Saturday, 9 January 2010

Saturday 9th.January 2010

I started off this morning seeing if I could relocate the Redwings that I found yesterday , but having cruised around the local roads there was no sign , and the berries that they were feasting on yesterday , looked as if they hadn't been touched since .
Disappointed , I set off , in the first of several heavy snow showers for a look around Hayes Farm . It was still snowing hard when I arrived , and clad in several layers of clothing , I pulled on my boots , and headed for the stile . The view the other side of the stile was just pure white , with just the odd horse out in the paddocks , the snow in most parts was untouched , just the main paths being trod down . Lots of fascinating tracks criss crossed the snow , some quessable , some very not so . With no one else in sight , there was an eerie silence , that was until the farmyard cockerel decided to break it . No Gulls , Corvids or Winter Thrushes were seen , just a few House Sparrows over by the barns . A movement on some tall vegetation caught my eye , and closer inspection revealed a single Linnet , feeding on the few remaining seeds at the top . Another two were found fossicking on the ground a little way away , but no sign of the rest of the flock I saw going to roost on my last visit . The walk to the Trout Fishery only produced the odd Tit , and a single Fieldfare was heard , but not seen . Surprisingly , 5 rabbits were seen on the field before the lake , standing out like a sore thumb against the snow . The lake itself is almost completely frozen over , just one small area of open water , right over the other side from the track . Only one Egyptian Goose was seen , looking very small near the white farmyard and hybrid type . Most of the Mallard and farmyard type ducks , were tucked in under the overhanging branches , but no sign of the pair of Little Grebe . The open water held a pair of Mute Swans , a small flock of Canada Geese and a mixture of Coots , Moorhens and BHGulls .
The majority of the BHGulls were occupying the ice just right of the open water , joined by a couple of Coots , and I couldn't believe how many of them were lying on their bellies on the ice .
On my return journey , I checked out the mountains of manure , dumped in a corner of one field thinking they would attract birds at this time , but all I found was a single female Blackbird , very disappointing . The walk back to the stile was almost bird less , with the exception of a small flock of Redwing passing overhead , but not stopping . As I crossed the stile , I heard Fieldfare again , but from out amongst the houses . A quick look around did not find it . By the time I got back to the car , I was frozen and found it hard to use the key fob . I headed home , heater working hard . As I approached the Catholic Church in Hayes , three birds atop a small tree caught my attention and pulled over . They flew off , but then I could see several Pyracantha bushes just inside the church grounds . I sat tight and waited , and sure enough , after a few minutes , one by one they drifted back . Only trouble was , they were feeding on the far side of the bushes , so I had to photograph them as they landed in the small tree , a second before they dropped into the Pyracantha bush . I got quite a few good shots and was thinking of leaving them to it , when I heard several Fieldfares calling . Looking up 12/15 Fieldfares swooped into the surrounding tall trees , whilst they checked the situation out . Nervously , a few made their way down to the little tree , and the shutter started working again . Before they all came down , another heavy snow shower started , and seemed to unsettle them , and they all took off , and flew over the car . They landed in the tree behind the car , they swooped noisily onto a large Pyracanth bush that covered a lot of the ground floor of a nearby house . They were joined by the Redwings , and a brief but very energetic 'snaffle of the berries' ensued , before once again , they all departed for the tall trees . With the snowfall getting heavier , I headed off home .


Warren Baker said...

Looks like you had a hard time in the conditions Greenie, like I did. You've got to feel for the wildlife in these conditions though.

ShySongbird said...

Well done Greenie for just getting out in this weather! You did well to track the Fieldfares down.

I enjoyed seeing the Brambling on your earlier post, we had lots of them two years ago (before I had a suitable camera) but none this far.

Anonymous said...

You`ve definitely got to grips with the new camera, Greenie. Great stuff.