Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Wednesday 3rd.February 2010

Another two working days lost up on the Greensand Ridge this week . Yesterday was horrible and today was forcasted to be the same , but we did get a drier , slightly brighter patch around midday / early afternoon . Carol and I went early to Bromley to do some shopping , and as the bus arrived , I noticed a small flock of small birds feeding high in the top of a Silver Birch . Without binoculars I couldn't be sure of the species , and the arrival of the bus cut short the sighting . Later , as we got off the bus , a large Thrush type , flew off a tree that still carried berries , and over the rooftops into back gardens . Arriving home , I grabbed binoculars and camera , and went back to the bus stop . I soon located the small birds feeding in the Silver Birch , they had only moved two trees up the road , but unfortunately they were Goldfinches , not the Siskins or Redpolls that I hoped they would be . No sign of the large Thrush on or near the berried tree , but then I spotted not one but two Mistle Thrushes , sitting on the roof of one of the houses . Pointing a camera towards someone's house is always dodgy , but I got a few shots of the two birds , and lived to tell the tale . After lunch , with the brighter spell holding , I headed for a look around Keston Ponds . On arrival , I went to the bottom pond to check on the Mandarins and found one male perched on the overhanging branch roost . A look around the other two ponds found nothing new birdwise and no sign of Treecreeper or Grey Wagtail . The only interesting thing found was the first flower on Blackthorn , whilst the ponds still have large areas iced over . I went back to the bottom pond before leaving and was pleased to find the Mandarin population had grown to 17 . They must have flown in whilst I was at the upper ponds . Here , half of them parading on the ice , with the males doing their 'I'm taller than you' bit , along with lots of snorting . Given the number here and the number last seen at Kelsey Park , I'm pretty sure that these birds spent the worst of the bad weather in the moving water of the lake at Kelsey Park . From there , with the weather deteriorating quickly , I made a quick visit to Hayes Farm , but in all honesty , it was a waste of time , as very little was found . Plenty of Gulls and Corvids , 3 Fieldfares high in an Oak , very little on the Trout Fishery , apart from a Cormorant that flew off it's perch on a duck house as soon as it saw me . The anglers won't be pleased if it hangs around for any length of time . Just one Rabbit out feeding today , but from the look of it's eyes , it's not very well , and it had lost a lump out of one of it's ears . A brief sighting of the Finch flock flying over , and by the time I got back to the car , the drizzle had started again and it was getting cold .
At home , looking out of the back bedroom window , I just couldn't resist one final shot of this RRP in next door's Laburnum tree .


Warren Baker said...

Have you heard the flight call of the mandarin Greenie?

I came across a flock of 30 odd mandarin when I was doing some atlas work. They all took off and started to make whistling call, quite a spectacular sound

Phil said...

Super shot of the RRP Greenie, sounds like you had a busy day! Moral of your story is always keep a pair of bino's about your person and always sit on the top deck of buses...............level with the tops of Silver Birch trees!!

ShySongbird said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels a bit awkward about aiming binoculars or a camera at houses :) It was worth it though, lovely Mistle Thrushes.

What a thrill to see the Blackthorn blooming already and a great pic of the Parakeet!

Anonymous said...

I feel the same Greenie. There`s been some good photo opportunities of birds perched on house roofs, but i`ve always shy`d away from attempting to get a shot.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Yes , they do that whistling along with the snorting , but it's not as strident as the Wigeon's whistle .

Phil ,
I agree with everything you say .
One problem , sungle decker bus !
Enjoy the sun .