Saturday, 11 February 2012

Saturday 11th. February 2012

The day started with another sighting of the male Blackcap whilst we were having breakfast . Only trouble was that next door but one's two cats were prowling around the gardens , and next door's dog was barking in their's . All of which made the small bird very nervous , and it spent most of the time
concealed in vegetation , obviously wanting to get down to the Callicarpa berries to feed . It managed a couple of quick darts to get berries , too quick to get a reasonable shot . Then , all of a
sudden , flew up onto the top of the Laburnum , and posed , with his back to the camera . Eventually , he did get his breakfast , then retired onto the sunny side of a conifer to digest it . A smaller number
of Fieldfares this morning , just about 40/50 arrived and settled in the Sycamore , only problem being
that the cupboard is as good as bare .  This was the area where I photographed the 17 birds amongst plenty of berries just a short time back . A couple of birds were finding the odd berry , and a few more were finding the fallen berries below the bush , but not enough to satisfy all those hungry Thrushes waiting above . So , all together , they were up and off to find another food source , and haven't been seen again this afternoon . Breakfast over , I set off to do the bird survey at a very cold Down House , the car thermometer read -6C on my arrival . What seems to be the average species count was true again this visit with 17 species being recorded , the best of them being 7 Fieldfare in two small groups . The small meadows have got sheep in them , but the large meadow , apart from the footpath which runs diagonally through it , still has pristine snow covering it . Pristine apart from
lots of animal/bird tracks . I photographed a couple of them , and would hesitate to suggest that had both sets of prints been made at the same time , it would have caused conflict , as I believe that the large tracks are that of a Fox and the other that of a Pheasant , but as always , I stand to be corrected .
 The second I'm not sure of at all , but am going for Rabbit . The two most interesting sightings of the
visit were , the sheep , helping out the ground staff with the hedge trimming , I couldn't make out what the noise was from the walled garden , the other side of the hedge , and a very brief encounter ,
right on the edge of the large meadow with this female Roe Deer . I managed this and one other shot , before she sped off , closely followed by a smaller animal . I wonder if the second animal was the fawn I found in the long grass , way back last year ?
And finally , commiserations to Simon , who gave out the information , and others who went to Mote Park today , hoping to see the 11 Goosander , which were nowhere to be seen . Yesterday was so lucky for myself and others , but , I suppose , that is birding .


Phil said...

Seems to be a case of here today gone tomorrow with Goosanders Greenie.
I hope your Fieldfares find some more berries. I think they would normally move to the fields, as their name suggests, when they run out but they won't be able to do that at the moment.
Nice to see a Blackcap.

Marc Heath said...

There seems to be a few Blackcap appearing in the last few days. Not long until we hear their lovely singing.

ShySongbird said...

Well done with the Blackcap photo, Greenie. This is the first Winter for years that I haven't seen any in my garden, perhaps I just haven't looked enough.

That is a particularly lovely photo of the deer!

I have been putting halved apples out during the very cold weather and the Fiedfares are loving them.

Paul said...

Hi Greenie, nice to see a Blackcap, I had one in the garden, and one down Leybourne lakes before Christmas, but havent seen any since.
Also, through reading both yours, and Simons Blogs, I gave Mote Park a visit on Saturday. I did see just the 2 Female Goosanders there, as well as some other nice sights/photographs, so cheers for that mate.

Simon said...

Hi Greenie, yeah typical isn't it - heard they were back there today, when Im back at Northward Hill!!! Ah well! Well done with the Blackcap! I love looking at tracks!!