Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sunday 4th. December 2011

Only managed to get out for a short while yesterday , so headed for Hayes Farm . Fortunately , I had several layers on , as , in the open the wind was extremely lazy . Compared to other years , the farmer has left very little in the fields where in the late Summer and Autumn , people came to 'Pick their Own' , just one small stand of the remains of the Maize crop . Normally there is a large area of Brussel Sprouts which would attract Finch flocks and several different passerines , but not this year . I seem to remember there were large quantities of sprouts left on the plants last year , they must be going out of favour these days . Gull numbers are increasing on every visit , mainly Black-headed , but more and more Common Gulls are being seen . Likewise the Corvids , mainly Crows and Jackdaws , but a few Rooks also coming down on the horse paddocks , which also still hold good numbers of Pied Wagtails , working hard , breaking open the horse droppings . I could hear dogs barking as I approached the Trout Fishery , and found a training class going on in the field just before the Fishery . I'm not sure just who was training who , as the person I assume was the instructor , spent more time shouting commands at dogs in the back of a car than the dogs that were under training . There was no sign of the female Long-tailed Duck when I arrived , nor of the Wigeon that seemed as if they might stay for some time . Scanning the far corner  found the 2 Little Grebes along with a few Tufted Ducks and the large number of Coots and Moorhens . Then , as if from nowhere ,
 the Long-tailed Duck just appeared and started diving for food , she is the tiny speck in the middle of this shot , almost at the far bank , an area that she seems to favour .As luck would have it , the bailiff was on site talking to an angler on the bank to the left , but then the two of them walked to the corner then along the bank from left to right in the shot . Their presence encouraged the LTD to gradually move over to the footpath side of the Fishery , where I was standing , and provided me
with the closest shots that I have managed of her , down to just 10 metres at times , and in the best
photographic conditions , without too much light reflection off the water and not too much wind on
this side . But , by far the most constant view of her was this one , as she dives yet again . More birders are coming to get a view of the duck , as it is mentioned on various websites now , but these will be the last shots I post of her , for fear of boring the reader . Of interest , on one of the websites , I read that a Water Rail was recorded at the site , a species that I haven't managed to get there .
After helping Carol with the monthly shop this morning , I had a look up on the Commons before lunch , and before what turned out to be some very wintry showers this afternoon . Birdwise it was quiet , with a couple of Tit flocks and a GSWoodpecker and a Sparrowhawk being seen to the parish boundary by a couple of the local Corvids . Even the fungi was quiet compared to last visit , with still no sign of any Helvella , neither White nor Black , after an amazing show of the two species last year .  However , a few species were found ,
on a rotting Oak stump , Sulphur Tuft / Hypholoma fasciculare ,
amongst wood chippings , Bolbitius vetellinus ,
on heathland , under a Scots Pine , False Chanterelle / Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca ,
and on woodchips in a front garden , close to where I parked the car Stropharia aurantiaca .


Warren Baker said...

L.T.Duck saves the day Greenie :-) Like that first photo, very nice.

Mike H said...

Another nice day after all then Greenie. Still think you should post that shot on Birdguides better than the ones there so far.

Alan Pavey said...

Nice pics of the LTD Greenie, it's good that it's staying around.

Ken. said...

Hi Greenie.
Nice to have a L/T/D so close to home and not on the sea or a reserve. Then managing to get some more shots of it is great.
Also you can never get fed up with seeing pictures of such a nice little duck.