Thursday, 22 December 2011

Thursday 22nd. December 2011

A trip to the local recycling depot this morning , tied in nicely with a look around South Norwood Country Park . With blue sky and sunshine , the conditions were the total opposite of yesterday's , and the birdsong showed that they were enjoying the change . As soon as stepped onto the feeding platform nearest the main road , everything that was on the lake flew/paddled towards me . Lots of Tufted Duck ,
Mallard , Coot and Moorhen , along with a few Shoveler , the drakes looking very smart in the sunshine . Black-headed Gulls were arguing with the Carrion Crows and several Magpies were
noisily occupying the island . Whilst watch these , a flash of orange and turquoise in the background caught my eye . It was over on the right-hand side of the lake , about 50 mtrs. away . Unfortunately
there was no way to get any closer , so like at Sevenoaks the other day , I had to make do from distance . One day , I will get close up . I think the bird must have caught a meal , as it then spent
quite some time grooming , before flying off across the lake . A young dad arrived with his daughter to feed the ducks , which brought everything over again , but the bits of bread , dropped by the child ,
caught the eye of other hungry animals . About 6/8 Brown Rats , both adult like the one above , and juveniles just appeared , as if by magic . The adults were very cautious , but the juveniles like this
one , were much more brazen , dashing out into the open , grabbing some bread , and rushing back into cover . I then headed to the platform beyond where the Kingfisher had been , finding no new
species , until a couple of Kestrels appeared in the distance , but heading my way . One broke off ,
and the other turned soon afterwards , but I did manage a few shots of the second bird before it drifted into the distance again . From the platform I could see a Cormorant on a post in front of the next platform . Using everything that I have seen Ray Mears do , I stealthily made my way around the lake and down the track to the platform . As got near the platform , I could see the head of the
bird , the remainder blocked out by the safety rails around the platform . Slowly , I edged closer and closer , several times thinking that the bird had seen me . Inching my way to the back of the platform , I hear someone approaching from behind . It turns out to be one of the Rangers , coming to empty the litter bin on the platform , which he did very noisily , but having done so , left , with the bird still in the same position . I picked up the camera and tripod and walked onto the platform , got
set up again , and started taking shots . Apart from the odd glance my way , this usually very wary species , sat preening itself in the sunshine . Even when another family came to feed the ducks , it carried on regardless . Ray Mears , eat your heart out ! This particular bird , apart from looking very
photogenic , was obviously dyslexic too .
After lunch , with the sun still shining , I went for a look around Hayes Farm . The usual mixed Corvid flock was on the horse paddocks , most , as usual , flying off well before I got into camera
range . But one Rook took just a bit longer to leave , and I managed just one shot before it too was gone . Just before reaching the Trout Fishery , two Robins were having a singing duel , and to my
mind , this one was the winner , hands , or should that be wings down . At the Trout Fishery , most of the expected species were seen , with one notable exception , no sign of the female Long-tailed Duck . Whilst there , a fellow enthusiast Keith , who had foregone his lunch break to get a sighting of her arrived . I had already been looking for about half an hour without success . During the time he was there , we had a good catch up , but he didn't catch up with the LTD , and don't worry Keith , she didn't turn up after you had gone , good to meet up again . The walk back to the car produced little
more than several Pied Wagtails , all looking dapper in their evening suits , especially this one .


Rob said...

Looks like you had a pleasant morning by the water there, Greenie.

Marc Heath said...

Despite the distance, you done well with the Kingfisher shots, a good story in photos and a nice report to go with it.

Alan Pavey said...

Nice post as always Greenie, those kingfishers really do play hard to get, I'm impressed with a photo from any distance :-)

The Wessex Reiver said...

Great to be there at the right time to see the kingfisher

Warren Baker said...

What a differnece a bit of sunshine makes Greenie. You did well to get the Kingfisher in ''action'' even harder to photo it at a distance!