A typical Bank Holiday Monday , cool , cloudy and out of a sheltered corner , quite breezy . So why did the Blue Tits who occupied the box right at the bottom of the garden , choose last evening/early this morning to leave the box ? The young had been very noisy in the box for the last few days , and twice , Carol has found a small Fox , she says about the size of a cat , sitting underneath the box , with the adults going crazy , so that could well have had something to do with it . The adults had them scattered all around our garden and the neighbours , and their calling for food was incessant . I got the camera out and hoped to get a shot of the parent offering one of the large caterpillars that they had been bringing , but the breeze and the light were against that shot , so I had to make do with this one , a little ball of fluff .
After lunch , needing fuel , I combined a trip to a 'lightly Kingfisher stream' , that a fellow birder mentioned in a hide at Sevenoaks a while back . I wasn't sure when I was told it , and even less so when I arrived , as the stream , The Beck , passes through an industrial estate and part runs in concrete culverts , but I was there , and I had a look . I'll say now , not a sign of a Kingfisher . To one side of the stream , was a grassed area , possibly a sports area for one of the factories , bounded by a high , green metal fence . On the far side , I could see a Fox , feebly attempting to catch Woodpigeons , Magpies and Mistle Thrushes that were fossicking in the ground . Apologies for the pictures , but the light was awful and the metal fence , through which they were taken , was playing havoc with the AF . It was funny watching , as the Fox half-heartedly rushed at a group of birds , they just lifted and then settled again 10 metres away . The Fox made several attempts , which seemed to wear it out , necessitating a rest . After a few more minutes , the Fox seemed to give up , and sloped off into the taller vegetation , or was it a bluff ?
As I moved on , a bird landed on top of the fence , which had me scratching my head for a while , until I realised that it was a juvenile Mistle Thrush , or at least I hope it is . Although I didn't see any other birds with it , there were several Mistle Thrushes on the ground , not too far away . Further on again , the air was full of the unmistakable sound of lots of juvenile Starlings . The parents had 'parked' them on top of another fence , and were backwards and forwards to feed them . It must be something in the water in the area , because there was another Fox , shadowing the Starling flock as they fed , but this one was having the same results as the first that I had come across .
With no Kingfishers found , I headed home , but stopped on the way for a look in at South Norwood Country Park . My first stop was the Great Spotted Woodpecker hole , where I had photographed the young in the nesthole , but , not surprisingly , they had fledged . My second stop was at the Kestrel box in the Scots Pine , and found the male on sentry duty on an adjacent tree . At first , there was no movement in the box , but then a head lifted for a look out . The female , sitting on eggs , or trying to keep her young warm in the cool conditions . A walk around the lake didn't produce much apart from lots of Canada Geese and a couple of Grey Herons . Two families of Coots were very noisy around the main feeding platform , much to the annoyance of the other person on the platform , who was tossing out bread for some rather large Carp that I hadn't realised occupied the water as well . Heading back to the car , the sun appeared for just about 10 minutes , the only time it did so today , and gave a chance shot of a male Greenfinch enjoying it's warmth , if only for a short time . What a difference a bit of sun makes to photography .
5 hours ago