Had lots of jobs to do this morning , so didn't get out till after lunch . As today is my old Mum's 10th. anniversary , I headed off to Beckenham Cemetery to say hallo . Not the nicest of days , very grey and overcast , with sleety showers every now and again . After visiting the grave , I left the car nearby and headed off , camera and binoculars in hand , for a look around the Cemetery and the adjacent South Norwood Country Park . There were a couple of large cremations going on whilst I was there , and the sightings were fewer than normal with all the comings and goings . One , most unexpected , very confiding bird , was this Carrion Crow , which perched and posed on one of the headstones in the older part of the Cemetery . Following the tramway into the Country Park , I found the first of at least 5 Kestrels , a female sitting in a low bush . I also found at least 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers , probably more , all very vocal and most of them unusually feeding on the ground . The male Kestrels that I came across were not as happy to pose as the female , and most shots I got of them were 'back-end' , as this one was , flying off as soon as I got the camera out . The expected species turned up , but only a handful of Winter Thrushes , all Redwings , feeding on the ground in an area that had been cleared recently . One Grey Heron lifted from the middle of the Park , and was immediately mobbed by the gang of Carrion Crows that were sitting in a low Elder . Needless to say , there were plenty of RRParakeets flying , noisily about , but still no sign of Siskin or Redpoll .
Getting to the lake , which is once again mainly frozen over , the species count shot up , with Black Headed Gull , I think this is a first winter individual , but , as I think Simon mentioned the other day , many are well on their way to Summer plumage , Common Gull , Cormorant , Mute Swan ( a single juvenile ) , Moorhen , Coot , Canada Goose , and a good number of Shoveler , but well below their previous maximum , Tufted Duck , and , tagging on with them , the female Pochard . On my way back to the car , A Song Thrush was singing his heart out in the middle of another sleet flurry , and I disturbed two Green Woodpeckers , who were feeding on the ground , and flew off 'yaffling' .
In all , 37 species were recorded in under two hours , most unexpected given how quiet things have been recently .
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