Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sunday 15th. January 2012

Had a couple of hours up on the Common this afternoon trying to get near to some of the many
Redwings that are still gorging on the Holly berries but also now turning their attention on to Ivy
berries . Still very difficult to get close to them , with so many eyes watching . Also had a flock of
about 20 Fieldfare over , along with a mixed Tit flock made up of Long-tailed , Great Blue and a single Coal . Whilst watching the mixed flock , another movement caught my eye much lower down .
It was moving through quickly and I only managed to fire off three shots . I tried to follow it , but very soon lost it in thick scrub . I then had the opportunity to see exactly what it was , thinking it was
a Wren or Goldcrest , but to my surprise it turned out to be a Firecrest . Not the best shot by far , but showing enough to confirm the find , the first that I have found locally . I spent the next half hour trying to relocate the bird , but didn't find it . Disappointed , I went off looking for Purple Hairstreak
eggs , and managed to find 3 , all laid tight up against the buds that will produce fresh young leaves for the caterpillars to feed on when they emerge . Whilst looking for the eggs , and like Rob / The Living Isle found , several of the Oak buds had in fact burst into leaf , probably during the recent mild spell , but then been caught by the hard frosts of the recent nights . Also found was a gall on one
set of buds , that I think is the Oak hop gall or Artichoke gall , caused by the gall wasp Andricus fecundator . Whilst taking about galls , one of the lads found another one whilst we were working on
the Common on Thursday , which turned out to be the Bramble stem gall , this one caused by the gall wasp Diastrophus rubi .
Finally , some shots from the World Wetlands area at Barnes :
White-fronted Goose , Lesser White -fronted Goose
Barnacle and Red-breasted Goose ,
Crested Pochard ,   Red-Crested Pochard
Eider , male ,
Cape Teal ,
Ringed Teal ,
Ruddy or White-headed Duck ,     White -headed Duck (male)
? Swan .  Black-necked Swan

Many thanks to Marianne for the amended IDs


Marianne said...

Firecrest - what a great find! Very interesting to see the Purple Hairstreak egg, and the gall. Lovely photos of the Barnes birds in sunshine - the first goose is a Lesser White-fronted, the two ducks together are Red-crested Pochards, the last duck is a drake White-headed, and the swan is Black-necked.

Warren Baker said...

I agree with Marianne - a great find Greenie. No Redwings here still!

Alan Pavey said...

As above Greenie, lovely to find a local Firecrest, excellent!

Rob said...

These gall wasps produce a variety of structures, don't they - the oak hop gall is well named.
I'm going to look again for the Purple Hairstreak eggs!

alan woodcock said...

Hi,good find that Firecrest.