Monday, 31 May 2010

Monday 31st.May 2010

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 .


Warren Baker said...

You made the best of the poor conditons Greenie, especially photo wise. Don't worry. June will get better - wont it ?

ShySongbird said...

How I agree with your remark about sun and photography! It has been dull here all day and my camera doesn't perform well in bad light at all, of course it could just be me :)

I have just caught up with your previous post and (I'm still struggling to keep up) what great shots of the deer!! Also fascinating info on the Common Blue concerning the blue or lack of it on the male's wings.

Definitely not the best weather to be a newly fledged bird but lovely to see the fluffy little Blue Tit.

I have been trying to track a Kingfisher down for twelve months but still not managed it yet. Great photo of the Kestrel, much better than mine!

Wilma said...

Even though the light wasn't the best for photographs, it seems you had plenty of wildlife to observe.