Sunday, 5 December 2010

Sunday 5th.December 2010

With very little found yesterday on a local walk , have combined the two days together .
Overnight the thaw had set in , turning the snow slushy and forming almost small streams down the lanes . I found several small Finch and Tit flocks , but nothing unusual amongst them . Also

found were several 'foreign' Blackbirds , like the one pictured , lacking the orange bill and eye ring . Three Redwings were found in a large Holly , but no chance of a shot , they were gone before I could get the camera out . About the only other species found was the Robin , even if , like this one , looking a bit dishevelled around the edges . Heading home through the woods , the glare of the white snow was subdued in one area , by the needles of European Larch . This is one of only three conifers that drop their needles in Winter . The other two are the Swamp Cypress , a native of around the Gulf of Mexico , and the Dawn Redwood which was thought to be extinct for some hundred million years , until found in SW China in the 1940s .
Today I set off for Down House to do the delayed bird survey . Being higher , the site was engulfed in a wet , cold mist , necessitating the runway lights to be on at the adjacent Biggin Hill Airport . 15 species was all that could be mustered and nothing better than 2 Fieldfares over and a confiding Nuthatch at head height and 3 metres away . The confiding part ended as I got the camera out , and it flew off calling , exactly what I couldn't quite make out , but I do know what I called it . In the Sandwalk woodland , I came across a female Roe Deer , which bolted for the mist , before turning for a look . Down on the large meadow , I came across another two , but they didn't hang around either . I late found all three on the edge of the golf course , but once again , they were gone in a flash .

Yet another senior moment . Thank you to Julian for pointing out that the Deer are in fact Fallow and not Roe . No excuse , but this is my first , thanks to Julian , recording of this species on site .

The only other interest was on the main lawn behind the house , where 10 Grey Squirrels were seen together on a snow free area under a large Yew . Must have been holding a convention .
Finally got down the bottom of the garden this afternoon , to find a big old multi stemmed Damson tree filling the bottom corner , having collapsed under the weight of snow . So that was me sorted for a couple of hours .
Writing this , the 16'' of snow is now down to 2'' and the 'snow-o-meter' has returned to being a bird bath again . They said we would get a thaw , but I didn't expect this , not that I'm complaining .


ShySongbird said...

A very nice read again Greenie, our little bit of snow has gone but it is getting colder again and very icy in our north facing back garden.

I knew that foreign Blackbirds come in at this time of year but had no idea they look slightly different to ours, I will have to look far more carefully at the ones which visit my garden Thank you very much for pointing that out.

Your little Robin did look rather dishevelled, very nice photo though.

Anonymous said...

always an interesting blog greenie but the deer look like fallow deer rather than roe (with relatively long tail with vertical black stripe compared with Cream/white rump marking of roe)

Warren Baker said...

Come on Greenie sort those Deer out!

More cold next week for a while, no more snow though :-)

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for the Ladybird ID and info Greenie. What hardy little creatures they are!