I had only one thing on my mind all last evening and this morning , was the repaired lens working properly . The quick shot of the Coal Tit last night gave hope that it was , but a good work out was the only way to be sure . Before breakfast , I was watching for the birds to come in for theirs , but a hard frost and the feeders still being in the shade , meant not much was about . eventually a female Chaffinch appeared in next door's Laburnum tree , and the first shot of the day was snapped .
I had some stuff to take to the recycle depot , so after getting rid of that , I donned several layers of clothing and set off with camera and binoculars to South Norwood Country Park . The lake was my first stop , and immediately on stepping onto the feeding platform , waterfowl began to fly in . The good number of Shoveler that have been around on my last few visits have now reduced to just one , a male , and he was not interested in posing for a shot , paddling away as soon as he saw me . Not so with the male Pochard , who had a glint in his eye , as he has a 2:1 ratio with the long staying two females , and I'm sure he was smiling . Also looking very dapper were the male Tufted Ducks , with a purple sheen to their head feathers when the light caught them right . Leaving the lake to see what else was about , I came across this male Kestrel , enjoying the sun , in a tree just below the nest box that they regularly use in a Scots Pine . The middle of the Country Park was very quiet compared to the lake , if you discounted the Rose Ringed Parakeets , arguing noisily as they flew over . I visited another platform on the opposite side of the lake , and had the opportunity to get male , on the right with the larger white plate on it's forehead , and female Coot , both in the same frame ( Sorry to rub it in Warren ) . Also from the same spot , a better view of the large number of Black-headed Gulls , lazing about on the surface , until someone appears with a loaf of bread , when things get really noisy . The single Common Gull was with them , but no sign of the LBB Gull . Talking to another birder , a Glaucous Gull was reportedly seen earlier , but he didn't lend much credence to the ID . On the same platform , I was joined by a very confiding Dunnock , who obviously knows that bread fed to ducks leaves crumbs on the platform . Another quick look around the Park and started heading back to the car , via a 'what's that down there' quizzical look from a Robin on the side of the path .
All in all , a total of 32 species , but the most important thing , the lens worked perfectly , so now , hopefully , my problems are over , and I can just enjoy working with it .