Monday, 18 January 2010

Monday 18th.January 2010

After the sunshine and excitement yesterday , today dawned overcast and damp . Admittedly the temperature wasn't too bad at about 7C , which was probably what got all the birds singing , especially the Robins , having changed to their Spring/Summer song over the weekend . The Blue Tits and Coal Tits were chasing each other around and looking in the nesting boxes . One Redwing appeared in the Cotoneaster next door , but apart from that , the most excitement came when this Starling spent a good 3/4 minutes bathing , and managing to completely empty it whilst doing so .
Very short spells of wintry sun encouraged me to go and have a look around Beckenham Cemetery and a return visit to South Norwood Country Park , now that the snow has gone . The cemetery held quite a few Redwings , but very flighty , as were the two Green Woodpeckers , who were off as soon as I got sight of them . From there , I followed the tram track into the Country Park , and immediately found a large flock of Fieldfare around the pitch and putt area , they too were very unapproachable . The odd Kestrel , Corvid , Tit and Finch showed up , but not a lot really . I was nearly down to the lake , when I found another flock of Winter Thrushes , feeding on the ground . It was a mixed flock of both Thrushes , and gave the opportunity to get one of each , side by side , on the ground for comparison , the Redwing being much smaller than the Fieldfare . The lake has much more open water than on my last visit , but a lot of ice still remains . Looking through the larger number of gulls present , gave a photo chance of three separate species in the one shot . They were a good distance off , in poor light , but shows Common on the left , Lesser Black -backed at the back , and two Black-headed . The area around the viewing platform was ice free , and about a dozen Shoveler were feeding , swimming along , and filtering food out of the top surface of the water , with their massive bills . unlike the male Tufted Duck , who was getting his food from further down in the water . The only new resident that I could see , was this female Pochard , no sign of a mate . Once again , I scanned the Alders , and once again , no sign of Siskins . I'm starting to think they and the Repolls are going to elude me this year . Heading back towards the Cemetery , I found a male Kestrel perched in a small tree where the paths cross . Could be the same one I photographed last visit . Crossing back into the Cemetery , I had another Green Woodpecker sighting , but not a picture . The only other picture opportunity was this Jay , a species I find very hard to get a decent shot of , and once again , the bird managed to get it's head behind a branch , I'll get a clear one , one day .


Warren Baker said...

Lots more open water on that lake than mine Greenie, and as for the Jays, well I think you did well withthat pic, they are very clever birds at avoiding people.

I think your best redpoll chance is a flyover - swat up on the flight call.

ShySongbird said...

The Starlings usually manage to empty my birdbath too but I am always amazed by just how muddy any water they do leave behind is!

It was good to see the gulls together for comparison, being so land locked here I am not too hot on them.

Like Warren, I think you did well with the Jay, it is some years since I have even seen one.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
I envy you having that long day on the North Kent Marshes yesterday.As for today. Nice set of photo's, especially the Tufted Drake taking a dive, so to speak.