Monday, 3 January 2011

Monday 3rd.January 2011

The day started well enough , with sunshine trying it's best to thaw out the overnight frost and very light powdering of snow . Carol called to me that she had just spotted a Fox in our neighbour's garden , being chased by their neighbour's cat . Yes , I did type that the right way round . By the time I had got upstairs and got the camera out , the Fox was just making his escape under a 3mtr. fence , and all I saw of the animal was it's disappearing tail .
Thinking that the sunshine might last , I headed off for Down House to do the Bird Survey . With everything closed up , I had to access the site via the public footpath that runs through it and on through the adjoining Golf Course . It would be good to report that a better than average number of species were recorded , but a very average 17 was all that I could muster in the hour and a half on site . 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' came to mind , having recorded 54 yesterday , but the site does not have any water , nor is there any in the close proximity , which immediately reduces the species count . In fact , I recorded fewer individual birds ( 38 ) than I did species yesterday . Green (pictured) and Great Spotted Woodpecker , Nuthatch and the usual Rose Ringed Parakeets was as good as it got today .
For the first visit in several , I didn't have any Deer sightings , of any kind , the only animals seen were the Jacob's Sheep , looking very snug in their winter coats .
As usual , I called in at Keston Ponds on my way back , but all three ponds are still best part frozen over , so very little was seen .
My last stop was on the lane opposite Keston Church , to look for the first flowers of the year . The area was strimmed hard at the end of the summer , but the Winter Heliotrope-Petasites fragrans , a member of the Daisy family and closely related to Butterbur-P.hybridus , is already pushing several flower spikes towards the now very grey sky . A bit more searching , and I eventually found one spike with the petals of the first flower of the year just opened .
Spring can't come soon enough .


Kingsdowner said...

You had some sunshine today? You are blessed.
I fear that tomorrow morning's Solar Eclipse will be smothered by the everlasting cloud.

Phil said...

I much prefer the idea of the Fox chasing the cat Greenie.
As for Spring....I agree. Looks like Mother Nature is preparing already.

Simon said...

Agree with the spring comment Greenie, a few of the willows in Mote Park are showing some furry buds, so not long now!!!

Did you see the news article yesterday about the dog fox killed in Maidstone? It was double the size of a normal dog fox, and was killed because he had killed and eaten someones cat! On Sky News they show a video where they compare a 'normal' dog fox with the mentioned individual, astonishing size difference!!

Warren Baker said...

I once watched a cat chasing a fox's tail, the fox turned and chased the cat, before the cat again turned and persued the fox once more !

You're meagre findings on the bird front were mirrored here Greenie, everything has moved on again.

Dean said...

Don`t you usually tell me & Warren off for using the "Spring" word so early ;-)

ShySongbird said...

A very happy and healthy New Year to you and Carol, Greenie :)

It was heartwarming to see a flower on your post and I absolutely agree with you 'Spring can't come soon enough'. You can't mention the word enough for me, it is the A and W words I don't like!

Well done on eventually spotting the Jack Snipe recently.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Willow buds whitenening up here too