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 .
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