Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sunday 11th. December 2011

After a beautiful day yesterday , coppicing Hazel near Dorking , to provide materials for future hedgelaying jobs with the Surrey Hedgelaying Group in brilliant sunshine , followed by the Group's Christmas meal in a local pub , today was a real let down . Dismal , gloomy , wet and grey were words that described this morning . The only good thing was that there was no frost , unlike yesterday's start .But , it wasn't birdless , as a look from the back bedroom window revealed five Fieldfares , through the gloom , sitting high above the Cotoneaster bush , covered in bright red berries in my next-door
neighbour's garden , in the already mentioned gloomy conditions . I tried to get closer walking down the garden , but one of the five spotted me and gave the alarm . Surprisingly , one stayed put and
allowed a gloomy closer shot , before it too flew off . By lunch time , the drizzly rain ceased , but things didn't get much brighter . In need of some air though , I got my gear together and headed for Hayes Farm . Once again , the wind was strong and bitter as I headed towards the Trout Fishery . On my way there , a flock of about 15 Rooks lifted off well before getting into range of the camera , as did a good sized flock of mixed Black-headed and Common Gulls , with more of the latter than on
the last visit . Mistle Thrush and Green Woodpecker were heard , the former in full song . Just a single angler on the fishery , who informed me that an earlier birder had been looking for the Long-tailed Duck , and that it had gone . I scanned the lake finding a male and female Gadwall right over the other side , which could well be my first sighting of the species here . With nothing else new around , I started scanning the far bank , which contains two small reedbeds , for the Water Rail which has been reported recently , but without a sighting . The peace and quiet was constantly broken
by the Coots , who were either arguing or practising the square dance . Then , from nowhere , the LTD appeared in the binoculars , right over in the far corner . That makes it 19 days in residence to my knowledge , perhaps even more . Once again she looked very comfortable and as usual , spending 90% of the time underwater . With darker clouds rolling in , I headed back to the car , finding a ring
of Horse Mushroom / Agaricus arvensis on my way in one of the horse paddocks .


Rob said...

I hope you didn't get completely coppiced at the Hedgelayers' Christmas dinner, Greenie!

Alan Pavey said...

It was pretty dismal today, well done getting the Fieldfare pic. it took ages for me to get any where near one!!

Paul said...

It just goes to show that even in dismal conditions, things are still out there to be seen mate.
I spent the day indoors myself, I dont mind how cold it gets, but the rain puts me off a bit :-(

Mike H said...

Hi Many thanks on the fungi ID.My friend will revisit Wednesday will let you know. Mike

Phil said...

No two days the same at the moment Greenie. Some settled weather would make a change.
Glad to hear the LTD is still around.

Warren Baker said...

That was one dingy day Greenie, just to rub it in Monday dawns bright and sunny..........somebody's 'avin a larf!!!