Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sunday 22nd. April 2012

What with the weather and an old neighbour's funeral , I haven't got out much recently , and on the odd occasion that I did , I saw almost nothing of interest . With another bright but cold morning today , I decided on an early visit to Kelsey Park in Beckenham , mainly to see how the Nuthatches and Grey Herons were getting on . Arriving early , I almost had the park to myself , but I knew that things would change quickly as dog walkers , families and keep-fitters started to arrive , so I made the most of the situation . Almost the first bird I came across was a Willow-chiff , obviously unsure
of it's own identity , as it was calling in a mixture of both Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff calls . A pair of Mallards were by the small bridge , and as I approached , the drake gave a couple of short
calls to alert the duck , and they both watched me go by , without either lifting it's head . On The Beck , before it reaches the lake , 8 drake Mandarins were found , but not a sign of a single female during the whole visit . If not in the park itself , there are plenty of mature trees in woodland nearby ,
and I'm sure that they would have some holes that would be ideal for this tree nesting species . Just past the bridge over the first waterfall , a pair of Coots seemed to be acting out the Barocca advert from the TV , both standing on the same fallen branch in the water , but it soon became obvious that
the male had already had his tablet ad the female was tried as a witch at the same time . As I passed the heronry , it was obvious that many of the juveniles had already fledged the nest , with much less noise coming from the few that remained . The fledged juveniles then started turning up around the
lake , this one parked on top of a Yew , making sure that it had all the essentials of life , and another
two parked down at the end of the lake . I was hoping that the adult might arrive with food for them , but it never happened . Whilst at that end , I had flybys of both Grey and Pied Wagtail and on a
soggy area of grass , two Song Thrushes were finding plenty of worms for their breakfast . At the same time , overhead a female Blackcap was feeding , but she never gave a photo shot opportunity , nor did any of the males that were singing around the lake . It must have been a heavy night for this
Muscovy Duck , as he finished up sleeping on one of the park benches . I just missed the male
bringing it , but this female Coot didn't look at all impressed as her mate added a piece of polystyrene
burger box to the nest . A bit further down The Beck , I did see a juvenile Coot , it'll have to be wary with all the Grey Herons about . A single Swallow passed through as I watched and listened to a
male Dunnock , and from the main feeding area , a Little Grebe was looking very dapper in it's
breeding plumage , and close by , the 'Pied' Coot looks even stranger as it starts to get it's adult
feathers , looks like a Bobby Charlton wrap-over hairstyle to me . I think that the male
Greylag Goose was meant to be guarding his partner whilst she was sitting , but he must have had a hard night too . By the time I got back near the car , the park was well and truly starting to fill up , so it was time for me to be off . With the weather still holding , I decided on a quick visit to the Greensand Ridge , but will write that up tomorrow , when it is meant to be raining all day , which is exactly what it is doing as I write this .


Warren Baker said...

Not looking like a very good week to get out next week Greenie :-(

You do come across some odd individuals! ( birdwise)

Very nice Dunnock and Grebe shot BTW

Anonymous said...

Iberian Chiffchaff?? You might want to check out the song for that species. You might have the first London record.

Cheers, Andy Lawson

Greenie said...

Andy ,
Thanks for your suggestion , I must admit it came to mind as I listened to the bird .
But , after following the 'Apuldram Chiffchaff' discussions on the Sussex OS site since the 17th. with many people visiting and giving their opinions , I don't think I would want to put forward a possible ID on the strength of two pictures and a short bit of song , and then get involved with all that could ensue .
But appreciate your interest , thanks .

ShySongbird said...

An enjoyable visit with some lovely photos again Greenie. The pied Coot does look odd and those Mallards definitely had their eyes on you. I'm pleased the Herons are doing well too.

I was reading about Iberian Chiffchaff ID yesterday after seeing several claims of sightings on blogs recently. I suspect some have been mistaken identifications as from everything I read the subject is a minefield to say the least with even a slightly different song being not entirely a reliable distinction.