An interesting drive , to say the least , yesterday morning on the way to the Dorking area to coppice materials for the hedge at Lingfield . All due to the overnight snow , but once off the motorway , the amount on the ground reduced , resembling a hard frost at the coppice site . Worth it though , working in sunshine and under blue skies .
Got out today after an early lunch , and although a Sunday , decided on a return visit to Kelsey Park , and the woodland surrounding The Beck , before it enters the park itself . The woodland adjoins a couple of football pitches , and it seemed the world was out walking it's dog , with the kids enjoying their bikes too . Needless to say , not a lot was seen/heard , apart from a couple of GS Woodpeckers and of course several RR Parakeets . Crossing into the park , no sign of the Winter Thrushes seen during the snow , and no surprise really as they had cleaned the Holly trees as clean as a whistle . On the way around the top of the lake , I was nearly mugged several times by Grey Squirrels looking for peanuts , in shells , which several people were carrying around with them . Just the usual Mallards , Coots , Moorhens , Greylag and Canada Geese and Tufted Ducks on the water , but hundreds of BH Gulls , flying noisily about , and snatching what they could out of the bread thrown for the ducks .
Around the other side of the lake , there was no sign of the two people I found sitting on the seat around the tree , or the other one on the grass . At the Heronry , 2/3 of the nest seemed to be occupied , this adult , probably a female , was rearranging the twigs , and also seemed to be turning eggs , before settling down again , deep in the nest .
All if this going on under the watchful eye of what could be her mate .Quite a large section of the lake has refrozen , and amongst the large number of BH Gulls , there was a juvenile Common Gull , looking totally out of it's depth amongst the others .
The BH Gulls were mostly sporting their winter plumage , with the dark spot behind the eye ,But , every now and again , I came across individuals who have started to get the chocolate head colouring , their Summer plumage .I found the female Pochard , tucked up under the opposite bank , but , no sign of her mate , but whilst looking , this Little Grebe , bobbed up from feeding on the bottom .The Mandarin numbers have dropped to 6 ( 4M,2F) , from the 20+ on my last visit , and I was surprised to see that they were mating , as my book says 1 brood , April/May The female seemed quite happy about it , having a quick 'wash and brush up' afterwards , and then getting on with feeding . The males , when not mating , spending their time arguing , strutting and snorting amongst themselves . I never tire of looking at their plumage , and often think to myself that it would be almost impossible to paint the colours of the feathers on their head and neck .
1 hour ago