In not very good conditions at all , grey skies and a cold breeze , I got out for a look around just before lunch . As I drove along the bottom lane , I noticed a small flock of Thrushes landing in a Holly tree in a front garden . I slowed , and came to a stop just short of the tree . The Thrushes kept mainly to the middle and back of the tree , but just occassionally , one showed on my side of the tree , offering a photo shot . The light conditions were bad , but at the time , I thought I had got the moment of the Holly berry in the bill , but when I looked later , I was a split second late , the berry had already gone down .
I carried on to Keston Ponds and checked on the Mandarins , which have increased by 2 to 13 , still very wary , and keeping as far away as possible from the bank . Apart from a small flock of 10/15 Black-headed Gulls , nothing else had changed . A walk across Keston Common produced a marked reduction in the number of Redwings from my last visit , but not surprising as even more large areas are completely berry free . The few birds that were seen were widespread amongst the few remaining berry carrying trees . Nuthatch , Jay , Magpie , a mixed Tit flock and Greater Spotted Woodpecker were all recorded , but not much else .
The colder temperatures have greatly reduced the species of fungi to be found , but the Oak Milk-cap-Lactarius quietus , seems to be coping well , with good numbers of specimens found . The well named Trametes hirsuta , a small bracket fungi was found on some dead wood , the second part of it's name coming from the silvery hairs on the upper surface of this specimen . Nothing else of interest was found , so I headed home , and on the way , grabbed an opportunity to get a shot of a Rook in the horse paddocks on the bottom lane . Not the easiest species to photograph , as they tend to fly off as soon as they see you approaching .
When I got home , Carol had just put out some more bird food and there was a constant stream of takers for it , Coal Tit ,
Great Tit ,male and female Greenfinch ,and one of a large flock of Goldfinch to name a few .And finally , before Warren mentions that the Sunflower heart feeder needs topping up , we are refilling it twice a day at the moment , and if the cold weather comes as forecasted , it could be three times a day .
No sign of Winter Thrushes in the gardens today , they must still be working on the Hollies .
14 hours ago