Monday, 11 January 2010

Tuesday 12th.January 2010

As expected , a day's hedgelaying up on the Greensand Ridge did not produce any wildlife sightings , so the second part of yesterday's trip to Kelsey Park went as follows :
I had just managed to get a third shot of the Long Tailed Tit , just before it got the call , and left to join the rest of the flock , when I got the feeling that I was being watched . I slowly turned around , and found these two , sitting on a bench , around a tree , seemingly having a laugh at me trying to get photographs in that light . Unperturbed , I carried on , looking amongst the ducks and geese for something different . Turning a corner , there was something different , a female Pochard . At first she headed off , but slowly she came back and posed nicely . Looking further out in the lake , I found her mate , having forty winks , well that's what it looked like , but if you look carefully , he's not snoozing at all , just pretending . Mind you , that wasn't surprising , as a little further along the bank, WW3 had just broken out amongst the Mandarins . It was probably all over the few females present , compared to the number of males . Consequently , there was a lot of whistling , together with a lot of snorting , together with a lot of pecking going on . This was just one part of the action , as every male was displaying , head right forward and down , then up as high as possible , with all the coloured neck feathers fanned out behind . The fracas went on for some time , but I left them to it , to see what else was around . More noise was added by a flock of about 10 Parakeets , high in a tall London Plane tree . I couldn't be sure of the exact species , as there have been 3 species recorded in the park , if I remember correctly . The commotion attracted another on looker , and a flash of white rump announced it's arrival . A Jay flew in to see what was going on , but did not settle at all , constantly moving . It seemed like I had a split second to take a shot between perches , but I managed to get the shot . If you look , it's right foot is just lifted , ready to move again . Strangely , once again , I felt watched , once again . I was right , I think the sculptor was of tenderer years this time . I was almost back at the gate now , but saw some movement amongst the leaf litter around a stand of Holly trees . I got closer , and with binoculars , could make out several Redwings , fossicking . I managed to get close enough to try for a few shots , but the light , even worst here with the Hollies and larger trees , meant that all turned out blurred . Suddenly , from nowhere , this Robin pops up and poses on a snowy log . The inbuilt flash goes off and there it is , complete with the flash in it's eye . He moved on , but I just stayed where I was , which paid off , as a Redwing came out from under the Holly , and started fossicking for fallen berries , just 3/4 metres away . Once again , the flash fired off , but the Redwing wasn't that bothered . Eventually , it returned under the Holly , to join the rest of the small flock . As I left the park , a family of Mute Swans were feeding on bread , thrown in by a small bridge . I left with a list of 26 , that was counting a couple of iffy species , but still an unexpected , enjoyable visit , on a horrible day .


ShySongbird said...

A very productive visit Greenie and some lovely photos (fun ones also of the snowmen!) I also thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the visit, you had some great photos there too particularly the closeups of the geese and I loved the Heron pics.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Love the photo of the Mandarins.
You seem to have some strange folk hanging around in your area in the wintertime.

Kingsdowner said...

Very exotic shot of the mandarins.

There have been some quality snowmen made this year. We all have an artistic streak, I suppose.