to be burnt , was much more than was anticipated , and a quick two hour burn , turned into a frantic four hour job , and only three of us to do it . The highlight of the morning was a pair of Sparrowhawks , a male and female from the obvious size difference , giving us a 'flap and glide' flyover , in clear blue sky , whilst we were working
That meant a late lunch , which meant late getting out for a look around . Already the clear blue sky was almost gone , replaced by cloud , rolling in from the SW . By the time I got to Keston Ponds , the sun had gone , and with it , the warmth , as the temperature noticeably dropped like a stone . All three pods were almost completely frozen over , apart from where people had broken the ice around the edges , and small areas in each , where the spring enters the first pond , then feeds the other two ponds in turn . Apart from two Mallards and a Coot on the middle pond , everything else was on the top pond , nearest the car park , but no sign at all of the Mandarins .
Walking back towards the car , between the top and middle pond , I found the female Grey Wagtail , searching for food in the running water . By now , the light was fading , and she was in the dullest corner of the pond , making photographs difficult . I must have taken 20 shots of her , but the light and her constant bobbing and movement , meant most were very blurred , and just managed to get a few reasonable shots .
In the garden , the female Blackcap was around at breakfast time , and when I got back this afternoon , the male and the male Blackbird were both feeding avidly on the Callicarpa berries . The Redwing numbers on the Cotoneaster have doubled at least since yesterday , as I counted at least 18 on the shrub and resting in the surrounding trees . There were also 3 Fieldfares feeding on the same shrub .
Next two days should be hedgelaying up on the Greensand Ridge , but , I think the weather is going to have it's say about that , if the forecast is correct .


Warren Baker said...

Well you did at least get out for some fresh air Greenie. As you say though, tomorrow looks a write off, don't think I will get out by the looks of it. :-(

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Your a good ol boy going out and doing your bit. Nice photo's of the Grey Wag.
I am still waiting for a Grey Wag to visit my hasn't let me down yet, still plenty of time yet.
Don't work too hard over the next days.

Kingsdowner said...

That must be one helluva cotoneaster!